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Dating is for dinosaurs, now it's Hooking Up
January 19, 2003 5:13 PM   Subscribe

Hookup vs. Dating Seems that the 'hook up' is gaining popularity with girls (it's always been popular with boys) in high school and college these days. More and more women are looking to expend their sexual energy in a manner that they perceive to be safe and committment-free. Why didn't this happen when I was in high school?
posted by cpfeifer (159 comments total)

 
Bah, just a new way of getting the "friends" speech. :)
posted by Dark Messiah at 5:26 PM on January 19, 2003


It's not just school-age a lot of women don't want kids and although they want a husband to take home to Dad and for the holiday events they have just as much fun being single and doing their own thing the rest of the time.

Even when you don't have any feelings for a guy, Rainey says, you still want him to call you

hah.. further proof women are heartless ;)
posted by stbalbach at 5:28 PM on January 19, 2003


Good: Casual fucking.I like it. Reminds me of the '70s.

Well, except now the STDs are far more leathal.

But other than that ...
posted by Ayn Marx at 5:33 PM on January 19, 2003


Seems that the 'hook up' is gaining popularity with girls (it's always been popular with boys)

So were the guys previously "hooking up" with rosy palm? Or was it mostly man on man?
posted by eyeballkid at 6:01 PM on January 19, 2003


All is full of love.
posted by the fire you left me at 6:06 PM on January 19, 2003


In earlier decades this girl and others like her might have been shunned, but no longer

That's the key to this whole article; the social change that's taking place is not merely on the women/girls who view their own sexuality more casually, but on their peers who view female sexuality in general as no big deal. Interesting. Even with the increase in availability of contraceptives & sex ed, expect to see a rise in unwanted pregnancy and STDs, unfortunately.
posted by jonson at 6:15 PM on January 19, 2003


Yay. Just what we need. Now, not only will women in general not give me the time of day, even the ones I'm fucking won't give me the time of day.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 6:26 PM on January 19, 2003


Why didn't this happen when I was in high school?

Oh, it did. Just not with you. Or me either.

Life's a bitch.
posted by jonmc at 6:28 PM on January 19, 2003


"Hi I noticed you aroud I find you very attractive would you go to bed with me" ? ..... YES ! "Liar" ..nothing has changed
posted by elpapacito at 6:31 PM on January 19, 2003


Yuck. Cheap sex.

"It's so undefined. I hate it," says Brooke Mason, a freshman at the University of Virginia.

At least somebody seems sane in the article.
posted by hama7 at 6:32 PM on January 19, 2003 [2 favorites]


Yuck. Cheap sex.

Oooh, icky.
posted by jonmc at 6:35 PM on January 19, 2003


I for one, welcome these sluts.
posted by Stan Chin at 6:35 PM on January 19, 2003


Stan you forgot the "overlord" part. Per the last paragraph

Her friend Julia Jacobson agrees: "I'm known as a big feminist on campus, but I want to feel wanted."
posted by stbalbach at 6:39 PM on January 19, 2003


I suspect that this so called "cheap sex" is actually quite priceless.
posted by Hildago at 6:39 PM on January 19, 2003


I dislike the term "hook up". Makes sex sound like docking maneuvers.
posted by Soliloquy at 6:40 PM on January 19, 2003


That sex is docking maneuvers.

However, this doesn't seem much different than hign school a few years ago. The girls just seem more inclined to speak to reporters about it.

That, and some girls are learning to lie about it as much as the guys.
posted by ?! at 6:47 PM on January 19, 2003


I hate how any article about social behavior makes it out like people do it because they're exceptional in some way, or they should feel good that they do it... It invariably makes me think that someone is pushing an agenda. Most extreme example: "It seems the perfect entertainment for young women planning to graduate cum laude and take up medicine or law." Yeah, being a slut is a sign of modern sophistication. Usually, like the Seventeen article mentioned, the writer is just trying to sell jeans. In this case, I think the writer is selling something much more offensive.

I don't want to come off like a Christian Conservative Conspiracy Theorist (3CT) here, but about halfway through the article it seems to switch gears... and the signpost for this is... "-- after all, they're the ones who must carry the baby, or decide to abort --" between dashes like they want to emphasize that abortion is a viable option. I don't read the Washington Post religiously, maybe they do this all the time. It just seems on about the same level as saying, "Yeah, I was hanging out with WESLEY SNIPES the other day." It's like they really want to get it out there that abortion is no big deal, and none of the man's business.

Then, of course, we proceed into the whining about consequences of their "liberated" behavior. It all goes back to something I was flamed for saying before: Too many women like to be abused. Men may be insensitive, but they do know to give women what they want...so they can get what they want.

This "hooking up" ploy was a daring move on the part of the Feminazis, but my boyz have outmaneuvered ya'll bitches. Instead of gaining control, they ended up wrecking the whole game. Instead of having control of relationships, there just are no relationships. Now all the poor little girls are crying their hearts out...if they have any heart left.
posted by son_of_minya at 6:57 PM on January 19, 2003 [2 favorites]


Yuck. Cheap sex.

That sex is docking maneuvers.


oh dear dear me. Non-committed sex does not have to be cheap, boring, empty or a cause of regret. You can have a lot of fun with someone without being ready to spend the rest of your life devoted to them. It's like how you can have friends who aren't your "best friend" but who you still want to hang out with and who you still appreciate, even though you realize that when you spend too much time together you annoy one another, or whatever. You can have great sex with someone - fun, romantic, affectionate, light-hearted, deep, passionate, friendly, whatever - and also know that you're not gonna spend the rest of your life with them, or just that you're not ready to commit yourself to anyone yet.

as for the "new thing" angle, hah. Maybe it's more acceptable than it's ever been before, but flings and fuck buddies were the norm when I was in college.
posted by mdn at 7:05 PM on January 19, 2003


This is a politically charged article. The oral-sex-is-no-sex is an obvious jab at Democrats/Clinton. The feminist angle at the end is against liberalism and the left. And most everyone here is AGREEING with it by playing up the traditional male chauvinist angle. 20 years ago this article would have been considered progress for women. But now its reached critical mass with over %50 of the kids participating it's no longer revolutionary and questions are being raised -- was liberalism wrong all along? Look at the kids (says the article). Further evidence that moving to the right and bashing the left is the cool thing to do these days.
posted by stbalbach at 7:07 PM on January 19, 2003


wackybrit... yes...
posted by jonson at 7:08 PM on January 19, 2003


Don't knock docking maneuvers.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 7:19 PM on January 19, 2003


So how are yousupposed to destroy a girl's self-esteem if calling her a slut is no longer the universal magic word of death? What will happen if women no longer have to feel dirty and bad for doing what guys have been doing all along? Anarchy I tell you! :)
posted by Space Coyote at 7:26 PM on January 19, 2003


We eat every day, several times even, because of an urge as much as the obvious need to do so. Most of us do so very casually and often forget what we had only a few short hours ago. But the choices we make for our diets could be fatal, just as fatal as casual sex. I guess the point I'm going for is we're all adults (yes, even those high school girls and boys, if we let them be so), and are responsible for whatever decision we make for ourselves. So you were brought up believing intamacy should be special, and maybe it should, but for you. Tolerate that not everyone is going to feel like you and live your life as you will. (crash...OUCH!) Yeah, I just fell off my soap box! :)
posted by LouReedsSon at 7:38 PM on January 19, 2003


The words of Lazarus Long should resonate loudly in everybody's ears when you read something like this. But I know for a fact it won't, because it is NOT what people want to hear:

Everybody lies about sex.
posted by kablam at 7:39 PM on January 19, 2003 [1 favorite]


"The truth is that women actually lose power by becoming tramps. When they give away one of their main sources of bargaining power in a relationship - sex - men gain total power by achieving everything they want- free sex with no obligation." - Joseph Sabia

"Burn on, big river, burn on" - Randy Newman
posted by hama7 at 7:48 PM on January 19, 2003


In one of his books - I forget which - Still Life w/ Woodpeckers? Tom Robbins had a riff that is pertinent to this discussion, forgive my loose paraphrasing and memory. He talked about junk food sex which could be tasty, delicious and fun; that it wasn't the duration of the encounter that made the difference since there could be brief flings that had more depth or meaning than ten year marriages.

But as far as junk food sex, it might be ok for an occasional treat, but a steady diet would be devoid of emotional calories and sustenance. So while that Big Mac may look yummy and inviting, it simply may not be the best thing for you. I take great liberties in paraphrasing.

Me, I've certainly enjoyed my share of junk food, but have reached an age where if I am going to have the calories, it is going to be worth it - my choices now are either nutritious or gourmet.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:51 PM on January 19, 2003 [1 favorite]


Very well put, madam.
posted by LouReedsSon at 7:53 PM on January 19, 2003


You know, if this were really true, I wouldn't be getting laid. Seems like every guy I've had sex with for the last five years isn't gay, but a thwarted "straight" guy. Gay guys are too busy watching Will & Grace to fuck anymore *sigh* *rolls eyes*
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:20 PM on January 19, 2003


If someone wants to have sex with me without any emotional investment (I'm sure I don't need to tell you that, as a member of the fab 14K, this happens on a daily — nay, hourly — basis) I am hard-pressed not to find that insulting. What that says to me: "You are bearably attractive but boring. I wish I could do better but in the meantime you'll do. And because we are all moderns here I know you won't mind at all being thrown out like yesterday's trash when I meet somebody I actually like."

No, thanks.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:23 PM on January 19, 2003 [1 favorite]


Everybody lies about sex. -- Lazarus Long

He was lying when he said that.
posted by jaden at 8:25 PM on January 19, 2003


Space Coyote- problem is, calling a girl a slut isn't the worst you can do to her any more. The worst you can do is reinforce an antiquated notion that a woman needs a man to be complete, and needs to be wanted by a man (any man will do, you know...just any old one...), and then have yikky men still screw her and dump her. I suspect that there are very few of these women (as I saw when I was in college, and as I am TAing now) who are fully liberated in a sexual fashion. Most think being easy will somehow plant the seed of the 'love-me-take-care-of-me' flower in his soul. That dog don't hunt.
posted by oflinkey at 8:44 PM on January 19, 2003


The Clinton Legacy:

"The continuing vogue of feminism had made sexual life easier, even insouciant for men. Women had been persuaded that they should be just as active as men when it came to sexual advances. Men were only too happy to accede to the new order, since it absolved them of all sense of responsibility, let alone chivalry."
-- Tom Wolfe, "Hooking Up" (excerpt)
posted by Frank Grimes at 8:52 PM on January 19, 2003


I got out of college in 1997, and I can attest that this was the way of the world back then as well. I guess the newspaper editors are just getting around to writing about it.

