Campus hookups: college sex isn't new, but hookups are different

Discuss

91 Responses to “Campus hookups: college sex isn't new, but hookups are different”

  1. Anonymous says:

    There’s a strong generational issue that hasn’t been made clear.

    Hook-up culture is distinct from the casual sex that older people may have encountered in the US. Hook-up culture didn’t really exist 30 years ago, and it was still pretty common for college kids to go on dates well into the 1990s.

    Somewhere in the nineties, however, the social model for young adults shifted away from Meeting>Pairing (Dating)>Sex to Meeting>Sex>Pairing (relationship). From what I can tell, it started in high school and then continued to college socialization, rather than being a behavior that started with college-age people that was subsequently adopted by younger kids.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, as a college student, I don’t perceive hookup culture at all. I’ll grant that I’m a male Computer Science major, but I’m involuntarily celibate (and a virgin) because all of the females I know (which are few) are involved in long term relationships. Maybe it’s just the demographic that I’m a part of, but I haven’t really heard of anyone I know “hooking up” outside of a relationship. I might just be dense/a nerd/not in the loop though.

  3. lecti says:

    Or students could, you know, study and network instead of looking for a “hookup”. Isn’t that the point of paying for that tuition?

  4. Antinous / Moderator says:

    As I understand it, that is hook-up culture. To me it sounds like a breeding ground for emotionally stunted men and women.

    That’s just the symptom. Children being raised by television is the breeding ground. How would you behave if your role models were sitcom characters?

  5. bfarn says:

    Sex as a college freshman isn’t that great? That sounds about right. My calculus and writing skills weren’t so great then either. It gets better, that’s what college is for. I don’t think you need a study to understand this stuff, just remember being 18.

    That said I think she gives a nuanced and empathic assessment of the kids she studied. I imagine most peoples’ averse reaction to this video comes from not being around academia enough. Academia is just LIKE that. Don’t hate the playa, hate the GAME, man.

    Also, as to the question of porn’s effect on college kids – obviously with the Internet being around people are going to have seen a lot more sex than they’ve had by the time they’re 18 (or 13, for that matter). That’s going to change peoples’ initial notions on things like oral sex and mens’ and womens’ roles in the sack, sure. But eventually you figure it out on your own terms. I’m not worried that we’re raising a generation of sexual deviants or emotionally stunted man-children. Then again, I don’t have kids yet to worry about…..

  6. commenterx says:

    We are all Charlotte Simmons!

  7. CSBD says:

    Before I start, I just want to state that I dont have a problem with porn.

    Ok so I dont have time to watch the video (while at work), but I would expect that porn plotlines (or lack thereof) have a large effect on “hookup culture” and the lack of meaningful relationships.

    That would also explain the prevlance of anal intercourse (practically unheard of when I was in college) and A to M… which I had never even heard of 10 years ago.

    • g0d5m15t4k3 says:

      I almost died laughing at your comment “and A to M… which I had never even heard of 10 years ago.”

      I’d like to see a study on that. How much people have learned about sex via porn. I learned quite a lot from porn myself. But I became disinterested in porn when I realized how different from real sex it really was. It just didn’t look comfortable for most people in the porn videos. That doesn’t mean I won’t occasionally flick the pea to a porno or put one in & watch it with my man, but I’m not nearly as into it as I used to be. I learned what I wanted and substitute the rest with my own real life experiences.

      People need to stop relying on porn! Hopefully these college kids will learn from it and move on like I did.

      • Gulliver says:

        I’d like to see a study on that. How much people have learned about sex via porn. I learned quite a lot from porn myself. But I became disinterested in porn when I realized how different from real sex it really was. It just didn’t look comfortable for most people in the porn videos. That doesn’t mean I won’t occasionally flick the pea to a porno or put one in & watch it with my man, but I’m not nearly as into it as I used to be. I learned what I wanted and substitute the rest with my own real life experiences.

        Porn depicts sex about as accurately as war movies depict combat.

  8. Anonymous says:

    See also this article from about three years ago. I think its point kind of dovetails with the speaker’s thesis.

    http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2008/08/01/chastity_books

  9. Anonymous says:

    “involuntarily celibate” – oh boy, that was me all right. I think I would have been ok with some of that casual sex “that’s always been around”.

