Hookup Sex Less Pleasurable

1292393586_95218200Men are more likely to climax in committed relationships. And women are twice as likely to reach orgasm in serious relationships, compared with hookup sex.

Maybe that’s because partners are more likely to know what the other likes, through both communication and practice. They’re also less likely to have performance anxiety. And, they are less likely to be drunk. That always helps. Meanwhile, love can add a rich vein of emotional connectedness.

So it’s not so surprising that 70% of women and 73% of men in college say they want relationships over hookup sex.

The whole phenomenon doubles down when it comes to women, though. An NYU study found only 40% of women climaxing during their last sexual hookup, while 80% of men did.

It may all be due to nurture more than nature.

Before contact with Europeans – and shortly after – American Indian women were expected and encouraged to enjoy sex — as men are in our society. And they did. With a lot of men. And they weren’t called sluts.

But repressive forces continue to burden modern women, making them less able to enjoy sex —and more likely to feel guilt. Especially when it’s casual. Plus, a majority of women say they need emotional connection to really get into it. That could be due to repression, too, since it’s not clear that Native American women needed it.

Next add this and stir: a lot of guys seem to care more about a girlfriend’s pleasure than a hookup partner’s. As one put it,

I’m not going to try as hard as when I’m with someone I really care about.

And for too many guys it’s about scoring. In this game, her pleasure doesn’t count.

Yet women often feel obliged to pleasure men. Part of the feminine caring or serving role? And they are less likely to be competing for points. No wonder men get more satisfaction.

Despite unequal pleasure women are equal participants in hookup culture. Makes you wonder why, when it feels way less good. 

Even lacking pleasure, sex without strings holds both carnal and emotional benefits, some researchers suggest. Like creating a sense of intimacy, however brief.

I don’t get it. Does fleeting physical intimacy minus emotional intimacy actually feel intimate? Consider this from the New York Times:

After his own orgasm that night, she said, he showed no interest in her satisfaction. The next time they got together, it happened again. He “didn’t even care.”

Maybe intimacy’s not what she’s going for. But it’s hard to see what she is going for.

And if it’s carnally so great, why no Ooooo?

Or, San Francisco filmmaker, Kim Huynh, says pleasuring others is empowering. Mediocre sex is a small price to pay for “the freedom to be able to enjoy it all.”

Enjoy what?

Or why not both enjoy sex AND feel empowered by pleasuring others?

I can imagine a variety of motives, ranging from very positive to more questionable:

Maybe some women enjoy feeling carnal even without climaxing? Or they enjoy feeling free? Or being cool? Feeling like you’re supposed to hook up? Do some feel attractive and chosen? How about experimenting? Learning about yourself? Having sex with men, hoping to feel beautiful, wanted and worthy? (My students sometimes talk about that.) Some are looking for a boyfriend.

Or, maybe it’s the hope that if you keep trying equal pleasure will ultimately come? Who knows, that may eventually work since greater sexual equality would lead to less repression and, hopefully, more of everyone getting their needs met.

Some women do get pleasure in hookups – about 40%. But otherwise, I don’t entirely get it. If anyone has more insight into this, I’m all ears, as they say.

Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Hookup Culture
Women Want Casual Sex? Yes and No
Women Want Emotionally Connected Sex. Why?

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on November 18, 2013, in feminism, men, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 56 Comments.

  1. I think the general consensus is that relationship is better because like any situation, being familiar and comfortable is key.
    When it comes to hooks up, as my significant other tends to put it, its just for sex, but it’s also a performance. Where both individuals are putting on a show for each other and attempting to maximize the sex. Even in my own personal experience, I was always more worried about doing it right or being worried about the way I looked naked than sometimes the actual sex. That said, the sex itself was decent and much like enjoying a hamburger at McDonalds’, it did the job. It wasn’t the best hamburger, but it filled the need. Relationship is much like a high end restaurant where only after multiple visits will the cook begin to finally perfect the meal or hamburger for you. So of course the sex will improve vastly over time and as another posting goes, sex will probably improve as you get older.

