On ‘hookup culture’

Most people who know me and have drank with me know I have strong opinions about the formation and prevalence about the so-called “hookup culture.”

What got me started this time?

First, Donna Freitas wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post called “Time to stop hooking up. (You know you want to.)” — this is at least partially to promote her book The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy (which I refuse to buy or read on the basis that it has a really poor title, Sex hasn’t ended).

So I’ll be talking about the opinion piece.

“When I was an undergraduate at Georgetown University in the early 1990s, my roommate and I dressed up like prostitutes for Halloween. We bought fishnets, wore our tightest, sexiest clothes and sauntered out like we were the hottest girls alive.”

What a lede! This really makes me want to take your opinions about how horrible you find the culture in current colleges and universities seriously [/sarcasm]

“We think of college as a place where kids, perhaps free from their parents’ watchful eyes for the first time, can experiment sexually. Yet, my little adventure almost two decades ago seems innocent compared with hookup culture — a lifestyle of unemotional, unattached sex — so prevalent on campuses today.”

Dressing up like a hooker in DC is not in any way innocent, you could argue that it is more prevalent but I don’t buy that.

Freitas argues that hooking up “is fast, uncaring, unthinking, perfunctory” but I’m not sure she realizes that hooking up DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN SEX. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.

“I’ve spent the past eight years investigating hookup culture and talking with students, faculty members and college administrators about it.”

Little secret, faculty and college administrators by-and-large don’t know anything about what goes on in social situations. They might hear rumors (and they do) but the rumor mill isn’t a way of knowing anything abut what’s really going on. Here is a newsfalsh: people lie about having sex.

“I thought I would find that the vast majority of students revel in it, but instead I encountered a large percentage who feel confined by it or ambivalent about it (the “whateverists,” as I call them). Nervous to be alone in challenging hookup culture, most students go along with it, even if they privately long for alternatives. They think that if they try to be less casual about sex, it’ll ruin their social lives. Conformity abounds.”

Is a “large percentage” a majority, what does that mean? Is it just more than you expected?

You also are not challenging hookup culture by not hooking up. People (even the most promiscuous members of society) spend a lot of time not hooking up. Proud supporters of the hookup culture may not hookup with everyone.

Fortunately, I found an ally in Amanda Hess responded on Slate:

Honestly, I pretty much want to quote her whole article but I won’t, just read it.

Freitas’ “analysis” is a significant problem with the “kids, these days” culture. The facade of a hookup culture just isn’t true anymore than Animal House was EXACTLY what college was like in the 1950s (sorry, high school kids).

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~ by realfactsandbeer on April 4, 2013.

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