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GUYLAND The Perilous World Where Boys· Become Men MICHAEL KIMMEL • “A,RPER An Imprint ofHarper Collins Publishers / 0(Q­ /GJ- 797J~ J(~0 ;Loo/? GUYLAND. Copyright © 2008 by MichaelKimmel. Allrights reserved. Printed inthe United StatesofAmerica. Nopart ofthis book maybe used or reproduced inany manner whatsoever withoutwritten pen:nis­ sionexcept inthe case ofbrief quotations embodiedincritical articles and reviews. Forinformation, addressHarperCollins Publishers, 10 East53rdStreet, New York, NY 10022. HarperCollins booksmaybepurchased foreducational, business,or sales promotional use.Forinformation, pleasewrite:Special Markets Department, HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East53rdStreet, New York, NY 10022. “The After Hours Crowd” from Some America by Patrick D. Higgins, © 2008 by Patrick D. Higgins. Reprinted herewith permission fromtheauthor. FIRST EDITION Designed by Kara Strubel LibraryofCongress Cataloging-in- PublicationData isavailableuponrequest. ISBN: 978-0-06-083134-9 08 09 10 II 12 m/RRD 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 9 HOOKING UP: SEX IN GUYLAND I know’it’sdifferentatother schools:’ Troypatiently tried to explain to me. “I mean,at other schools, peopledate. You know,aguy asks agirl out, and they go out to a movie orsomething. You know, likedating? But here atCornell, nobodydates. We go outingroups to local bars. We go toparties. And then after we’re good and drunk, wehook up.Everyone just hooks up.” “Does that mean youhave sex?” Iask “Hmm,” hesays, withahalf-smile onhis face. “Maybe, maybenot. That’s sortof the beauty of it,you know? Nobody can reallybesure.” My conversation withTroy echoes anoverwhelming majority of con­ versations Ihave hadwith young people allacross the country. Whether among college students orrecent gradsliving inmajor metropolitan areas, “hooking up”defines thecurrent formofsocial and sexual rela­ tionships amongyoungadults. The onlypoint Troy iswrong about ishis assumption thattraditional dating isgoingonanywhere else.Dating, at least incollege, seems to begone forgood. Instead, the sexual marketplace isorganized aroundgroupsofsame­ sex friends who go outtogether t6 meet appropriate sex~.Ia1 partners in a casual setting likeabar oraparty. Twopeople run intoeach other, seeminglyatrandom, andafter afew drinks theydecide to go backto one or theother’s room or apartment, wheresomesexual interaction occurs. Thereisno expectation ofafurther relationship. Hookups can morphintosomething else:either friends withbenefits oradating rela­ tionship. But that requires someadditional, and complex, negotiation. Many adults findthispromiscuity hardtograsp. What isthis hook­ ing upculture all abouttWhat doesit mean exactly? What’sthe point ofall that sex? Isiteven fun? Forthepast twoyears, I’vebeen involved in astudy tofind out. The Online College SocialLifeSurvey wasdevel­ oped initially byPaula England, asociology professoratStanford, and has now been administered toabout 7,000 college students atnine campuses-large and small, public andprivate, eliteand nonelite­ including Stanford,Arizona,Indiana,Radford, UCSanta Barbara, SUNY StonyBrook, IthacaCollege, andEvergreen State.Weasked participants abouttheirsexual behaviors, theirexperiences ofvarious sexual activities, orgasm,drinking behavior, andtheir romantic reIition­ ships. We asked bothwomen andmen, gay and straight-but mostly straight. Allwere between 18 and24.I’ve also consulted withother researchers atother schools, andcompared ourdata with theirs. And I’ve looked atdata from several large,nationally representative studies of sexual behavior amongyoungpeople: . Some ofwhat’s goingonwon’t come as that much ofashock; afterall, young adulthood sincethesixties hasbeen atime ofrelative sexualfree­ dom andwell-documented experimentation. What may be surprising, though, ishow many young people acceptthathooking up-recreational sexwith nostrings attached-is the best andmost prevalent arrange­ ment available tothem. Once, sexual promiscuity co-existedwithtradi­ tional forms ofdating, andyoung people couldmaneuver betweenthe two ontheir waytoward serious andcommitted romanticrelationships. Now, hookingupispretty much allthere is;relationships beginandend with sex. Hooking uphas become thealpha andomega ofyoung adult romance. Andthough hooking upmight seemutterly mutual-after all,just who areallthose guyshooking up with?-what appearsonthe surface to be mutual turns out to be anything but.Despite enormous changes Hooking Up: Sex in Guyland I 191 inthe sexual attitudes ofyoung people, the gender politics ofcampus sex don’t seem tohave changed very much atall. Sex inGuyland isjust that-guys’ sex. Women arewelcome toact upon theirsexual desires , butguys run thescene. Women whodecide not to join the party can lookforward to going tosleep early and alone tonight-and every night. And women who do join the party run the riskofencountering the same olddouble standard that noamount of feminist” progress seems able toeradicate fully.Though womenmayaccommodate themselves to men’s desires-indeed, somefeelthey have toaccommodate themselves to them-the men’s rulesrule. What thismeans isthat many young women arebiding theirtime, waiting for the guystogrow up and start acting likemen. Yet the hooking-up culturesodominates campuslifethat many older guys -report having adifficult timemaking atransition toserious adult relationships. They all say that eventually they expect toget married and have families, butthey have noroad mapforgetting fromdrunken sloppy “Did we ordidn’t we?”sexto mature adult relationships. Itturns out that choosing quantityoverquality teaches themnothing about long-term commitment. Nor is itmeant to. The pursuit of conquests is moreabout guysproving something toother guys than itis about the women involved. Asaresult, mostguysdrift toward adulthood ill prepared foremo­ tional intimacy better suited tofantasies ofbeing “wedding crashers:’ (hooking upwith women whoareattending afriend’s wedding) than becoming groomsthemselves. They knowlittlemore about themselves and theirsexuality at28 than they didat 18, and the more subtle aspects of romance and partnership likewiseremainamystery. Theybarely know howtodate. While thehookup culturemightseemlikesome sort of orgiastic revelry,in truth theseguysaremissing out.It’snot just that they’re delaying adulthood-it’s thatthey’re entering itmisinformed and ill prepared. ABrief History of Campus Sexual Patterns In the1930s, Michigan sociologist WillardWallerdescribed campus 192 GUYlAND romanceasacomplex dance that he called “rating-dating-mating.” Waller sawacompetitive