College kids these days! With their out-of-control sexuality, their casual sexcapades, their orgiastic dorm parties, frat house keggers, and study sessions in the Staxxx.
In case you want to be scandalized, or adequately informed about your choice of higher education, Huff Post: COLLEGE has helpfully compiled a list of ‘The 10 Most Sexually Liberated Colleges’ in America. Except, by ‘sexually liberated,’ they do not mean the most tolerant, progressive or multi-faceted campuses when it comes to sexuality. Instead, the criteria are which schools boast the most rampant “hooking up.”
The irony here begins with the fact that no one this side of the veil can say what “hooking up”actually means. The phrase is deliberately vague (and incredibly useful as such – high five, millennials!). Huff Post defines it as”sexual encounters with no strings attached.” However, the many couples we encountered on Dating & Hookup Tour (and whose stories are documented in our book) whose “hook ups” turned amorphously and ambiguously over time into relationships would beg to differ. Plus, you can be married and still hook up (with your spouse). For example, “Uggh, we were hooking up and then my mother-in-law called,” is the kind of phrase I’ve heard uttered more than once.
So equating hooking up with meaningless party sex (and assuming party sex is meaningless) seems to me an oversimplification of epic proportions. Sex is a part of life – even college life – and it can be casual, or serious, or somewhere in between. To reduce what is an infinite number of unique sexual experiences to one proclamation of a generation-wide hookup culture is both to denigrate young people’s life choices and encourage a cheapening of sexuality and sexual experience.
But whatever. College is awesome! Who cares if we’re putting kids under a judgmental and scrutinizing microscope? They’re too busy hooking up to notice!
The REAL (sexual) frustration comes around in adulthood, when we’re ostensibly too old to be “hooking up.” When instead of being encouraged to explore our many options, engage in many different kinds of experiences, get to know lots of kinds of different people, and find and challenge ourselves in numerous compelling ways, we’re told to fit into one of two, gender-specific boxes. To wit: this article on OpinionMonster which boils down to this -
Guys: You should go for it. “It” being sex. You should do whatever it takes – fancy dinners, diamond rings, 7 shots of tequila – to get it done.
Girls: You must demure. Hold out. Band together Lysistrata-style, close those legs, and cease from “putting out.” That is, until you get the aforementioned dinner, diamond or Dos Amigos. Then, by all means, give it up – it’s only fair.
I don’t know about you, but nothing sounds less sexy to me than THIS rigamarole. Or less like my personal experience.
I think what both this college and adult “reportage” is missing is an acknowledgment (let alone an understanding) of women’s very real sexual desire. Give a gal credit for her sexual choices. If she’s getting down at Sigma Chi, then let her blow off that steam (or make out with her future husband – it’s happened!) without leaping to non-sociological conclusions of – OMG – hooking up. Likewise, if a woman is having sex with you, grown man, it is because it’s fulfilling a need for her. It’s something she desires. (And if it’s because of all that tequila then…you’re a d-bag.)
That said, I guess there’s not much we can do about people clinging to one-size-fits-all explanations and antiquated gender narratives, except to say – personally and for real – that my love life is not about sexual bartering or abandon. It’s about who a guy is in my dah and what I want to explore, experience, and enjoy with him. And as an extension of that personal truth, the variety of women’s thoughts, feelings, values, opinions and experiences when it comes to sexuality puts the traditional narratives to embarrassing shame. So it goes. Keep at it, ladies!
via Huffington Post & OpinionMonster
All photos are of the Oberlin Sex Board, via istolethetv.
Rebecca Coale - aka Becky - is a writer, musician and producer. She and childhood best friend Jessica Donalds created Dating & Hookup and founded J&R Creative Media. Becky blogs about love poetry and modern life & womanhood. She lives with her husband, Howard Coale, and their family in Manhattan and Philadelphia.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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