Having no committal, no-strings-attached sex sounds like a great idea to most people. Now, being a willing part of hookup culture means that people don’t regret their hookups, right? Well the truth is they sometimes do.
According to a big chunk of research samples around the world, it’s common for people to regret their most recent hookups. But depending on how you look at a hookup, there may be very little, if anything, to regret. Here are six reasons why you should never regret a hookup.
1. You’re Drawn to Risky Behavior
The researchers at PloS One have suggested that some of us have a greater tendency to be drawn to risky behavior than others. They believe these behaviors have something in common with the gene DRD4, which is also associated with cheating and gambling behaviors. People who are not prone to engaging in risky behaviors generally do not engage in hooking up. So if you feel regret after a hookup, maybe you are one of those people who aren’t drawn to risky behavior.
2. It Just Feels Good
Do you know why over half of the people who have casual sex enjoy their hookups? Because it just feels good. The act of having sex feels good and the fact that people are doing it without the drama or commitment that comes with a relationship makes it feel even better. If you consider these benefits, and not what society or your family and friends say is right or wrong, you may also like it too.
3. It’s Exciting
As long as you’re having safe sex, a hookup can be exciting, especially if you know that it’s going to be good. It’s the rush you get when the person you’re with has a body you’re not familiar with. You don’t know what their likes and dislikes are and your time together is based on nothing more than the common desire for physical pleasure. The only thing to really regret about a hookup is terrible, boring sex, according to Donna Freitas, author of The End of Sex.
4. The Pleasure Outweighs the Guilt
Everything we do has a certain amount of pleasure and a certain amount of guilt tied to it. That’s just how the brain works. For example, let’s say you go into a clothing store and you see a great pair of jeans. You could either get those jeans or pay your electric bill on time. No matter what choice you make, you will feel a mixture of pleasure and regret. You just have to decide which feeling you can live with.
The same is true with hookups. Most people surveyed after a hookup have stronger positive feelings than negative ones. So while you may have some regrets, the fun, pleasure and memories will outweigh your regrets the majority of the time.
5. It Depends How You View Bad Sex
Women are more likely to regret a hookup that wasn’t pleasurable. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to regret a missed opportunity for a hookup. So if a man has a choice between bad sex and no sex, most likely, he’ll “just do it.”
According to research at the University of Virginia, as many as 32 percent of all marriages began with a hookup. And as the sociologist Elizabeth Armstrong has advocated, hooking up can allow women to maintain their independence (working towards a career and self-development), while also learning how to deal with the sexual aspects of an adult relationship. The lesson here is that you can find love in a hookup, but don’t forget that there are other things to consider before committing to a relationship with that person.