Is today’s hookup culture unique, or has it existed before?

I asked this once as QueenOfCups, but it’s interesting enough to ask again.

I personally think it hasn’t been open and accepted like this since the days of the pre-Christian Roman Empire (or even the Republic if you wanna go back that far).

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Most Helpful Girls

  • I think it's definitely more generalized now, at least in some western societies.
    Many humans always had the tendency to let their hormones run free, but nowadays people live under the (false?) assumption they're in control. Time and again we hear about women who sleep around with random strangers but get tested regularly, so "they're being responsible".
    Being on birth control is almost mandatory; I've been shamed by a female friend many years back because I wasn't on it, for apparently it's needed in case you're raped or any other eventuality. No one thinks how it may affect the body negatively.
    STD, it doesn't seem to be that shameful anymore.
    Got pregnant? There's always a solution.

    Back in the day, you got a woman pregnant, you better marry her and raise the kid. Tough luck, you better have known better - which incidentally many young couples also did on purpose.
    Nowadays, there may be no baby. The guy will complain he was trapped into paying alimony for the next 18 years. Marriage? No way. The grandparents may very well be pressured into playing baby sitters under the pressure of being labeled lousy parents, so that the daughter can carry out her studies.

    I think it's mainly women's behaviour that has changed, along with more liberal parents who believe their children will make it somehow.
    At the same time many women still struggle to be taken seriously professionally, most of them don't seem to mind the societal pressure in having to look sexy the whole time. Pressure that is many times put upon women by other women, who may be envious of you or your status and will do whatever it takes to take away your man or just simply look better, get more compliments...
    I guess it's just that many people don't seem to have morals anymore, or only follow them when it's convenient to them.

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  • It's always been around under many names, but it hasn't been nearly as noticable as today. Though in 100 years we might still be viewed as super prudish just like we tend to look at people from the 1800s

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Most Helpful Guys

  • It's supply and demand. Human females generally desire higher status males, and with colleges becoming more hostile towards men in general, those who are there have more bargaining power since they have less competition.

    I read an article a couple years ago studying this in the college, and they found a hook up culture only really existed in schools that were predominantly female, while more technical and engineering focused universities tended to not have it.

    I dunno, it's one explanation that sounds plausible to me.

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  • Yes, there was something quite similar right before the fall of Rome and the French Revolution.

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  • Don't count the 60's out. You talk about a hook up culture that was probably it right there! My Uncle told me some stories!

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  • Christianity has been taken way out of context by Americans and Catholics.

    The truth is that Christ taught to save sex for marriage in order to help reduce concubinages, which are allowed in Judaism and were common in that time.

    In these circumstances women were essentially sex slaves with little rights. Owned and disposed of by men.

    In biblical times marriage was nothing more than a brief ritual. They just sat down, said a few words, cheered and drank wine. It was free, people got married at all ages, young and old, and there was no government.

    Today is not the same at all. Americans have taken this concept and blown it way out of proportion. Jesus was really a feminist. He was acting out of their best interest.

    Now government is involved, now there are economic and legal ramifications. Now you can’t easily get married at young ages.

    It’s all way too extreme today compared to then.

    Then there was no contraception, women could get pregnant in a hookup and the father could be a deadbeat — therefore he taught to save sex for marriage so that if a woman got pregnant she wasn’t abandoned and left to die.

    Today we have condoms. Had there been condoms while Christ lived he would have probably allowed casual sex. I see no reason not to.

    Likewise, abortions in those times were brutal. There was no modern medicine. It was disgusting; so he taught not to abort. Today we have more sophisticated medicine. In early stages of pregnancy abortion isn’t as awful as it was on those days.

    He’ll, in those days pregnancies could not even be confined until well after the baby bump started becoming visible.

    The issue today is authoritarian conservative ‘Christians’ preaching Christian teachings as if they were law taken completely out of context. They are so conservative and so authoritarian that they fail to see contextual differences between today’s society and the society of biblical times. They do not understand the spirit of the teaching.

    Christ was like Ghandi. Something Christians cannot easily admit to, Christ was sort of a rebel insurgent in the Roman Republic. A rule breaker, a criminal. He gave the government the middle finger and made up his own ethical rules and framework and told others to follow him in breaking the law because his rules were better.

