What’s Wrong With Hooking Up?

By Lisa Wade

Crossposted from Ms. and Sociological Images

Hanna Rosin, senior editor at The Atlantic and author of The End of Men, has written a piece about hook-up culture on and off college campuses for the September issue of her magazine. Given that I’ve done some research on hook-up culture, here are my two cents: Rosin isn’t wrong to argue that the culture offers women sexual opportunities and independence, but she mischaracterizes the objections to hook-up culture and draws too rosy a conclusion.

Those who wring their hands and “lament” hook-up culture, Rosin contends, do so because they think women are giving it up too easily, a practice that will inevitably leave them heartbroken. She writes:

[Critics of hook up culture pine] for an earlier time, when fathers protected ‘innocent’ girls from ‘punks’ and predators, and when girls understood it was their role to also protect themselves.

If this is the problem, the answer is less sex and more (sexless?) relationships. But, Rosin rightly argues, this wrongly stereotypes women as fragile flowers whose self-esteem lies between their legs. It also romanticizes relationships. Drawing on the fantastic research of sociologists Laura Hamilton and Elizabeth A. Armstrong, she explains that young women often find serious relationships with men to be distracting; staying single (and hooking up for fun) is one way to protect their own educational and career paths.

All this is true and so, Rosin concludes, hook-up culture is “an engine of female progress—one being harnessed and driven by women themselves.”

Well, not exactly. Yes, women get to choose to have sex with men casually and many do. And some women truly enjoy hook-up culture, while others who like it less still learn a lot about themselves and feel grateful for the experiences. I make this argument with my colleague, Caroline Heldman, in Hooking Up and Opting Out: Negotiating Sex in the First Year of College [PDF].

But what young women don’t control is the context in which they have sex. The problem with hook-up culture is not casual sex, nor is it the fact that some women are choosing it; it’s the sexism that encourages men to treat women like pawns and requires women to be just as cunning and manipulative if they want to be in the game; it’s the relentless pressure to be hot that makes some women feel like shit all the time and the rest feel like shit some of the time; it’s the heterosexism that marginalizes and excludes true experimentation with same-sex desire; and it’s the intolerance towards people who would rather be in relationships or practice abstinence (considered boring, pathetic or weird by many advocates of hook-up culture, including, perhaps, Rosin).

Fundamentally, what’s wrong with hook-up culture is the antagonistic, competitive and malevolent attitude towards one’s sexual partners. College students largely aren’t experimenting with sexuality nicely. Hook ups aren’t, on the whole, mutually satisfying, strongly consensual, experimental affairs during which both partners express concern for the others’ pleasure. They’re repetitive, awkward and confusing sexual encounters in which men have orgasms more than twice as often as women:

The problem with hook-up culture, then, is not that people are friends with benefits. It’s that they’re not. As one of my students concluded about one of her hook-up partners: “You could have labeled it friends with benefits … without the friendship, maybe?”

Hook-up culture is an “engine of female progress” only if we take for granted that our destination is a caricature of male sexuality, one in which sex is a game with a winner and a loser. But do we really want sex to be competitive? Is “keep[ing] pace with the boys,” as Rosin puts it, really what liberation looks like? I think we can do better.

Crossposted from Ms. Magazine and Sociological Images

Professor Lisa Wade is the author of American Hookup

You might also like to hear her thoughts on millennial’s and modern sexuality at her blog Sociological Images.

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on September 18, 2017, in sex and sexuality, sexism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 61 Comments.

  1. Yes, I agree that we can do better. I think that any successful relationship, whether only sexual or more, relies heavily on good communication. Because people who engage with hook-up culture often have their own agenda to begin with, if that isn’t communicated clearly, the encounter won’t be nice or conducive. I think that more often than not, a practice of “just hooking up” or “friends with benefits” is what men think equates to not having to be as communicative, invested or considerate of their partner. Hook ups between two people who are both enthusiastically consenting and expressive are much different than a relationship with two people with either feeling like they cannot communicate their needs or feel like they won’t be considered anyway. I do think that hook up culture breeds insecurities in both men and women when done detrimentally, with poor communication from both sides. It is not enough for one person to be dedicated to the relationship, whether it be only sexual or more.