Sometimes I had fuckbuddies, sometimes I had a girlfriend, and it was all very socially acceptable. These weren't all alcohol-induced flings either; three of my best friends to this day are girls who started out as hookups.

I fail to see the problem.
posted by mosch at 9:01 PM on January 19, 2003


Frank Grimes- "It's nasty, but I need to satisfy my man." [from Wolfe]

I see Wolfe's approach, but women should be more than welcome to do what they please sexually. The problem is that they are still being sent the message that their sexuality, what they will or won't put out, and when, are the only important bargaining chips in any relationship. So we can have our sluts, and we can have our prudes, and the end result is that both are still told that their sexual status is what really matters. I would think that soulless, aggressive sexual marketing might be more to blame. Er, not to mention a long history of preserving family honor through female sexuality (and the restrictions thereof).
posted by oflinkey at 9:19 PM on January 19, 2003


Here's a radical notion: how about not thinking of one's sexuality as a "bargaining chip," much less using it as such? There's your point of degradation and devaluing, right there.
posted by rushmc at 9:31 PM on January 19, 2003 [1 favorite]


rushmc- uh, yes. That was what I was thinking.
posted by oflinkey at 9:48 PM on January 19, 2003


Just riffing on your theme, oflinkey. :)

In any case, perhaps the young 'uns had best enjoy themselves before marriage comes along to kill their pleasure....
posted by rushmc at 10:00 PM on January 19, 2003


There's your point of degradation and devaluing, right there.

What's the saying about not buying the cow if you're getting the milk for free? This just sounds like a mass lack of self esteem, but the issue itself is not really a recent phenomenon.

I don't think that treating a woman respectfully and well has gone the way of the dinosaurs. And I would expect the same respectful treatment for any female member of my own family.

I just don't see screwing around or "hooking up" as very respectful or classy. In fact, it turns something rather beautiful into something drunk roomates or "friends" do when they're bored.

Not my cup of tea, but to each his or her own.
posted by hama7 at 10:05 PM on January 19, 2003 [1 favorite]


Sex: We Think It's Great! (TM)
posted by Space Coyote at 10:12 PM on January 19, 2003


You can't always get what you want....
posted by semmi at 10:29 PM on January 19, 2003


What's the saying about not buying the cow if you're getting the milk for free?

Oh! I know this one: "People aren't cattle and sex isn't milk".
posted by biscotti at 10:31 PM on January 19, 2003


The problem with fuckbuddies in my (largely though not totally observed) experience is that for every X who says "Y is my fuckbuddy, she or he or it is my friend and it's just great to have them there", there's a Y pining away saying "Y and I are great together - when will X realise how wonderful I am?"

This isn't always true, but more often than not.

Since I spent all of the last decade and then some (almost) monogamously, I find that while casual sex is not hard to come by, it doesn't actually scratch my itch any more. It's nice to be able to hook up, but it's weird being so close to someone without sharing much more than sex. I find it hollow.

All bets are off when I'm pissed, of course. (That's "drunk" for you merkins).
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:35 PM on January 19, 2003


Once you're college age, if it's consensual and safe then it's not anyone's business. But this line is a real worry - "No one uses a condom during oral sex, girls say. "That would be considered absurd," says one." Am I the only one who remembers sex ed? Cause I know oral sex without protection isn't safe. So we have confident kids who know what they want, get great grades, and can't be bothered to protect themselves. Ah, the feeling of immortality that comes with youth.

And I agree with the comment of it being undefined. I like that women have a greater range of choices sexually, but at some point you have to be able to say when you need more. They seem afraid to take that step.
posted by Salmonberry at 11:13 PM on January 19, 2003


That should "X and I are great together".

Next time I'll use Alice and Bob.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:13 PM on January 19, 2003


It's like they really want to get it out there that abortion is no big deal, and none of the man's business.

Or maybe they, like most of modern America, consider the abortion debate over, dead, and nearly forgotten, and are writing for an audience with a similar point of view.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:03 AM on January 20, 2003


"Why didn't this happen when I was in high school?

Wait. Are you saying to me that nobody ever told you that all you had to do was ask and you've spent all these years...

BWaaahaha!
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:21 AM on January 20, 2003


The thing I find surprising is that the content of this article seems unusual or shocking to lots of people. I'm 21, a university student, and this is how things are, and as far as I'm concerned, a perfectly accurate commentary on the 'courtship' of my generation. Yes, I know a lot of couples who foolow the traditional 'boyfriend and girlfriend' pattern, but even they started with the hookup pattern. Maybe it's a UK thing, but my generation (I'm 21) don't have dating - we think of it as a purely American thing. Out of all my friends, one person has ever been on a date in their entire lives. The way things work runs something like this:
mixed group of friends hang out.

people may fancy each other and will end up pulling ('hooking-up' in US-speak) on some occasion.
it may be a one-off pull, they might end up pulling repeatedly on a casual basis (you'll still be friends but you won't ever talk about the whole pulling thing)
you might go from regular pulling to being a couple - that's generally when you become exclusive pulling partners (though again, there's no discussion or asking someone out)
pulling might mean any one or more of: kissing, fooling around, shagging, and may well progress from one to the other.
all of this will tend to take place very much as part of the group dynamic - even longstanding couples (some of my friends have been going out for two years, since the v. start of uni) will hang out as part of the group and only rarely will go out just the two of them.

again, maybe it's a peculiarly british thing - the fact that the article mentioned a 'no-date' policy at a college ball as being somewhat extraordinary is completely alien to me: because I've always lived in a no-dating culture, I've been to loads of school and uni balls where the idea of going with 'a date' is pretty much unheard of. even if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, you'll still go as part of a large crowd, so it's fairly immaterial whether you've got a partner or not, and the idea of being some kind of social pariah because you haven't got a date is utterly foreign.
posted by kitschbitch at 2:53 AM on January 20, 2003


kitschbitch: Well, I don't know whether it's that universal. I'm also a university student (from the Other Place!) and while I don't see that many people going out on dates in the traditional sense, when a couple does finally get together, they still do plenty of stuff together (as opposed to within their group of friends). Certainly I agree with you that these things are much more dynamic and group based these days.

But about college balls - what's Oxford coming to, eh? At Cambridge and at all of my school balls, it's generally assumed that you'll come along with a date. Sure, it's not necessary and no-one will be particularly bothered if you don't go along, and you'll always go in a group, but even so, you usually go to a ball as a couple.

I don't think dating is an American thing any more - I was just chatting to a friend who hates the term, thinks it's too form. I suggested 'going out' as a good replacement that's been in use for ages in the UK.

Of course, all of this depends on what social circles and group you hang around in. I'm sure that there are large groups in Cambridge that act just like the one you described in Oxford - but then I'm not as socially active as some (at least at uni) so perhaps more random pulling is happening behind my back (as usual).
posted by adrianhon at 4:04 AM on January 20, 2003


Mars Saxman: Or maybe they, like most of modern America, consider the abortion debate over, dead, and nearly forgotten, and are writing for an audience with a similar point of view.

What psychos have you been listening to? The "should abortion be legal" debate is over, yeah. It should have never been started. That doesn't mean abortion is on an equal level with changing your panties. It's the radical feminists and abnormal sex practitioners who run around pushing for people to get abortions...not to have the right to choose, but to go get one, every month. I was just pointing out that it was a little odd of the writer to make that statement in the way he/she/it did.

I am starting to think that maybe stbalbach is right, and this article was written by some plant from the GOP. Then again, there are people from Merry Old England here, saying the same thing...and it's not like this is a new article anyway. What's really amazing to me is that, if anything, people are becoming more accepting of this. I find it absolutely mind-boggling that people can actively remove all meaning from their lives and become indignant when anybody points it out to them. Give it a few more years, young people will be feeding on their dead.
posted by son_of_minya at 5:01 AM on January 20, 2003


It's the radical feminists and abnormal sex practitioners who run around pushing for people to get abortions...not to have the right to choose, but to go get one, every month.

Ummm... what? Do you know people who advocate getting monthly abortions, or is it just easier to justify your views by imagining the actions of the opposition? (If so, I'd like to say that I'm sick of pro-lifers advocating castration to stop impure thoughts.)

On topic, I think using sex as a means to acquire intimacy while claiming that you're only hooking-up (or pulling... love that phrase) is lying to yourself, and is just as disingenuous as using intimacy as a means to acquire sex. But just like there are situations where the two are combined or where there is intimacy without sex, there can be sex without intimacy, as long as all parties involved are honest about what they want.

Hooking-up is like masturbation, and as long as it's safe, I don't see a problem with that.
posted by turaho at 5:29 AM on January 20, 2003


Here's a radical notion: how about not thinking of one's sexuality as a "bargaining chip," much less using it as such? There's your point of degradation and devaluing, right there.

There's most of feminism in a nutshell. Strange that the feminist movement's been saying this for over forty years (longer even) yet some people still don't get it.
posted by Summer at 6:16 AM on January 20, 2003


hama7: I want to know more about how you interpret this song which, ostensibly, is about the Cuyahoga River Fire. But you reference it here as if to make the analogy that this hooking up phenomenon is likewise an environmental disaster. I guess what I want to know is if this just an offhand reference or if you've drawn deeper parallels between the two situations and/or the lyrics and what they might be?
posted by wobh at 6:23 AM on January 20, 2003


Here's a radical notion: how about not thinking of one's sexuality as a "bargaining chip," much less using it as such? There's your point of degradation and devaluing, right there.

Absolutely right. And the reason women will never stop using sex this way, as long as there are men who want to get laid, is that it would mean giving up power. And nobody, but nobody, ever gave up power over somebody just for the hell of it.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 6:24 AM on January 20, 2003


I hope Jesus comes back soon. I'm having trouble figuring out the point of being human. Why don't we just turn the planet over to the animals?
posted by riptide at 6:36 AM on January 20, 2003


The law of supply and demand states that the more plentiful something is, the less valuable it is. So it seems this is cheap sex in any sense of the term.

However, this has been going on for years...just now it seems to be a lot more out in the open, which I suppose makes it news.
posted by konolia at 7:39 AM on January 20, 2003


What's the saying about not buying the cow if you're getting the milk for free?