    Imagine that today in a republican state of the United States. They’d be thrown in jail. Indeed, Jesus was arrested and crucified publicly.

    It’s just so aggravating how conservatives force everyone to bend to their wills. Screw that.

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  • I don't know much about this topic but I do know that "Roman orgies" are a misconception. There are quite a few websites that go into why "Roman orgies" weren't as widespread and popular as people seem to believe. Very detailed academic websites (which usually translates to boringly dry).

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  • It’s certainly unique in the way it takes place, but hardly unique in action or outcome. There was actually a very similar culture between the wealthy in both Rome and Greece a few thousand years ago. Another example is the upper class during the Tudor time period in Europe. Also have you ever heard of the Borgias. During that time period there was a lot of this sort of thing In Italy and probably elsewhere. So hardly unique in practice, but certainly more widespread and noticeable.

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    • I have heard of the Borgias

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    • It really is rare to find anyone that likes to read anymore. Especially in my age group. Of the few that there are most of them are into graphic novels and such. I don’t have anything against that, and I’ve read a few myself. But it’s not really the same thing, at least not in my opinion. There’s just something about immersing yourself in a good book. Letting your mind create the images from words of the author. There’s nothing else quite like it.

  • Well, if you are going to reach back to the Roman Empire, you are probably going to find some period in time when the "hook-up culture" was as egregious as it is alleged to be now. Indeed, if you go back to our prehistoric ancestors, there was nothing BUT a "hook-up culture."

    Our male ancestors were looking for as many females to impregnate as possible. The female was looking for alpha males to sire healthy babies and who would then find food for mom and baby and ward off rival males and predators.

    Of course, that was instinct and evolutionary biology taking their course. It was the way the species survived in evolutionary terms and, as such, was not really culture as nature. So maybe that does not count.

    In more recent terms, while much has been made of the "hook-up culture," the data show that actually it is less than meets the eye. Out of wedlock births are down from their highs in the 70s. Ditto teens having sex.

    Indeed, the data show that among younger people, (18 to 25), sex and dating are way down. The internet and social media have reduced the need for young people to meet physically and so you have less of it. '

    Also, in that connection, kids are living at home with their parents longer and are getting married later. Suffice to say, this is all of a pattern.

    To be sure, there is probably more non-marital sex now than there was in, say, the 1800s or even as late as the 1950s. Really, however, the height of the "hook-up culture" was the 1960s and 70s, measured in strictly in terms of extramarital sex.

    The real difference between now and the 60s and 70s is the more open and explicit tolerance of what was called - not so long ago - free sex. It is a cultural shift rather than an actual change in behavior patterns.

    In the 60s and the 70s, the mainstream assumption was still that sex was reserved to married partners - specifically a man and a woman. This was sort of the spoken assumption even as the society looked the other way as there were increasing infractions of that rule.

    However, the culture began to move, partly out of a more libertarian attitude, partly due to a decline in religious observance, partly - and somewhat ironically - as the women's movement began to denigrate the old rules as an infringement of women's freedom. Suffice to say, that latter has had some unintended knock-on effects. See also the need for the MeToo movement.

    At any rate, the culture shifted in other areas and that shifted the view of sex outside of marriage and the law followed. No fault divorce was actually the first crossing of the line. Followed by the granting of property and other rights for co-habiting couples that had previously been reserved to married couples.

    Compounding all of this has been the greater tolerance for interracial marriage, gay rights and such. The rules have been in turmoil and gradually lost much of their restraining force.

    At any rate, by fits and starts the culture has just become more open explicitly about that which is previously had begun to accept implicitly. The irony then being that the open acceptance has - at least based on the incidence of extra-marital sex - occurred in tandem with a decline in the actual behavior.

    That behavior being, as noted, in part, constrained by economic limits, in part by changes in technology and in part by the simple fact that the novelty has worn off. When sex outside of marriage was called "free love" in the 60s it was seen as daring and even revolutionary.

    Now it is pretty much accepted as a given. The toy has, in that sense, lost its shine and so young people have turned to other things. That is even reflected in the aforementioned decline in marriage, the decline in the birthrate overall and the demographic aging of the population.

    Of course, this will wax and wane over time subject to other circumstances. Everything ranging from the state of the economy to the resurgence in an interest in monogamy. Overall, though, we've been here before.