  10. brillow says:

    So some college students out there are not sexually satisfied? Is this new? Some people out there want deeper love and connections? Is this new?

    What’s new about this?

  11. brillow says:

    Also, blaming “culture” for people’s unhappiness has never been interesting. Culture can always be blamed, and can never defend itself. Also, anyone who has a degree in sociology should know that the facts of a culture have little to do with the perception of it, and that self-reporting studies are almost useless.

    Has she published this in any peer-reviewed publications?

  12. bigtoejoe says:

    So this clueless chick studied human sexuality for years to finally understand it’s not a great idea to be slutty? All praises to higher education!!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    It fits very well with my own experience. Actually, it was one of my (few) complaints about college- that you had a choice. You could submit to joyless (and bad) sex with a lot of virtual strangers, but no one would think you were a freak and you know, you might actually accidentally end up meeting someone that way, you know, hook up a bunch of times then actually talk, that kind of thing…or you were damned to absolute celibacy. There was no middle ground. It was very frustrating- sexually, emotionally, intellectually.

    And hell, I’m a couple years out of college now and I’m still waiting for the whole dating thing to start. Friends of mine have had luck on that front by dating guys 10 years older.

    I’ve even tried asking the guys out a couple of time, but that seemed to scare them off. So it still seems to be random lousy hook-up sex or nothin’. I hate my generation, sometimes.

    • penguinchris says:

      “And hell, I’m a couple years out of college now and I’m still waiting for the whole dating thing to start. Friends of mine have had luck on that front by dating guys 10 years older.

      I’ve even tried asking the guys out a couple of time, but that seemed to scare them off. So it still seems to be random lousy hook-up sex or nothin’. I hate my generation, sometimes.”

      If there are any women a couple years out of college reading my comment (I know I’m a couple days late), know this: there are an equal (or perhaps greater) number of guys who feel the same way.

      You need to make yourself easily available to be chatted up, or even make advances on guys yourself (this is the 21st century, get with the times). Yes, you can skip the guys that are “scared off” by this (perhaps you need to look outside of your current group of friends if they’re all like that), but there are tons of perfectly nice guys looking for relationships (not just casual sex or whatever) who would be *absolutely thrilled* if a girl asked them out. Seriously, it’d be one of the highlights of their year.

      Guys like this (which includes me) don’t approach you because we’ve learned to expect extremely high rates of rejection, and nice girls don’t make it easy to approach them to begin with.

      If you’re one of these girls and live in southern California let me know, I can provide contact info for several different nice guys a couple years out of college :)

  14. lillyd says:

    I’m borderline Gen X/Gen Y and hook-up culture had begun by then, but mostly for frat parties and the club scene. At least in a regular group of friends you could expect to be asked out sometimes. The difficult thing at that time was that if you hadn’t settled into a long-term relationship by the end of college, you were mostly left with the more emotionally-stunted men. At least this was my experience, much like Anon said above:

    “And hell, I’m a couple years out of college now and I’m still waiting for the whole dating thing to start. Friends of mine have had luck on that front by dating guys 10 years older.

    I’ve even tried asking the guys out a couple of time, but that seemed to scare them off. So it still seems to be random lousy hook-up sex or nothin’. I hate my generation, sometimes.”

    This was my experience almost to the letter (for 7 years!)and most of my girl friends have ended up with older men (if they didn’t marry someone they dated in college). My husband didn’t go to college, so he avoided the hook-up scene and had a more old school approach.

    Hooking up can be a great way to get satisfied while you’re trying to find a mate, or aren’t trying to find a mate. For me it was usually more of a Friends with Benefits situation.

    Regardless, if you do want to find a mate, I don’t recommend it. In my experience, guys don’t usually don’t usually think a hook-up has long-term potential. And guys, most girls don’t feel respected by the hook-up approach.

    Of course, your experience may be different. More power to ya!

  15. pox says:

    Man, I was born way too early.

