Why the Hookup Culture Just Doesn’t Cut It For People Who Have Been In Love

A late night thought turned into a day time analysis, so here we go.

If you’ve been in love, the hook up culture just isn’t going to cut it, and here’s why:

Let’s start with the basic chemistry. The parts of the brain used when you’re in love and when you’re just plain aroused are different.

right brain, left brain. sex brain, love brain. one fish, two fish. red fish, blue fish.
right brain, left brain. sex brain, love brain. one fish, two fish. red fish, blue fish.

A study done in 2005 at SUNY Stony Brook analyzed how love and lust only partially overlap in the brain. Other functions associated with both do not overlap at all. For example, being in love activates the right side of your brain, or your more creative side. However, when subjects stared at someone they found to be physically attractive, but were not emotionally attached to, the left brain showed more activity.

Why might this be? Think about sex versus love. A hookup is about the hunt. It is analytical, daring, and requires a game plan (or a ton of tequila). Love is more about trust, spontaneity, and raw emotion. Left brain is your hunter, your analyst. And right brain sits in the corner picking petals off of daisies humming, “he loves me, he loves me not.”

So if they aren’t as connected as we seem to believe, why is it that hookups just don’t cut it after love? Simple. Sex lights up your pleasure centers, but only briefly. Being in love stimulates the some of the same pleasure centers, but more intensely and over a longer period of time. Actually, being in love affects your brain similarly to addiction. And any addict can tell you, nothing beats that first high.

casually using all my own photos so I dont have to deal with copyright issues (:
casually using all my own photos so I don’t have to deal with copyright issues (:

This doesn’t even include the science of how freaking awesome cuddling is. Like, if you’ve had your hair played with by someone you love as the sun comes up on a Sunday morning, you know nothing beats that. NOTHING. Not even a steamy hook up with the cute boy from coms class (is sub-blogging a thing?).

So go to your parties, drink your tequila, and kiss that person that you actually can’t stand when you’re sober. But your brain knows better, and you’ll feel that PLUS the hangover in the morning.



5 thoughts on “Why the Hookup Culture Just Doesn’t Cut It For People Who Have Been In Love

  1. how old are you? why don’t you worry about your own life instead of how others live theirs? Do you really think that there is even one person out there that goes from a loving relationship to a string of casual hook-ups expecting to get the same fulfilment from the hook-ups as they did from the loving relationship? No one is that diluted and naive. You point out how these two things effect the brain in different ways, but do you really think there is anyone out there that needs to be told that love and sex are two different things?


  2. Oh Jim. I’m guessing you didn’t read the about page. Let me pull a couple of directly quoted statements the author of this blog made as a disclaimer for the content of her articles.
    “She writes whatever the hell she wants. Sometimes, it is strictly opinions based on the observation of her peers. Sometimes, it is backed by scientific and psychological studies. But all the time, it is her writing what she wants and she doesn’t really care if she offends you (that’s kind of the point).”
    Looks like she’s achieved that point with you. She also says,
    “…nor does she think anything she says is new news or incredibly groundbreaking.”
    I want to draw special attention to that second quote before quoting you,
    “…do you really think there is anyone out there that needs to be told that love and sex are two different things?”
    Your question is sort of silly. Of course she doesn’t. The thing is though, that this isn’t in article saying that the two are different. Everyone knows that, and I’m sure she made the assumption that everyone know that, because we do. No, this article is not articulating that they’re different, this article is articulating why they’re different according to science. Why is she doing this? To make judgements? Alas, no. It was for her own amusement and for anyone else that might find it amusing. She never said that having hookups after the end a loving relationship was bad. She didn’t say it was good either. In fact, she never made any judgment. Nor did she suggest any alternative course of action superior. She did not once state that she thought anyone should abstain between relationships. Based on her personality, I even bet she’d find making such a statement laughable. I think she, you, I, and everybody knows that sexual needs and desire don’t just disappear after the end of a relationship and that people can do what ever they want and whatever is best for them to deal with that. She did not tell anyone how to live their lives, she just stated everything we already know about those experiences, while adding the scientific explanation for those experiences. Does that change those experiences for us?. Um, no. She literally just wrote about everything that everybody who’s been-there-done-that knows. Plus some redundant science. Lol, and here I am, also getting redundant.
    If you don’t find this article amusing, that’s fine. I’m guessing it was mostly to amuse herself anyway. I just thought I’d let you know how silly you look getting offended when there’s literally nothing to be offended about. Which in fact, I’m doing for my own amusement. 🙂 Now, look at this not so article-y article I’ve gone and articulated. What fun! Yes, it’s been real fun, Jim. Good day. 🙂


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