I'm always very suspicious of people who equate their relationships with women with "buying a cow."
posted by rushmc at 7:49 AM on January 20, 2003


konolia, you're right. The Washington Post is about ten years late.
posted by 111 at 7:54 AM on January 20, 2003


The law of supply and demand states that the more plentiful something is, the less valuable it is. So it seems this is cheap sex in any sense of the term.
If everyone in the world could get regular meals anytime they wanted, food wouldn't suddenly taste worse, or necessarily be of lower quality. "Costs less money" and "less valuable" are not always the same thing.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:54 AM on January 20, 2003


Why don't we just turn the planet over to the animals?

We ARE the animals, silly.
posted by rushmc at 7:54 AM on January 20, 2003


I just don't see screwing around or "hooking up" as very respectful or classy. In fact, it turns something rather beautiful into something drunk roomates or "friends" do when they're bored.

This is the kind of comment you would usually expect from a girl. The more women take on typically male sexual appetites and behavior the more men take on typically femal behavior. I think that's fine, even if its going to take some getting used to.
posted by xammerboy at 8:03 AM on January 20, 2003


In fact, it turns something rather beautiful into something drunk roomates or "friends" do when they're bored.

Yes, because we all know that it's always a special, beautiful thing when angry, resentful, embittered spouses do it....
posted by rushmc at 8:08 AM on January 20, 2003


First, the cow thing is an analogy. It is silly to read anything more into it.

As far as embittered spouses-do we have to assume most spouses are embittered? (Unless the spouse married a cow, but I digress.)

It is a fact that marriage is a lot of work and responsibility. It seems logical that if there is a lot of free sex is going on that the incentive to establish a marital relationship is next to nil. Yes, sex is fun, but people have a need for committed relationships-at least at some point- and this type of behavior does not seem conducive to that in the long run.
posted by konolia at 8:33 AM on January 20, 2003


You know, I went on one conventiontional date-type date in my life, when I was 14, it was a trip to a county fair(I was vacationing at my uncle's in Illinois). After that, at least among my freinds, it was gangs of people hanging out. Sometimes they paired off. Sometimes these couples lasted sometimes they didn't*. In college there was a lot of the hookup-ing people talk about, sometimes it blossomed sometimes it didn't. I'm certainly not gonna say it's right or wrong either way, it your body, do what you want, although a convential date once in a while would've been refereshingly different.

I think the reason for "hooking ups" popularity is that for some reason, it makes most men(myself included) more nervous to ask a girl to a movie than to make a move on her at a party. Don't ask me why.

*not me, but I dunno whether that was moral rectitude, bad luck, or just acne...
posted by jonmc at 8:44 AM on January 20, 2003


Alcohol, jonmc.
posted by Summer at 9:05 AM on January 20, 2003


Ah, the wonder drug.
posted by jonmc at 9:11 AM on January 20, 2003


First, the cow thing is an analogy. It is silly to read anything more into it.

Yes, and no. Yes, it's an analogy. But I don't think it's unreasonable to read more into it. The implications of it are that sex is some sort of commodity to be used (generally by women) as currency while negotiating long-term commitment (which implies that women need to bribe men into marriage). I find this to be an outdated, patronising and generally unpleasant view of things.

It seems logical that if there is a lot of free sex is going on that the incentive to establish a marital relationship is next to nil. Yes, sex is fun, but people have a need for committed relationships-at least at some point- and this type of behavior does not seem conducive to that in the long run.

These two sentences seem to negate each other - if the need for committed relationships actually exists, then people will establish them regardless of how much "free sex" there is. It's not at all obvious to me that the primary incentive for establishing a committed relationship is, or should be, the availability of sex, nor does it seem likely that this is a sensible or healthy basis for a successful long-term relationship.
posted by biscotti at 10:17 AM on January 20, 2003


These two sentences seem to negate each other - if the need for committed relationships actually exists, then people will establish them regardless of how much "free sex" there is.

I was referring to marriage. I guess what I am thinking is that if one is used to multiple partners-whether buddies or lovers-how likely is it that two people can really trust one another in marriage? One reason that even the horniest men preferred to marry virgins back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Ah, you say, people can choose to be in a mutually monogamous relationship. True, but as we married people can usually attest, "We are married-we ain't dead."

And even if it isn't marriage that is being discussed, I do see the potential for deep hurt-(whether it's the male or female) if one partner has deeper feelings than the other. And sex does have a way of making deeper connections than perhaps people had planned on.
posted by konolia at 11:16 AM on January 20, 2003 [1 favorite]


It seems logical that if there is a lot of free sex is going on that the incentive to establish a marital relationship is next to nil.

Only if you assume that the primary (only?) purpose of marriage is to provide a sexual partner. If it has other advantages, those are unaffected by "lots of free sex" outside of marriage.
posted by rushmc at 11:17 AM on January 20, 2003


ugly times!
posted by mhjb at 11:26 AM on January 20, 2003


I'd totally support anyone having sex on any terms they want so long as they're not getting hurt or hurting anyone. But when I get to know promiscuous people I find I don't see that. They tend to have eating disorders. Or problems being emotionally close to others. And I see them hurting others. And they don't seem any happier for what they're doing. I'm aware that my sample may be limited, I'm aware that it's still their choice, but this sort of empty, casual sex still bothers me, and I never do it myself anymore.

It has nothing to do with using sex as a bargaining chip and everything to do with not wanting to hand my body (and my spirit, since the two are inseparable) over to someone I don't really want in my life, or who doesn't want me in his. It's just too damaging and risky. Maybe some people can handle it, I know I can't.

I don't know who wrote this, but I have read that "True chastity is having the body in the soul's keeping." It's a definition that works for me. It doesn't mean total abstinence outside of marriage, but it does mean I let my heart and mind rule my body, and not the other way around.
posted by orange swan at 11:49 AM on January 20, 2003 [1 favorite]


Well said, orange swan. And also keep in mind one person's "using sex as a bargaining chip" is another's basic self-protection. I mean, why *should* I let someone use my body, get me attached emotionally, and throw me away like garbage? A fun fuck isn't worth having your heart ripped out.
posted by beth at 12:46 PM on January 20, 2003


"Hooking-up is like masturbation, and as long as it's safe, I don't see a problem with that."

I am not surprised that, with moral relativism and ethics being as they are nowadays, the concept of marriage will soon also be consigned to the dustbin of history. No wonder divorce rates are so high. People treat each other like disposable diapers.

"Well, like, you know, I thought he was hot, and we were drunk and if we're old enough then who are you to say anything anyway because we're mature enough to handle it and as long as nobody is hurt then what the fuck?"

Yeah, great fucking reasoning. Casual sex is just a sign of a larger issue here: the slow deterioration of relationships between people as a whole. Before the 70's, men and women had certain cultural memes they subscribed to. Dating. Going steady. But with the sexual revolution of the late 60's and 70's, kids threw off their parent's "old fashioned" ways. Only problem is, they failed to replace it with anything and have left a giant cultural void. Used to be you knew where you stood in a relationship. If you're dating, you can date other people. If you're steady, you are exclusive unless you break up. If you're married, you're exclusive and (theoretically) don't break up.

Now everything's up in the air. So you've had sex with someone. That means you could either be a fuck-buddy, a one-night stand, a fling, a friend, a date, a partner -- who knows, right? And, like, why should it matter, man? "Quit labeling me. Quit trying to control me, you bastard!" God, people are fucking pathetic.

But you know what? To hell with your lack of ethos. Something I learned a long time ago from my old grandparents was that the most important thing for people is to have someone to share your life with so that you're not alone. Find someone you can get along with, and be with that person, because if there's something human history has taught us it's that we work better as pairs. If you don't agree with it, be prepared to pay the price for it in 70 years when you just want someone to talk to or help feed you. But hey, at least you can be happy knowing you fucked a lot of people.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:00 PM on January 20, 2003 [1 favorite]


"Love is a dog from Hell." C. Bukowski
posted by JohnR at 1:27 PM on January 20, 2003


Do you think that being honest with somebody about your expectations (or lack thereof) in a relationship is a symptom of "the slow deterioration of relationships between people"?

Was life better when people lied to each other to get them into bed?
posted by turaho at 1:37 PM on January 20, 2003


Civil_Disobedient: In short, people who choose to stay single are misguided cultural relativists and all that, even if they aren't particularly promiscuous or into racking up a higher number of lovers, etc. Sure, "hooking up" sounds rather bleak and dreary just as phrase, even, but traditional dating can be and far too often is a total drag, less fun than job interviews or a root canal. Maybe a big reason for the high divorce rate is that people fail to get to know one another and fail to become friends through traditional courtship, but are instead looking for some big romantic fantasy that'll come through like fresh $20 bills from the ATM. Maybe not all people are cut out for marriage regardless. (Maybe they're not even cut out for serial monogamy, much less marriage.) Maybe, as mdn implied, not all short-term relationships lack significance or depth. Plenty of people in eras long before ours thought the same - some of them hedonists, some religious (think the Apostle Paul on the staying-single bit), others somewhere in between.
posted by raysmj at 1:53 PM on January 20, 2003 [1 favorite]


Who controls the sex, boys or girls here? Who?, listen: Oral sex is an acceptable alternative and young women absolutely don't consider it sex.
"If we did, we'd be having sex all the time. We still have a shred of self-respect," one freshman says.

These words sound more like a true wet dream...
posted by thomcatspike at 2:24 PM on January 20, 2003


It seems to me that there is no reason to approach any of this from an abstract, moralizing perspective.

It is, however, not a difficult thing to observe that there are many women in their late 20's and early 30's who are without an indefinitely-committed relationship (be it marriage or some latter-day substitute deemed more PC) and are NOT happy about the situation, nor is it difficult to observe the trauma of infertility and other issues that arise when women wait, willingly or not, 'till their mid or late 30s to marry (or otherwise commit).

It is certainly fair to inquire whether these situations are caused by, or at least related to, some of the changes in mores which the authors observe -- with the objective being not to keep people from doing as they wish, or to degrade their choices as being cheap with their "milk", but rather simply for people to be able to make their choices informed by a longer-term view of what they want from life.
posted by MattD at 2:51 PM on January 20, 2003


why *should* I let someone use my body, get me attached emotionally, and throw me away like garbage? A fun fuck isn't worth having your heart ripped out.

You could always try and gain a different perspective on sex than "letting someone use your body". If that's what it is, then why bother? In my experience, people who are worth having a relationship with are not the kind who "throw you away like garbage", and people not worth having a relationship with are only worth sleeping with if sex is all you're after. There are usually indications of what the deal is long before bedtime (and there should be enough time between meeting and bedtime to find out).