  2. Hook-up culture is a lie because women are not free sexually in our society. Our society still suffers the consequences of the patriarch, where women and men identities and sense of self were molded in strict definitions and assumptions about appropriate gender behaviors. We learned that we are divided into categories as ‘good women’ or ‘bad women’, and the ‘bad’ ones are the women sexually free and active before, outside or in the absence of marriage. Even the ‘sexual revolution’ based on the birth control is a lie, as studies show that birth control lowers the libido – women can have ‘free’ sex but they won’t have the desire to have it. And why there aren’t male contraceptives on the market? The pharmaceutical companies are too concern about men suffering the side effects of the hormonal contraceptives, the same ones women face, as men can not handle the discomfort women on the pill face every day, since the ’60s. If our society doesn’t deal the same way with the consequences of sex, as the example of the birth control pills, it is at least naif to believe that the ‘free and uncompromised sex’, the hook-up culture is reasonable for women, as it is for men.

    • It’s amazing to me that women want to pin monogamy at the feet of men and patriarchy. On the face of it, this is absurd. Men want monogamy less than women do. Women want it because they need resources through 9 months of pregnancy and many years of child rearing. Thus their minds are programmed to get those resources from a man, and that doesn’t work when your man is messing around with half a dozen ladies. There is little identifiable downside for a man being sexually free. But for a women it can be the difference between life and death. This not cultural, this is biological reality. If you want to know why women are not sexually free, look within at your biological reality.

      • Some people pin monogamy on patriarchy, and it’s not just women. I know men who have done the same thing to try to have sex with women who are married.

        Studies show that about half of people, both men and women, prefer monogamy well the other half, both men and women, prefer many partners.

        Patriarchy isn’t about monogamy but about controlling women’s sexuality but not men’s. So it’s OK for men to have sex with whoever they want and they won’t get stoned to death but that women better not do the same thing. Or men can have sex with everyone they want and they are celebrated but women who do the same thing or shamed. That is not monogamy. That is patriarchy.

      • “Patriarchy isn’t about monogamy but about controlling women’s sexuality but not men’s”

        That’s not patriarchy, that’s biology. If the woman wants the man to pay for the kids, he wants to know they are his. There’s no obvious downside for the woman if the man is having a bit on the side, other than a fear she is going to lose resources to the other woman. But since they are his resources to begin with, that’s also nature/biology that he calls those shots.

      • Nope. Impossible since you don’t find the pattern you describe in every culture, only patriarchal ones.

        There’s no gender differences in preference for monogamy or polygamy. When asked if people preferred many partners or monogamy roughly half of women and men preferred many partners and the other half of each gender preferred monogamy.

  3. I think most people forget that consentual sex is a win-win for both parties involved. I had a close friend many years ago who I enjoyed having sex with and he felt the same. We decided to make our relationship a regular thing, established rules that made us both comfortable. The most important was that we would tell each other if we had sex with other people and always use protection. We kept up our arrangement for over a year and it was perfection. We knew what we were doing, we were able to be honest with each other about our dating prospects, but also what we wanted to try or were curious about under the covers. Our “relationship” had no pressure and because of that we both grew from it incredibly. Finally, at some point I decided to pursue someone more seriously and we stopped our arrangement. Today we are both married (to other people) and still keep in touch.

    My opinion is that sex is enjoyable for most people, so do what you want, just be honest in the process with your partner and in all honesty, screw what society thinks because it doesn’t matter. My wife is well aware of my sexual history, as I am of hers, and we are both happy we had the experiences that we had. We know what we like, what we don’t like, and we definitely don’t wonder what we missed out on.

  4. As a young man of the modern college era, I can definitely say that the culture of hooking up has brought about some empowerment for women from my perspective. In my experience speaking to my peers, it seems to me that women have definitely gained a greater sense of pride when hooking up. The confident women I’ve spoken to that hook up, always seem to shed the typical slut-shaming veils that society would usually bestow upon them.
    I do believe there are still some cultural premonitions about hooking up. After all, what’s more personal than shedding your clothes and being bare in front of your partner; sharing in the moment for both of you to enjoy? For this reason, I can understand how some may still consider it to be taboo. However, I would contend that this is moreso a result of cultural conditioning. I believe because we as Americans were raised in a patriarchal society that has historically restrained women’s sexuality. But I think it should be our duty as individuals to challenge this ideal and empower our people to live their lives in the way that best suits them.
    As noted in the post, “But, Rosin rightly argues, this wrongly stereotypes women as fragile flowers whose self-esteem lies between their legs. It also romanticizes relationships.” We have to begin recognizing everyone as real people first and foremost.

