Hooking up isn’t the problem, she says. The problem is how we talk about hooking up. Or rather, about how we talk about nothing but hooking up.
The problem isn’t hooking up, it’s that hooking up is the only way of being sexual that my students see as an option. There were no counter-messages. Students who are deeply religious feel entirely unsupported in their desire to remain virgins till marriage. Students who want relationships, but not casual sex, are seen as fuddy duddies: old fashioned and possibly repressed. Students who are interested in polyamory, love-based sexual relationships with more than one person, are seen as simply weird. A feminist perspective on sex is essentially invisible, especially any real discussion of women’s pleasure. And hookup culture is decidedly heterocentrist; there is no room for same-sex exploration, unless it was women faking it to attract men. Meanwhile, interest in having sex is essentially compulsory for my students. They had hookup culture and hookup culture only.