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  • No, it has never been as bad as it is now although, in the 1970s, it was a bit like today. Back then, there was birth control and no HIV/AIDS, so having casual sex was more common, but, back then, we still had morals and didn't treat each other like pieces of meat to causally use and/or discard.

    Now, it's ridiculous. I am so thankful I do not have kids to live through this.

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    • But if both parties consent then where's the issue?

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    • @emmily2396 and that's your freedom, of course.

    • @TheGrapeSurgeon Dude I know how to get a girl I'm a attractive millionaire I don't have to do ship and hot girls can't keep away from me. I'm looking for girls that are not slut's the kind I would be proud to bring in front of my family or to church or to not be completely disgusted when she kisses are kids foreheads because she took 50 dicks in her mouth

  • It has existed before. It tends to exist more in matriarchal cultures.

    Our two closests animal relatives are the bonobos and the chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are patriarchal, bonobos are matriarchal.

    Chimpanzees are aggressive, war-like, compete for females and mating rights, solve disputes with violence. The males form packs, go out and kill rival groups of chimps. The alphas mate with most of the females, some of the lower ranking males mate too. For the most part they know who the fathers of the babies are.

    Bonobos on the other hand are less aggressive, aren't war-like. The females rule, and they solve disputes with sex. They masturbate a lot, everyone fucks each other including homsexual sex, nobody knows who the fathers are.

    Human societies follow similar dynamics depending on how patriarchal/matriarchal they are. It all has to do with male vs female mating strategies. In some ways they're conflicted.

    In patriarchal societies there are usually restrictions on female sexuality put in place, mainly because men want to know that the children they raise are their own. This is the case whether the norm is monogamy or polygamy. A Christian man can only have one wife, a Muslim man can have multiple wives, both when followed properly heavily restrict female sexuality. Thus there is no hook-up culture. All to benefit the male strategy of ensuring that his genes, not another man's genes, are being passed on.

    Matriarchal societies have no such restrictions. When it comes to the female mating strategy, women actually benefit from having multiple men. Sperm contains spermicide, and the penis is shaped to scoop out anither man's sperm. A woman is more likely to be impregnated by a man who makes her orgasm. There are also ways that her body filters out weak sperm. It's all a competition. In patriarchal societies the competition still takes place only with violence BEFORE sex (males fighting for breeding rights, position in the male heirarchy), in matriarchal society the competition takes place after having sex with multiple men. This doesn't benefit men really when it comes to gene passing. A male might get lots of sex but if his sperm is weak his genes aren't passed on. It benefits the woman because she is only impregnated by the strongest sperm.

    There are small matriarchal human societies now, almost all of them are just like bonobo societies. As we know patriarchal societies are very strict.

    What usually happens with humans is that patriarchal societies, because they allow many more men to reproduce and know who their kids are, encourage more men to contribute to society. Therefore they become more successful than matriarchal cultures (which is why apart from very small, barely known societies, you've never heard of a successful matriarchal society). Eventually you they reach a certain level of success, become comfortable, and they start to become more egalitarian, loosen up on sexual morals especially restrictions on female sexuality, gradually becoming more and more matriarchal, more bonobo-like. These societies, like Rome, always collapse as birth rates fall, as divorce rises, as social cohesion decreases, as more patriarchal societies invade. The only reason bonobos live like they do is because there are no chimpanzees around, or they'd be wiped out quickly. Matriarchal cultures are usually either conquered and wiped out or tolerated because they're so tiny.

    So yes, it has existed many times before. Thousands of times. Many of those societies completelywiped out of existence - thus everyone thnks that every society before modern feminism was patriarchal when feminism itself even is nothing new. It's basically a sign of a dying culture.

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  • I think it's one of those situation where the internet has a lot to do with that and also society has moved on and to a certain extent do not treat women that's the way they did years ago , like keeping them uneducated take their wealth keeping pennyes and poor that way therefore more easier to manipulate and control and I'm afraid men of the did that for centuries but hoping hopefully we and society have developed beyond those narrow-minded views and plus once we accepted that women enjoy sex as much as men and women deciding on their line but they do something about it anything wanted sec because they felt a bit horny they could find it on the internet hence the ease of the hookups and to be honest I don't think it ever existed before the invention of the internet I don't think it was hookups in the past it was going to brothels and that's just nothing to do with pleasuring a woman that's just a selfless act of relief so the short answer to your question is no I don't believe it ever happened before and it's a new modern phenomena

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  • Well I’d say it was even worse before, there were literally woman going for it in the middle of the street with some guys etc. to me us humans got a lot more decent over time

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  • THE 60s and 70s... FREE LOVE!!!