  2. Talked to my bf long time ago about the matter if hookup sex involves emotional attachment, and he answered without any doubt that guys don’t care too much about hookup sex, it’s just about one night pleasure. For the longest time I found that I couldn’t align myself completely with his point. That’s why I really didn’t understand how some of his female friends could manage FwB or to sleep around without being committed. Sex in Asian cultures is seen so much sacred and pure. I’m not saying that girls here are “slutty” but it seems true that people tend to open up more emotional or physically to strangers. Guessed why could be one of the reasons why hookup sex seems popular but it’s also true that sex in a relationship brings more excitement and pleasure. The feelings you have for your partner make you enjoy the sex more, and at the same time you’re trying to please your partner, make him/her enjoy it. People are more likely to see themselves and their partners as an item together, instead having sex with some random strangers which sounds more like a one-sided pleasure. I don’t prefer to have sex without commitment but I also believe people have the right to be responsible and enjoy their life as they want.

  3. As a lady I am sad to report that this blog is very true. Speaking from my own experience at the moment I loved one night stands you go in and do what ever you wanna do than leave it done and over with it. It is a great rushing feeling BUT it does not LAST. That is why hookup sex in my opinion are less pleasurable because in a committed relationship spite all the ups and downs it lasts. In a committed relationship you communicate what is great and what is not. I found this article very interesting because I agree that LOVE makes sex more great.

  4. Some don’t because of what you said. But others have the luxury of going out and having fun and not seeming to think about or thinking of how to talk to or meet guys at a bar or other social event and just have fun.. And it’s because they don’t have to and they got the demand towards them, so the supply will be there when going out again. So they don;t have to think about taking a risk and just have fun and guys will come anyway. A lot of guys, getting laid is more on the forefront probably because of biology, but also because getting laid is not as certain or that opportunity as far as meeting girls, etc. Afterall, a lot of bars even when having a lot of girls are still usually lopsided or there’s usually atleast 3 guys to every girl. So guy’s are thinking of who am I going to talk to, and is she looking over,,I see guys next to her, one of them is probalby her bf, etc. So some can feel the pressure of this as a good dry spell can come after if the situations aren’t right. Girls don’t have to think about that, because there’s always plenty of guys around and who will talk to them, should a girl want something casual. It’s more than that, and girls I think preferring to have the power of choosing and being courted and probalby still would, even if there wasn’t a view that women shouldn’t approach. By the way this is something women feel, not guys. A lot of guys don’t think anything against a girl approaching them, this is more with girls. Plus I don’t think smiling or showing signs is that hard. Girls don’t even do that as much, or pretty discrete. I see some looks every now and then, but yeah, like never at my cities bar.

  5. No, women stand back, because they don;t want to or have to. Guy’s have to because most guys aren’t getting any love or sex unless they initiate or approach women. Whereas, women can sit pretty and still get dates, or turn down guys. Women aren’t going to miss out on sex or dates if they don’t approach, so many sit back and figure not to do anything. I don’t understand this talk about guys not liking it. Sure some insecure guys might not like be approached or things initiated, but many guys appreciate it and don’t think anything bad of women making above. It would just simply catch a guy off guard maybe, if a hot or pretty woman approaches him, though I’m sure many guys would find it flattering. And as stated in my other post. Guy’s have more pressure than women to please and be good in bed, so I don’t know why you say women feel the pressure to do so.

    • I’m not sure if you are the one that had this discussion with before but Women don’t approach man because they’re taught not to. And, they often think men will not respond well if they do.

  6. I think that hookup sex can definitely be pleasurable for a woman as long as she has realistic expectations. In my experience, I always made an effort to chose men who seemed to actually care about and respect me as a person rather see me as solely a sex object, even if our brief relationships were based solely on the physical acts involved. I can honestly say that i have been happy in almost all of them and while yes, some weren’t really that great, i just never chose to see those people again. It was definitely the others that put in effort who ended up getting more chances and making the whole experience worth it.