romanticmarketplace inwhich students rated themselves inreference to both the other sex and the evaluations oftheir same-sex friends(“rating”). Theythensought todate appropriately­ slightly up, but nottoomuch. In their eyes, dating “up”toomuch would make the relationship tooinsecure; dating”down” woulddecrease your own rating. In ordertohave what he called a”Class N’ rating, men,Waller wrote, “must belong toone of the better fraternities, beprominent in activities, have acopious supplyofspending money, be well-dressed, be’smooth’ in manners and appearance, havea’good line,’dance well and have access to an automobile.” Women,bycontrast, mayneed “good clothes, a smooth line,ability todance well,” but paramount, byfar was her already determined “popularityasadate,” sinceher”prestige depends on dating more than anything else.” What isimmediately strikingaboutWaller’s comment, writtennearly three-quarters ofacentury ago, ishowaccurate itcontinues to be-for men. His prestigestilldepends, in large part,onhis social networks and hismaterial assets. Her datability, though,nolonger depends simplyon social attributes. To besure, women haveto be pretty and sociable-that hasn’t changed. But,according toarecent survey atDuke, they also have to be sexy, and accomplished, and ambitious, and athletic-and not to show thatthey areexpending anyenergy at alldoing anyofit. “Effortless perfection” wasthephrase the university gavethephenomenon. In Waller’s time,allthis rating and dating wasultimately in the ser­ vice of mating-romantic (and sexual) relationshiDs betweencommitted intimate partners that wouldlead,eventually, tomarriage. Buttoday, the sequence ofrating, dating, and mating has been all but abandoned among youngadults. To be sure,theystillrate themselves and each other. Men have tobe cool, women effortlessly perfect.But the ideaof dating seemsquaint but irrelevant. Today,campus culture is nolonger about dating to find an appropriate mate.Now,it’smore about mating to find anappropriate date! “A dateforme is,like, when aguy calls youup and says, ‘would you like to go someplace,’ youknow, like to dinner, ortoa movie,” says Hooking Up: Sex in Guy/and 193 Debbie,a21-year-old seniorat the University ofVirginia. “Thatnever happens here!”Shelaughs. “Nowit’slike you s~e aguy at aparty and he says, ‘What areyou doing now? Can 1walk you home?’ It’slike, you know, the beginning of the dateislike the end of the date. He walks you home, and then youhook up.” In some waysthis is notnews. College campuses havealways been sexual hothouses, placesofsexual experimentation, freedom, and preda­ tion. Many of the reasons areobvious: Youngpeople areout from under direct parental control and feelfreer toexperiment withdifferent activi­ ties. The fact that many areaway fromhome means theyarealso freed from the critical scrutiny oftheir high-school and neighborhood friends, free to tryon new identities withdifferent cliques.And, of course,their hormones arein full gear. To many parents, the sexual shenanigans of the contemporary col­ lege campus sound like some drunken bacchanalian orgy. Butthis isn’t because parental restrictions havedisappeared or because sexual liberalism pervades campus life.Allthis sexual activity oncollege campuses also has alot todo with simple demography: the onsetof fertility inadolescence, firstsexual experiences, and the delayed age of marriage. Stated mostsimply, acollege student todaywillnever again be ina place where there are so manysexually activeunmarried people. Norwill college students ever againbearound somany sexually activepeople like themselves-with roughly similarclass and racecharacteristics (since mostcollege sexual activity takesplacewithpeople of one’s own race and classbackground). Prior to college, notasmany people aresexually active. And after college, not asmany people aresexually available­ either interms of their physical proximity or interms oftheir relation­ ship status. College isthe quintessential gatheringplaceformiddle-class white Americans aged 18 to22. They don’t evenneed to plan much­ likethey doinhigh school whentheylivewith their parents, orafter they graduate fromcollege, whentheyactually haveto go somewhere to meet others. In college dorms theybump into each other randomly, frequently, seeminglyspontaneously, withlittle planning, likeexcited atoms, eager todischarge. 194 GUYlAND Hooking Up Inrecent years,scholarly researchers and intrepidjournalists havebravely waded intodemarcate the term “hooking up,”map itsboundaries, and explain its strangeterrain. But the definitions arevague and contradictory. One research groupreferstoitas “… asexual encounter whichmay nor maynotinclude sexualintercourse, usuallyoccurring On onlyone occasion between twopeople whoarestrangers orbrief acquaintances.” Another studymaintains thathooking up “… occurswhentwopeople who arecasual acquaintances orwho have just met thatevening ata bar orparty agree toengage insome forms ofsexual behavior forwhich there willlikely benofuture commitment.” Our collaborative researchproject, The OnlineCollege SocialLife Survey, foundthathooking upcovers amultitude ofbehaviors, includ­ ing kissing and nongenital touching (34 percent),oralsex, but notinter­ course (15 percent), manualstimulation of the genitals (19 percent), and intercourse (35-40 percent). It can mean”going all the way.” Or itcan mean”everything but.” By theirsenior year,wefound thatstudents had averaged nearlysevenhookups duringtheircollegiate careers.About one-fourth (24percent) saythey have never hooked up,while slightly more than that (28percent) havehooked upten times ormore. As averb, “tohook up”means toengage inany type ofsexual activity with someone youare not inarelationship with.Asanoun, a”hookup” can either referto the sexual encounter orto the person withwhom you hook up.Hooking upisused todescribe casualsexualencounters on a continuum from”one-night stands”(ahookup thattakes place once and onceonlywith someone who mayor maynotbeastranger) to”sex buddies” (acquaintances whomeet regularly forsex but rarely ifever associate otherwise), to”friends withbenefits” (friendswhodonot care to become romantic partners, but mayinclude sexamong the activities they enjoy together). Part ofwhat makes thehookup culturesodifficult todefine and describe is the simplefactthat young men and women experience itin very different ways. They maybeplaying the same game, butthey’re often onopposing teams,playing byadifferent set of rules, and they Hooking Up: Sex in Guy/and 195 define”winning,” andeven “scoring,” intotally different ways.Sameness doesn’t necessarily meanequality. Indeed, the current patterns ofsociability and sexuality amonghet­ erosexuals haveactually beguntoresemble thepatterns thatemerged in the mainstream gaymale community in the late1970s andearly 1980s, the pre-AIDS era.Sexwas de-coupled fromromance and love, and madepartoffriendships that may-or may not-have anything to do with romantic relationships. “Fuckbuddies” are the precursors to “friendswithbenefits.” Sexwas seen asrecreational self-expression, not freighted with the matched baggage oflove and relationship. When it comes toscoring, then,gay and straight men havealot more in common witheach other than either group does with women. To put it another way, it isgender, notsexual orientation, thatisthe key to understanding thesecampus sexualpatterns. Ifwe want to understand the complexities of the hookupculturewe must dosowith gender in mind. Deliberate Vagueness The phrase “hooking up”itself isdeliberately vague,whichiswhy any attempt todefine itconcretely willinevitably fallshort. In fact, itisitsvery vagueness andambiguity thatcharacterize it.”It’s, like,anything from like making outtointercourse,” saysa19-year-old femalesophomore at Radford University. “[A]nything from,inmy opinion, kissingtohaving sex,” says another. iiHaving sex,” saysanother. Butthen shepauses. But see, hooking upand having sex can betwo different things. It’s really hard. When people say”we hooked up,” you don’t really know whatthey mean bythat. Because Idon’t really consider having sexhooking up.I think that’s adifferent thing.Likehaving sex is separate fromhooking up.I think itshould beanyway. Because everyone can just be,like, “yeah, wehooked up,” and you never know whattheydid. They could behaving sexevery night and you’re assuming thatthey probably justmade outor something likethat. .196 GUYLAND Maybe,asone woman suggested in an interview, hookingupisthe “yada yada yada” ofsex. Did youever see that episode of Seinfeld wherethey’re, like,”yada, yada, yada.” Andyou’re, like,”what does that mean?” She’s,like, “I wenthome withhimandyada, yada, yada.” Andthat’s kind of, like,what ahookup is. Because youdon’t really know exactly what itmeans, unlessyou’retalking toareally goodfriend and they’re tellingyouallthe details. Judging fromoursurvey, there’sawhole lotofyada yada yadagoing on. Yet that vagueness servesmenandwomen invery different ways. When aguy says he “hooked up”with someone, he mayor maynot have hadsexwith her,butheiscertainly hoping that hisfriends think he has. Awoman, onthe other hand, ismore likely tohope they think shehasn’t. In asense, hooking upretains certain features ofolder dating pat­ terns: maledomination, femalecompliance, anddouble standards. Though hooking upmay seem tobe mutually desired by bothguysand girls, ourresearch indicates that guysinitiate sexualbehavior mostof the time (lessthan athird ofrespondents saidthiswas mutual). Hook­ ups aretwice aslikely totake place inhis room asinhers. And, most important, hookingupenhances hisreputation whereasitdamages hers. Guys whohook upalot are seen by their peers asstuds; women who hook upalot are seen assluts who “give itup.” According toDuke’s study ofcampus sexualbehavior, “Menandwomen agreedthedouble standard persists:mengainstatus through sexualactivity whilewomen losestatus.” “There isdefinitely adouble standard,” saysCheryl, asophomore at Creighton. “1 mean, ifIdo what my friend Jeffdoes [hook upwith a different girlvirtually everyweekend], my friends wouldn’t talkto me! Imean, that’sjustgross when agirl does it.But a guy, it’s,like, he’slike Mr. Man.” “If aguy hooks upw.ith agirl; hesort ofbroke downherwall of protection,” explainsTerry,aStanford junior.”She’stheone that lether Hooking Up: Sex in Guy/and 197 guarddown … herjob going into the night … wastolike protect her­ self, protect hermoral character and hermoral fiber, and it’s like you came in and wentafterherand shewas, like,convinced to lether guard down … ” This is asomewhat surprisingview of things,given just howmuch we think everything haschanged. Itnot only echoes the 1950s, but even farther backto the Victorian age.Despite thedramatic changes in sexual behavior spurredby the sexualrevolution, sexualexperience still means something differentforwomen and men. “It’s different from what itused tobe when women weresupposed tohold out untihhey gotmarried. There’spressure nowon both men and women to losetheir virginity,” is how oneguy put it.”But fora man it’s asign ofmanhood, and for awoman there’sstillsome lossofvalue.” The vagueness of the term itself-hooking up-turns outtobe a way toprotect the reputation ofthe woman whileenhancing thatofthe man. In addition to that conceptual vaguenessafter the fact,hookups are also characterized byacertain vagueness before and evenduring the fact aswell. Most hookups sharethreeelements: the appearance of spontaneity, thenearly inevitable useofalcohol, and the absence ofany expectation ofarelationship, Planned Spontaneity In order forhookups towork, theyhave to appear to be spontaneous. And they do-at least to the guys. One guytold me it’s “a sort ofone-time, spur-of-the-moment thing.Hookups generally arevery unplanned.” “Oh, sure,” saidJackson, a22-year-old senioratArizona State, “you go toparties on the prowl,looking tohook up.But you never know if it’s going tohappen. Andyoucertainly don’tknow whoyou’re gonna hook up with. That takes several drinks.” Yet suchspontaneity isnonetheless carefullyplanned. Guyshave elaborate ritualsforwhat hasbecome knownas “the girlhunt.” There are “pregame” rituals, such asdrinking beforeyou go outtobars, since consuming alcohol,arequirement, isalso expensive onalimited budget, so it’s more cost-effective tobegin the buzz before yousetout. 198 GUYLAND There aredefined rolesforthe guys looking tohook up,like the “wing man,” the reliable accomplice and confidant. “Thewing man is the guy who takes oneforthe team,” saysJake, asophomore atNotre Dame. “If there are,like, twogirls and you’re trying tohook upwith one ofthem, yourwing man chats up theother one-even ifshe’s, like, awful-so you can have ashot atthe one you want. Definitely a trooper.” When guysclaim thatthehookup isspontaneous, theyare referring not towhether thehookup willtake place, but with whom theywill hook up.Women haveadifferent viewofspontaneity. Sincetheyknow that hooking upiswhat theguys want, thegirls can’t be”spontaneous” about it.They haveto think-whether or not,with whom, underwhat conditions-and planaccordingly, remembering achange ofclothes, birth control, andthelike. They havetodecide howmuch theycan drink, howmuch theycanflirt, andhow toavoid anypotentially embar­ rassing oreven threatening situations. The guyslounge incomfort of the illusion ofalcohol-induced spontaneity;thewomen areseveral