Pros and Cons: The Golden Age of Hookups

I have a theory that we are entering the golden age of hookups. Technology has given us the means to find people to have sex with more easily than we ever could have in the past. Twenty five years ago, you went to bars or book clubs. You put out personal ads or bonded over BBS. In the year 2017, you can literally find strangers to have sex with using a phone. I’ve begun fleshing out this theory by examining a few of the pros and cons of hookup culture in 2017.

Photo of a Chinese woman and man in dress clothes kissing on a balcony in front of beautiful orange fireworks.
Photo by Jeremy Wong on Unsplash.

This shit is easy.

Pro: Oh. My. God. This is so easy! I can sign up for websites like sexwithnostrings.com/us/meet-and-fuck from my couch. I can browse Tinder when I’m in the car. I can use text messages to talk dirty to someone from the toilet, if I desire.

Con: Oh. My. God. Does nobody put any effort into this because it’s so easy? Apparently ease of use is a pass to do the absolute bare minimum to get laid. Which, like, that’s fine, you do you, and I’ll do me, but I wish that dating and hookup sites had an option for me to check saying that my potential matches had to at least demonstrate a little effort. Filling out a profile with words that actually tell me something about you is a good start.

The internet is a kinkster’s paradise.

Pro: You can meet some super fucking kinky people. The low-stakes nature of sites and apps during the Golden Age of Hookups means that people are so much more likely to be up-front about their kinks and desires. It’s way easier to ask somebody to drink your piss if you didn’t even have to change out of your pajamas to do it and you’ve got five other matches messaging you. I have way more luck finding people who will admit that they like erotic asphyxiation online than I’ve ever had finding them in person.

Con: You can also meet people who are super boring. Sometimes these people are also kinky, and maybe they’re just otherwise boring. Their interests don’t catch my eye (which is fine, I just don’t match with them) or they aren’t good conversationalists, or they’re bad at sexting.

I haven’t sexted a ton of people since joining Tinder – in fact, only one person has made the mistake of trying to sext me, thus far. It was a mistake because he was super bad at it, and he disqualified himself when he kept bringing up transgender people like they were fetish objects. (Admitting you’re nonbinary on Tinder apparently attracts a ton of chasers.) I don’t know if “you do all the work and I’ll tell you I like it” is standard sexting strategy for cis dudes on Tinder, or if this guy in particular was just really dull, but basically all he did was ask me questions about things I’ve done that he was clearly beating off to in between two word replies. For someone who talks openly about sex on the internet, these conversations are *not* masturbation material for me. This is boring, run of the mill stuff. Me telling him this was no more intimate than me tweeting about it, and I don’t masturbate to the stuff I tweet from Sugarcunt.

If I wanna jerk off thinking about the people I’ve had sex with in the past, I’ll do so without stopping to text some rando the story every few minutes. If someone tries sexting me and they’re bad at it, they’ve ruined their chances of meeting me in person. I’m turned off by boring, low-effort sexting. If you’re a shit sexter who can’t be bothered to say something that will turn me on, why would I want to see what you’re like in person? Exactly.

A wider net.

Pro: You’re not limited to people in your immediate local area. While the point of most hookup apps and sites is to meet and fuck, not everyone is looking to get together in person immediately, if at all. Some people are content to have distance hookups and relationships, and those are totally legitimate too! Not being limited to people in your town, state, or even your timezone can be a super amazing thing, especially if you live in a remote area where you don’t have a lot in common with the locals, like I used to. This allows you to find a relationship that you can fit into your schedule, too. You know what sucks about dating when you’re on the graveyard shift? Trying to get together with daywalkers. You know what you can do in the golden age of hookups? Date somebody in another timezone. You may not fuck together in person often, but I promise you, it is refreshing to find someone that wants to fuck you who is on a similar sleep schedule.

Con: Managing a relationship with a person in another timezone can be difficult, especially if you *aren’t* on the same wake/sleep schedule that they are. Long distance relationships (LDRs) aren’t for everyone, and while it’s awesome that LDRs have been greatly enhanced by modern technology, that time difference will foil even the best-laid plans sometimes. You have to honestly evaluate whether you can maintain a relationship in the face of those difficulties. If you can, it can be an amazing thing. If you can’t… well, set the allowed distance for your potential matches really low.

This golden age idea has been so fascinating for me, and it’s been on my mind a lot lately, especially thinking about how dating has changed so rapidly in the past few years. I’m going to explore this topic further in the upcoming months. If you have any thoughts about this topic that you’d like to share, I’d love to read them! Comment below, tweet me, or e-mail me at sugarcunt [at] sugarcuntwrites.com!

This post was sponsored, but all opinions and experiences shared are my own.

Non-Monogamy For Snowflakes

In 2015 my wife and I decided to experiment with non-monogamy. Through a series of comical and confounding miscommunications, we both labeled ourselves polyamorous and found ourselves back on OKCupid. If you’ve read any of my posts about online dating before, I’m sure you can anticipate how much I was dreading this. Putting yourself out there on any dating site for the first time can be intimidating when you don’t know what to expect, but once you DO know what to expect it’s intimidating for a different reason. Have you ever had a dog that freaks out whenever you tell them it’s time to go to the vet? My brain is that dog, and dating websites are the vet, except it’s debatable whether the vet will help me in any way.

Here’s something I didn’t count on: it was way harder to find a partner in my area on OKCupid as a married polyamorous person than as a single person. We weren’t unicorn-hunting, it was just super difficult to find non-monogamous people. Since we live in a rural town in the mountains of North Carolina, it’s also a lot harder to find queer and kinky folks in general, and your dating pool shrinks significantly if you’re only looking for non-monogamous people in those categories.

Another thing that sucked was that it also fostered a weird competitive undercurrent in our relationship. I don’t think either of us was consciously thinking in competitive terms, but my wife wasn’t getting as many messages as I was, and it seemed difficult for that not to discourage her. Whether we liked it or not, the mean parts of her brain compared our numbers. I knew this was because she was presenting male on a dating website.

If you appear female on a dating website, you’ll get a barrage of messages from horny dudes whether you’re married or not. They’re not usually polyamorous, they’re usually assholes who are just looking for no-strings-attached sex. (NSA sex isn’t why they’re assholes.) This actually ruins the chances for perfectly decent male-presenting humans, because this is a driving force that governs how we interact with messages and other people in general. When I considered myself monogamous, I would have been skeptical of a married man messaging me and saying he wanted to hook up or date, so I have a firsthand understanding of how wary someone might be when they get an OKCupid message from a married person.

When this happened, we didn’t know much about dating websites geared toward non-monogamous or kinky folks, like Swingtowns. In recent years more businesses like this are becoming publicly visible, and that’s a total relief. No longer will non-monogamous people have to spend hours straining monogamous people out of their dating pool!

We ended up adopting a different relationship structure a few months later, and part of what helped us make the decision to change it was how incredibly fucking stressful trying to meet people online was. There is a certain degree of time and effort involved in actively hunting for new partners that can be exhausting, especially when you’re fishing in the wrong pond. The other part of our decision was that we weren’t particularly romantically available to others, which wasn’t going to make meeting people any easier. Now I interpret us as being more monogam-ish than monogamous or polyamorous. This arrangement works for our relationship so much better than feeling like we have to commit to one label or the other and much more accurately describes the flexibility and intentions of our agreement.

If you’re discussing opening your relationship for the first time, consider talking more about what the experiences and flexibility you desire are before you try to label it. There is no one-size-fits-all style of non-monogamy – each relationship is like a snowflake: unique, complex, nuanced, and beautiful.

 

This post was sponsored, but all opinions and experiences shared are my own.