And what turaho and raysmj said.
posted by biscotti at 3:01 PM on January 20, 2003


But you know what? To hell with your lack of ethos. Something I learned a long time ago from my old grandparents was that the most important thing for people is to have someone to share your life with so that you're not alone. Find someone you can get along with, and be with that person, because if there's something human history has taught us it's that we work better as pairs. If you don't agree with it, be prepared to pay the price for it in 70 years when you just want someone to talk to or help feed you. But hey, at least you can be happy knowing you fucked a lot of people.

but (and please do correct me if I'm wrong), the article is about school and college-aged women and men who aren't looking to find that special someone and settle down just yet. I don't disagree with anything Civil_Disobedient wrote, in that yeah, I'm sure that I would eventually love to find that special someone to settle down with and grow old with and have everything mentioned above. but I don't see the non-dating sometimes-hookup culture that I as a 21-year old college student (admittedly in the uk, where it's slightly different to the us) as being incompatible with that - because I see them as different stages of life.

firstly, non-dating culture isn't always synonymous with promiscuity. you don't have to be putting out left right and centre - you might just not be going on the traditional one-on-one dinner and a movie set-ups.

I recognised a lot of what was in this article in my own life - but not the promiscuity that's being bashed here and being equated with it. I spent a year of uni in a committed, faithful relationship where there was love and conversation and dinner and all those things. a

nd since then, I say to myself, "to have time for a relationship and to make it work you have to sacrifice some other part of your life - whether it be time for yourself, time with your friends, time spent working or time spent doing any one of a number of things. you don't have to stop doing these things, but it is another consideration to be slotted into a busy lifestyle. do I want to spend less time doing/seeing/being with any of the things and people that I currently invest my time in? have I met someone for whom I *want* to give up this time because being with them is more important than doing all of these other things? no, I don't - the last year, while I've been single, has been the absolute best year of my life, and the hook-ups that have happened (remember: hook-up doesn't automatically mean putting-out/slut) have been a part of this. am I missing out on romance and respect etc? well, I don't think so, because I'm really really happy. just because this is the life I lead while I'm very young doesn't mean I'll always choose this path.
posted by kitschbitch at 3:35 PM on January 20, 2003


but my generation (I'm 21) don't have dating - we think of it as a purely American thing. Out of all my friends, one person has ever been on a date in their entire lives.

just fyi, I had never been on a date in my entire life either, until I'd been out of college for a few years and suddenly there weren't always groups of like-minded people hanging out nearby. I don't know that it's a generational thing so much as a community thing - if you have some kind of institution where there are always people you relate to around, and events going on, you don't need to artificially create a structure through which to interact. But if you only have a chance to get to know someone superficially through work or at a conference or at the gym or wherever, you may have to agree to meet up for dinner to get to know one another better... hence, dating.

Now everything's up in the air. So you've had sex with someone. That means you could either be a fuck-buddy, a one-night stand, a fling, a friend, a date, a partner -- who knows, right?

yes, it's terrible - now you actually have to communicate with one another, and express what you want.

as some said above, there may be cases where one person is happy with a fuck buddy and the other person is waiting for things to get serious. The ancient problems here are the miscommunication / manipulation that can take place between two people, and the lying-to-yourself / unfounded hopes thing. If people are honest with each other and with themselves, there are no problems.

It's true that if things move too quickly, individuals may not yet have figured out what they want, and may make choices they later regret. That's unfortunate, but not the end of the world.

I was referring to marriage. I guess what I am thinking is that if one is used to multiple partners-whether buddies or lovers-how likely is it that two people can really trust one another in marriage?

one would hope trust would be based on love, not on an ignorance of possibilities.

Absolutely right. And the reason women will never stop using sex this way, as long as there are men who want to get laid, is that it would mean giving up power. And nobody, but nobody, ever gave up power over somebody just for the hell of it.

men can have power over women by using their superior body strength - have no men ever given this up?
posted by mdn at 3:45 PM on January 20, 2003


Of course the real truth is all this screwing around is wrong.

But who believes in right and wrong anymore? No matter what I or anyone else says, those that want to screw around will do so, no matter what. Period. Whether it is in their best interest or not. If it feels good, do it, and all that jazz. And those of us who are grossed out by all this whoring around (by male or female) will just have to learn to deal with it.

Society stinks.
posted by konolia at 3:51 PM on January 20, 2003 [1 favorite]


You could always try and gain a different perspective on sex than "letting someone use your body".

Hear, hear. Sorry, beth, but that was a stomach-turning remark.
posted by rushmc at 3:53 PM on January 20, 2003


Of course the real truth is all this screwing around is wrong.

Prove it.
posted by rushmc at 3:54 PM on January 20, 2003


I know better than to try to change your mind on the topic, rushmc-it just felt good to say what I think. Feel free to disagree-not that you need my permission, of course.
posted by konolia at 4:22 PM on January 20, 2003


You might change my mind with an argument to build your case, konolia, but not with a simple unsupported statement of opinion as though it were fact. (Stating that something "is wrong" is not saying what you think. Saying "I think X is wrong" is saying what you think.) What you think is the appetizer; why you think it is the meat. :)
posted by rushmc at 4:56 PM on January 20, 2003


And those of us who are grossed out by all this whoring around (by male or female) will just have to learn to deal with it.

Why? You don't have to whore around just because others do. The only way you'll have to deal with it is if you feel it's your business to get people to agree with you, or if you spy into people's bedrooms. I respect that you feel sex should be limited to committed relationships (or whatever you think it should be), but I don't see why a lack of universal agreement with you means that you have to deal with anyone else's sexual values.
posted by biscotti at 5:02 PM on January 20, 2003


...but I don't see why a lack of universal agreement with you means that you have to deal with anyone else's sexual values.

Because I (we) have to deal with this stuff, either via friends, family, co-workers, fellow students, pop-culture, etc. Witnessing it on-screen, hearing people babble about their f*ckbuddies, comforting friends or co-workers who have been "dumped" or ignored by same, etc...and on a macro-scale, it increases the incidence of things like STDs, unwanted pregnancies, etc, which DO have an effect on society, primarily negative. We DO have to deal with other people's values (sexual or otherwise) to some degree; it's part of the social contract.
posted by davidmsc at 6:08 PM on January 20, 2003 [1 favorite]


True enough, davidmsc. But that's just life. It still doesn't give you the right to dictate behavior to others.

Neither one person, nor any number of persons, is warranted in saying to another human creature of ripe years that he shall not do with his life for his own benefit what he chooses to do with it. All errors he is likely to commit against advice and warning are far outweighed by the evil of allowing others to constrain him to do what they deem his good. --John Stuart Mill
posted by rushmc at 6:10 PM on January 20, 2003


This American Life did a show 'Monogamy' which people may be interested in.
posted by lbergstr at 6:40 PM on January 20, 2003


If people are honest with each other and with themselves, there are no problems.

*beverage spewing out nostrils* Thanks, mdn, that's the best laugh I've had all month.

men can have power over women by using their superior body strength - have no men ever given this up?

Huh?

If I use my strength (which, personally, is less than that of most women I know) to exercise power of a woman, I go to jail. If a woman uses sex to fuck with some guy's head, there are no consequences whatsoever. There is also a difference between force and coercion. You are comparing apples and oranges.

The only way you'll have to deal with it is if you feel it's your business to get people to agree with you, or if you spy into people's bedrooms.

No, I have to deal with it when I am interested in someone and misinterpret their desire to 'hook up' for actual interest in me. Best case scenario: my time gets wasted. Worst case scenario: my heart gets broken.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 6:58 PM on January 20, 2003


True enough, davidmsc. But that's just life. It still doesn't give you the right to dictate behavior to others.

Got myself involved in a side-argument, and I think this is the important point I've come out with:

Thinking something is wrong is not the same thing as wanting to outlaw it. I do not understand it, but PC types constantly accuse anyone making a moral judgement of trying to oppress them. Maybe it's the "inattentive father and overly harsh mother" syndrome? So any kind of authority, even if it has nothing to do with you, is automatically evil? You have to realize that when someone talks about morality, they're talking about invisible forces...nothing is actually physically restraining you from doing anything. To talk about physically restraining people from doing something is a completely different topic.

Another common theme throughout this thread is that people want to postpone the "serious relationship" part of their life. It's almost as if they want to stay kids forever. There is something oppressive in the systemization of that behavior. It means that to get the girl, you have to be part of the group. You have to ascribe ot their collective values. It's a helluva lot more oppressive than the old Christian (read: American) system of two kids going out on a date by themselves.

How did all these like-minded young people get together anyway? There's your artificial social construct. Modern civilization has developed in such a way as to stunt individual growth and displace the populace into unnatural distributions. Mark my words: In the near dark future, only the rich will be adults.

Now, I am no moral beacon...but when I sleep around, I sleep around...and the honesty of that is much easier for me to understand than the nonsense Alice in Wonderland rules of the college and high school squares. When I pick up some girl who has an obvious drug problem, or actually works in the sex industry, I expect it to be just a "hook-up." When I pick up some normal girl, however...I expect her to be a normal girl. What we get, though, is anything but normal. This whole trend is about fifty times further removed from "free love" than anyone seems to realize, or want to admit. It is actually much, much more complicated, systematic, and oppressive.
posted by son_of_minya at 7:35 PM on January 20, 2003


Mark my words: In the near dark future, only the rich will be adults.

I agree with most of what you've said, but this seems ... absurd. If anything, it will be the poor who will grow up; the poor are the ones who aren't going to college, who don't have the luxury to play around with weird subcultural notions of revisionist sexuality.

[Even today, I think that the [perceived] ubiquity of the college education, and the cult-like mindset that is engendered by that, have done more to stunt emotional and intellectual maturity in the American public sphere [and maybe those of other countries -- I am not qualified to comment] than any other cultural development in the last century or so. But since people get oddly protective about that $50K-$100K they forked over for school, I will shut up now before I get run out on a rail.]
posted by IshmaelGraves at 7:49 PM on January 20, 2003


So, son_of_mina, what you most object to is that "normal" girls have treated you the same way you treated "abnormal" girls? And/or that it's now the girls deciding that a hook-up was just a hook-up?
posted by Tomatillo at 8:08 PM on January 20, 2003


Sorry, son_of_minya.
posted by Tomatillo at 8:09 PM on January 20, 2003


I have to deal with it when I am interested in someone and misinterpret their desire to 'hook up' for actual interest in me.