steps ahead ofthem. “Girls, like,before they go outatnight, theyknow whether ornot they’re goingtohook upwith somebody,” saysJamie, a21-year-old senior at Arizona State.”It’snotspontaneous atall.” Yet the illusion ofspontaneity remainsimportant for bothguys and girls. It’saway ofdistancing yourselffromyourownsexual agency, away of pretending that sex just happens, allbyitself. Ithelps young people to maintain acertain invulnerability aroundthewhole thing.It’snot cool to want something toomuch. It’sbetter toappear less interested-that waynoone will know theextent ofyour disappointment ifyour plans don’t come tofruition. The Inevitability of Alcohol Drinking worksinmuch thesame way. Virtually allhooking up is lubricated withcopious amounts of alcohol-more alcoholthansex,to tell thetruth. “A notable featureofhookups is that they almost always occur when both participants aredrinking ordrunk,” saysonestudy. In Hooking Up: Sex in Guyland 199 ourstudy, men averaged nearly five drinksontheir most recent hookup, women nearly3drinks. Saysonewoman: Like, drinking alcoholislike a major thing with hooking upwith people. Alot of the times people won’thaveone-night stands unless they’re drurik. Actually, Ican’t tellyou Iknow one person who hashad aone-night standwithout drinking orbeing drunk, and being, like,”oh,myhead hurts. Ican’t believe Idid that.” To say that alcohol cloudsone’sjudgment wouldbean understate­ ment. Drinking issupposed tocloud yourjudgment. Drinkinggivesthe drinker “beergoggles,” whichtypically expandone’snotion ofother people’s sexualattractiveness. “Afterlikefour drinks aperson looksa little bit better,” explainsSamantha, a21-year-old seniorat the University of Virginia. “After six orseven thatperson looksalot better thantheydid. And, well,afterten, that person is the hottest personyou’veeverseen!” Or, asJeff puts it,”Everybody looksmoreattractive whenyou’re drunk.” But intentionally cloudingjudgment isonly part of the story. The other part is to cloud other people’s judgment. Ifyou were drunk, you don’thavetotake responsibility forwhat happens. Forguys, thismeans that if they getshot down they can chalkitup todrunkenness. The same holds true fortheir sexual performance ifthey doget lucky enough to go home withsomeone. Infact, drunkenness providesaconvenient excuse forallsorts ofpotential sexualdisasters, fromrejection to pre­ mature ejaculation to general ineptitude bornofinexperience. Foralot of guys, theliquid courage provided byalcohol i~ the only thing that makes them able towithstand thepotential forrejection thatanysexual advance entailsinthe first place. While both sexes might get to enjoy the lackof r~sponsibility alcohol implies, this turns outtobe especially important forthe women, who still have their reputations toprotect. Beingwasted isgenerally accepted as an excuse. “WhatdidIdo last night?” you can legitimately askyour girlfriends. And then everyone laughs.It’sstill better to be adrunk than a slut. “A hangover,” LauraSessions Steppwrites inher book, Unhoohed, ‘iis asmall pricetopay for exoner~tion.” 200 GUYLAND The Absence of Expectations One of thekey defining featuresofhooking upisthat it’sstrictly a”no strings attached” endeavor.Youngpeople in college-and thisseems to hold trueforboth women and men-seem generally waryofcommitted or monogamous relationships. The focusisalways onwhat it costs, rather than what it might provide. And if youconsider that half of young adults comefrom:divorced households, theircynicism is neither surprising norunfounded. “] don’t know if]even know anyhappily married couples,” oneyoung woman says.”Most ofmy friends’ parents are divorced, andtheones whoaren’t aremiserable. Where’stheappeal in that?” Hooking up is seenasbeing alot easier than having arelationship. Students constantly saythat having arelationship, actuallydating,takes a lot oftime, and”like, whohastime todate?” asksGreg, ajunior at the College of Wooster inOhio. “] mean, we’reallreally busy,andwehave school, andclasses, andjobs, andfriends, andall.But, youknow,” he says with abit ofawink, “a guy hasneeds, youknow what] mean? Why date ifyou canjust hook up?” When oneolder teenager explained hermost recent hookup to aNew Yorh Times reporter, he askedifshe thought therelationship mightlead to something more.”Wemight date,”sheexplained. “] don’t know. It’s just that guys cangetsoannoying whenyoustart dating them.” “Serial monogamy isexhausting,” oneyoung woman tellsjournalist Stepp. “You put all your emotions intoarelationship andthen youhave to do itall over again.” Saysanother: Dating isa drain onenergy andintellect, andweare overworked, overprogrammed, andovercommitted justtrying toget into grad school, letalone getting married. It’srare to find someone who would … want to put theirrelationships overtheir academics/ future. ]don’t evenknow that relationships areseen asan integrated part of this whole “future” idea.Sometimes, ] think theyareontheir owntrack that runs parallel and that wefeel can be’pushed asideordrawn closer at ourwhim. Hooking Up: Sex in Guyland 201 Which isapretty revealing statement sinceitwasn’t solong agothat Doris Lessing remarked that therehadnever been aman who would jeopardize hiscareer foralove affair-and never been awoman who wouldn’t. Guys seem toagree, butforadifferent set of reasons. Briansays: Being inareal relationship just complicates everything. You feel obligated tobe all, like, couply. And that getsreally boring after a while. When you’re friends withbenefits, you go over,hook up, then playvideo games orsomething. Itrocks. Guys mayhook upbecause theygetexactly whattheywant and don’t have toget caught bymessy thingslikeemotions. “A lotofguys getinto relationships just so they getsteady [expletive] ,”another teen tellsjour­ nalist Benoit Denizet-Lewis. “Butnowthatit’seasy toget sex outside of relationships, guysdon’t needrelationships.” “That’sallIreally want is tohook up,” says Justin, ajunior atDuke. “I don’t want tobe all like boy­ friend and girlfriend-that would, uh,significantly reducemychances of hooking up,you know?” Yet the absence ofexpectations that supposedly characterizes the hookup seemnottobe as true for women. And this isnot asimple case of “women wantlove, men want sex.” Rather, it’s acase of women being able and willing to acknowledge thatthere isalot ofground between anonymous drunkensex and long-term commitment. They mightnot want toget married, butaphone call the nextdaymight still be nice. Young women todayaremore comfortable withtheir sexuality than .anygeneration in history. There arecertainly womenwhoprefer hooking up torelationships. Womenalsohook uptoavoid emotional entangle­ ments thatwould distract them fromtheirstudies, professional ambi­ tions, friendship networks, and othercommitments. Or theyhook up because theydon’t think they’re readyforacommitment and they just want to hang out and havefun. Yet many alsodoitbecause it’s the only game intown. If they want tohave sexual relationships with men-and byall appearances theycertainly do-then thisis the field onwhich they must play. Some women maywant.more, somemaynot, but since 202 GUYlAND more is notavailable either way, theytakewhat theycanget. Asone young woman explained it to sociologist KathleenBogle, Most ofthe girls Iknow arelooking forsomething, youknow, someone/even ifit’s notserious, s?meone that isthere to hang out with and talk to.