    • The real problem is that we have continued a patriarchy that still too often makes sex a hostile game in which men win and women lose just by having sex. If everyone is consenting hookup culture is fine, so long as we ditch the hostility.

      • Sex is considered a win for men because we live in a gynocentric society where women tightly restrict the availability of sex.

      • Women tightly restrict the availability of sex because of patriarchy, because in patriarchies women who don’t are shamed and punished: slut, ho, skank… All of my students have witnessed women being slut-shamed in high school. None of them have observed men being slut-shamed.

        Compare the least patriarchal societies like Scandinavia to the most patriarchal societies like the Middle East where women are not just verbally shamed and ostracized but stoned to death too.

        So incels complain that women won’t have sex. But women are punished — shamed and ostracized — when they do. They can’t have it both ways.

  5. I question why you say that hooks ups aren’t strongly consensual, either you have consent or you do not. I agree ir makes it harder to find same-sex partners however. It still always seems to risky for me to ask someone of the same sex as I out when no matter how attracted I am to them. But despite the problems it is still a step up from where we used to be. At least now women are expected to have sex for a purpose other than having children. But what good are you doing by criticizing it? Just critisizing something does not bring about change. Unless you offer possible solutions or are pointing it out for the first time it had no affect other than to make others annoyed or irritated. It’s fine to point out the flaws in something if people are unaware of them but the demographic you are reaching with you blog is for the most part already aware of the toxic undertones of hookup culture. What would suggest to men (and women, and other who are caught in the middle of it all) to do to change it and help create it to be the experimental place that it should be (for everyone not just men and women) and how would you suggest making the experience as it is now more bearable?

  6. Back in my [college] days, women who had casual sex (or ‘hookups’) were considered loose and easy. They had quite a reputation. While I believe double standard was the norm, I did not think it was fair. I often wondered why it was ok for boys but not girls. In today’s society, it is much more common and less frowned upon. Does this make it forward progress for women? Call me old fashioned but I say no. Just as the author points out, it reeks of sexism and creates an even more imbalance in the bedroom where women often leave the encounter sexually unsatisfied. While I believe in equality within sexes, I do not believe making men and women equal sexual beings is the objective. Equal opportunities and equal rights are the goal; however, women and men are different in many biological ways, and trying to make us one in the same in terms of sexuality, is not forward progress in my opinion.

  7. There’s nothing wrong with hooking up with a random person you met that same day or hour if you leave it up to perspective.
    However, if you ask me I woman’s a hoe if she dose. That doesn’t mean that i am right.
    Everyone has a body and can do what they want with it. Men hooking up multiple times on end is socially expectable. If a woman hooks up its not but who will know.
    No one will ever know if the girl doesn’t tell anyone.
    I had a friend that was a girl that would have sex with different guy every day for years on end.
    I called her a hoe and a slut but I was 12 at the time and so was she.
    But know that I think about it maybe I was just jealous that she wasn’t my girlfriend because she lived next door no less than 2 feet.
    I then came to realize her hooking up with random dudes was her choice and me smoking weed all the time at 12 wasn’t the best thing ever too.
    But who’s to say what dose more damage a woman’s walls getting torn on the daily or Adelson damaging his devolving brain.
    And I wasn’t going to let anyone tell me what I was doing was wrong why?
    Because it’s my body and I made the choices so hooking up with strangers is bad I’d say. It makes a woman have less self-respect for herself but that’s just the way I see it. And it’s different for men hooking up is okay because it’s a challenge in a way for a man to hook up.
    Woman that are good looking like my friend Eunice can have sex on the daily all she has to do is whistle. But hooking up is only bad if you have values for yourself. If you don’t then fuck whoever you want it’s your body you’re going to suffer the consequences of stds and no one ells. Maybe its good to live young and have a bunch of sex while you can who knows but there’s nothing wrong with it unless you feel wrong doing it. As for as society goes yes its wrong but if we spend our life not doing what we really want to di what’s the point of having a free will.

    • You say that men should be congratulated for hooking up and women should be ashamed because it’s difficult for men to hook up but easy for women?

      Where to start?!

      First, should someone be shamed just because something is easy? Math comes easy to use so you should be ashamed because you are good at it? Math is difficult for you so you should be congratulated?