Well, perhaps if you didn't find the concept of people being honest with themselves and others so beverage-spewingly humorous, you might find that such misinterpretations are less likely to happen. Just sayin'.
posted by biscotti at 8:13 PM on January 20, 2003


Well, the socialization power of college is being replaced by mass media and longer public school periods. Not to mention the watering down of the college degree itself. Maybe that comment was too crazy to include here, though.

Saving my further-derailing comment on that sub-topic for later. If the thread is completely dead tomorrow, I won't feel guilty about posting it.
posted by son_of_minya at 8:18 PM on January 20, 2003


Tomatillo: So, son_of_mina, what you most object to is that "normal" girls have treated you the same way you treated "abnormal" girls?

No, not at all. What I said was:

when I sleep around, I sleep around...and the honesty of that is much easier for me to understand than the nonsense Alice in Wonderland rules of the college and high school squares

With a quote-unquote normal girl, it is very rarely about sex. I do not believe that actual "hooking-up" is even going on in most of these cases, because that would require honesty. What it actually is about...is social ritual. A convoluted and restrictive social ritual. Just think about this...

The "hook-up" culture involves large groups of like-minded young people. Not just two people, but more people. How is adding more people to a social ritual going to simplify it? It only makes it more confusing, while ruining the parts of that previously one-on-one ritual which were most rewarding.

So, what I hate about normal girls is just what I said... That there's nothing normal about them. They like to pretend like they're a bunch of hedonists, but they're actually just misguided children. The reason I like "abnormal" girls is that they don't give a damn what anybody else thinks. They may not feel emotions as often as the "normal" girls, but they are honest about them when they do feel them.
posted by son_of_minya at 8:31 PM on January 20, 2003


I do not understand it, but PC types constantly accuse anyone making a moral judgement of trying to oppress them.

I don't know what "PC" means here. Politically correct? They are usually the ones making the moral judgement, so that doesn't seem to fit. In any case, those who do accuse those making moral judgements of trying to oppress them may be doing so because the latter so often follows the former. See: any newspaper on any given day.

So, what I hate about normal girls is just what I said... That there's nothing normal about them.

Is that supposed to make sense? Not only are you taking it upon yourself to define (and limit) what constitutes "normal," but you are defining it as "not normal?"
posted by rushmc at 8:55 PM on January 20, 2003


"PC" in this case is meant as a slur, like "liberal." Could also take it to mean "the people Rush Limbaugh bitches about," so long as you realize that my mentioning Limbaugh does not mean I actually listen to him.

Replace the first "normal" with typical or average. Replace the second "normal" with dishonest or irrational.
posted by son_of_minya at 9:07 PM on January 20, 2003


Band Aids not groupies....Almost Famous...


PENNY LANE
We don't have intercourse with these
guys. We support the music. We inspire
the music. We are here because of the
music.

William is nodding like a doll in a dashboard window.
Listening.

ESTRELLA
Marc Bolan broke her heart, man. It's
famous.

PENNY LANE
It's a long story. I'm retired now.
I'm just visiting friends.

ESTRELLA
She was the one who changed everything.
She said "no more sex, no more
exploiting our bodies and hearts... "

WILLIAM
Right. Right.

ESTRELLA
"... just blow-jobs, and that's it."

WILLIAM
Okay. Well, see, now I get the
difference.
posted by JohnR at 9:36 PM on January 20, 2003


I guess what I want to know is if this just an offhand reference or if you've drawn deeper parallels between the two situations and/or the lyrics and what they might be?


It was offhand, but it was regarding my observation that this phenomenon is not new, among other references that I found frightfully interesting while posting.

Also, Civil_Disobedient: Excellently said!!
posted by hama7 at 9:40 PM on January 20, 2003


Yes, because we all know that it's always a special, beautiful thing when angry, resentful, embittered spouses do it....

If one has an angry, resentful, bitter spouse, then chances are that one has a lot more to worry about than college sluts.

I'm not sure I see the point of that comment at all, come to think of it. Sounds like some "American Beauty" nightmare.
posted by hama7 at 9:50 PM on January 20, 2003


Well, perhaps if you didn't find the concept of people being honest with themselves and others so beverage-spewingly humorous, you might find that such misinterpretations are less likely to happen. Just sayin'.

My sense of humor affects others' honesty towards me?

Is that like one of those quantum tunneling effects?

And I don't find honesty humorous. I admire honesty. I just find the idea that honesty will prevent any and all relationship problems, or even miscommunication, to be more than a bit naive. Finding out exactly what someone's feelings for you are, and what they imply, is a bit less cut-and-dry than you would have me believe. In an ideal world this would not be the case. In the real world, when someone expresses an amorphous interest and you ask, "Are you interested in friendship, sex, friendship and sex, a monogomous but casual relationship, a committed relationship, and/or marriage?" it doesn't tend to go over so well.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:00 PM on January 20, 2003 [1 favorite]


"In short, people who choose to stay single are misguided cultural relativists and all that, even if they aren't particularly promiscuous or into racking up a higher number of lovers, etc. "

Not at all. This kind of thinking can affect those who choose to stay single or those who are in relationships equally. If anything, it's far more destructive for those in relationships.

"yes, it's terrible - now you actually have to communicate with one another, and express what you want."

As IashmaelGraves pointed out, this reasoning is just plain naive, and oh-so-very modern and distasteful. A product of 70's, "let's just get it all out in the open" thinking that the mere act of expression is some cultural pancea that will salve the wounds of our awful childhoods, our failed businesses or our broken hearts. Successful relationships have always required communication, whether in the Victorian era or the 50's or our current state of helter-skelter, but they need a hell of a lot more than just that. They also need trust, a bit of faith, and work. Hard fucking work. The problem is that too many people don't want to put any effort into their love lives, expect everything to work out like a Disney movie, think that if there's anything at all wrong then, oh well, I guess it wasn't meant to be. These same people tend to believe that the mere act of communicating with someone will solve their relationship problems.

"...but I don't see the non-dating sometimes-hookup culture that I as a 21-year old college student ... as being incompatible with that - because I see them as different stages of life."

In the end, I think this cuts right to the heart of the matter.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:37 PM on January 20, 2003 [1 favorite]


The problem is that too many people don't want to put any effort into their love lives, expect everything to work out like a Disney movie, think that if there's anything at all wrong then, oh well, I guess it wasn't meant to be.

You have to decide whether the other person is actually worth that effort. The simple fact is, most aren't. That's not being lazy, it's merely having a justifiably low opinion of humanity.
posted by kindall at 11:22 PM on January 20, 2003 [1 favorite]


That's not being lazy, it's merely having a justifiably low opinion of humanity.

I agree that a certain amount of pessimism is healthy, but the level of responsibility that a successful relationship requires is such that (according to the article) fewer are willing to expend the effort, and instead opt for short term, low commitment "when the thrill is gone so am I" type nonchalance, with rationalizations about rebelling against the "power structure" or excuses about gender stereotypes. It's a kind of laziness.
posted by hama7 at 11:50 PM on January 20, 2003 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure I see the point of that comment at all, come to think of it.

Okay, let me spell it out for you then. Half of all marriages end in divorce. It is difficult to estimate what percentage of partners in the other 50 percent is unhappy. Marriage is not the hotbed of connubial bliss that some would paint it.

It's a kind of laziness.

Or, conversely (as kindall implies), a kind of realism. Is it lazy to choose not to bang your head against a door that is unlikely to give, when there are windows to the east and west of it?
posted by rushmc at 11:59 PM on January 20, 2003


Half of all marriages end in divorce.

Half of all marriages, or half of all American marriages, or European marriages? It's important to note that the most financially comfortable and stable countries have become morally flabby, and the family, the DNA of society is not looking all that hot. Marriage does not magically become happy or stay happy, just like a hunk of steel doesn't magically become an automobile, and remain an automobile.

Is it lazy to choose not to bang your head against a door that is unlikely to give, when there are windows to the east and west of it?

No, but as I've said before, if you feel like you're banging your head against a wall, or are hideously miserable with your hateful spouse, remember that this also didn't happen magically.
posted by hama7 at 12:15 AM on January 21, 2003


And actually, I feel like I'm just putting (clumsy) earrings on what Civil_Disobedient so eloquently said.

I don't buy the feels-goo-do-it or the prozac delerium, and I am reminded of a (loose) Homer Simpson quote which seems to paraphrase the "half of all marriages end in divorce" sentiment:

"Kids you tried, and you failed. The lesson is; Never try."
posted by hama7 at 1:20 AM on January 21, 2003


'Hooking up' is just demythologized dating. The only people it bothers are those who feel uncomfortable without a rule book. It aggravates conservative culturalists, 'cause they just can't understand why they have to keep playing whack-a-mole with postmodernism.

Am I the only one around here who thinks sex is just a whole banging* lot of fun? What a grim collection of adjectives! 'Dire', 'oppressive', 'lethal' - it's like a contest to see whose list of artificial consternations will, when thumb-tacked to a couple of happy, humping asses, finally discourage their rhythmic enthusiasm. Bah.

*a jammy pun

posted by Opus Dark at 2:59 AM on January 21, 2003


Opus -

No, you're not. I enjoy sex with my wife of 12 years, and hope to continue doing so until the sun explodes.

However, as much as I don't care for Civil_Disobedient or his viewpoint, he got one thing right: making a relationship work for any length of time is work. Real work. We've had ups and downs (cross country moves, cancer, job losses, kids, etc) and at least once it was a near thing. Not because we're sanguine about divorce, but because life can be really fucking hard sometimes.

Now that my wife has gone back to work and is contemplating starting a graduate degree in the fall, communication skills and actively working to ensure that our relationship gets the time and attention it needs will become even more important.

Having said all that, one of my greatest regrets is that I was such a wallflower while I was in college. I was shy, self-conscious and diffident. I didn't get 1/4 the "hooking up" I was after, but I'm the only one to blame for it.
posted by Irontom at 4:49 AM on January 21, 2003


It is, however, not a difficult thing to observe that there are many women in their late 20's and early 30's who are without an indefinitely-committed relationship (be it marriage or some latter-day substitute deemed more PC) and are NOT happy about the situation, nor is it difficult to observe the trauma of infertility and other issues that arise when women wait, willingly or not, 'till their mid or late 30s to marry (or otherwise commit).