[Girls want] afeeling of being closeto someone and I don’t know i(it’s even that guysdon’t want that, it’s just that they don’t care iftheyhave that, it’slike “whatever.” Itcould beany other girlany night andyouknow that’sfinewith them. And forthe women whodowant relationships, hookingupseems to be the only way to find thesort ofrelationships theysaythey want. They hope thatitwill lead somewhere else.SaysAnnie, 23,who recently graduated fromGeorge Washington University,inresponse to “Why do women hookup?” Because theywant tofind love. They want, eventhough people don’t careabout consequences, theywant to find love. At l~ast girlsdo.Atleast I do. Iwanted tofind love. Iwanted to be happy and inlove andjust have that manly man hold me.They justwant . to find that. Andeven ifthe consequences arebad, it’salot better going through theconsequences andbeing lovedthanitis being alone andnever loved. Race and Hooking Up Hooking upmay beaguy thing, but itis also awhite guything. Of course thereareexceptions, but minority studentsarenot hooking up at the same ratesaswhite students. This is partlybecause minority students On largely whitecampuses oftenfeelthat everything theydo is seen notinterms ofthemselves asindividuals but representative oftheir minority group.”There aresofew blacks oncampus,” saysRashon Ray, asociologist atIndiana and part ofour research team.”Ifone guystarts acting likeadog, well, word willgetaround so fast that he’ll never get Hooking Up: Sex in Guy/and 203 anotherdate.”Asaresult, onsome largecampuses, blackathletes will hookupwith white women, butwill date black women. “I know wedon’t dowhat thewhite kids do,” saidoneblack male student atMiddlebury CollegeinVermont. “That’sright,youdon’t,” said his female companion. “AndIdon’t either. IfIeven thought aboutit, my girlswould holdmeback.” Saidanother black student atOhio State, “if Istarted hooking up,Imean, notlike with some random whitegirl, but like with mysisters, Oh,God, my friends wouldbesaying I’m,like, ‘acting white.’ ” As aresult, minority studentsarelikely toconform to more con­ ventional datingscripts, especially withintheirowncommunities. Our survey foundthatblacks and Latinos aresomewhat lesslikely to engage in hooking up, and Asianstudents are far lesslikely to doso. Hooking Up and Relationships: “The’ Talk” Ingeneral, womentend to bemore ambivalent abouthookup culture; some report feeling sexyanddesirable, othersfeelit’scheap and rarely leads anywhere. Butwhen itcomes to forming anactual relationship, the’ tiltisalmost entirely towardthewomen. They are the ones who must negotiate whetherthehooking upwill proceed to adeeper level of intimacy. On many campuses, womenare the oneswhotypically initiate the ((Define theRelationship” conversation-the “DTR,” Of, moresimply, “TheTalk.” “Areweacouple ornot?” sheasks. Some women don’tevenbother toask. “Ididn’t want to bringitup and just be, like, ‘sowhere dowe stand?’ because Iknow guysdon’t like th~t question,” saysonewoman’to sociologist KathleenBogle ..Another tells her it’s the women whowant the relationship and theguys who make the finaldecision. “It always comesdown to that,”saysAnn, a junior atWright StateUniversity. You know, women seehooking updifferent frommen. Imean it’s fun and all, but like after once ortwice, like,where isitgoing? i mean, are you oraren’t you,youknow, likeacouple? Me and my girlfriends alwaystalkabout howtobring itup, how to start the 204 GUYLAND talk.Iknow he doesn’t want to hearit.But otherwise, what’sall that hooking up for? Justin,ajunior atGeorge Washington, offerstheapposite retort: Oh, man, don’tgetme started on”the talk”! It’slike assoon as you hook upwith someone, andyou, like,have agood time, or whatever, andsuddenly she’sall,like, “well areweacouple, or not?” Of course you’renot! You just hooked up,man! “So,” Iask him, “what do youdowhen shewants tohave thattalk?” Avoid it.Like ifshe says, allserious, like,”Justin, wehave to talk,” like you know what’s coming, right?That’s whenIget busy doing something else. Or Idon’t callherback. Or Itry and avoid seeing herinprivate andonly like bump intoheroncampus or something. ButIdefinitely do not want tohave thattalk. Itruins everything, But why areguys sorelationship-phobic? VirtuallyeveryguyIspoke with saidthathewanted toget married someday, andthat hehoped he would behappy. Justnotnow andprobably notuntil hisearly thirties. Their relationship phobiasareless related to fears ofromantic entangle­ ments fromwhich theywould havetrouble extricating themselves, and more todo with thepurposes ofhooking upinthe first place. Hooking up, for guys, is less arelationship path than itis for women. Infact, it serves anentirely different purpose. Sex as Male Bonding .In some wayshooking up.represents thesexual component of young men’s moregeneral aversion toadulthood. Theydon’twant girlfriends or serious relationships, inpart, because theydon’t feelthemselves ready (they’re probably not)andalso, inpart, because theysee relationships as”too much work.” Instead theywant thebenefits ofadult Hooking Up: Sex in Guy/and 205 relationships,whichforthem seem to beexclusively sexual,withnone of the responsibility thatgoes along withadult sexuality-the emotional connection, caring,mutuality, andsometimes eventhecommon human decencythatmature sexualrelationships demand.Simplyput,hooking up is the form ofrelationship guyswant withgirls. Yet it’sabit more complicated thansimple pleasure-seeking onthe part ofguys, because asitturns outpleasure isn’tthefirst item onthe hookup agenda. Infact, pleasure barelyappears onthe listatall. If sex were thegoal, aguy would haveamuch ‘better chance ofhaving more (and better) sexifhe had asteady girlfriend. Instead,guyshook up to prove something to otherguys. The actual experience ofsex pales in comparison to the experience oftalking aboutsex. When I’vejust gotlaid, thefirst thing I think about-really, I shouldn’t be telling youthis, butreally it’sthe very firstthing, before I’veeven like “finished”-is that Ican’t waittotell my crew whoIjust did. Like, Isay to myself, “Omigod, they’renot going to believe thatIjust didKristy!” So says Ted, a21-year-old junioratWisconsin: Like Ijust know whatwillhappen. They’llallbehigh-fiving me and shit. And Kristy? Uh,well, she’ll probably askmenot totell anyone, youknow, to protect herreputation andall.But, like, yeah, right. I’mstill gonna tell my boys. Hooking upmay have less to do withguys’ relationships withwomen and more todo with guys’ relationships withother guys.”It’slikethe girls youhook upwith, they’re, like,away ofshowing off to other guys,” saysJeff, aproud member ofafraternity atthe University ofNorthern Iowa. “I mean, youtellyour friends youhooked upwith Melissa, and they’re like,’whoa, dude, you areone stud.’ So, I’minto Melissa because my guyfriends thinksheis so hot, andnow they think more ofme because ofit. It’s totally aguy thing.” He looks abit sheepish. “Don’tgetme wrong,” headds, withlittle 206 GUYlAND affect. “I mean,yeah,Melissa isvery niceandblah blah blah.Ilike her, yeah. But,” he sort oflights upagain, “theguys think Itotally rule.” Jeff’s comments echothose Iheard” fromguysallacross thecoun­ try. Hooking upisnot forwhatever pleasures onemight derive from drunken sexonagiven weekend. Hookingupisaway that guys com­ municate withother guys-it’s about homosociality. It’saway thatguys compete witheach other, establish apecking orderofcool studliness, and attempt tomove upintheir rankings. “Oh, definitely,” saysAdam, a26-year-old Dartmouthgraduatenow working infinancial servicesinBoston. “I mean, whydoyou think it’s called~scoring?’ It’slike you’re scoring withthewomen, yeah, but you’re like scoring on theother guys. Getting overonagirl isthe best wayof getting yourguys’ approval.” His friend, Dave,28,sitting nexttohim atthe bar, isalso aDartmouth grad. He nods. “It’snotjust like keeping count,”hesays. “Not asimple tally, you know? It’slike ‘how many have you had?’yeah, but it’s also’who did you get?’ That’s how my guys … well,that’s howweevaluated you for membership inthe worldwide fraternityof guys.” Theybothlaugh. Of course, theawesome insecurity that underlies suchjuvenile blus­ tering remains unacknowledged, whichisinteresting since that inse­ curity isthe driving forcebehind so much ofsex inGuyland. The vast majority ofcollege-aged guysarerelatively inexperienced sexually.Most of them havehadsome sex, but notasmuch asthey’d like,andnowhere near asmuch asthey think everyone elsehashad. Perhaps they’ve received oralsex,lesslikely they’ve performed it,and ifthey have had intercourse atall itis generally onlyahandful oftimes withonepartner, two ifthey’re lucky.There arevirtually notrustworthy adultswilling or able totalk honestly aboutsexwith young people. Talking totheir parents is far too awkward. Sexeducation inschools isoften restricted to aquasi-religious preachingofabstinence. Anyinformation that they do manage tocobble together-how itworks, what to do, what women like, what they expect-comes almost entirely fromtheirpeers, and from pornography. In fact” pornographywindsupbeing thebest source of sexual information availabletothem, andaswe’ve seenpornography is filled withlies. Hooking Up: Sex in Guyland 207 Yet mostguys think thatthey arealone intheir inexperience. They think thatother guysarehaving alot ofsex, allthe time, withahuge number of women. And they suspect, but would have noway ofknow­ ing, that other guysarealot better at itthan they are.Seen inthis light, the hookup culture, atleast forguys, ismore than adesperate bidsimply to keep up.It’saway tokeep up, and keep quiet about it-while being rather noisyat the same time. Hooking Up vs. Good Sex Mature sexual relationships arecomplex; goodsextakes timetodevelop. It usually helpstobe sober enough toknow what ishappening. Hooking up may provide quantitative evidenceofmanly sexual prowess, butit cannot answer the qualitative insecurities thatinvariably attendsexual relationships. Hookingupmay make onefeel more likea man when talk­ ing with other guys, butitdoesn’t help-indeed, it may actually hinder­ healthy and mutually satisfying sexualrelationships withwomen. And it certainly cannot answer the anxieties that haunt guyswhen theyare alone. Hooking upoffers sexwithout entanglements, butit isattended by somany possibilities forego devastation, misunderstanding, and crises that it can stillbecome quiteentangled. And since there is somuch surface interaction inhookup culture, but solittle actual connection, most ofthis stays buried. With allthis hooking up,friends withbenefits, and booty calls,guys should feelthey have itmade. Butthere is acreeping anxietythatcon­ tinually hauntsguys’sexual activities, particularly thesealmost-men. They worry thatperhaps they’renotdoing itenough, orwell enough, or they’re notbigenough, or hard enough.Though the evidence suggests that men arein the driver’s seatwhen itcomes to sex, they feel that women haveall the power, especially the powertosay no. And these days, those women haveanew “power” -the power to compare. Many of the guysIspoke withbecame suddenly uneasy when the topic of women’ssexualexpectations came up. They shifted uncom­ fortably intheir seats, looked down at the floor,orstared intotheir soft drink asifitwere an oracle. 208 GUYLAND Jeff,asophomore at UC SanDiego said, Uh, thisisthe tough part,youknow. Imean, well,like, we’re supposed tohave hooked upalot, but now soare they, andthey, like, talkabout itin ways thatweguys never would. So, like, you feel likeyouhave to be this fabulous loverandthey have to come atleast three times, and like,your, youknow, your,ub, dick isn’tthebiggest she’severseen, and,like, you always feel like you’re beingmeasured and coming upabit … [he laughs uncomfortably], short. “I think guysinyour generation weremore worried aboutwhether or not you were going toget laid atall,” says Drew, asenior atKansas State. ”I’m pretty sureIcan hook upwhen Iwant, andIhave several FWBs and even theoccasional bootycall.ButIworry aboutwhether I’many good atit. Ihear allthis stuff from other guysabout whatthey do, and how crazy theygetthe girl, and Ithink, whoa, Idon’t dothat.” Guys feelalot ofpressure to hook up,alot ofpressure to score­ and to lettheir friends knowabout it.And theyfeelalot ofpressure to be great inbed. InBogle’s study,somestudents estimated thatsome of their friends werehooking uptwenty-five timeseverysemester. And, they believed that while they thought hooking upmeant kissing and other stuff, theythought’their friendswereactually havingintercourse. “It’s always the other student who,theybelieved, actuallyhadintercourse every timetheyhooked up,”shewrites. . I asked