Next: Break Up First Aid Kit



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My name is Lindsey Doe. I'm a clinical sexologist and this is Sexplanations. This episode is sponsored by Pure, a hookup app made specifically for sex with cool strangers. You can download it on Apple and Android products by going to

*whip and cough noises*

When I think of hookups, I think of strangers going down on each other and fall somewhere on the spectrum of "I don't get why that's appealing" to "I'm totally into the idea and want to try it for myself." We all have different thoughts on hookups, but often mixed into those thoughts is a hesitation to freely express sexuality or encourage others to.

I want you to know it's not the hooking up that makes it feel this way. It's not the behavior. It's the attitude society has about the behavior. We've been having casual, non-committed sex since the beginning of time.

It's which moral compass a society is using that determines how and what we think about it. And when it comes to sex, the compass can be a very effective way to say some people are better than others. In the 1850s, it was circumcised boys because it was thought that foreskin made masturbation easier and masturbation was wrong.

In the 1870s, it was those who followed the Comstock laws, which regulated the Postal Service and made it illegal to send birth control, pamphlets on family planning, erotic literature, even Valentines.

More recently, in the 1920s, society shamed women who drank, danced, and voted, insisting they should keep their hair long and their second-class status.

In the '50s there was push-back against Elvis Presley's pelvic gyrations, and, from there a barrage of sexual shame directed toward homosexuality, cross-dressing, fornication, interracial dating, BDSM, and which bathroom we use.

I mean, just look at all the YouTubers whose content has been demonetized because it comprehensively sex educates people. 

The behavior of hooking up iis very natural and normal. Let's go through some common perceptions we might have about hooking up and change them with real stories Pure has collected from users.

Starting with "hooking up is lazy." You're not investing time and energy in getting to know someone and really decide whether or not they're gonna be a good partner or parent grumble, grumble.

First of all, this is the point of hooking up, but I wouldn't say it's lazy. I'd say its really smart. For example, "Typically I get online when I'm getting into bet. Some days that's pretty early. I have successfully gotten someone to come over from my bed. Amazing."

What about "hooking up is dangerous"? You're gonna catch a sexually transmitted infection or you're gonna go over to their house and they're gonna kill you!

"Told a guy to come over, things got going and I asked if he brought a condom. He pulled out a box of 24 condoms, a box, and said, 'I don't know, we met on Pure? I didn't know how crazy this was gonna get, I just bought a box. I still use the box for other guys.'"

There are ways to take care of yourself. People do it and lots of videos on this channel talk about how.

What about how hooking up is lonely? 

"First time I matched a guy, I said I wanted to lay in bed and touch myself and eat pizza. Gave him my number and address. So he facetimed me and ordered a pizza to my house."

That's not lonely!

Then there's "hooking up is less than or inferior". It's so much more satisfying when you care deeply about the person you're with! Is that so?

"I met this one girl. We decided to meet at a park. We walked for maybe five minutes and she said, 'Why don't you bend me over this tree?' I said, 'Right here? Right now?' and she said, 'Yeah!' So I did and it was amazing."

Or there's this example of satisfying sans-commitment:

"Matched this guy, and he wanted to meet in Coney Island. Went there and he had a blanket on the beach, with cards and whiskey. Not gonna lie, he would have gotten sex either way, but what a guy." 

How about the idea: "Hooking up is a last resort"? No one actually wants a one night stand; they hook up because they can't land an ongoing romantic partnership.

Or they hook up because they want a surreal adventure!

"Showed up to a guy's house and he wanted me to eat cereal naked while he ate me out. SUPER FUN!" 

"Hooking up is homewrecking." There's this belief that sexually liberal people steal partners and mess up relationships, which can happen, but it's not fair to blame on hookup culture. In fact, some hookups lead to home improvement:

"Matched this guy, shortly after arriving at his place, I fell in love with his dalmatian. He was moving and was looking for a new home for him, and I GOT HIM! On top of that, he gave me multiple orgasms. Probably more excited about the dog though."

And then there's this story:

"Matched a guy who was married. We went to grab drinks at a dive bar and his wife pulled me into the bathroom, and went down on me. Grabbed an Uber, got crazy in the car, one of the best New York City nights of my life."

"Hooking up is unnecessary." Can't you hold off on sex until you meet the right person? I like this person's response:

"My love life has taken a toll from the amount of studying and work I do. I'm always looking for a relaxing night. Matched someone who's profile picture was in the bathtub, and I Uber'd to his house, and hopped in the tub. It was just what I needed." 

Lastly, there's the belief that's really hard to shake in a sex-negative society, which is that hooking up is immoral. Even people who have positive experiences with it come away with confusing thoughts: 

"Had sex on a golf course. Not my proudest moment, but also kind of my proudest moment."

I think it's important for us all to hear that hooking up can be both: it can feel immoral, but that doesn't mean it is. It's not bad! You're not bad for hooking up. In fact, it could be what's best for you.  

Karley Sciortino in her blog, Slutever, writes, "...sleeping with someone who doesn't know you- who doesn't know where you work or who your friends are, and who's clueless to all of your scary emotional baggage- can be really freeing."

She continues: "...sometimes, bizarrely, I end up being more open and honest with total randoms than with my friends and partners because I'm not beholden to their judgment and vice versa. It's like this weird, perfect bubble of transparency and fantasy." Transparency, fantasy, and curiosity. Stay curious.

A special thanks to Pure for sponsoring this episode. To try out their app that makes hookups like this possible, please visit I imagine you're experiences will be extraordinary.