Hookup Culture

Hooking up is a very normal part of life for 20-30 year-olds nowadays. Some people can have sex without requiring an emotional connection or a romantic relationship. Some people can’t separate emotions or love from sex. But how do you know how you will react until you try it out? Is allowing yourself to be that vulnerable with someone you don’t love worth the potential pain?

Here’s my most recent hookup story:

There’s this guy, we’ll call him David. I met David about 2 years ago and instantly felt a weird connection to him. I almost instantly felt that one day we would be together. What this meant exactly, I wasn’t sure. It was surprising to me because he had a girlfriend at the time. However, a few months later, his girlfriend ended up passing away. My heart was broken for him because I can’t even imagine how it feels to lose someone you love so much. I saw him off and on and would still have those weird feelings even though I honestly didn’t know him well at all. Every time I was around him I would hear “it’s not time yet,” run through my mind. I would stop my feelings immediately and refocus. I met other guys and was open to dating and most of the time I didn’t even think about him. But whenever there was a chance I saw him, there was that voice “it’s not time yet.” It was so confusing to me, but I just rolled with it.

Finally, a few months ago, at a Halloween party, we struck up some conversation and he did a bit of flirting and what not throughout the night, but honestly I didn’t think much about it. Later that night my brother’s girlfriend informed me that he was asking her about me that night. She shot him down, saying that I was looking for something serious and that I’m a really good girl, so I wouldn’t be down with hooking up with him or anything like that. When she told me this I said “What?! Why did you tell him that?!” And then she talked to me about how it wouldn’t be a good idea, I would regret it, I would have to see him around at bars and concerts and at friend’s houses, etc. and I would feel awkward. I agreed that was true even though I think he’s really hot (and have had these strange feelings for such a long time, but that part I kept to myself).

A couple weeks later I started communicating with him here and there through Facebook and finding  ways to see him. Nothing much was coming of it and that voice “it’s not time yet” still played in my head, but it seemed like it was finally getting closer to time.

On Christmas Day, I went with my brother’s girlfriend to a Christmas party at his house. We flirted all night long and this sexual chemistry thing we had between us was definitely getting much stronger. I basically wanted to jump his bones right then and there, but of course it wasn’t time. Also, there was this girl there, we’ll call her Stephanie. I had heard that there was a girl in his life, then he told her he wasn’t ready for a relationship so they stopped dating, but apparently they were still hooking up. I guess I just hoped that they wouldn’t end up getting back together and whatever was happening between us would grow…

After this night, I thought a lot about wanting to hookup with him because our sexual energy was just so strong, but I had this feeling that I was either going to hook up with him now, or eventually we would get into a relationship. I could have one or the other, but not both.

A couple weeks later I found out his brother kind of had a thing for me and I was told that David appeared to be back with Stephanie, which made sense because communication had stopped between us. I decided that perhaps I should give his brother a chance, but it just kept not working out for us to hang out. One night I planned to go to the bar to see a band play, expecting the brother to be there. Well he wasn’t, but David was. He was actually there with Stephanie, which was pretty uncomfortable for me at first. But eventually David walked over to me and our friend Leslie. He moved Leslie out of the way so that he could hug me and kiss my forehead (a very lingering forehead kiss, mind you). The whole night he flirted slightly and just gave me this big smile that I didn’t notice him ever smile at anyone else. He didn’t appear to be happy with Stephanie. He slow danced for a little bit with her, but was staring at me the whole time. After leaving the bar around 1:30 or so we all end up going over to Leslie’s house, but Stephanie didn’t come with us. While at Leslie’s house, we kept flirting a bit and apparently while there, he sent me a Facebook message telling me that he thought I looked amazing. When I didn’t reply, he wrote another message saying that he was sorry for being awkward. I saw these messages once I got home around 4:30 am. So I wrote him and told him I hadn’t seen the messages, but thank you and it wasn’t awkward, I just hadn’t seen the message. No response back from him.

Then a little over a week ago (almost a month since the hang out/Facebook message) I decide to go see a friend’s band play at another local bar in the city I live in (this bar is about 30 minutes from him). I didn’t expect to see him out there, but there he was. He showed up and he sat behind me and tried to appear like he didn’t see me sitting there and I sat there wondering if I should turn and talk to him or not because I was very confused since I hadn’t heard from him since that night at our friend’s house. I knew I needed to turn and say hey, so I did. He smiled huge and acted like he hadn’t noticed me sitting there, so I played along and did the same.

We flirted and talked a lot throughout the night and he bought me and my friend drinks. We smiled and flirted some more. He bought more drinks for me. After dancing some I decide to go to the bathroom, and when I came out of the bathroom he was standing close by, so I walked straight over to him and gave him a hug. He held me tight, started dancing with me and kissed me on the forehead. A friend of his started talking to him, but he held onto me and put his hand right on my ass. So finally he says we should go hang out outside, so I said ok, but before heading out, our friend Marisa catches my attention and I go hug her and say hi, then I head out the door with him. As I’m heading out with him I notice her looking at us suspiciously. He took me somewhere a little secluded on the outside patio and we started making out. Then he asks if I want to go somewhere more private, I said yes and so we head away from the bar, running into more friends, who smile at us like they obviously know what is going on. He told me that we’re just going to continue running into people we know, I said “yeaahhh” (obviously a little bit uncomfortable with that), then he stopped me in the parking lot (with people around) and started kissing me again, as if to tell me he didn’t care who saw us. Finally, we got to my car and did the deed.