      Also, there is a vicious cycle:

      Women are shamed for having sex so they try to avoid having sex so that they won’t be punished, Which makes it difficult to have sex with women. It’s the shaming that makes it difficult. In cultures where women aren’t shamed it’s not difficult.

      Finally, if you end up marrying a woman who was shamed for having sex she is likely to not be very interested in having sex with you, at least overtime. So you and of suffering. Here’s why that is likely to happen:

      When women are shamed for having sex they try to dampen down their sexual desire. After a while they don’t have to even try, The desire simply goes away. That happens to half of American women. The other half tend to lose interest in sex in long-term relationships. While man lose some interest women’s typically plummets. Why? Because of the constant punishment and dampening down desire most women are sexually repressed — they have lost some level of touch with their sexual desire. As a result, they need A LOT to be at all interested. The rush of excitement with a new relationship can’t provide that. But overtime, Not so much.

      The only place you find a double standard that says it’s okay for men to have sex but not women is patriarchies. The double standard boosts male dominance by telling men that they are free but women must be limited. And by shaming women for a very core Drive, creating a loss of self-esteem.

      I’m not interested in making any group of people feel bad about themselves whether they are women, men, white, black, brown. I’m not sure why others want to make people feel better about themselves. Maybe you could give me some insight into why someone would want to do this.

  8. Hook up culture now is can get very complicated. Yes, women can hookup with whomever they choose to, but once word gets out that they are hooking up men (and even women) start to look at them differently. Whereas, men can hook up with as many people as wanted and get high-fived for it. Hookups are meant to be simple and a great way to get satisfied sexually without putting in the work for a relationship. I agree though, most of the time the men do orgasm more than women do. So sometimes the hookup could be a waste and you go home to finish yourself off.

  9. You bring up an interesting point. I don’t I think I have ever thought of hooking up as antagonistic or competitive. I always thought hooking up was more of a feminist movement by us women having the power to decide when, where and with whomever we choose. Although I don’t know if I completely agree. Yes, in one instance I can see how creating a competitive environment can be problematic in seeing that all this hooking up without love can accustom us to a certain kind of sexual life. However, I think the beauty of being a woman in the hookup world is that we get to choose our own individual journey. I think that feminism in hooking up is very much subjective. Only we know what’s best for ourselves. Some of us are very much attached and emotional with our partners while some of us can detach so easily. So I just think it depends on us singularly and not as a collective.

  10. I strongly believe that “hooking up” is a term emphasized in the 21st century, most commonly used amongst us as millennials. However, as a firm believer that women should have the power to have sex with whomever they want and whenever they want, I really wish this wasn’t the term most commonly used in place of the term “casual sex”. This culture should not make women looked down upon nor thought of as less, only because they desire a natural instinct of the human body. At the time that any human’s body starts developing, so does one’s hormones, mindsets, and urgencies. Reproducing is a natural factor in a human being’s life, it should not be frowned upon whether a male or a female does something about it. In fact, I can truly say that 80% of the time, a female uses casual sex as much as men do, to get in, and get out.

    • Like the author said the problem isn’t hooking up, the problem is hooking up in a context of hostility which is unfortunately very common on university campuses today.

  11. Hooking up is definitely more common now then it ever was, all my friends do it and I wouldn’t say that’s what made me consider it, more like it made me feel that it was okay to try it and that there would be no judgment due to the fact that it is so common. I have tried both the long term relationship and the single life. I can honestly say it is very true that when you are single you tend to focus on yourself more and want better in all aspects of your life. But when you are in a relationship you are constantly thinking about making your partner happy and worrying about their wants and needs. Hooking up is great if you are single and you are not hurting anyone’s feelings. If it works for you and you enjoy having meaningless sex then go for it but most of the time its pointless to have sex with someone you don’t have some kind of connection with.

  12. The “hook up” culture will always have two different points of views. Some as to where it’s okay and the new way of life. Some as to where there’s no self respect inflicted by choices you make. I definitely think that living amongst this generation has allowed me to form my opinion towards the fact that young adults have definitely lost sight of values or morals. Being the young woman I am, I have allowed myself to set a standard and not let anyone pull me away from that. Sex was once the the confirmation of two people in love and “making love.” It has now become the pleasure of two minutes with anyone who finds that okay as well. The decision of having sex shouldn’t be such an easy one. It’s a heartbreaking thought to know that “hook ups” have become normal to my generation.