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  • I think it has existed before come up but not exactly with this flavor, if that's the right word. Other cultures had it, but it wasn't something that you talked about. Some cultures it was expected, and it was expected that you hook up with multiple people, of both sexes, and even young kids.

    So our culture isn't completely new, but we have our own way of doing it. (No pun intended)

    I really hate the hookup culture though. I don't think it's good for anyone involved

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  • I think it’s always existed but now a days it’s more excepted as cool or the norm! Expecially with divorce rates and social media! Just my opinion, I’m not saying I do or don’t agree with it being cool or the norm.

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  • It was really only available to a hand-ful of people.

    The world in the past really, really valued a woman's virginity. There were no parternity tests so a woman's assumed status of never having been laid before meant that a man could be assured he was going to rise his own children. This meant women that lost their virginity to someone other than their husband were very low in status.

    The laws were set up so sleeping around simply wasn't possible. For instance the Jews of the Old Testament had a law where if a man has sex with a woman he is forced to marry her, including if it was rape. You couldn't be a player at all. Customs like this were common, even if there was no law for it the society would enforce "shotgun weddings" galore.

    The socially powerful men (but not the women) could enjoy all sorts of sex though. Multiple wives, harems, or just being so powerful no one will speak up if you set up an orgy or have a dozen mistresses.

    Prostitutes got a pass but they were extremely low positions in society.

    To my knowledge social acceptance of casual sex was not a thing until the 60s with a few brief exceptions.

    The wildest exception I know is the ceremonies of the Greek God Dionysus which involved lots of drinking frolicking naked in the forest, orgies, and random acts of violence all done under the divine madness of the wine god's possession.

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  • Nah it’s always existed. But I admit that men in the old time were more responsible since a lot of marriages were created because of a pregnancy. They were ready to assume the child unlike the men of this generation that run away wherever he hear the world ( pregnant) even if they were in a relationship

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  • It's just history repeating. Remember socially... we have the extreme left and extreme right dictating what is acceptable. Times will change

    In the days of old,
    When Men wer bold,
    When women weren't invented,
    Men drill holes in telegraph poles,
    And there they stood contented.

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  • Doubtful before the pill a girl would get pregnant first or 2nd time and without DNA tests how could it be proven who the father of a child was. I think that's why historically women have always been reluctant to engage in casual sex at least compared to men.

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  • I think it has been kind of there, but was called "one night stand." Now, with technology, it's easier to hook up. With many people seeing this trend, led to open relationships.

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  • It's always been this way. People just didn't talk about it.

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  • I just think that the prevalence of contraceptives makes the risk of having an child a lot lower so people are more willing to sleep with people, and in the past what may have been a hook up that ended up with a pregnancy would have felt societal pressure to stay together and felt an obligation for marriage.

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  • its been around since the year dot, the only thing these days are that nobody seems to worry that they may hurt someone close to them, I guilty of extra sex but not guilty of worrying

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  • Amount of sex for young people is down. It's outliers that are sluting it up on tinder but people tend to be see the world through stereotypes. The highest that I'm aware of was the 70s. There's really no comparison between now and the free love era. Now a days people are much more isolated, therefore watching porn or sexting people in other countries.

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  • This kind of thing has been around for centuries, the main difference being the further back you went the more likely you were to find religious teachings in the mix.

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  • I've forgotten most of the specifics of what i read but we've been sluttiing around for centuries

    Its just people overly romanticizing the past

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  • I think the saying goes, "humans have been doing the same things since creation. We can just show it off to the world nowadays.

    As for hook up, I'm sure most of our parents and grandparents hooked up at some points in their lives. Its just became a lot easier with technology.

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  • Todays hookup culture is a farce, a media invention to sell clicks, and get eyeballs. Your parents were waaaaaaaaaaaay sluttier trust me.