I can definitely say that I enjoyed it, but everything just happened too quickly. I had this gut feeling that even though I have had some different feelings for him throughout these two years, he clearly was seeing this as a hookup situation. He had wanted to hook up with me since Halloween, after all.

As soon as it was over we got out of the car and even though he was still being nice and we were laughing and what not about stuff, his energy was definitely different towards me. He didn’t kiss me, hold me hand, walk up to the bar with his arm around me or even next to me. He walked ahead of me.

When I really noticed all of these things my heart sank a little bit. This is all he wanted and this was all it was going to be. I’ve ruined things. I suddenly remembered the voice telling me that if I hook up with him now that will be all it ever is. So he paid his tab and I walked over to my friend who had been calling me because I was “taking a really long time in the bathroom and she was worried about me.” I walked over to him and gave him a hug bye and he hugged me quickly, didn’t look at me, and said “bye baby.”

This past week was torture and seemed to take forever. I never heard from him and I didn’t contact him either. Then I heard he may still be with Stephanie. My heart sank again. Was he dating her when we hooked up? Are they officially dating again or is it still a hookup situation with them? Why would he kiss me and hold my hand and what not in front of our mutual friends if he was dating her?

This weekend I went to the bar to hear another band play with all of our friends and in he walks…with her. My heart sank even lower. He said hi to everyone else and then of course we had to say hi to each other. He wouldn’t look at me, but he gave me a side hug and said “hey baby.” I just walked away from everyone and went to hear the band play upstairs alone. I wanted to leave, but this band is incredible and I had been so excited to see them play all week, so fuck him, I was going to stay and see the band play.

I did hide in the bathroom for a little bit and text one of my best friend Jane, who responded like a true best friend: “I’m going to pee and then I’m coming to you.” So I waited and just stood in a place away from everyone and tried really hard to enjoy the music. I noticed him a few times throughout the night and he definitely wasn’t his typical happy, outgoing, flirty and friendly self. I couldn’t quite read him though. Did he just feel awkward and didn’t want to have to deal with me being around? Did he feel embarrassed and ashamed? Did he wonder why I hadn’t contacted him and he was feeling insecure himself? What the hell is going through his mind?

Finally, Jane arrived and she is pissed as hell. But instead of leaving and just spending time somewhere else bashing men and eating whatever comfort food we wanted, we stayed there. We sat and laughed and talked loudly about the most random things. He literally sat across from me at the bar, facing right towards me rather than the bar. So Elizabeth positioned herself right between our eye sight. He paced around a bit and looked a bit uncomfortable and I felt him looking at me every once in a while. Then he was ready to go with Stephanie and grabbed her ass right in front of me and they headed out the door. My heart sank again. 

I’m gonna need my heart to stop sinking.

Haven’t heard a thing since. No other direct interaction except for the weak-ass side hug and a “hey baby.”

Also, we didn’t use protection and I’m going to take a pregnancy test. Also, I got a bladder infection that has been so severe my Doctor said if I had waited another day I would have been in the hospital because of only having one kidney.

This situation has worked out pretty great for me so far.

I can’t blame him though. I could have said no. I could have chosen not to ignore the voice that told me that if I hooked up with him it would be just that. However, there’s still this little piece of my heart that hopes something will happen between us down the road…because in all reality, neither of us are talking to each other. Neither of us has any idea what the other person is thinking. But I’m afraid to ask because it’s way easier to be vulnerable with my body than it is to be vulnerable with my mind.

I’ve tried to convince myself that I can just call this a night of good sex with a hot guy. That it was just a fun hookup with a “friend”and that it’s completely normal to do this. This is our hookup culture, after all. This is what my generation does so I should just roll with it and shut off emotions, right?

The point is, if you are going to participate in this “hookup culture” of ours, make sure you are prepared for it to be just that. Don’t hookup with someone you could potentially want to date in the future. Hookups rarely turn into anything more than just a night of sex. But if that’s your thing and you just want to have a good time, do your thing and more power to you. Just be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into and make sure you’re both on the same page.

And maybe don’t make the decision in the spur of the moment with several drinks in you. Yeah, maybe don’t do that. And probably use protection because baby daddy problems are never fun for anyone. And definitely use the bathroom before and after sex to avoid UTIs…seriously…

In my first paragraph I asked: “Is allowing yourself to be that vulnerable with someone you don’t love worth the potential pain?” I’m not sure if I would say it’s worth it for me in this situation. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t. I would have taken things slower and waited until I was really ready and we discussed what was going on between us.

Basically, just make sure you’re ready. 

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