Being a Generation Y girl is pretty sweet. We were raised to believe we could do anything we want, say whatever we want, and think however we want, regardless of gender. Screw stereotypes and double standards—equality and freedom of expression are the marks of this internet-dwelling, hyperconnected generation.
That freedom of expression of course includes physical (read: sexual) expression. Your gorgeous, curvy, feminine body has never before been so openly embraced as a tool for getting to know both yourself and possibly (ideally?) multiple others.
With the advent of dating websites in the last decade and, more recently, apps like Tinder, technology has helped coax casual sex and the hook up out of the realm of college campuses and into our everyday, adult lives.
It’s become acceptable to hook up with people here and there—it’s become a culture: The Hook Up Culture.
To a large extent, the Hook Up Culture marks progress in the realm of gender equality. There really isn’t anything inherently wrong with women wanting and liking sex (no more slut-shaming, yay!)—but you already knew that, you Gen-Y minx, you! The tricky bit comes in when you realize that all these casual sexual encounters, exciting as they might be, could possibly get in the way of finding the one thing that every independent woman knows she wants despite legitimately being able to handle her own shit: love.
Gen-Y has repeatedly been labeled the generation that has forgotten how to properly date someone. Hooking up with people can be sexually liberating, sure, but it’s also made total commmitment-phobes of us. When finding someone to sleep with literally takes just a swipe of a finger, the traditional dating process seems like a chore and a serious relationship is a marathon times fifty.
So is it possible to find love in this Hook Up Culture? Well, we say "Hell yeah!" Love triumphs all (even slightly creepy pimp apps and superficial swiping.)
Who says a sexually liberated lifestyle can’t lead to love? You just have to know that it’s love that you truly want.
Let’s put it this way: no matter how many other people you do, never ever forget to do you—and no, this does not involve alone time behind closed doors.
Here are a few reminders to keep you on the path to love even while exploring the sideroads of pleasure:
1. Respect your body.
Yes, you’re an amazing, sexy woman. And it’s precisely because you know how amazing your body is that you should know when to share it and when to keep it to yourself. Have fun, but within limits that make you feel comfortable and good. Anything beyond that is just asking for abuse.
2. Be clear about what you want.
Just because you’re busy enjoying a good romp doesn’t mean all communication lines have to go down between you and a partner. If this is casual sex, let him know it. If you think you like him for more than his abs, let him know that, too. Don’t be shy, now–we like equality, remember?
3. Love yourself first.
Cliché as it might seem, this is the key. When you know who you are and say what you feel because it all comes from a secure place, love will come because you have love to give. That’s the kind of woman who will always find love, no matter what kind of culture we’re living in.