  13. Hooking up… a phrase commonly adopted by millennials. I think it’s safe to say that our generation is a lot more open to casual sex rather than a committed relationship. I completely agree that many girls do tend do “give up too easily”, I think that many don’t have morals to consider. I know this posting is intended to talk about the girl’s perspective on casual sex but I don’t understand why females are looked down upon for this when men are usually idolized for having multiple sexual partners. Sure, girls in today’s society have casual sex a lot more than before but when it comes to men it all changes. I’m not judging any girl that has different booty call everyday of the week just like I wouldn’t judge a guy for the same thing. I think it’s important to just stay true to yourself and your morals (if you have any).

  14. I do see hook-up culture as an “engine of female progress”. Men think they have this control over women just because they are the ones ‘putting in’ the most effort. Females get to make their own decisions as well. Men get to go around and hook up like its nothing, and encouraged as young men to go get the girls. Women are told to stay away and if they sleep around they are seen as whores. I think as long as no one is cheating on another person and you are using protective measures (condoms, birth control, regular STD checks), go have fun. Get the chance to experience other people before you commit to one person and have kids. I don’t think we should view sleeping with people as a competition. It’s not who can get the most people. It should be up to the person, of you are not satisfied, do something to fix that.

  15. The culture and value of dating have changed. We hardly hear of those practicing abstinence. Dating is now online. We communicate via text message instead of picking up the phone to call. Women are more open to sex than in the past. Women aren’t afraid to express their feelings and/or discuss this topic freely. This is probably why couples are marrying at a later age. Education tends to come first before marriage and family. We are now more educated and consciously think about our actions and why “hooking up” is the thing to do without the ties. Do I agree and feel this is ok? No, we’ve lost our morals, respect for ourselves and values. Do I think it’s smarter to wait until after college to get married? Sure, I do. But things happen in between and that’s ok too. I don’t think there is ever a right time to commit or to have children. Culturally dating in the 2000’s has changed. I do not judge in any way but it saddens me to see how it’s changing and how it will evolve over time.

  16. I think the most important thing about “doing better” is to get education, to develop the ability to control themselves. I am strongly believed in the philosopher called “Wang Yangming” in ancient China. I think everyone can judge anything. Is this wrong or right. The difficulty is how to do. I mean how to do the action that is followed what do you think, because everyone can figure out the right judgement, but many of them can’t control themselves. Basically like smoking is harmful, but there are lots of people still do it. The way to build this kind of ability is keep facing problems. Don’t be afraid to manage problems and don’t try to escaping from troubles. After building this kind of ability ,women can decide what to do by themselves. I don’t think hooking up culture is wrong. Everyone has different requirement. Just don’t violate your own value.

  17. As I do believe most of this is true, the hook-up culture is viewed in many different ways. In my opinion, there are also many sides to this culture. I think guys tend to judge girls automatically based on how they portray themselves and how they look, talk, etc… And it may be different from a girls perspective. Girls might think that all guys want to do s hook-up and leave, mostly to just see how far a guy can go with a girl then gossip to there friend and brag about Jane Doe (for example). I don’t think a guy and or girl should be judged on who they would like to have a fling with. Yes, its a part of nature. Hooking up is okay, to certain limitations and or standards. As long as your true to yourself and get your point across to the person you might be “hooking up” with.

  18. I find this topic interesting since one nightstands are mostly praised when men have them, but women are shamed for having them. I agree with Rosin that women are treated as if they are “fragile flowers whose self esteem lies between their legs.” Even the whole concept of virginity is sexist. Women are seen as not pure once they loose it but men are praised for it. Women are slut shamed for hook-ups but called “prudes” if they choose not to have a lot of sex. It is a double standard. There is no way out of it. Either way you are shamed. There is nothing wrong with casual sex. We are all human beings who have desires and a person’s sex life shouldn’t be anyone else’s business but their own.

  19. Now these days theres a lot of hooking up I think some people do it because there stressed or just wanna have fun but in this generation people would criticize you on depending on your body count ! I also believe hooking up with other people should be safe and should get to know the other people if they plan to have sexual intercourse ad check if they have any diseases. I believe as well that your body is a temple so you should respect it. So if I was to choose hooking up with other people or respecting my body i would rather respect myself and wait for a while until i really get to know the person and we have a strong relationship. To wrap all this up i think you should wait until you have a strong relationship with that person and not just hook up for fun !

