Open Gently

Musings on the introspective life.

Hookups Sound Like Bad Sex

If you're going to hook up with a guy, make sure he's giving you what you need.

We've been hearing a lot about kids having casual sex. What we're hearing less about is that they'd really rather be in love.

According to the latest stats summarized in a publication of the American Psychological Association, between 60-80% of college students in the United States and Canada have had a hookup--and about 60% have had an ongoing "friends with benefits" arrangement.

Among 12-21 year olds who are sexually active, 70% reported a hookup within the last year. In a sample of seventh, ninth, and 11th graders, about a fifth reported casual sex.

But in other studies, 63% of college-aged men and 83% of college-aged women said they'd rather have a romance than hookups or friends with benefits. And a majority of women and about 45% of men have said that they hoped a hookup would lead to more emotional intimacy and even talked to their partner about it.

As the cliche would suggest, men like hookups more than women do. But one reason is that men are more likely to get oral sex in a first-time hookup and 31% of men actually have an orgasm compared to only 10% of women.

The double standard is upsetting. But note that the majority of both men and women aren't coming in their hookups. As far as an orgasm, they'd probably be better off masturbating.

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So what's really going on? It seems that kids are experimenting with sex and hopeful about love and contrary to much press, the sex isn't really so hot. Some 20% of women seem to like these experiences and another bigger chunk of women are just fitting into their culture.

I don't know about you, but I find bad sex depressing. The lack of an orgasm doesn't guarantee bad sex, but it's a pretty good indication of it in a scientific survey. 

It's also worth noting that about 20% of men don't like casual sex. In surveys on campuses, Andrew Smiler, a psychologist at SUNY Oswego, says he often hears men complain about drunken female students "throwing themselves all over me." On Plentyoffish.com, the third most popular dating site in the U.S., men have posted threads on message forums asking: "Do women just want sex?”.

 Men are under a lot of pressure these days. Once he knows or guesses a woman is more experienced, he assumes you'll compare. You could be texting your verdict to friends the next day. (Although interestingly, the pressure doesn't necessarily move him towards reciprocating a blow job). Impotence is a pretty common experience.

What I'd tell a daughter: have sex only with a man who is truly interested in giving you pleasure and your best chances are with a man who wants to be with you more than once.

What I'd tell a son: be a gentleman and be fair. Make sure she's happy.  

See the APA study here.

For editing and writing coaching, contact me at expertediting.org. 

 

Temma Ehrenfeld is a New York-based science writer, and former assistant editor at Newsweek.

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