    The takeaway from this for young dudes: females report dissatisfaction with hookup culture due, in part, to a lack of basic courtesy, friendliness and attention to the female’s enjoyment. If your resume includes these skills, the market will no doubt reward you, and you will have many satisfied customers and repeat business. Science proves it!

  16. ercwtsn says:

    I think what is at the crux with this “Hook-Up Culture Problem” (i.e the too much bad sex) is a stasis between:

    1. Our knowledge of sexuality changes our sexuality, just as our sexuality changes our knowledge of sexuality. It’s a two-way street between sex and our understanding of sex.

    2. Our society–especially with the youth– struggles with transforming the implicit into the explicit. Remember ‘college kids’ are still kids.

    While I think it is good that Prof. Wade brings attention to the issue, I can’t shake the feeling that–even with the quantitative data– she may be skewing the perception.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hookups exists so you have a chance, one on one, to actually fuck the person who might end up being be the single and sole fuck of your life, to see if you enjoy fucking them. Simply chatting and walking with a person is not going to give you that information, and it wastes a lot of time when you could rule them out with a single bad fuck.

    Dating culture is the product of being raised in a puritan, anti-sex country where pleasure is frowned upon and sex is presented as a secondary and incidental reason for having a relationship. For decades, if you didn’t play the dating game you didn’t get sex, and many people married before ever having sex, a recipe for disaster if there ever was one.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Or, fucking your way into a relationship means that you end up with someone based on fucking, a fact that you only realize years later when the lawyers are cutting your house and children in half. Thinking that personal qualities that don’t involve fucking might be more important in the long run isn’t puritanical; it’s adult.

  18. millie fink says:

    Lisa Wade said, “Emotional connections are voided. They’re off script.”

    Wow, campus sex culture sounds more dysfunctional than ever. Like college students are mostly just using each other to get off. Like that’s a little better than using your hand.

    Wait, guys seem to feel that way, a LOT more than girls do; a lot of girls seem to feel the need to help guys get off. Their own pleasure is secondary. I guess that’s not so new.

  19. moniker42 says:

    On the other hand I have not had sex in over two years.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Damn, why defining a “hook-up” so necessary. It is casual sex! The kind where you may not even take the time to find out the persons name. It is about the act and not much more.

  21. shadowfirebird says:

    “hook ups” sounds like it just means “friends with benefits” — since in my experience, it’s all benefits and not much friendship.

    It can work just fine if you actually are friends. AFAICS most people don’t bother with that bit, though.

  22. blueelm says:

    Doesn’t it all kind of depend on you. The issue seems to be that we are convinced there is only one type of person in this world.

  23. emmdeeaych says:

    This must be the fault of Gay Marriage, amirite?

  24. karl_jones says:

    See also Tom’s Wolfe’s anthology Hooking Up (2000); specifically the essay “Hooking Up: What Life was Like at the Turn of the Second Millennium: An American’s World – contemporary teenage promiscuity”.

  25. desiredusername says:

    Sounds like I should bone up on the new hook up culture now that I am back in school and back to being single.

  26. tylerkaraszewski says:

    Would it be possible for someone to define “Hook-Up Culture” in less than 55 minutes for me, please?

    Thanks.

    • Cory Doctorow says:

      You might try following the link. There’s a transcript, powerpoint slides, and a detailed summary.

      • tylerkaraszewski says:

        PowerPoint PDF has lots of pics of Justin Beiber, but not a lot of definitions. I don’t see the “detailed summary” you refer to. I’m 7 minutes into the video and she hasn’t defined anything yet.

    • Aloisius says:

      Would it be possible for someone to define “Hook-Up Culture” in less than 55 minutes for me, please?

      I recently dated a 23 year old girl who had never been asked out on an actual date. Apparently, going out as a group was common and then occasionally, some boy would grunt in her direction (a bit of an exaggeration) and they’d break off to have a little small talk and sex.

      As I understand it, that is hook-up culture. To me it sounds like a breeding ground for emotionally stunted men and women.

      • fraac says:

        Hookups aren’t weird. You know what’s weird? Dating culture. We don’t even have it in Europe, thank God. I have a theory that dating was invented by American sitcoms so they could get two basic strangers in an intimate location without them touching or slinking around each other constantly as people who care about each other actually do, as it would ruin the over-over-twoshot shooting convention.