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  • People I know who reached adulthood in the 1960's talk like today's culture is NOTHING as wild as the 60's. I've heard stories from people who are about 70 now. LOL

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  • They used to do orgies and other wild sex parties. For rich people and mostly men.

    Hook up... Not so much. Prostitutions, yes.

    Why? Birth control problems. You can't have daughters of some Duke, Baron or Count to get pregnant and run away. The fathers can get really angry.

    Best case, you have to marry her. Worst case, you would be made to disappear and the Dad pawn off his daughter to one of his better subordinate.

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  • even though i'm not catholic, i was brought up with catholic principles that stuck with me. so i do think it's always existed, but it's looked over because of religious beliefs that stay in small communities/worlds.

    i wish i had known sooner.

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  • It only exists thanks to modern birth control, before its invention it wouldn't be possible, but it's been around ever since then.
    Actually the Romans might be another example, since they used a plant called Silphium as contraception (the demand for the plant was so high that it actually went extinct back then).

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  • I’m sure Schopenhauer would have some interesting things to say about the weaker sex and male impulses 😂

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  • It has existed before many times from ancient Babylon to Rome.

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  • Just about everything that happens in society today already happened in the past the only difference is we see it more so that makes people think that it's happening more now than it did back then

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  • I dont think it existed before humans became civilised.

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  • Many of the things we do now, including the hookups, were done in Rome. Rome fell.

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    • Are the two things connected?

    • They are connected in a way.
      You see, "hookup culture" comes due to certain bad qualities in a person like lack of self-control and throwing away values, but it also condones even worse behaviour and qualities when people indulge in it, it also impacts their emotions and life on a high level, makes drastic changes to them.

    • Remove family unit and you remove society

  • Studies showed that today we are better sexually educated and are less likely to hookup compared to the older generations. Just looking at the population growth we can see how active they were that it got to what we have now. Even if it doesn't look like it, we do have less sex. We're even considering consent more.
    Knowing some old people with whom I openly discussed those things, their activities ranged from normal to quite disturbing, having quite a lot of sex partners I'd say.
    So form all that, I don't think this is the hook up generation... The 1920s generation was more sexual than ours. It's likely that your grandparents had much more sex than you will.

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  • The main difference would be that people nowadays talk openly about sex and women no longer have the pressure to remain pure and innocent. Sailors used to meet prostitutes in every port and most men had mistresses around, so...

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  • It's definitely unique.
    Tinder and other apps like it have allowed women to more quickly and secretly access cock. Therefore they are more shallow and expect much more from males than they used too in the past.

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  • I remember a time when it used to be fairly easy to get laid. It was before the aids epidemic came on the scene about 1971.

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  • l don't think the hookup culture is unique its not for me l would rather date only one girl l think its so bad the way things have gone to the dogs there is no point in getting married no more as most people just want to fuck about with each other l blame social media plus the humans for that l am very caring / loyal /and very loving yes and romantic so l will just have to stay single as l good decent guy like me is no longer wanted?

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  • it has existed before nothing new

    Ecclesiastes 1:9

    What was will be again,
    what has been done
    will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun

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  • I’ve read that early humans often encouraged sex with some strange & it’s actually a deep seeded instinct to diversify the gene pool. A lot of rituals & festivals involved sex, from the Little I know.

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  • Always existed. It's just now more in the open because of the internet.

    People are whores and whoremongers by their very nature.

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  • It's never been open and excepted like it is now but I'd say in the 60's hooking up was happening. However people hid it more.

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  • Probably not. Modern contraception makes the hook up culture possible at least for women.

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  • The hookup culture has been around for quite some time. It's just more well known in present day society because more and more are hooking up and enjoy having casual sex 😉

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  • Hmm I think its existed before especially in the 60s and 80s.

    In the 60s it was all about "free love". a lot of people hooked up at Woodstock. I dont know if you knew it but Janice Joplin had a few std's

    80s aids and HIV were rampant with both straigh t and homosexual community

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  • I think it is unique to today’s world, especially in the USA. I find it remarkable that so many men and women want sex so much, it is usually a phone call or text away.

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  • Of course it has existed before. It was in the 70’s and again in Gomorrah/Soddom in biblical days if you believe in that.

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  • I think with the advent of apps strictly intended for those purposes has increased the amount of people doing it

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