MattD, I'm one of these women you talk about and I know a lot like me. We tend to be in goodish jobs, have lots of friends, go out a lot, travel a lot and live in big cities.

People like me want a boyfriend. We want someone to share life with. We also want a regular, safe shag. But the thing is, we don't have to have one. Life is enjoyable enough without one. We're not scared of being lonely and we won't settle for just anything. And I think that's the difference between women like me and women in the past, who were less well off, or in dead-end jobs, or didn't think women could survive without a man, or didn't have the social support of a wide group of friends. There weren't a lot of options for women, say fifty years ago. It was marriage or a life of lonely poverty.

These are more important factors than any break down in morality that you may observe. The instinct towards monogamy is still strong, but we won't put up with shit lives for the sake of it.
posted by Summer at 5:32 AM on January 21, 2003


IMHO if dolphins do it, then we are on to something. Dolphins don't simply have that smile on their faces because tuna tastes nice.
Any demystification of sexuality is good demystification of sexuality.
posted by asok at 6:43 AM on January 21, 2003


Bang on, Summer.

I get so discouraged sometimes with the men I date because so many of them seem completely unable to understand why I don't want to have no strings sex with them. I get told I should "just relax and have fun", and/or that there's something wrong with me, all because I don't subscribe to the prevailing mindset that sex isn't that important and is something one can indulge in casually without experiencing negative fallout afterwards. I don't judge THEM for sleeping with lots of women and it makes me quite angry that they can't respect that I don't want to be another twat in the crowd.
posted by orange swan at 6:58 AM on January 21, 2003 [1 favorite]


Summer -- if you're happy and not scared of lonely, then, by all means, be happy and have no regrets!

My point was that plenty of women eight or ten years out of college are single and NOT happy, and the change in relationship dynamics when they were younger may have played a role in that. I am amazed at how many attractive, intelligent women I know in that age category have a terrible time finding single men who are mature, solvent, reasonably presentable, and not utterly allergic to commitment. This is a dramatic change from their early to mid 20's, when most (although not all) of them had long-term relationships with men who (in my opinion) were decent, and when they were single, had to beat good men off them with sticks...
posted by MattD at 7:12 AM on January 21, 2003 [1 favorite]


Good point, orange swan. When the cultural expectation is for sex without attachment, anyone who wants an attachment with their sex is at a disadvantage.

You could always try and gain a different perspective on sex than "letting someone use your body".

And I stand by my earlier wording. How is sex without a relationship anything other than two people using each other's bodies for pleasure?

Sex within the context of a relationship doesn't feel like using and being used - that's the whole point! Then it's an expression of caring and intimacy, because there's a whole context and attachment associated with it.

I'm not against flings per se, I just see that the normalization of them to the exclusion of all other ideas, namely actual dating and relationships, cheapens everyone and makes it that much harder for those of us who want something more to find it at all, ever.
posted by beth at 7:37 AM on January 21, 2003 [1 favorite]


But MattD, what change in relationship dynamics is that? As far as I can tell people still want long-term relationships, even in their twenties. If these relationships don't last, I doubt very much it's because the couple says 'this isn't very modern, we should have split up by now, why aren't we screwing other people?' There must have been something wrong with the relationship.

Nowadays we don't feel obliged to make do and stay together because we're frightened of the consequences. We've made our choices - single rather than in a shit relationship - and even if it's not perfect, it's better than the alternative. And I really don't see what business it is of anybody else.
posted by Summer at 7:45 AM on January 21, 2003


How is sex without a relationship anything other than two people using each other's bodies for pleasure?


It is, but your wording was "why *should* I let someone use my body, get me attached emotionally, and throw me away like garbage? A fun fuck isn't worth having your heart ripped out.", which implies that you were the one being used, and not using in return. If you're feeling like you're being thrown away like garbage and getting your heart ripped out, clearly you're not looking at a "fun fuck" as a "fun fuck".

My sense of humor affects others' honesty towards me?

It may, but my point was that you seemed to find the concept of actual honesty between people amusing, as if it's something that doesn't happen in the real world.

I just find the idea that honesty will prevent any and all relationship problems, or even miscommunication, to be more than a bit naive. Finding out exactly what someone's feelings for you are, and what they imply, is a bit less cut-and-dry than you would have me believe.

If both parties are honest with themselves and each other, misunderstandings can be minimized. And nowhere did anyone claim that honesty prevents any and all relationship problems, but it sure helps a lot, especially when both parties feel they can be straight with each other about problems they may be experiencing, or where they're at in the relationship. Playing stupid, dishonest, mind games is just dumb, and counter-productive, just because many people do it doesn't mean it has to be that way.
posted by biscotti at 9:37 AM on January 21, 2003


making a relationship work for any length of time is work

People keep stating this obvious fact as though someone here had questioned it and it needed defending...?

I don't want to be another twat in the crowd

How could you ever be, so long as you bring more to the table than that? Sure, some men are reductionist and unappreciative of your other traits--so ignore them. Big deal. There are many others who aren't.

How is sex without a relationship anything other than two people using each other's bodies for pleasure?

Seems a pretty trivial and mechanistic definition to me. Do you define shaking hands as nothing more than "two people using each other's bodies for greeting?" To focus exclusively on the physical side of sex is to miss most of what sex is about.

Sex within the context of a relationship doesn't feel like using and being used - that's the whole point!

Nor must sex outside the context of a relationship. That's the point we're making. If it does, you're doing it wrong.
posted by rushmc at 10:08 AM on January 21, 2003


WHORES!
posted by uftheory at 10:34 AM on January 21, 2003


Seems a pretty trivial and mechanistic definition to me.

Well, I agree with the definition. In uncommitted sex there is one goal-release of sexual urges. Each is using the other for that goal. I suppose that goal could be met in, ahem, other ways, but in this case, the body of another is what is being used.
posted by konolia at 10:39 AM on January 21, 2003


Sex within the context of a relationship doesn't feel like using and being used - that's the whole point!

Nor must sex outside the context of a relationship. That's the point we're making. If it does, you're doing it wrong.


Doing it wrong? Really? I'm assuming you're not making a technical assessment and the mistake you think someone who can't do casual sex is making in terms of mindset and expectations.

This is the attitude I was referring to in my last post, this attitude that everyone should be able to handle no-strings sex and that if I can't I must alter something within me. There's nothing wrong with me or with my expectations from my sexual partners and I damn well am not going to try to rewire my psyche and tell myself I'm wrong to feel hurt because a sexual partner couldn't be bothered to call me again.

If you can have casual sex without winding up feeling used, damaged, coarsened, whatever, more power to you. But recognize that not everyone is wired that way, and that you need to respect that some people will decide it's best to refrain.
posted by orange swan at 11:03 AM on January 21, 2003 [1 favorite]


This is the attitude I was referring to in my last post, this attitude that everyone should be able to handle no-strings sex and that if I can't I must alter something within me.

Whoa, swannie. You infer too much. All I object to is those who would impose their own moral determinations upon others, or state them as unassailable moral absolutes--which, huh, is the same thing you're objecting to!
posted by rushmc at 11:19 AM on January 21, 2003


Yes, I grant you that I inferred too much. But the phrase you're doing it wrong seemed to me to be at least partly a moral determination applied to others.
posted by orange swan at 11:29 AM on January 21, 2003


I am amazed at how many attractive, intelligent women I know in that age category have a terrible time finding single men who are mature, solvent, reasonably presentable, and not utterly allergic to commitment.

Without a doubt; I know/have known a number of guys, my own brother among them, in this age range who ARE mature, solvent, etc., but who in fact will probably never marry. Mostly, this has to do with the fact that they are old enough to be completely set in their ways, and not too willing to amend them to accommodate the arrival of another full-time presence in their lives.

And I tend to think that you get to a certain age and have never been married, your standards are higher than they ever have been, and higher than they realistically should be. "We won't settle for just anything" - but then, what are the realistic chances that something better, something good, something achieving your standards of perfection or near it may come along?

I don't understand the "hooking up" phenomenon, if indeed it exists, because I can't fathom how a 21 or 22-year-old meets someone he/she really does like, and explains to them that, well, sure I've been having oodles of oral sex with casual acquaintances for years, but you are the one I want to be with. Perhaps it's just sexual insecurity rearing its ugly head, but my reaction would be, "Yeah? You mean until the next casual acquaintance comes along?"
posted by kgasmart at 12:54 PM on January 21, 2003


But the phrase you're doing it wrong seemed to me to be at least partly a moral determination applied to others.

Not really, in this context. If I said to someone who was trying to drive a nail with the claw end of a hammer, "hey, you're doing it wrong," it wouldn't mean that I was insisting that they drive nails in the first place! Just that they might have more luck trying it the other way round. beth is condemning an entire practice based on her personal experience of its outcomes. Okay, we all do that to some degree, I suppose. But it's not really valid when many others have very different experience; we can't just ignore or dismiss those. I'm certainly not telling beth how she should be doing anything--I'm not that smart, in any case. I'm simply suggesting that her failures might have causes other than that the whole strategy is inherently flawed and must necessarily lead to failure every time.
posted by rushmc at 1:55 PM on January 21, 2003


what are the realistic chances that something better, something good, something achieving your standards of perfection or near it may come along?

Are you suggesting that a person should choose to enter into a marriage which is not even "something good?" I can understand cautioning people not to indulge in unrealistic expectations, but I think it would be ridiculous to tell people "just grab someone and marry them, even if they don't come near meeting any of your standards."
posted by rushmc at 1:58 PM on January 21, 2003


I wasn't "condemning an entire practice based on [my] personal experience of its outcomes", you're reading too much into what I said.

I was presenting the view of someone who doesn't see the value in engaging in this behavior, because I happen personally to be wired such that I tend to get attached when sex is involved.

And my larger point, which I didn't slam home, was that if in the future I refrain from sex until I am comfortable with the emotional commitment level of the relationship, I don't think it's fair for someone to accuse me of "using sex as a bargaining chip" when my goal is self-protection, not coercion. (note: I'm not saying anyone did accuse me, just that I know some people might)

I just wanted to reiterate that it should still be seen as normal to want things in the canonical right order - heart and mind connecting before genitalia. I worry that the general cultural expectation has already shifted too far - sex with no strings is seen as the norm, I fear.
posted by beth at 2:39 PM on January 21, 2003


Gawd, some of these comments are really, really bitter - bitter about women expressing their sexuality in the same way that men have for eons, bitterness about being hurt by someone else - could we have a discussion of this without the "women are just stupid whores" tone?

