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The Tinder Effect: The Age of Casual Sex

In a pervasive hookup culture, how do we know when it's lust or love?

The information age and the dawn of social media has allowed millennials to move at top speed. Handwritten letters sent through post have been converted to e-mails and text messages. It takes less than a second to see a photo, instead of having film processed. You could talk to someone in another continent at the click of a button. Life is in fast-forward mode, 24/7.

Even relationships have been cut to a convenient minimum, as people can end up in bed together in the span of a night, and break up right after. You can meet someone on Tinder, and be intimate with them within the next hour.

Eight people impart their views on hooking up:

"I say, ‘You go, girl!’ It is absolutely healthy and more people should do it. For some people they have to pretend they don’t like sex, which is dumb because sex is fun. If you want to have casual sex, don’t let anybody tell you that it's not okay. Try it. If you don’t like it, and you feel dirty, [then] you shouldn’t. Oh, and wear a condom!" - Sabrina, 26, actress

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"It’s okay as long as it’s between two consenting adults and you use protection. It definitely affects the way people view relationships. Sorry, it’s a double standard. You don’t really care if other people do it, but I would care if the girl I’m dating sucked a hundred dicks. Of course, if you really love her you’d be willing to put that aside."– Philip, 26, analyst

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"I only like to date straight-up boys now. Like they tell you what’s up. If there’s any sketchiness or secrecy, I’m out. All attraction gone. Be straight up about it. I mean if you’re having casual sex with someone let them know what it is. Don’t pretend it’s more than that or less than that."- Ana, 23, stylist

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"My friend was hooking up with different guys, and at first I thought, ‘Oh man, what’s she doing?’ But then I had to think about it, and I’d probably be doing the same thing in that situation. Why should I judge her? She’s just trying to have fun and experience things."– Pao, 24, accounts manager

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"It’s kind of a way to really know yourself [and] know what your limits are. When I hooked up repeatedly, I got emotionally attached—which is something I did not expect to happen. Now I think I have a more realistic view of how relationships are, and I know what I want. I know what I’m looking for. It’s easy for me to see a guy and think 'Nope, I don’t need it.' Or, 'Yeah, you’re The One.' Casual sex is not for me. I don’t think I’ll do it again." – Cha, 23, marketing strategist

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"It’s okay to have casual sex as long as you’re not hurting anyone. But I think that the longer it goes on, the more you end up hurting yourself. I think that has something to do with us human beings intrinsically looking for meaning in life and meaning in sex. And there's no meaning in casual sex." – Manuel, 24, copywriter

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"I think it is a personal lifestyle choice. It’s like how you choose to spend your time. It’s the same thing as saying I like to stay home on weekends or I like to go out with my friends on weekends. It’s neither a good thing nor a bad thing." – Camille, 23, digital marketing specialist

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"People aren’t as conservative as before. There are people who are willing to experiment. I think it’s normal. But it’s hard here because everybody knows each other. I hate that. So you’re going to hear [about hookup stories] from your friend’s sister’s boyfriend. People talk."– Ivan, 23, public relations officer

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Hooking up? Here's what you really need to know:

1. Discretion is key.
No one wants to be someone else’s crazy sex story. And if you’ve got to tell someone, have the decency not to mention names or get into personal specifics (talking penis sizes, nipple color, or smells is just foul.)


2. Practice safe sex.
Don’t be embarrassed to insist on a condom. It’s everyone’s right to protect themselves. STDs are more common than you think. Wear a glove!


3. Establish boundaries.
If you're having casual sex with someone, it's best to be clear with what you want from the relationship. Don't lead your partner on. You HAVE to ask him/her, "Is this just sex or can this evolve into something else?"

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