Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hookup Culture Is Becoming Empty and Boring

Monroe County

Hookup culture: hooking up with someone of the opposite sex and having sex without relationship. Donna Freitas writes: "The guiding commandment of hookup culture: Thou shalt not become attached to your partner."  (Donna Freitas, "Time to stop hooking up. (You know you want to.)")

Boston University's Freitas has just published The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy. She writes, in today's Washington Post:: "Of students who reported hooking up, 41 percent used words such as “regretful,” “empty,” “miserable,” “disgusted,” “ashamed,” “duped” and even “abused” to describe the experience."

And shallow. And hollow. And unfulfilling. Empty.

Yes, being casual about sex is the current norm. But some are sexually experimenting in a new way: they are dating, and abstaining from sex. Freitas writes:

"In today’s college culture, it seems that taking a break from carefree sex, or even embracing dating, are a lot like having premarital sex in the 1960s. To dress up in a sexy Halloween costume — well, that’s just passe. Not only is everyone doing it, they’re bored by it, too.
Today, sexual experimentation might be getting to know someone before having sex, holding out for dates and courtship focused on romance rather than sex. From where I sit, meeting a student confident enough to say she’s not hooking up and is proud about that is as experimental as it gets." 


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