Look, son_of_minya, MattD, hama7, IshmaelGraves, Civil_Disobedient, etc., this is about changing social mores. You may disagree with it, but it's happening whether you like it or not. Characterizing the women who engage in this activity as slutty, low self-esteemed, and abuse desiring might make you feel all warm and snug in the blanket of self-righteousness you're wrapped in, but a serious self-examination seems to be in order. Especially you, son_of_minya - you know where you can shove that "feminazi, normal/abnormal" attitude of yours. I don't call you a "patrinazi" or a "andronazi"; don't call me (collectively speaking, that is) a feminazi, please.

It used to be that women were expected to be the gatekeepers of not only their own sexuality, but of the men's as well. Let me tell you, as a big-hearted woman with a healthy sex drive, it really sucked. In short, the man could act on his appetites onus-free and expect to still be regarded as "boyfriend material", but the woman was a skank and "not girlfriend material" if she acted on hers. Think about what it must be like on the shitty end of that stick for a minute.

I'm not rah-rahing this kind of behavior at all, make no mistake. Aping a repugnant attitude that was traditionally held by some men is not feminism. Understanding what you really want and figuring out a way to get it in an ethical, honest way is, as far as I'm concerned, feminism.

I finally realized that the only kind of sex that got me off was sex with someone who wanted to have a long-term relationship with me. That's me, but I know plenty of women who are perfectly happy to have "friends with special privileges". Doesn't work for me but it works for them, and as long as they and their partners treat each other with respect and compassion, I'm fine with it.
posted by echolalia67 at 2:40 PM on January 21, 2003


I just think there is something justifiably disgusting when people treat the act of sex as the recreational equivalent of going to get an ice cream cone. Sex is not and never can be "just casual"...

Interestingly enough, today I ran into an article that stated over 90% of cervical cancers was caused by the human papilloma virus (genital warts.) Genital warts are a sexually transmitted condition, folks. Yeah, I want me some of THAT.

And no matter how many precautions are taken, there will be unwanted pregnancies. No matter what your take on abortion, I can tell you that lots of my women friends have had them and bitterly regretted it. Just a fact.

I cannot believe how otherwise intelligent people would throw out their common sense just for an orgasm.
posted by konolia at 3:16 PM on January 21, 2003 [1 favorite]


Characterizing the women who engage in this activity as slutty

There's no need to limit that characterization to women only.

And konolia: Bravo.
posted by hama7 at 3:43 PM on January 21, 2003


I was presenting the view of someone who doesn't see the value in engaging in this behavior, because I happen personally to be wired such that I tend to get attached when sex is involved.

Fair enough. :)

Doesn't work for me but it works for them, and as long as they and their partners treat each other with respect and compassion, I'm fine with it.

Ah, the sweet smell of tolerance!

Sex is not and never can be "just casual"...

Once again, you forgot to append the "for me" at the end of your contention. (I can't believe it took me so long to figure out who...sheesh, I must be getting old.)
posted by rushmc at 5:01 PM on January 21, 2003


Characterizing the women who engage in this activity as slutty

There's no need to limit that characterization to women only.


I totally agree, hence the statement:

"Aping a repugnant attitude that was traditionally held by some men..."

That's one of the upsides of the changes of the last four decades - appalling caviler behavior towards the people you date is recognized as such by most people, regardless of your gender.
posted by echolalia67 at 5:58 PM on January 21, 2003


Just back to this thread after a while. Woo!
Beth- in my previous statements, I was not trying to imply that sexuality as a bargaining chip was a good thing. For you, not having sexual intercourse until you feel comfortable is not even an example of using sexuality as a bargaining item. It is simply how you feel. What I was trying to say was that there are young girls and women that feel that *this is all they have to offer*. Being sexually permissive is the thing to do, they think, and maybe this might just get them to where they want to be- in some kind of a more stable and public relationship. This is what I have observed, so perhaps others have seen drastically different features. I, of course, think that it is erroneous to use some bait and switch tactic as a plan to somehow form a relationship, or make one feel better about one's self.
As far as the other comment made by someone else about women not giving up their power over men through the permittance and denial of sex, my take is that it has for a long, long time been the *only* thing that they had to maneuver with. Was this a good thing? No way. Should this change? I think so. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of men and women out there that see me only in terms of my sexual status.
Let me get this straight right here, I do not think that the hook-up culture is necessarily safe or healthy for most of the young people out there because of things like trying to use sex to lure someone into caring about you, STDs, and broken hearts. What I do think is that with the proper amount of self-esteem, and good decision-making skills, a young man or woman whould be free to do whatever it is that they want to do, sexually.

Echolalia67- What you said both times. Excellently put.
posted by oflinkey at 7:13 PM on January 21, 2003


"Characterizing the women who engage in this activity as slutty, low self-esteemed, and abuse desiring might make you feel all warm and snug in the blanket of self-righteousness you're wrapped in, but a serious self-examination seems to be in order. "

Funny. I was actually pretty careful to use gender-neutral words because this ISN'T a gender-based problem. It's a cultural one. You, on the other hand, have turned this into a nice, lengthy, gender-charged rant that has absolutely nothing to do with what I was writing about. Nada. I hate defending myself to someone who clearly hasn't read what I said with any degree of "serious self-examination", but please point out my claims about 'dem damn feminists and ho's, because I must have missed it on preview.

"I can't fathom how a 21 or 22-year-old meets someone he/she really does like, and explains to them that, well, sure I've been having oodles of oral sex with casual acquaintances for years, but you are the one I want to be with. Perhaps it's just sexual insecurity rearing its ugly head, but my reaction would be, "Yeah? You mean until the next casual acquaintance comes along"

kgasmart: EXACTLY.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:41 AM on January 22, 2003


Civil_Disobedient -

Sorry, can't talk now - I'm scouting around for a sweet, sturdy caretaker who will someday feed me strained vegetables and mop up my drool.
posted by Opus Dark at 2:06 AM on January 22, 2003


today I ran into an article that stated over 90% of cervical cancers was caused by the human papilloma virus

Cervical cancer is one of the rarest of cancers and highly treatable as it's a very slow-developing cancer. Smoking is far, far more likely to give you terminal cancer than having sex.
posted by Summer at 3:38 AM on January 22, 2003


So explain to me why I am supposed to get a pap smear every year.
posted by konolia at 3:48 AM on January 22, 2003


Why don't you try thinking for yourself konolia. I've linked the statistics above. It's up to you whether you think the risk is great enough to justify having a pap smear every year. You don't have to accept the received wisdom. I personally think the risk of cervical cancer is highly exaggerated.
posted by Summer at 4:59 AM on January 22, 2003


Well, I had already noticed your statistics are for mortality rates. Has no bearing on how many women actually get cervical cancer, or have to have uncomfortable treatments for it, which I imagine can be as drastic as a hysterectomy depending on when the condition is discovered. From what I have read even the basic treatments don't sound all that pleasant. And even one death is one too many.

If I wanted to take all those risks, I would at least want to be paid for it.
posted by konolia at 7:10 AM on January 22, 2003


If I use my strength (which, personally, is less than that of most women I know) to exercise power of a woman, I go to jail. If a woman uses sex to fuck with some guy's head, there are no consequences whatsoever. There is also a difference between force and coercion. You are comparing apples and oranges.

you're saying if it were legal, you'd do it? And of course there are consequences to manipulating someone - they're gonna resent you! And the whole relationship will be fucked up, a constant game. That entirely misses the point of a relationship to me. I only want interaction and communication, and yes honesty, however funny that is to you. And in most of my life, I've found that, usually in relationships that I don't imagine lasting forever.

when I am interested in someone and misinterpret their desire to 'hook up' for actual interest in me. Best case scenario: my time gets wasted. Worst case scenario: my heart gets broken.

aren't those the same possible scenarios that exist when you go on a date with someone? If you make it clear that you're only interested in serious relationships, then it's only the fact that some people are assholes that would trip you up. That's nothing to do with the mutually chosen friends-who-have-sex scenario. People have lied to get in people's pants since the beginning of time...

When I pick up some girl who has an obvious drug problem, or actually works in the sex industry, I expect it to be just a "hook-up." When I pick up some normal girl, however...I expect her to be a normal girl.

holy fuck, I hope you are joking! You can go out and have casual sex and still be a "good kid" but a woman can't do that and still be a "nice girl"? can't you see that's a double standard?

I just think there is something justifiably disgusting when people treat the act of sex as the recreational equivalent of going to get an ice cream cone. Sex is not and never can be "just casual"...

you're completely missing the point of this kind of relationship. You can be very close to people, have intense, complex relationships, without marrying them. Some people don't want to get married at all (imagine that). Having sex with someone who you do not intend to marry does not mean that sex suddenly becomes mechanical and lacking any meaning.

anyway, clearly no one is going to be convinced etc here, but I still feel compelled to respond. Yes, perhaps many people these days set their standards unrealistically high. So which would be worse, being stuck in a marriage you considered mediocre, or never getting married? That's the root of the question, really. Does settling down require settling? Is it stupid to hold out for some ideal partner if you want a family? If getting married is your primary goal maybe you'll jump in earlier. If you don't want to tie yourself to just anyone, you'd prefer to be single than with someone who does not truly inspire you, then there are alternative ways to relate to other people who feel the same about you.

Yeah, it can be hard to be honest and obviously it doesn't solve everything, but it is absolutely necessary as a starting point for me. I'm not easily offended and I don't mind feeling hurt sometimes; I prefer it to feeling isolated or barred from what a friend/love is thinking or feeling.
posted by mdn at 8:20 AM on January 22, 2003


mdn- Check out some of his posts in other threads. Nuff said.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:23 AM on January 22, 2003


Are you suggesting that a person should choose to enter into a marriage which is not even "something good?" I can understand cautioning people not to indulge in unrealistic expectations, but I think it would be ridiculous to tell people "just grab someone and marry them, even if they don't come near meeting any of your standards."

OK, to clarify, an example using my aforementioned brother:

He is 33, and hasn't been in anything resembling a "serious" relationship for a decade. There have been a variety of one-night stands and very minor relationships over that period, and he is a lonely boy - though he'd never come out and tell you that.

But because he has been so long without another constant presence in his life, he has arranged his life to the point where it suits him completely. He likes to come home from work, eat his dinner while watching TV, drink his beer, smoke his herb, play his video games, and above all, watch as much (American) football as a person can stand on Sundays. He cherishes these things. Yet he's under this impression that he's somehow going to meet a woman who likes football as much as he does, doesn't mind him staying up until all hours catching a buzz, PLUS meets his standards - relatively high - of physical attraction. And I'd say his chances of doing so are about zero.