  20. MirandaCaitlin23

    I genuinely believe that there are two sides to this topic that both have a large amount of truth to them. A woman who chooses to have numerous hookups with many different men, in my experience, is acting on her sexual desires as a temporary fix to her insecurities. My best friend uses sexual encounters with men as a way of getting their attention which in turn makes her feel “desired” or “wanted” for a split second. Deep down she is saddened that she doesn’t have someone who likes her for more than just her body, but in reality that is all she is willing to give them. I believe that women should have the freedom to do what they want with their bodies without being “slut shamed”, but I don’t believe constant random hookups is the way to go.

  21. “Hook-up culture is an “engine of female progress” only if we take for granted that our destination is a caricature of male sexuality, one in which sex is a game with a winner and a loser.” The fact that people view sex as a game between the sexes is what gets people into this debate in the first place. Not speaking for everyone but I think that sex has the ability to be mutually beneficial when two people involved are willing to communicate fully and openly about what it is that they want.
    The people that view hook up culture as a man’s world and that the women are simply a pawn to be toyed with are wrong and I believe living in the wrong time zone. Women have just as much say in sexual acts as men do and calling them cunning and manipulative simply for doing what men is also a double standard. This culture doesn’t stop people from experimenting with their sexual desires. It pushes them to express themselves in ways people would have shunned years ago. Women and men have become more empowered in speaking up about what and who they want more than ever because of this ‘hook up culture’. But with sexual freedom, comes predators becoming more bold and brazen in today’s society. It therefore falls on us to keep the conversation open and also remind women and men to be mindful and also remain vigilant to protect themselves.

    • It’s just hard to get outside of our taken for granted notions – like that sex is a game that men win and women lose unless you bring it to people attention. It doesn’t occur to most people who are raised in a culture that teaches this to see it any other way.

  22. mohammed mohammed

    i think before we form an opinion about hooking up and judge those who choose to do it ,we first must understand that every case is different . believe in gender equality and that every person should have the right to do whatever the choose with their body and yes unforgettably when a guy has one stand ,he wouldn’t be judged for it and people would only say “well he just a guy” , on the other hand when a girl does then she would be called a slat .I agree with Laura Hamilton that some women choose hooking up over relationships as one way to protect their own educational and career paths and i totally understand that because there men who are intimidated by strong women and we will try to get on the way of his wife/girlfriend success so he won’t feel less about himself so if I honestly respect a women who have to the courage to put herself first .If i have a daughter one day ,my first advise to her will be ( DON’T COMPRISE WHO YOU ARE OR WHO YOU WANT TO BE FOR ANYTHING OR ANYONE )

  23. Yeah, I dont like that hook up culture at all. I have never ever ever done it and never will. Unlike the majority of relationships these days, I grew up in a two parent family. My mom met my dad when she was 17 and she married him a month later. AFter 8 kids and 40 years they are still together. I dont hook up because I owe that to my parents. Sure we all get a little lusty(horny). Sure, after watching soap all afternoon, we wish we coud melt into someone’s arms and just let fo of all inhibitions. But honestly I would be disrespecting my family, myself, and women everywhere. I can honestly say that I am a celibate individual. And believe me, celibacy sucks. I dont know how many times I meet these guys who never call me again when they find out I lead a clean and moral life. Then I have a friend who is like the sweetest girl n the world, but she ends up sleeping with every guy she goes out with, usually on or before the first date. I love her to death, but because of her, guys assume that I’m going to do the same thing…..which I refuse. YEs, its a really lonely lifestyle. But I never worry about pregnancy and I never worry about STD’s. It gives me true peace of mind. I know that I am setting a good example for other’s around me. Back about 20 years ago, no one said bad words unless they were really mad. These days, there is so much profanity people swear every 10 seconds. Back in the day, it was a necessity to be virginal. But if people keep, hooking up, what reason would there be for marriage. Honestly men dont even need to pay or dates anymore. They can skip dinner and go straight to the bedroom. Men love to hook up, but if its their sister of their daughter, they probably see things different. I’m really really hoping that people wake up and re-elevate sex to the level of secrecy and intimacy that it deserves.

