Donna Freitas writes in The Washington Post about the sorrows, travails, and confusions of the hook-up culture (if it can be called such).
I am reminded when reading her article that one problem with the idea of personal autonomy or choice is that it assumes that we always know what’s best for ourselves; or, even if we don’t, doing bad things that we have chosen is better than doing good things under the direction of another. It’s a prejudice that requires serious examination. But even then, one wonders how much of a choice it is to “hook-up” when, as she says, “being causal about sex…has become the norm.” What underlies a lot of this is a fear of attachment, a fear of vulnerability, a fear of genuine connection: in short, fear of being human.
The pro-hookup notion that dating is a sexist castoff of the 1950s dismisses the fairly innocent wish for an alternative means of getting to know someone before getting physical. When one attitude about sex dominates, be it restrictive or permissive, it becomes difficult to defy it.
I’m still mystified by a world where sex leads to commitment rather than commitment to sex. In any case, she concludes by noting that most students would be better off choosing something more…um…traditional.
Today, sexual experimentation might be getting to know someone before having sex, holding out for dates and courtship focused on romance rather than sex. From where I sit, meeting a student confident enough to say she’s not hooking up and is proud about that is as experimental as it gets.