guysallacross thecountry whatthey think isthe percent­ age ofguys ontheir campus who had sexonany given weekend. The average answerIheard wasabout 80percent. That is,they believed that four out ofevery fiveguys oncampus hadsexlast weekend. Actu­ ally, 80percent is the percentage ofsenior men who have ever had vaginal intercourse inour college survey. The actualpercentage onany given weekend iscloser to5 to 10 percent. This giv~s one an idea of how pervasive thehooking-up culture is, howdistorted thevision of young menby that culture is, and thesorts ofpressures aguy might feel asThursday afternoon hintsatthe looming weekend. Howcanhe Hooking Up: Sex in Guy/and 209 feellike a man ifhe’s close to the only onenotgetting laid? And ifso manywomen areavailable, sexuallypromiscuous, and hooking up as randomly as the men are,what’s wrongwithhimifhe’s the only one who’s unsuccessful? As it turns out, guys’ insecurity is notaltogether unfounded. Most hookups arenot great sex.Inour survey, intheir most recent hookups, regardless ofwhat actually tookplace, only 19 percent of the women reported havinganorgasm, ascompared to 44 percent ofthe men. When women received cunnilingus, onlyabout aquarter expe~ience an orgasm, thoughthe men whoreported theyhadperformed cunnilingus on their partner reported thatshehad anorgasm almost60percent of the time. This orgasmgapextends tointercourse aswell. Women reportan orgasm 34percent of the time; the men report that the womenhadan orgasm 58percent ofthe time. (Thewomen, notsurprisingly, arefar better abletotell if the men had orgasms, and reporting ratesarevirtu­ ally identical.) Many women, itturnsout,fake orgasm-and most do so Hto make that person feelgood, tomake themfeellike they’ve donetheir job.” Butsome women saidthatthey faked it”just really toend it,” because they’re, “like,bored with it.” “He was,like,trying so hard tomake me come,” says Trish, asenior at Washington UniversityinSt. Louis. “Andthere was,likenoway itwas going to happen. Ifelt sobad forhim. Imean, Ihad gone down onhim and he came already, and hewas, like,trying tobe agood sport about it, but really … SoI just faked it, and he feltgood and Ifelt relieved.” Hooking Up and Gender Politics Hooking upseems disadvantageous towomen inso many ways, and not only because the sexisn’t sogreat. In fact the disincentives appear so numerous that one eventually mightwonder whywomen bother. The hookup cultureappears topresent akind oflose-lose situation. If they don’t participate, theyrisksocial isolatiqn-not tomention thatthey also forego sex itself, aswell asany emotional connection theymaybe 210 GUYLANO’ able to squeezeoutof the occasion. Ifthey doparticipate, theyfacethe potentially greaterriskof”loss of value,” and there’s agood chance that they won’t evenhaveanyfun. On theother hand, oneought notoverstate the case. Anti-feminist jeremiads fretconstantly aboutwomen’s lostmodesty, chastity,oreven their capitulation tomale standards ofsexual conduct. Conservative columnists complainaboutever-loosening sexualmores, and use the genderinequality ofhookup culturetoadvise women to keeptheirlegs crossed. Women, theycounsel, must remember themessage thattheir grandmothers mightoncehavetoldthem, “menwantonlyonething.” And sowomen, ifthey yearn forcommitment and marriage, have to re­ learn howtojust sayno. Since the I990s, abstinence campaignshavebeen encouraging young people totake a”virginity pledge” and torefrain fromhetero­ sexual intercourse untilmarriage (thecampaigns assumethatgayand lesbian students donot exist). Abstinence-based sexeducation ispretty much the only sex education onoffer inthe majority ofAmerican high schools. And many parents seeabstinence as the bestadvice they can offertheirchildren abouthowtoreduce theirriskforsexually transmit­ ted disease,unwanted pregnancy, orsexual assault. At first glance, suchcampaigns appear to be somewhatsuccessful. One studyfound that thetotal percentage ofhigh-school studentswho say they’ve hadheterosexual sexhad dropped frommore than 50per­ cent in 1991 toslightly more than 45 percent in2001. Butteen preg­ nancy rateshaverisen, and whatever declineinabortion ratesmayhave occurred isdue largely to the restrictions onitsavailability, notacur­ tailment of sexual behavior. Nordoabstinence campaignsoffset the othermessages teenagers hear.Sociologist PeterBearman analyzeddata from over90,000 students, and foundthattaking avirginity pledgedoes lead an average heterosexual teenagertodelay hisorher first sexual experience, but only by about eighteen months. And thepledges were only effective forstudents up to age 17. By the timetheyare20years old, over 90percent of both boys and girlsaresexually active.Another campus-based surveyfound that of the 16 percent whohadtaken virgin­ ity pledges, 61 percent of them had brokentheirpledge before graduat- Hooking Up: Sex in Guy/and 211 ing.Pledgers werealsolesslikely to usecondoms, althoughtheywere just aslikely topractice oralsexasnonpledgers. >That’s more, because abstinence-based programsareoften used instead ofactual sexeducation, fewpeople reallyknowexactly what “counts” inkeeping yourpledge. Inone recent survey of1,100 college freshmen, 61 percent believed youarestill abstinent if youhave par­ ticipated inmutual masturbation; 37percent ifyou have hadoral sex; and24percent ifyou have hadanal sex. On the other hand, 24percent believed thatkissing withtongues broketheirabstinence pledge.Inthe survey byAngela Lipsitz and hercolleagues, the majority ofthose who said they “kept” theirvows hadexperienced oralsex. At first glance, abstinence might be seenas the antithesis of the Guy Code, sincepromising nottohave sexwould negate the drive toscorethat is central to the Code. Butabstinence actuallysitseasily within the Guy Code. Abstinence pledges put all the responsibility on the girls to police sexual activity-and to bear all the consequences and responsibilities if something goeswrong. Abstinence pledgesalsomake italot easier for guys tomaintain thegood girl/bad girl,Madonna/whore dichotomythat has kept the sexual double standard inplace fordecades. “Does having sex with, like,aho, actually violateyourabstinence pledge?”onefirst­ year student askedmerecently. “I mean, Idefinitely respectthenice girls, and I am abstinent withthem.” Even those whoadvocate prudence rather than abstinence nonethe­ less seem to focus alltheir attention on the women.Ifawoman ever intends to marry, and most do,hooking upisexactly thewrong way to go, say several recentcommentators on the issue.Ina2001 survey by the Independent Women’sForum,aconservative anti-feminist think tank, authors Elizabeth Marquardt and NorvalGlenntellus that while more