  24. Look I am not upholding one behavior better than another one, or casting moral judgment to the 11% college population, which it is a really small percentage of the population, but receive a lot hype, and may be a fad that may reach it’s heyday and fade away.
    I believe everyone has the right to fly their butt as a kite, if they choose freely to do so, but how many are doing it freely? I mean these are young people and they want to belong, and they could be easy victims of peer pressure?
    According to your post:

    “Fundamentally, what’s wrong with hook-up culture is the antagonistic, competitive and malevolent attitude towards one’s sexual partners. College students largely aren’t experimenting with sexuality nicely. Hook ups aren’t, on the whole, mutually satisfying, strongly consensual, experimental affairs during which both partners express concern for the others’ pleasure. They’re repetitive, awkward and confusing sexual encounters in which men have orgasms more than twice as often as women:

    The problem with hook-up culture, then, is not that people are friends with benefits. It’s that they’re not. As one of my students concluded about one of her hook-up partners: “You could have labeled it friends with benefits … without the friendship, maybe?”

    In my view there is a lot more than that, it put women at a disadvantage, and very likely the one to suffer the most if there is negative consequences when things do not go right.

    But if both partners agree, and there is no sore losers after the fact, hey, it’s their business!
    I just have concern for those women who get the short end of the stick, and point to the obvious, many men in college want fun, and no strings attached, how many women really just want that as well? Period. 🙂

    • Part of the reason I do my blog is so that people can become more informed and able to make more informed choices. I’m hoping that women who read my blog and are doing hook up culture only because they feel pressured will think again and realize that they don’t have to.

      I would also like for people to fight things like double standards. Many times you don’t even see that you have a choice to follow them or not when they’re part of your culture and are so taken for granted that they feel natural and normal. You internalize it and then you actually lose choice.

  25. Does social practices come from biological consequences, or social practices are the result of arbitrary social, moral thinking?
    If you take out the biological factor out of the question, do this, should change out our moral behavior?
    Are women to be dissociated from love, affection, and biological responsibility, leading to the family cell? So they can experience sexual freedom?
    Freedom of what?
    Since I suspect a lot of the men are into hooking up, to enjoy freely the sex, and avoid of the responsibility?
    It’s not this a catch 22 to for women?
    Does hooking up change on men the look of women, as a mere sexual object?
    Or on the contrary, elevate women as equal to men?
    The question should be if a lot of women feel like shit after, what purpose it serve if not for the guys to have sexual fun with no strings attached?
    Should women in order to be equal to men should have a turn on, and turn off switch attached?
    These and many other questions come into mind,
    Thank you for your provocative posts. 🙂

    • Men and women do sexuality differently in different cultures. In some cultures both men and women behave very similarly to each other. So that suggests that culture is having a big effect.

      I feel that there should not be a double standard and hook up culture actually depends on a double standard even as it seems to reject it. Because typically women are put down for participating in it even as they are encouraged to do it. It’s a double behind where there is no good choice, which you tend to find in patriarchal cultures.

      I feel that people should only behave in ways that feel good and authentic to them.

      And only 11% of the college population – men and women included – enjoy hook up culture. According to one study.

  26. So the ultimate question of existence is: how can we all stop feel like shit? I recently started to wonder whether any people around who actually don’t.

  27. There’s nothing wrong with casual sex so long as there’s mutual respect, and hook-up culture is aggressively disrespectful. I’m sure I’ve heard it said that hook-up sex is the art of having sex at someone, not with them.

  28. If you only think of Rosen’s progress conclusion in terms of very old concepts that confine women to traditional roles it makes sense, even if true equality has yet to be achieved. So hook-up culture, however seriously flawed, probably beats Puritan culture.

  29. I think that many, if not most, researchers underestimate the degree of patriarchy in almost all societies on this planet. We’re inundated with propaganda from the moment we are born from everyone. Your questions are essential. I know I try hard to fight its hold on my thoughts, but it seeps in from all around me and sometimes I am part of spreading its message.

    • I know that I have caught myself with patriarchal notions that are unconsciously embedded in my brain. Yeah, it’s a pervasive. We can only overcome it as we become conscious of it.

  30. the term hooking up sounds like a bit of a fling or that’s how I tend to interpret it. casual sex in my view is like you’re giving somebody the run around (in other words there’s always that chance of making a woman pregnant and just disappearing never to be seen or heard from again while a woman falls pregnant without a clue who the father is or if she knows who the father is they are no longer in the picture). the decision to have sex is not a decision that should be taken lightly well that’s what I’ve heard often enough because too many people in this day and age go through relationships like changing underwear. I’m probably going totally off track but it’s just my views.

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