Has hook-up culture really became the new millennial trend among Indians?

A lot of stigmas is attached to millennials and their dating preferences. Many people have this notion that millennials are nothing but a hookup generation, as they have opted for swiping on an app instead of meeting for a coffee. In less than a generation, our entire way of dating and relating to each other has changed. Driven by a complex mixture of technology, sexual liberation, distrust of marriage, focus on career, and increasing freedom of travel, we have a relationship climate that looks very little like it did in the 90s or early 2000s.

This generation is subverting the traditional rules of courtship. So, hook-up is the new dating and marriage is no longer the goal. The terms are changing but it still requires flirtation and charms and unlike traditional movie and dinner, millennials opt for a meetup or invite their casual partner to hang out with a group of friends. Sometimes its an impromptu text message for ‘hookup’ or chat.

For many youths today, their idea of relationships has evolved into heading out with a group of friends that oftentimes leads to sexual encounters including anything from kissing and fondling to oral sex and full-blown sexual intercourse. And, typically these encounters occur between two people who are not in an exclusive relationship, quite often with no strings attached.

What is the reason behind this shift from a committed relationship to casual sex?

Today’s generation has seen breakups, drama, heartbreaks and are scared for long term commitments. And even the lifestyle due to corporate intervention is different from our parents. We don’t have time and energy to emotionally invest in people and then to get heartbroken. So it is easier to have casual sex without any commitments. You spend the night, enjoy and move on. You are not attached to that person so in a way you are not handing him the reigns of your life choices as a whole. We have the freedom to choose the person and then bye and gone from our lives after just a few hours.

Instead of settling down like the generations before us, we were again faced with the consequences of excessive choice. Why settle when there is always somebody better just around the corner? And then we moved, and moved again, each move getting us closer to our ideal self, or so we thought.

There are people who come out of abusive or controlling relationships or even might see their friends in such relationships. So this phenomenon is a change or breakout from the stereotypes of staying mum in a toxic relationship. It is a physical pleasure without any emotional risk. It’s a liberating feeling and in which after the event you can come to your own king-size or single bed without sharing with anybody or meet with your friends and have a cuppa or bottle of beer. 

Also, the spectre of technology invaded our daily lives, sapping our limited emotional attention. It’s the power to connect drew us in, but somewhere we lost some of our ability to talk to people face to face (when was the last time you called a friend?). It’s a brand of intermittent conditioning began to control our happiness and our moods in place of real human connections. There are many apps in the market just for hookups. One of the popular apps among my friends is Tinder. It’s not a dating app but for casual sex purpose only. Even the founder mentioned it as a hook up during its launch. So don’t be disappointed after you right-clicked and you get a direct approach as “My place or yours”.

The problem with the hookup culture in India is not that this generation doesn’t believe in love, but that they don’t believe in waiting for that ‘one true’ love. Even if they do believe in it, they don’t mind ‘experimenting’ until they find them. This experimenting is what leads to hookups and casual sex.

And it’s not bad always, sometimes you even find love if you want to take the risk of possible romantic involvement. It’s up to you guys if you want to find fault in it and question about love “where is love”, the old ways of falling in love or just move on and engage yourself to it or if you’re not into it don’t be a killjoy, just support your friends or the new age era of hookup culture. Because for that role (as a hypercritic) our Indian Aunties had already booked the job.