    My reasoning for choosing to participate in the hookup culture had two main factors. One was the desire for freedom after getting out of a very emotionally intense and draining relationship. The other was a desire to experiment and get to know myself better. At the time i enjoyed my situation a great amount, however having since moved on to a more steady relationship that resulted from one of those hookups, I am now much happier to have the additional emotional intimacy as well.

  7. This information only makes too much sense. As a relatively androgynous gay man, I have noted that I can inherit certain ‘struggles’ from both the spheres of the male world and female world. One thing that makes hook up culture so obnoxious is the scoring aspect of it all. It seems that we are, like women, valued for our attractiveness more so than any other attribute. As a result, I have felt pressure to have sex when I was not that into it, only to prove my worth. This added unpleasant pressure to a hook up, and it was distracting to me to think during the time that “oh I need to come so that I can tell my friends that I got laid.” But alas, what makes me stand out from so many gay men and their sex lives is that I actually think sex is the best thing in the world, and that it is important to enjoy it. Therefore, I cannot be as cavalier about, and I cannot engage in the frivolous hookup culture that sort of dehumanizes partners. But alas, I have had many intimate connections after just one night. I think that there is a warmth that you can sometimes only find in a brief encounter with a stranger. If you hook up without following the structures of a hook up culture, it is actually very rewarding.

  8. I absolutely found this interesting. Reading through the comments, I found a quote a person used and I thought it was so truthful, “Sex without love in an empty experience, but, as empty experiences go, it’s one of the best” (Woody Allen)
    Learning that only 40% of women who hookup get pleasure, makes me wonder why people still do it but I guess it has become a culture that it’s so empty yet full of pleasure.
    Thanks for the post!

  9. “It’s harder for men to get women to have sex casually because patriarchy tells us that it’s okay for men to have sex casually, but not for women, who get shamed.

    If you have a problem with the situation, start fighting against patriarchy so women will feel less shamed and be less repressed.”

    It’s harder for men to get women to have sex, because women even today are still much less likely to approach a guy or initiate or show interest. Or if they do, it’s so discrete many guy’s don;t notice it. And well, plenty of guy’s don’t always like to try making up convo to a woman, withouth her looking at him like he’s a creep or them being rude to the guy, etc.

    • ” women even today are still much less likely to approach a guy or initiate or show interest.”

      That’s because of patriarchy too.

      Women are taught that men are supposed to be the leaders and women are supposed to be the followers. Men are supposed to be active. Women are supposed to be passive– So they “have to” passively attract, instead of act.

      If you don’t like it, fight patriarchy.

  10. I find it intersting too though. There;s always too sides to the story. Yes, women can be seen as sluts for hooking up and they may feel that pressue. But l as noted here, sometimes women will say a man has an issue if he can;t get it up or his physical problems for not performing, and not try harder, because some guys get off easily, but not all guys. Yes, it takes more for women to usually get off, and as a result there is more pressure on guys I feel actually to perform though unlike women. So in a sense, I think some women feel they are good in the sack when they are hooking up, because they are simply are particpant and it’s enough for a decent number of guys to get off, but not all guys will. But then again, it’s not the woman, its more so the guy having a physical problem. Whereas, a man not being able to get a woman off sometimes can be due to her own insecurities, her not being vocal or letting him know what works and not truly knowing her own body. But more so, it’s these guys weren’t good in bed.