        Take loads of drugs, be near great music and people you actually like, have sex with them and eventually marry one. Problem solved, awkwardness averted. No laughter track.

        • Anonymous says:

          Dates exist so you have a chance, one on one, to actually get to know the person you’re interested in. Simply bouncing around in a funnel of noise, drugs and booze until you marry someone out of fear of aging alone is the very definition of the phrase “emotionally stunted.”

          Hook-up culture is the product of being raised in a vacuum, where desire is nearly always gratified. So they grow up never having to develop their social capacities, and they’re not about to play any social games in college. For the girls (and a few boys), you either submit to sex or you’re ostracized. Not everybody’s brain works that way. Some of us still have our dignity, or still like the idea of building relationships. So they get to spend their young adult years in isolation.

          • Gulliver says:

            @ Anon #38

            For the girls (and a few boys), you either submit to sex or you’re ostracized. Not everybody’s brain works that way. Some of us still have our dignity, or still like the idea of building relationships. So they get to spend their young adult years in isolation.

            In the crowd I hung out with, the women held all the cards. As a guy, it was your privilege to court them.

          • fraac says:

            All I’m seeing here is American society managing to mess up stuff as simple as sex between friends and college hedonism.

          • Gulliver says:

            All I’m seeing here is American society managing to mess up stuff as simple as sex between friends and college hedonism.

            Well at least you’re not making gross generalizations. Because that would be asinine.

          • fraac says:

            Well at least you’re not taking it personally.

          • Gulliver says:

            I’m not even taking you seriously. Some individuals gotta spew bile; I won’t stand in your way ;)

      • osmo says:

        Until the recent americanization that was common here too. When I was a kid no one talked about “dates” and “date rules”. You tried to hang out with the people you wanted to hook up with, perhaps you had sex after a party, perhaps not. You tried to meet his or her friends and start doing the same things (or met through the same activities) and thats how you sort of got together.

        I dont remember grunting. I remember talking too allot of people, being amongst allot of other people and some sex.

        (this is Sweden)

        • Aloisius says:

          I dont remember grunting. I remember talking too allot of people, being amongst allot of other people and some sex.

          Grunting was a bit of an exaggeration for the sake of being terse. As I understand it though, the discussions between people are completely shallow. Even saying that you like someone outright is too deep.

          Basically, hook-up culture has created an environment where no one has to risk rejection, because no one actually puts themselves out there.

          It reminds me a bit of the gay hook-up scene, except that most of the gay men I know actually know how to express their emotions and have had long term relationships.

          • fraac says:

            You wouldn’t be rejected if you were already close… and why would you want to have sex if you weren’t already close? Because it’s a random hot girl you want to nail? Premise of OP seems backward to me.

          • Gulliver says:

            Even saying that you like someone outright is too deep.

            When I was in college, saying you like someone was too forward. It was necessary to do a little wooing before being emotionally overt. I learned French and wrote a lot of bad poetry for that very reason. But it worked. I dated some really great women in college.

      • Gulliver says:

        As I understand it, that is hook-up culture. To me it sounds like a breeding ground for emotionally stunted men and women.

        Sounds like a breeding ground for more than that.

      • tylerkaraszewski says:

        I have watched the first 1/3 or so of the video thus far, and what it’s describing (although not explicitly defining, which would have been nice) is completely foreign to my own college experience. I saw a slide in this powerpoint stack that said *less than 1%* of college students were in relationships. I don’t know if this is just college students that were reporting themselves as being involved in “hook-ups” or the entire population, but it seems unfathomable to me. When I was in college, generally 50% or more of my friends were in relationships that were at least months, if not years, long. Among those not in relationships, it seemed most of them were not having much sex, which isn’t to say nobody ever “hooked-up”, but just that it was certainly not the dominant sort of sexual activity among my peer group.

        Also, I can look back on some of my own experiences and wonder whether they would have even counted as “hook-ups” which is unclear based on the video thus far. If you meet someone at a friend’s party, subsequently see them individually a few times, and then, several weeks in, have some sort of sexual activity, which is followed by the relationship dissolving into nothing within a few days, is that a “hook-up”? Is it just “dating”? Are those different?

