These days, hooking up is easier than ever. I bet I could find a half-decent looking stranger willing to come over to my place and bang me silly in less than thirty minutes online, half that if I straight up advertise myself as a sex columnist. I used to think of hooking up as the junk food of sex: sinfully decadent in the moment but like, empty calories, it left me yearning for something more filling and complete… I’m glad I held out.
Earlier this month, the New York Times published an article pondering the fate of courtship in the sexually liberated sphere of hookup culture. For the first time in history, single young women in their 20’s and early 30’s have finally tipped the scales in their favor and are more successful, on average, than their bachelor counterparts. They are more likely than single young men to have a university degree and have a higher salary, but only if they’re unmarried, childless, and living in a major metropolitan area. Don’t worry guys – you still dominate the highest-income jobs.
While some argue that hookup culture is toxic and damaging to the young women who seem to have no other choice but to participate in it, others view it as being carefully orchestrated by women themselves to maximize their own gains. As Hanah Rosin proclaimed in her 2012 book ‘The End of Men’, “feminist progress right now largely depends on the existence of the hookup culture.” And it is, as she points out, perpetuated more often by women looking for sexual satisfaction that doesn’t distract from their educational or career aspirations.
Much has been written about the role of hookup culture in college life, but what happens after students leave the campus bubble behind? Author of the forthcoming book ‘The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture Is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused about Intimacy’ Donna Freitas argues that young people don’t know how to get out of hookup culture as they are completely unfamiliar with the basic social graces of dating. “They’re wondering, ‘If you like someone, how would you walk up to them? What would you say? What words would you use?’ ” she said.
The decline of traditional courtship that relied on face-to-face communication corresponds with the rise of less personal technology like texting, Facebook and e-mail. Whereas it used to require a certain deal of courage and personal investment to even ask someone out, now it’s just as easy to send a text inviting them along to hang out with you and your friends. Some clueless millenials are even hiring dating coaches to instruct them in the ways of flowers, flirting and flattery.
As satisfying as a hookup can be, women are frequently getting the short end of the stick because of their more delicate and temperate physiology. I suppose if a man is barely able to invest the time to set up a one-on-one date with you, why would he bother learning the intricacies your body and bringing it to full body shaking orgasm unless he’s a talented, caring and considerate lover. And once you find one of those, hang on for dear life, as sex ultimately becomes better with real intimacy, a lesson that young people will eventually learn when they get tired of the thrill of the hookup.