    A woman can be seen or see herself or judegment more lenient on a woman’s bed skills, because women internalizing the fact they are having sex with the guy and women have the “goods” so to speak so they can’t be bad. All I know is it’s much more often that women are to say guy’s were bad in the sack or he has a small dick, etc, which could be due to the man not being good, but some women putting the onis on men to deliver when the woman doesn’t even know her own body or hardly masturbates or insecure, etc. Whereas, a woman not getting a man off? Well of course, he has the physical problem, it simply can’t be the woman being bad in bed. I do think there is actually more pressure on guy’s as far as “performance” goes as a result. And probably why some guy’s do have or get performance anxiety and can’t get it up or keep it up, because they might feel pressured to reach the standard of guy’s the woman previously had and wanting to be good or better than those previous guys. I don’t recall this anxiety as much for women. Maybe in their own bodies and how they look, but as far as her being great for the guy, unless she really likes the guy or loves him. Otherwise it’s always usually about judgemetn on guy’s and how they stack up so to speak. You don’t think guy’s are aware of sex talk between women and their comparisons of guys in bed? More guys than you think are aware and want to not be great but the best in bed. Yeah guys will say this woman wasn’t great, but it’s less likely for guys to do this.

  11. I enjoy sex with someone I love over casual sex because I have a hard time reaching orgasm during casual sex and if I can’t reach orgasm, I get frustrated. However, I do need sex even when I’m not in a relationship so I tend to make friends with benefits because they usually care somewhat and it is often easier to communicate with a friend rather than a stranger and communication is an important part of good sex.
    I used to have casual sex when I was younger and I did it because I thought that it was the thing to do, my friends would talk about it and it made me curious. I think guys are more likely to orgasm during casual sex because they feel more relaxed. Many women tend to feel pressure to please the man and end up ignoring their own pleasure.

  12. This is quite the eye catching blog, It’s funny because I have a best friend who has not been in a serious relationship for years and he swears that his sex life is that much more pleasing then it was in a relationship when I’m on the other hand always seeking to be in serious relationships because it’s a lot more enjoyable and trusting when you have a partner to practice and study each others bodies more every time.. I’m currently single and it still is never as much fun in hook up sex then it would be in a serious relationship which usually one of my main reasons why I wouldn’t go out and sleep around much because it just isnt that fun when I would rather have 1 hook up and let it constant so we would know what to do and how to do it for each others pleasure.. So I for sure agree with this blog.

  13. Hook up sex is 99% unfulfilling for a woman. I know because I’ve been doing it for the past year. Only about 3 experiences were memorable. And yes all but one of the men really tried to please me. Many young men only know to have porn sex, which is sooooooo not a turn on for me. Another problem is that too many men of all ages have porn induced ED. Either they can’t get and stay hard or they can’t orgasm without thinking about hardcore porn & masterbating to climax. That’s awkward in the end when I’m just laying there watching him struggle to get off. It kind of makes me giggle now thinking about it, lol. My advice is to try it a few times if you want but be very selective and make sure you really like the dude’s personality. Guys can be pretty stupid. They will lay there in the afterglow and tell you about the hot stripper he paid for the night before or the porn stars he wants to do. That’s my cue to end the affair.

    • Thanks for sharing. Still curious as to what the appeal is, if you care to add anything.

      I’m amazed at how clueless some guys can be: “They will lay there in the afterglow and tell you about the hot stripper he paid for the night before or the porn stars he wants to do.”

  14. I think in general it is easier for men to reach climax. That may be in part physical but more so mental. Women are probably more self-conscious, even when drunk. Getting back to one of women’s biggest problems is the pressure they face to meet societal expectations: what they wear , say, do, and how thin they are. They are looked down upon and seen as objects, and being part of a hookup only makes them feel like they are fulfilling that definition (in my opinion). Also, women face a double standard when it comes to sex in general and much more in regards to hookups: Women are seen as sluts if they have hookups, while men are praised for every score they make. I think this is why its hard for women to enjoy/climax in comparison to men. Men are expected to have sex. They are under pressure to score, and don’t necessarily care if they climax or not. When it comes to hookups, some men are more focused in the quantity rather than the quality, which I doubt is what women are generally thinking about.

  15. I don’t think pleasure is ever the first thing on a person’s mind during a hookup. I think what’s on a person’s mind at the time is to just “have sex”. A hook up could be a way to release built up sexual frustration without having to spend the time and effort to find a relationship.

