The culture of sexual relationships has become increasingly accepted in recent years, with the rise of dating apps, the availability of contraceptives, and the freedoms offered by college and the lives of young adults. However, despite their increasing social acceptability, developing research suggests that sexual connections may leave more conditions than many participants might assume at first sight. Studies show that around 80 percent of college students will graduate with at least one hookup experience. In first-time sexual relationships involving oral sex, 55 percent included only men who received oral sex, 19 percent only women who received oral sex, and 27 percent that received each other; in the last sexual relationship, 32 percent included only men who received oral sex, 16 percent included only women who received oral sex, and 52 percent included both women who received oral sex, and 52 percent included both receiving each other.
Anne Campbell, a psychologist at the University of Durham, has conducted research that shows that the morning after a sexual relationship, 80 percent of men had positive feelings in general; meanwhile, only 54 percent of women felt satisfied with the encounter. Sexual relations began to become more frequent in the 1920s, with the rise of cars and novel entertainment such as movie theaters. This can have negative effects on self-esteem and can increase stress and anxiety. These findings suggest that the rise of the culture of sexual relations does not indicate the disappearance of marriage.
Rather, they are in line with theories of emerging adulthood (Arnett 2000), which define this period of development (approximately 18 to 2 years) as a time of exploration of identity, personal freedom and personal growth. Many people use their emerging adult years to explore different life options and pursue personal and professional goals. In other words, many emerging adults temporarily de-prioritize committed relationships while continuing their education and establishing a productive career. Then, only after the self-centered goals have been achieved, do they begin to seek committed relationships. However, despite their increasing social acceptability, developing research suggests that sexual connections may leave more conditions than many participants might assume at first sight. A number of studies have looked at regret regarding sexual relationships and have documented the negative feelings that men and women may feel after casual sex.
Similarly, another study found that nearly 61 percent of undergraduate students consumed alcohol, with an average of 3.3 alcoholic beverages, during their most recent relationship (Lewis et al.). Although alcohol and drugs are likely to be an important factor, it is not yet clear what role individual differences play in shaping decisions to enter into sexual relationships. My contact with them has given me a generally close view of what it means to be a university student today, as well as a great awareness that any generalization I make about the current culture of sexual relationships also seems to highlight the exceptions. Popular media have warned of the “dating apocalypse” (Sales, 201) and have suggested that by engaging in sexual relationships young adults show that they have no interest in eventually committing to a person, marrying or settling down. On average both men and women seem to have more positive than negative affect after a hookup. Some people have a hard time differentiating between their sexual desires and their romantic desires.
Relationships between couples can become complicated if one person becomes emotionally attached and the other doesn't. Men should be challenged to treat even their first partners as generously as the women they meet treat them with. Many students are like Sasha, a cheerful and warm 20-year-old girl who struggles with conflicting emotions surrounding the culture of sexual relations in which she is immersed. In addition, the findings that most men and women are motivated to have sexual relations but that they often want a more romantic relationship are consistent with a nuanced perspective that takes into account changes in social scripts, new patterns of development and the intercultural and biological centrality of the couple's relationship (Fisher 1992; Gray & Garcia 201).