Hooking Up: Cool or CREAPy? June 29, 2009Posted by Onely in Essay review, Everyday Happenings, Great Onely Activities, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, sex.
Tags: brenda wilson, deborah roffman, history of dating, hooking up, hooking up single, sex without dating
As follow-up to Lisa’s sex posts here and here, my friend Nicole flagged for us this really good article from NPR about the relatively new and spreading trend of “hooking up”, or sex-without-dating. Brenda Wilson talks about the “major cultural shift” we’ve undergone lately, as dating is replaced by hooking up. Wilson reminds us that “dating itself represented a historical change”, as chaperoned sit-down sessions were replaced by dinner-and-movie expeditions. And now we’re changing from dating to hooking up. Because we’re all busy with life, friends, and work, we have little time for relationships. But you know what? Even though it’s becoming “ok” to hook up (just as it became “ok” to go out without a chaperone), we’re still expected to eventually *stop* hooking up and find a committed romantic ever-after partner (aka CREAP):
Wilson interviewed a young person who said (paraphrased by Wilson) that “If you’re honest and open about what you’re doing, and willing to commit to a relationship, she says, a hookup and friendship can be fused into a lifetime partnership.”
But are hookups less valid or acceptable if they *don’t* lead to a CREAP (or even to friendship)? Just asking.
The reason Lisa and I started this blog was not to fight singlism (though we do that) and not to spout about how great single life can be (though we do that, too). We started this blog because we (ok, well, Lisa) noticed that even media advocating single-awesomeness almost always ended with, “And if you embrace your awesomeness and enjoy the wonders of single life, THEN you will be attractive and GET YOUR SOUL MATE!” Which is why my radar went up somewhere in the middle of this article:
Wilson spoke with Deborah Roffman, who does human sexuality workshops for young people. According to my interpretation, Roffman implies that hookups are acceptable as long as the hooker-upper intends to eventually stop hooking up. She believes that younger generations, who have grown up in this Internet age of many contacts but fewer friends, need to
. . .learn about intimacy, she says: ‘How am I going to have a series of relationships that are going to be healthy for me and others, and going to prepare me’ for settling down with one person? . . . Being able to engage in intimate relationships where men and women bring all of themselves to the relationship is the cornerstone of family, Roffman says.
But Roffman redeems herself by making an excellent point: we sometimes look at hooking up as a kind of expression of sexual liberation and greater social freedom for women, but:
She’s not convinced that this is a good thing for women, and says that being able to say yes is only one way of looking at freedom. She would feel much better if young men were also developing a greater capacity for intimacy.
Ok, overlooking her obsession with (emotional) intimacy for the moment, I have to agree with her point–at the same time that women are venturing into what is historically men’s territory (sexual freedom), men should also be venturing into women’s (emotional expression).
Copious Readership, do you hook up? Have you? Will you? Is it good for women, bad for women, good for men, bad for men? Or is it just another exciting and possibly dangerous hobby like racquetball? Onely wants to know.