        • Stickarm says:

          I have watched the first 1/3 or so of the video thus far, and what it’s describing (although not explicitly defining, which would have been nice) is completely foreign to my own college experience.

          On the first page of the script it says:

          Second, I’m here because a woman named Bogle published a book called “Hooking Up” in 2008… …some of your profs read it… …media had a field day… …and so many, many people have heard of this thing called a hook up and they fear that college has become some bachannalian orgy or something.

          • g0d5m15t4k3 says:

            That still doesn’t describe what a hook up is. That’s saying “go see this other source for a definition”.

          • Stickarm says:

            That still doesn’t describe what a hook up is. That’s saying “go see this other source for a definition”.

            Correct, that is how the phrase is defined for the lecture — it was part of the required reading, essentially.

          • g0d5m15t4k3 says:

            Well having required reading for this lecture doesn’t help people on the internet! I understand we just happened to get this via BB and we aren’t necessarily the intended audience though.

        • Gulliver says:

          I have watched the first 1/3 or so of the video thus far, and what it’s describing (although not explicitly defining, which would have been nice) is completely foreign to my own college experience. I saw a slide in this powerpoint stack that said *less than 1%* of college students were in relationships. I don’t know if this is just college students that were reporting themselves as being involved in “hook-ups” or the entire population, but it seems unfathomable to me. When I was in college, generally 50% or more of my friends were in relationships that were at least months, if not years, long.

          Ditto. I dated three women in college, one for a year and a half. I slept with two of them. I guess things have changed a lot since I went to school. Personally I never saw the appeal of casual sex, but to each their own. Maybe I was just a boring guy in a boring crowd, but I liked my circle of friends.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Apparently, going out as a group was common and then occasionally, some boy would grunt in her direction (a bit of an exaggeration) and they’d break off to have a little small talk and sex.”

        What is… Europe?

  27. grs says:

    “…and that leaves many students involuntarily celibate or having sex they don’t really want.”

    Biologists call that natural selection. And I think that’s how it’s worked for, oh I don’t know, ever. Otherwise we’d all be dating super models.

    • Ambiguity says:

      And I think that’s how it’s worked for, oh I don’t know, ever. Otherwise we’d all be dating super models.

      We are. Didn’t you get the memo?

    • blueelm says:

      Um…

      • grs says:

        In response to you cartoon, yup, they have that in college too, it’s called roofies.

        My point still stands based on the quote from the original post. In reference to your cartoon, the female is not having the sex she wants. What the cartoon fails to mention, the “sneaker” is not always successful in it’s sneaky attempts. So if it’s consistently unsuccessful in it’s sneakery, then it’s involuntarily celibate. Natural selection at work.

        • Anonymous says:

          ‘In response to you cartoon, yup, they have that in college too, it’s called roofies.’

          And using roofies on someone and sexually assaulting them is called RAPE. You know, since they can’t consent?

          You conflate actual sex with date rape and date rape drugs. Get help.

          • Gulliver says:

            @ Anon #40

            And using roofies on someone and sexually assaulting them is called RAPE. You know, since they can’t consent?
            You conflate actual sex with date rape and date rape drugs. Get help.

            You did actually bother reading the cartoon, did you? If you’re going to chew people out for a comment, read the rest of the discussion. No one enjoys being taken out of context by lazy flamers.

        • blueelm says:

          Except you are ignoring half the genetic pool. Yeah the female is not getting the ideal mate, but no one said she was a “supermodel” either.

          You see… it’s not just males and sex dolls in the real world!

  28. von Bobo says:

    so what about the 95% of the rest of society that is also repressed, but never was part of a hookup culture?

    This feels, and sounds, more like the product of an assignment rather than a research project.

  29. justanothercynic says:

    She looked too far into sex that she is drawing upon her own, what seem to be mostly negative, opinions on sex and sex with various different people.

    In the end she seems to take 55 minutes to deliver another moral message about not having lots of casual sex with strangers.

