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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hookup Culture: Intimacy interruptus

(Photo by Moralist)
It is often considered the height of "cool" to engage in sex without intimacy.  Commonly referred to as "hooking up," it occurs everywhere from airplanes to nursing homes.

Nevertheless, there are definite downsides to this behavior besides just the obvious physical risks.  Donna Freitas, in her book The End of Sex: How
Hookup Culture Is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy, talks about it in these terms:  "Hookup sex is fast, uncaring, unthinking, and perfunctory.  Hookup culture promotes bad sex, boring sex, drunken sex you don't remember, sex you could care less about, sex where desire is absent, sex that you have 'just because everyone else is, too,' or that 'just happens.'"

Because hookup-sex is fast becoming a first-date substitute, its effects are increasing exponentially.  Perhaps the most pernicious of these is the resulting lack of intimacy.  After repeated hookups, it often becomes more difficult to trust in a full-fledged relationship. 

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, in their Spirituality & Practice review of Freitas' book, state that 41% of
some college men and women who were surveyed on this topic expressed "sadness and regret about these
experiences."  The respondents reported feeling deprived of "healthy, fulfilling sex lives, positive dating experiences, and loving relationships."

The Brussats offer some of the following "antidotes" to the hookup lifestyle:  old-fashioned dates, self-
awareness of sexual needs and how they fit into the larger context of a religious/spiritual path, and "rethinking abstinence."


Copyright May 4, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke

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