That may be an extreme example, but I'm trying to make the point that you may think you need this and require that in a person, but the higher your standards the higher the hurdles for potential "relationships" - when you yourself, your idiosyncrasies and habits already present significant hurdles.
posted by kgasmart at 8:27 AM on January 22, 2003


Most cervical cancer cases are caught early and don't require drastic surgery. On the other hand, as you get older you will be more prone to getting uterine corpus cancer than to uterine cervix. This is can be prevented by the use of oral contraceptives. So get shagging girls.

Stats available here
posted by Summer at 8:34 AM on January 22, 2003


mdn:

When I pick up some girl who has an obvious drug problem, or actually works in the sex industry, I expect it to be just a "hook-up." When I pick up some normal girl, however...I expect her to be a normal girl.

I hope you are joking! You can go out and have casual sex and still be a "good kid" but a woman can't do that and still be a "nice girl"? can't you see that's a double standard?

I don't see the double-standard here. I'm not a good kid. I have the morality of a gangster. If I do find a nice girl, I'll treat her right; but I'm not with one now, so I'll stick with the drug addicts and strippers. Notice I did not say, "I'm going to lie to and abuse nice girls," which is what most guys do. Nice girls are a beautiful thing, and it hurts me on a personal level when I see them mistreated...which I see this "hook-up" culture as a big setup for.

(I'm not saying anyone who's not a virgin is not a "nice girl" either. When I say "bad girls" I mean seriously menacing drug fiends and potential killers, with gambling problems. I'm not saying I mistreat the "bad girls" either -- all they want is sex and drugs anyway, so I hear no complaints.) You may have a point that I've ruined myself as "nice guy" material. Maybe I'll have to find a "reformed" bad girl; some recovering alcoholic cocktail waitress with a heart of gold or something. That has nothing to do with my argument, though. To sum up, in other words: while I may not do right, I know the difference between right and wrong.

You mixed in my comment with a bunch of IshmaelGraves', so I don't think PinkStainlessTail was referring to me with the "check out his comments in other threads" quip. Still, I get the impression that some people have missed the point.

This whole "hook-up" mess has nothing to do with free love, but is actually a social construct that is much more complicated and frustrating than traditional dating, and will end up hurting people. Missed the comment when I checked here yesterday, but I completely agree with echolalia67.
posted by son_of_minya at 10:33 AM on January 22, 2003


son_of_minya: people are all individuals. Even girls. Perhaps the reason that you're so shocked when your "normal girls act this way / druggie/sex trade/other girls act this way" worldview doesn't fit onto the real world is because, well, it's inaccurate.

And "hooking up" is no more likely to hurt people than any other relationship is. Dishonesty (like game playing) and not respecting other people is what hurts people, no matter what relationship type it's done in.

kgasmart: if your brother likes his life just fine, and could only see sharing it with someone if they fit into it reasonably comfortably, I don't see what the problem is. If he were really pining away for company, he'd lower his standards, but clearly his standards are more important than company, so more power to him. People don't have to find a significant other, in fact, so many people seem to stay single these days that by the time most of us reach the old folks home, there'll be no shortage of people to play shuffleboard with.
posted by biscotti at 11:35 AM on January 22, 2003


son_of_minya:You mixed in my comment with a bunch of IshmaelGraves', so I don't think PinkStainlessTail was referring to me
No, I meant you.

posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:43 AM on January 22, 2003


PinkStainlessTail:

Say what you mean. Your buddies in the inner-circle jerk may know what the hell you're talking about, but all I'm getting out of it is that you're a smug little bastard.
posted by son_of_minya at 12:32 PM on January 22, 2003


My last few comments in this thread have been immature and I apologize to Son_of_Minya. Basically, I thought there was no way you were being serious, the same way I assumed you weren't being serious here (keeping your furniture upside down, giving away all your possessions, the psycho killer stuff, etc.). That was disrespectful and rude of me.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:35 PM on January 22, 2003


Well, thank you, PinkStainlessTail. Now I also owe an apology. You've brightened my day.
posted by son_of_minya at 1:41 PM on January 22, 2003


Funny. I was actually pretty careful to use gender-neutral words because this ISN'T a gender-based problem. It's a cultural one.

Gee, wasn't the news story that inspired this thread about the sexual behavior of...women?

You, on the other hand, have turned this into a nice, lengthy, gender-charged rant that has absolutely nothing to do with what I was writing about.

Yeah, but it has a whole lot to do with the bitter tone of many of the contributors to this thread, don't it?

I hate defending myself to someone who clearly hasn't read what I said with any degree of "serious self-examination"...

condescend much?

but please point out my claims about 'dem damn feminists and ho's, because I must have missed it on preview
The original sentences:

Look, son_of_minya, MattD, hama7, IshmaelGraves, Civil_Disobedient, etc., ...

The reason I included you in this group, is because of the whole "things were much better before that whole 60s unpleasantness occurred" tone of your posts. If you think that's true, ask women of my mother's generation. The pressure to marry was so heavy that people ended up married because he/she was someone mom and dad would approve of and it was the expected thing to do. Not a good reason to vow to spend eternity with another person, in my opinion. As for the "claims about 'dem damn feminists and ho's":

Especially you, son_of_minya - you know where you can shove that "feminazi, normal/abnormal" attitude of yours

What was it that you said again?

I hate defending myself to someone who clearly hasn't read what I said with any degree of "serious self-examination"...

Oh yeah, that thing. So much for clearly reading what others write.

BTW son_of_minya, sorry about the venemous tone of that. I really hate the term "feminazi" and the whole "normal/abnormal" mentality people assume when they judge other people. I know women that were working on novels and college degrees while stripping who did not have drug problems. I know girls who look and act very "middle america girl next door" who would gouge your eyes out in a heartbeat. Looks/occupation does not necessarily equal quality of character/sanity.
posted by echolalia67 at 11:39 PM on January 22, 2003


"Looks/occupation does not necessarily equal quality of character/sanity."

The best comment in this entire thread.

This "Mrs. Grundy" approach to life is the one thing I most wish I could change about the people in this country.

Failing that, I'd like to make our national motto: "Everybody mind your own damned business!"
posted by Irontom at 5:28 AM on January 23, 2003


echolalia67: The reason I included you in this group, is because of the whole "things were much better before that whole 60s unpleasantness occurred" tone of your posts.

I never said that. I did say:
This whole trend is about fifty times further removed from "free love" than anyone seems to realize, or want to admit.
-and-
This whole "hook-up" mess has nothing to do with free love, but is actually a social construct that is much more complicated and frustrating than traditional dating, and will end up hurting people.
Free love, IMHO, was about 500 times better than the current mess. (For the reading challenged, I did not just say free love was a mess.)

What was it that you said again?
I hate defending myself to someone who clearly hasn't read what I said with any degree of "serious self-examination"...
Oh yeah, that thing. So much for clearly reading what others write.

I did not say that. CivilDisobedient said that. You can search the thread by pressing ctrl-f and typing in "serious self-examination." If there's one thing I hate, it's being misquoted. People are going to read what you just wrote, and actually believe that what you said is true.

Come to think of it -- yes, I do hate defending myself against someone who clearly hasn't read what I said with any degreee of "serious self-examination." You would, too.

Please, go back and re-read everything I've written and everything you've written. I have read everything you wrote here. Aside from the name-calling, I agree with everything you've said. Consider that when you read my comments. I think you were thrown off by some of the "buzz words" I used and failed to think about what was actually written.
posted by son_of_minya at 12:54 PM on January 23, 2003


BTW I also apologize for the venomous tone of that. ;)

To take a page from Rumsfeld: My terminology was not the most eloquent, and I'm sorry that people have misunderstood my comments.

"Feminazi" does not mean "feminist" to me, but refers to "those crazy people who give feminists a bad name." I also realize people can/should not be pigeon-holed on basis of looks or occupation, and don't fall evenly into categories. I was generalizing for sake of expediency. While it does irritate me when people latch onto a "loophole" in the argument and don't actually comment on what was said, I did bring it on myself somewhat.
posted by son_of_minya at 1:06 PM on January 23, 2003


I cannot believe how otherwise intelligent people would throw out their common sense just for an orgasm.

konolia, just wanted to say something to this: it is clearly not "just for an orgasm," as you can achieve an orgasm all by yourself without any risk at all. What people are seeking is a feeling of connection or closeness or comfort or joy, the sharing of a pleasurable experience with someone, an interaction that is unique to the two people involved. And it's not throwing out your common sense; you use protection and are at a minimal risk.

So what you're saying is you can't believe intelligent people would take a minimal risk for an experience of joyful connection. Well, believe it.
posted by mdn at 3:49 PM on January 23, 2003


Son_of_minya - It was directed at CivilDisobedient. The "sorry about the venom" comment was referring to was my suggestion that you could shove what I perceive to be a ugly attitude about women up your ass. For the love of God, get my snarky retorts straight, for crying out loud!
posted by echolalia67 at 5:11 PM on January 23, 2003


I agree that the "the sport fucking for bragging rights" and "the dating is for old fogeys" mentality outlined in this article is pretty repulsive. As for your distinction between feminists/feminazis, I get it; I saw a lot of those types back in college - they usually refer to themselves as radical feminists or radical feminist separatists. I'm none too fond of them myself. I think the "Daly McDworkin" school of thought has ruined the overall credibility of feminism, unfortunately.
posted by echolalia67 at 5:31 PM on January 23, 2003


"The reason I included you in this group, is because of the whole "things were much better before that whole 60s unpleasantness occurred" tone of your posts. "

Things were better in the sense that people actually had some meme to follow, it provided at the very least a sense of knowing where you are in a relationship. Granted, there are a lot of "bad things" about 50's culture that are great to have eliminated, unfortunately the counter-culture never offered much to replace it. That was my point, and I think I stated it pretty clearly when I said "But with the sexual revolution of the late 60's and 70's, kids threw off their parent's "old fashioned" ways. Only problem is, they failed to replace it with anything and have left a giant cultural void."

Just to reiterate: Oh yeah, that thing. So much for clearly reading what others write.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:43 AM on January 24, 2003


So what you're saying is you can't believe intelligent people would take a minimal risk for an experience of joyful connection.

What may be joyful connection to you just seems like scratching an itch to me.
posted by konolia at 4:01 AM on January 24, 2003


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