    • Cory Doctorow says:

      Which video did you watch? In the one I watched, she said that having sex with lots of people or not many people was your own damned business, but that the students in her research (that is, the actual human beings who’d gone through the experience she described, thought about it, and reported on their feelings) wished that the unwritten rules around sexual conduct were more conducive to forming long-term bonds, and that men didn’t get a walk on sexual assault and sexual coercion. She interviewed men and women, though she admits that her sample was better with women.

      • fraac says:

        Anyone following ‘unwritten rules’ gets the position in society they deserve, and the commensurate feelings of worthlessness.

      • Anonymous says:

        Here are three links you might want to read before you continue flagellating commenters:

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/casual

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/moral

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism

        So in other words, sexual encounters “without definite or serious intention” make participants unhappy because they are not “…conducive to forming long term bonds…” (your words), which means that according to at least one major school of ethics they could be considered immoral. The intention of the video is obviously to provide knowledge about behavior that, from a utilitarian perspective, would be considered “…truths or counsel as to right conduct…”

        Conclusion: it’s humorously reductionist, but probably fair, to call this video, “…another moral message about not having lots of casual sex with strangers.”

        Why do you have to be such a snide bully when you respond to people?

      • blueelm says:

        This is what I got out of it too, which seems obvious enough. What do most people hate? Not being treated like they are not fully human.

        Both sexual repression and what they’re now calling “hook up culture” have a tendency to dehumanize people.

  30. Gulliver says:

    Avoiding selfish people apparently isn’t so easy. I often get to watch psychopaths working and the weirdest thing is how their victims play along willingly, to the extent that I sometimes wonder if they’re in it together to wind me up. People don’t see other people clearly, generally.

    I have noticed that many otherwise highly perceptive individuals whom I’ve known over the years habitually demonstrate painfully poor character judgment. Most of the rest I’ve known have had good character judgment, but poor standards as far as the level of selfishness and immaturity they’re willing to put up with, often to their own apparent agitation. A few have good character judgment and don’t put up with “friends” who are anything but, though they are the exception, not the rule.

    Obviously I can’t be objective about my own character actuarial skills, but I am extremely choosy in who my close friends are, those I can depend on and can depend on me in turn.

    Frankly, my inexpert hypothesis is that most people who suffer jerks really just need a dose of self-esteem, the kind that comes from within and so doesn’t evaporate. Even with the ones who don’t seem to realize how badly they misjudge others, I wonder sometimes if they unconsciously choose not to see others clearly. Most parasitic people give ample evidence of their malignant nature.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZNfTNF5GiY&feature=autoplay&list=PLE7A15F7277155D5F&index=12&playnext=2

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Predators-by-attraction are good at it. Most sociopaths that I’ve ended up having to deal with announced right up front that they were trouble. But they do it in a way that’s so charming and self-effacing that, not only do you not believe it, you want to help them feel better about themselves. That’s the point where they empty your refrigerator, your drug stash, your bank account and your soul.

      The life lesson is that if someone tells you that they’re an asshole, believe them.

      • Gulliver says:

        Predators-by-attraction are good at it. Most sociopaths that I’ve ended up having to deal with announced right up front that they were trouble. But they do it in a way that’s so charming and self-effacing that, not only do you not believe it, you want to help them feel better about themselves. That’s the point where they empty your refrigerator, your drug stash, your bank account and your soul.

        That’s why I always agree with the old adage which holds that trust is something to be earned. If I’m gonna make myself in any way vulnerable to another person, I must first see that their behavior is not predatory. In this way I have discovered that individuals whose outward personas seem charismatic are not infrequently the worst kind of bloodsuckers, and that those who seem awkward are often the most virtuous. But awkward people rarely initiate intimate acquaintances, so they often end up feeling lonely and become ready prey for predators. Obviously there are some charismatic individuals who are good people, and some awkward ones who are sociopaths. But sociopaths* probably have an easier time letting go of their inhibitions, so the ratios favor the sociopaths. There also seems to be an idea many young folks have that their elders are superior mates. Alas, experience automatically confers neither wisdom nor virtue, but it can easily train people to be more manipulative – it’s easier to learn about others from experience than to turn the lens inward.