    • Thanks for this perspective. But I still don’t get releasing sexual frustration w/out pleasure. Maybe you could explain in a future comment. I’m really trying to understand this.

      • Can'tsleeprightnow

        I guess you could release sexual frustration just by holding hands, kissing, touching, holding each other, etc. I think some people are just missing intimacy. Or they would really like sex, but they just can’t do it with a random person or someone they are not as attracted to, so while they go into it wanting sex, they are really just comfortable doing less. Orgasm almost doesn’t matter. I’m saying this might be the case for some people (including me), some scenarios. Personally, I’m trying to stay single for a year, but i’m open to casual dating and hook ups. So i’m still figuring it out, but I think there is some truth to J.S.’s comment. Maybe in this case pleasure = intimacy, connection, not necessarily orgasm. Not sure if this is what J.S. meant.

      • Thanks for adding your perspective. It’s helpful.

  16. Before having an intimate relationship with my boyfriend, he would always say that sex only feels good with someone you really, really like and care about. I can agree to that because like the post said, you feel more connected to the person you’re dating and you also know what he likes during sex. I’ve watched many movies like No Strings Attached or like Friends with Benefits, and in the end, although the two people were only looking to hookup, they end up in a relationship. I honestly don’t think that ‘friends with benefits’ last because one or the other will always end up having feelings for that other person. In most cases, it’s the girl. I feel that girls are the ones who want to be in an intimate relationship with a guy, so she can finally settle down and get married. There are definitely a lot of males out there who want sex all the time, but there are also plenty of guys out there that don’t meet girls for that intention. They just want to get to know you and see if you’re a good fit to them. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that girls need to be patient with love because they’ll never know. Who knows if their prince charming is around the corner!

  17. I believe that sex for women is too much about everything but sex. For guys its a thing of A: Are we good at? B: Does it feel good? C: How much can I get?

    Do we compare how many with each other? Sometimes and mostly in the younger side of males. I stopped counted once I reached the age of 23 and it stopped mattering.

    “Yet women often feel obliged to /pleasure/ men. Part of the feminine caring or serving role? And they are less likely to be competing for points. No wonder men get more satisfaction.”

    If this was true we wouldn’t have NEARLY the amount of relationship problems we do now or the staggering amount of men bouncing around from women to women. You can ask any male is there something he is not getting in his hookup partner/girlfriend/wife/ there will be a laundry list.

    Another part of this is that a man has to work hard to get even the least desirable female to the bed room. After that point he does’t have much of an interest in her pleasure, he is just trying to reach climax and convince himself it was worth it.

    • Women feel more compelled to pleasure men in hookup culture, not in broader contexts.

      It’s harder for men to get women to have sex casually because patriarchy tells us that it’s okay for men to have sex casually, but not for women, who get shamed.

      If you have a problem with the situation, start fighting against patriarchy so women will feel less shamed and be less repressed.

  18. I dont know for me it has always been about making that person remember you because you shared a part of yourself with the literally. Guys are not suppose to be emotional so they dont show it. You could have great sex with a hook up if people showed interest in each other and understand they just wanna chill and have sex. May lead to more may not. Thats life

  19. Like someone said above. I also believe people just need sex. You can’t always be in a relationship but for most people you can’t just not have sex either. So all you can do is have casual sex. You hope that it’ll be good even if your past experience tells you that it most likely wont be. Also even not so great sex is still sex and better than no sex.

    From my experience many college aged girls aren’t looking for sex with a lot of random guys all the time but looking for a steady casual hook up buddy. A lot of college aged kids aren’t mature enough for that kind of arrangement and guys aren’t used to the idea that girls just want to have sex with them without wanting a relationship. So it doesn’t work out for long and you’re back to looking for a new hook up buddy.

  20. Why is so complicated being human??

    Yes, evolution sucks, i feel envy for dogs, yes dogs, just take a look about dogs, males and females act almost the same, yes, males are more territorial, but then dont marry, have sex and they dont need for a bond.

