Dear Di

Di Daniels
If you crave a certain level of emotional connection, I don’t think you’ll find your particular Mr. Right on the other end of a one-night stand. Photo: Hailey Otten/Fulcrum
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Best of luck and the safest of sex

It seems like Hot Girl Summer has turned into Fun Girl Fall… and then whatever the winter equivalent of that is. I’ve been trying to embrace the college disposable dating culture, albeit half-heartedly. I did the whole ‘meet some average guy, get obsessed with him for a couple of weeks, forget about him in lieu of my latest fixation, rinse and repeat’ malarkey. I’m not sure if it’s for me, though. 

It could be that I’m more of a relationship girl in a hook-up culture world, or that I haven’t given hookups their fair shot. My friends seem to have fun and find it empowering. I’d give it a try, but I think I would get too emotionally attached and end up getting hurt.  Should I give the one-night stands a chance, or should I keep looking for Mr. Right? 

-Hoe-less Romantic

Dear HLR,

The line between empowerment and emptiness in hook-up culture is blurry. 2021 is host to some progressive times and sex positivity is all the rage, albeit with much room for improvement. However, when it comes to hookup culture, the capacity for empowerment absolutely depends on who is benefiting from the exchange. 

If both parties leave the night satisfied, then it has the power to be empowering. However, if you’re getting hurt and sacrificing what you really want, what’s the point? If your friends enjoy it, good for them. However, I have to caution you to never do something just because everyone else is. At the risk of sounding like an after-school special, I must ask: if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you? 

You mentioned you’re more a relationship girl – that is totally valid. Don’t sacrifice what you want in the name of fitting in, ever. Not in terms of fashion, food, or friends — and definitely not in terms of boys. If you crave a certain level of emotional connection, hookups might not be your style — and that’s totally okay. If that’s the case, I don’t think you’ll find your particular Mr. Right on the other end of a one-night flirtatious encounter. 

It is worth mentioning that my catchphrase is: I’ll try anything once. It’s a notion that I’ve been trying and succeeding at popularizing. Life is short and there’s so much to be tried — part of me wants to try it all, at least once. In the case of hookups, I would encourage that, should you choose to try it once, you tailor your expectations accordingly so as not to get hurt. Protect yourself from STIs, of course. Just make sure to do the same for heartbreak, as well. 

Wishing you the best of luck and the safest of sex (in more ways than one).