        That’s my theory anyway. As an inveterate skeptic, I take it with a few shakes of salt :)

        *Note that I’m using sociopath in an informal sense of someone pathological to society, not in the sense of psychological classification (a fact I mention because I’ve noticed a trend, as psychological terminology has entered the common argot, for medical terms to be bandied about somewhat loosely).

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          Dating is actually a much less risky behavior than roommate hunting. You chat with some dude for an hour, and two weeks later, he’s sleeping in the next room. There’s no opportunity to build trust; it’s just a roll of the dice.

          • Gulliver says:

            Having had to bribe the local gangbangers with beer to dislodge roommates who had set up a meth lab in the old house I rented south of the USC campus while I was going to school, because the cops told me they couldn’t get involved in a ‘domestic matter’ over my sublet tenants activities (notice the unwavering dedication to the drug war, albeit the wrong side), I can say without hesitation that roommates are the scourge of all human existence. Okay, so not all my roommates have been quite that bad. One merely kidnapped my dog for a month.

  31. cella says:

    Or, you fuck someone, realise, “my gosh, in addition to being a splendid fuck, this person has many ideas and opinions that are interesting and meet my approval. I shall definitely spend more time getting to know and fuck this person”. Well, its worked for me anyway, and most other people in Australia.

    An American once asked me if it was common to have sex on a first date in Australia. I genuinely found this a confusing question, as one wouldn’t generally find oneself on a first date with someone they hadn’t already fucked.

  32. Forkboy says:

    How is this news ? Sex is best when is completely on your own terms, not based on the expectations of those around you. They’ll figure it out eventually, just like we all had to.

    • oasisob1 says:

      Sex is alway on my terms, and if anyone feels like joining me whilst I am so engaged, they are welcome, so long as they ask politely and I accept.

    • Umbriel says:

      The only sex that’s completely on your own terms, and not based on the expectations of those around you, is the kind you have all by yourself.

      I suppose there was something like a “hook up culture” even when I was in college in the mid-’80s, but as a nerdy commuting student I was never sufficiently immersed in the social pool to drift into it.

      I can see certain benefits to “getting sex out of the way up front”. If it’s emotionally painful to have sex with someone and then find that you have no basis for any deeper relationship, surely it’s no less emotionally painful to get to know and feel you have a connection with someone, only to learn that they aren’t physically interested in you, or aren’t all that enjoyable a sex partner.

      Social interaction requires a measure of vulnerability, which means that it involves some pain, even if nobody is actively being a selfish bastard (which so many are).

      • Gulliver says:

        Social interaction requires a measure of vulnerability, which means that it involves some pain, even if nobody is actively being a selfish bastard (which so many are).

        Wouldn’t the wise strategy be to avoid befriending selfish people then? Also, the less dependent one is on a single person for friendship, the less their defection can hurt. A few good friends means you can invest enough emotionally in each one, but you still have friends if you lose one, which will still hurt, but not devastatingly so. Just a thought.

        • fraac says:

          Avoiding selfish people apparently isn’t so easy. I often get to watch psychopaths working and the weirdest thing is how their victims play along willingly, to the extent that I sometimes wonder if they’re in it together to wind me up. People don’t see other people clearly, generally.

  33. Anonymous says:

    so if we started calling it “peer sex education” instead of hooking up, that would be okay?

  34. Anonymous says:

    If I was in college I think I’d resent being the subject of someone’s research into sexuality, as if I was a lab rat or something. Least no one’s telling the rats their doing it wrong.

    And as someone else pointed out, if you’re following some unwritten script/guidelines, instead making your own personal choices, that’s the real problem. You shouldn’t be following scripts.

    Finally, Pat Benetar said it along time ago – “Love is a battlefield.”

  35. blueelm says:

    Meh… in college I was too repulsed by people to want to have sex with them. It took only observation to figure that one out!

  36. blueelm says:

    huh? I killed that sentence.

    *hangs head in shame*

    It should probably be obvious what that is meant to say.

  37. Gulliver says:

    What’s with all this need to pass judgment on other people’s ways of love?

    There is a certain type of European/American that could bicker over which continent has the best wind. I mean that sarcastically; please don’t start bickering over the wind.