    Or even bonobos, they have sex, and a lot, and again, dont need for a bond, or a relationship, they dont feel bad if the males dont call the nex day, they culture is base in hookup sex, and they are a lot more happier than us.

    So thats why im leaving sex, or even dont waste time on it, im 29 male and still virgin and without sex my life could be almost perfect(perfection is impossible), just imagine sex only for having child, and being happy with that???, its not imposible, how many dog with depression you know??.

    sadly, we cant change that, maybe is the price we have to pay for have tablets and cellphones, but if have to live again, i will be a dog!!! thats for sure, human are too screwed up.

  21. Come on, while some guys don’t care, many guys do even if for a pick up. Maybe even if it’s not for a caring part that’s the reason, there’s another reason more guys than you think do want to pleasure the girl they are with and that’s because of ego and what it can do for the man. Seriously, you say girls are caught up in providing for men in bed, etc, but men have expectations more so that women of their “performance”. Some guys might not care for a hook up, but other guys will, because they are proud of their skills in bed and want to be good or great for the women they hook up with too. If a man wants high ratings and a higher prospective from other girls. If say a man hooks up with a girl in college or maybe work and he was great in bed for her. And sometimes you know, girls might gossip and talk about sex someimes to other girls and she’s being honest and brings up how that guy was great in bed to other co worker girls, because maybe the guy is hot and the other girls were interested, idk. But anyway, he’s going to stick out as maybe even that more sexually desirable to the girls after finding out he put such time in making that girl climax, and he only helped himself be wanted even more by other girls who are open minded to not relationship sex.

    • True enough. I overspoke. Not all guys care less about pleasuring their hookup partners. Maybe I’ll edit to reflect that.

    • Can'tsleeprightnow

      Yep, just had casual sex with a guy who didn’t succeed in getting me off, but was definitely up for the challenge and wanted to give me pleasure. This was my first time having casual sex, so I’m not sure how common my experience is, but I was really disappointed when I read the NYTimes article because that was not my experience and I felt like it was really giving guys a bad rap.

      As a reply to a different comment above, why women have casual sex: I really enjoyed it this one time and would be up for doing it again. I’m out of a serious relationship and want to be single for a while (been tied up in relationships for a couple of years, want to focus on my career, be free, see whats out there, etc). The problem is, its hard to go from great sex with a partner that didn’t work out to nothing. Even without getting off, the intimacy is nice. You get to pretend you have a boyfriend for a couple hours. Also, it feels good to be desired. In a way, its an ego boost, like “yeah he had sex with me.” (Esp if you have known him, lusted after him for awhile, it can be like a conquest) I did it for myself, but it is interesting to see how the attention and bonus points can encourage people to sleep around more: gossip, high fives, shock, all positive really. But I think if I did this a lot, the attention would diminish, and the slut reputation would start to emerge. This is something I’ve thought about more recently. I’d like to sleep with some of my friends rather than strangers because personality really makes someone sexy. But then all your other friends know and it can get messy. You don’t want to be the girl or guy really that will sleep with anyone. I don’t think there’s anything morally wrong with it, but in general I feel like I want someone who is at least a little hard to get. Then your connection matters more. Its all very confusing but fun to think about too.

      • Thank you! This comment is so much more helpful than anything I read in the Times. This is the sort of thing I was hoping to read to clue me in. So thanks so much for sharing your experience.

        And since the guy cared about your pleasure I can imagine it not seeming like totally crappy sex, even if he didn’t get you off. There is at least a caringness and generosity about it, along with some of the other positives you name.

        On the points and high-fives being positive, I think it is for the one receiving the accolades. But it can cause someone (usually its guys who get points) to not care about his partner’s pleasure. He scores just by sleeping with her. That’s where I think it can get negative. And if one person feels like she (usually) is just a pawn in a game, it may not be so nice. Your recent experience seems to be different.