    What works for you works for you. If not try something else.

    Folks that look down on others because of the order they get to know someone (or don’t) should really get over themselves. I don’t mean that to be snide, but y’all sound like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbhnRuJBHLs

    Ummm…librarians.

    I’ll be in the study…

    • fraac says:

      Some things are differences, but other things are getting it wrong. I’m totally dispassionate when I say that American society disfigures human nature, especially sex, in ways that I haven’t seen so much elsewhere, perhaps because I see more of America. Don’t worry about it. Just move to Europe if you want to be happy.

      • Gulliver says:

        Some things are differences, but other things are getting it wrong.

        What’s right for you may not be right for others. Love is not a science; it’s an art.

        I’m totally dispassionate when I say that American society disfigures human nature, especially sex, in ways that I haven’t seen so much elsewhere, perhaps because I see more of America.

        Perhaps I misunderstood you. When someone makes blanket statements about the mentalities of a quarter billion people, in my experience they are usually seeing their preconceptions, not what’s really around them.

        You speak as if American society has a singular attitude toward sex. Perhaps you would benefit from expanding your circle of friends.

        People are human wherever you go. It’s one reason I’d like to meet sapient ETs; human friends are fun, but a little variety would be refreshing.

        Don’t worry about it. Just move to Europe if you want to be happy.

        No need. Happiness comes from within.

        Plus I like my metaculture, flawed though it be. If one didn’t, I could certainly understand wanting to relocate. Though the grass if often greener on the other side of the pond.

        It’s odd how much angst people seem to have over relationships.

  38. DillonGuy2001 says:

    Well, first off, let’s just say that Ian Kerner’s book, “She Comes First” could be made required reading for all freshman in the universe. Might solve a few more problems than just this sad state of affairs on college campuses, too.

    However, I think this also has something to do with the general decline of civility in our culture, queue “dun dun dun” sound effect. With the “I want it my way” mentality so prevalent, it seems logical that more dominant (i.e. mostly male) characters will get what they want, one way or the other.

    Too bad, since college chicks are so hot.

  39. cjp says:

    I’m Gen X, but I’ve been watching my Gen Y nieces and nephews, trying to figure out how they navigate this minefield. I’ve come to the conclusion that many of them don’t see the need for a commitment to one person because they are getting their emotional support from an extended group of friends. Their FB pages are filled with ‘I love you’ and ‘you’re beautiful’ and ‘you’re amazing, I miss you so much’ …but these are messages from their peer group, not their significant others. Who needs the hassle of monogamy when twelve people are stroking your ego (and maybe something else)? My niece claims she has no interest in pursuing a serious relationship and I believe her. These kids have developed a mutual admiration club and have freed up their time to enjoy sex without all that nasty mucking about with intimacy.

    At twenty, it’s probably okay. If they’re still doing it at thirty, something’s wrong.

  40. benenglish says:

    A couple of quotes –

    When a hook up culture (for “hook up culture”, substitute any mediocre stand-in for a real sexual relationship. Visiting pros and over-using porn seem to be the most common) dominates, all other ways of being sexual are repressed,

    and

    students … wished that the … rules around sexual conduct were more conducive to forming long-term bonds…

    remind me greatly of a little talk I’ve occasionally been called upon to give to teens about porn. To sum up a lengthy discussion in a paragraph – A little porn may or may not be a bad thing but wholly immersing yourself into it to the exclusion of real-world relationships trains the body and mind to think of sex as a limited sensory experience where a few square inches of stimulated skin combined with what you’re seeing on-screen constitute the whole sexual experience. In contrast, the high-quality sex we all want is completely different. It fully involves all the senses and is spiritual/emotional/mental in ways that porn doesn’t even hint at. Thus, it’s a bad idea for (especially young) people to immerse themselves in porn to the exclusion of life.

    Sounds like the same thing is happening here. Living within a culture that makes it easy to tear off a piece without forming those messy, exhausting emotional “long-term bonds” can be fun, in moderation. But if you keep at it too long, you’ll find that the available drives out the satisfying.

    That’s a tough lesson to learn. I just hope they figure it out sooner rather than later.

Leave a Reply