  22. Sex without love is an empty experience, but, as empty experiences go, it’s one of the best. — Woody Allen.

  23. I noticed when I was in high school some girls cared more about hooking up with guys than being in a relationship. Even when they were in relationships, it did not last long because they could not stay faithful. I grew up in a small enough town where if you were to get around people would know that about you. Some of the girls I would hear about are the same ones I would hear about in middle school. I believe most hookup sex is not pleasurable for women because its when they hookup they are not thinking about themselves their just thinking about the man they are doing it. People usually do the whole hookup thing when they are in high school or college. Some people feel that is the time to live it up and are more careless. For some of the girls I went to school with have sex with certain guys was just something to put under their belt. You would hear of girls sleeping with guys because they did not like their girlfriend or if there was a really cute guy girls like to be able to say yeah been there done that. as for the friends with benefits , girls would agree not to put a label on a relationship with a guy because they wanted to keep him but did not want to come of as clingy and they hoped it would develop into a real boy friend and girlfriend relationship. This is only from what I have witnessed.

  24. I read several books about the college “hookup” culture a few years ago and the whole topic fascinated me– though I hadn’t read about American Indian women having been free with their sexuality before Europeans showed up. That’s interesting… I’m going to have to go check out that link.

  25. Reading this makes me think of two different friends.

    Friend A is from my high school days. She lost her virginity before high school and frequently slept with men. Sometimes she was in a relationship and sometimes it was a hookup. During one unique conversation with her towards the end of high school, she told me she thought she hooked up to feel loved. She came from a broken family and her mother was less than supportive. Whether they actually feel loved after sex isn’t the real cause. It’s that need to be loved and that sex might be the way to get it. At least, that was part of her reasoning.

    Friend B has told me many stories of getting drunk and having sex. She hasn’t had one drunken hookup that was a positive experience. I don’t think she even has a reason for it. Maybe our drunk selves don’t learn well….

    • Interesting. Friend A makes sense to me. Friend B doesn’t. Maybe B has a bit of A in her?

      • Not sure. She did have a nasty break up less than a year ago from a man she was hoping to marry. Has there been any studies done on how people who have difficult separations use sex as a way to cope? Is that a thing? If it is, it does sound very similar to Friend A but it may not be obvious to her.

      • Studies have shown that people who are emotionally needy sometimes do try to use sex as a way of experiencing love. So that could explain your friend B.

  26. I think we just need sex! And it’s unfortunate that hookup sex has little cultural value (except for guys scoring) so we’re not taught to make the most of it. We should – relationship sex might be better, but a relationship isn’t always what you want. And we don’t need more pressure to be in relationships 😉

    • Maybe. Or maybe some need it more than others.

      Because plenty of college people have simply dropped out of having sex if hookups are all that appear to be offered because they can’t see anything appealing about it. One study found that only 11% of college students enjoyed hookup sex. See:
      Hookup Culture https://broadblogs.com/2011/10/10/hookup-culture/

      And I hope I’m not read as pressuring people into relationship sex. But while I “get” the 40% who orgasm in hookup sex,I have a hard time “getting” those who say the sex sucks, but do it anyway.

      I mean, the New York Times has this piece on why women are having sex when it’s not very pleasurable for them, and they interview women, and I’m hoping to get some insight into why the women do it when they say it’s not pleasurable for them, and I still can’t figure it out. The quotes are those (possibly only those) I quote in my piece. After reading, I found it quite opaque.

      If some people just need sex, even if it’s not pleasurable, what is it that they need exactly? Maybe you have more insight into this than I do.

  27. You know to this day, I haven’t orgasmed having sex. I speak to many women who say the same thing. I can do it myself, but as for during sex? Nope! I really don’t understand why as I enjoy the sex but for some reason I just can’t! I feel I’m missing out on something amazing and at 45 I would so love to feel, what comes naturally to others. Loved your post, hugs Paula xxxx

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