than four outoffive college women surveyed saythey want to get married, therearetoomany elements incollege culture that “under­ mine the likelihood ofachieving that goal.” Marquardt and Glenn pro­ pose reviving a”culture ofcourtship” toencourage thoseold-fashioned dates-and thatold-fashioned sexualfrustration. Laura Sessions Steppinher book Unhoohed claims thathooking up isilareplacement fordating,” inwhich “ir~timacy isdisposable”; lIaway of 212 GUYlAND playingatromance whilecontrolling the unruly emotions thatcome with realromance.” Steppargues that “young peoplehavevirtually abandoned dating and replaceditwith group get-togethers andsexual behaviors thataredetached fromlove and commitment-and some­ times evenfrom liking.” Sheworries that thiswill make itmore difficult to date, mate, fallinlove, and marry. Andindeed itmight, for both’ sexes. Yet at the endofher book sheoffers advice onlytomothers and daughters-mostly abouthowwomen shouldbefar choosier abouttheir dating and sexual partners, lestthey permanently impairtheirability to develop those relationships-ever. Suchadvice ignores the pleasure-seeking behaviors and intentionsof both women and men, and assumes thatwomen arenaturally chaste and virginal,wereitnot forthose rapacious men.Such an image isobviously insulting tomen, since itimagines them as no better than predators. And itis also probably insulting to women,whohave shown themselves fully capable ofseeking and enjoying sexinways thattheir mothers­ andcertainly thosegrandmothers! -could never haveimagined. Both women and men are pleasure-seeking creatures,especially oncampus, and itlets guys entirely off the hookif the focus ofall the advice isonly the women. The truth is, hooking upisnot the end of the world-it’s atime-out, like college. And more important, it’sapolitical time-out; thatis,itis experienced differently, and unequally,bywomen and men. Focusing allone’s moralizing attention onyoung V·lOmen only perpetuates that inequality,rather than challengesit. Hooking Up: The New Norm What these earnest warningsmiss,ofcourse, isnot the opposition between hookingup and courtship, butthat hooking up istoday’sculture of courtship. Itiscertainly not true that alltlie women arehooking up in order to developrelationships, norareallguys hooking upin the hopes of avoiding precisely the relationships that the womenareseeking. Most actually want relationships. But,most say, notquite yet. Today’s collegestudents willget married-eventually. It’ll be about Hooking Up: Sex in Guy/and 213 eightyears later than theirmothers and fathers did. And they’ll do thatbychoice, because beforemarriage theywant to establish careers enjoy relationships, and develop autonomy. The contemporary cultur~ ofcourtship is not their parents’ cultureofcourtship, butit is noless a “culture” and no less legitimate becauseofthat. The students Iinterviewed in depth followingourquantitative survey wereconvincing onthis score. Hooking up, in theirminds, is not an alternative to relationships-it’s the newpathway toforming relationships. Evenifonly asmall percentage ofhookups resultinrela­ tionships, mostrelationships dobegin with ahookup. Forsome, hook­ ing upismost definitely in the serviceofa relationship-just not this particular one. “Of courseI’lleventually getmarried,” saysAnne, aPrinceton junior who happens tobe sitting with Dave when Ispeak withhim.”Just not yet. Right now,Ihave to focus onmy career, getting through medi­ cal school, establishing myself.Hooking up’sabout asmuch asIcan handle. It’s the meanstoan end, not the enditself.” Andwith that,she gives Dave a peck onthe cheek, picksup what appears tobe twenty pounds ofscience textbooks, and isoff to the lab. Dave looks atme, shrugs hisshoulders, and grins. “All the girls at Princeton arelike that,” hesighs. “You know thatexpression from,like, your generation,” heeyes me warily, “‘you can look but you better not touch?’ ” Inod and scowl slightly atbeing castasover-the-hill. “Well, around hereit’smore ‘you can touch but you’d better not look’-as in look foragirlfriend.” Kathleen Bogle,asociologist, arguesthathooking uphas become the normative pathtorelationships oncampus. “There’ssomething about the way people definecollege lifeasatime to party and atime to kick back,” shetold ajournalist. “They’repostponing marriage,sothey have timetoplay thefield.” Postgraduate Sex in Guyland Playing the field takes asomewhat differentshapeaftergraduation. Though youngpeople still go tobars orparties ingroups, and some still 214 GUYlAND drinkalot, fewer areslinking offtoempty roomstohook up. On the whole, post-college-aged peoplearereturning tomore traditional dating patterns. Boglefollowed recentgraduates oftwo colleges, andfound that women andmen exchange phonenumbers oremail addresses, and some timeinthe next fewdays theywillcontact eachother andarrange togo todinner orsomething moreconventionally social. It turnsout that hooking upincollege hasadded anew actin an old drama, but it ishardly anew play. Of course, thefact that most young people movebeyond hooking up still doesn’t neutralize itsmore negative aspects.Though thehookup culture maybethe new norm, thatstilldoesn’t makeitideal. Even if guysarehaving sex in order to assuage anunderstandable ins~curity, they arenonetheless usingwomen. Andeven ifwomen arethemselves conscious sexualagents, thereremains anundeniable aspect of capitu­ lat,ion in muchoftheir behavior. “Hookups arevery scripted,” onewoman tellsLaura Sessions Stepp. “You’re supposed toknow whattodo and how to doitand how tofeel during andafterward. You learn to turn everything offexcept yourbody and make yourself emotionally invulnerable.” What kindofsex isthis, where ayoung woman prepares byshutting down andbecoming invulnerable? Whereayoung man thinks more about hisfriends than about thewoman he’shaving sexwith, oreven than his own pleasure? Where everyone isso drunk they can barely remember whathappened? Much ofwhat passes forsex inGuyland isnot the kind ofsex that adults-those with considerably moreexperience inthis a~ena-would think ofas healthy. Itsometimes feelsasifitdoesn’t buildarelationship but rather is intended tobe atemporary stand-in for one.Nordoes it seem tobe particularly goodsex.And thereal skills thatyoung people will need asthey takeonadult sexual relationships rarelyfeature inthe hookup culture. They’renotlearning howtoask forwhat theywant, or ..howtolisten totheir partners, howtokeep monogamous sexinterest­ ing, how tonegotiate pleasure,howtoimprove theirtechniques. And while much of adultsexuality isalso alearn-as-you-go endeavor,that doesn’t mean there isn’tplenty of room for advice andcounsel. Hooking Up: Sex in Guyland 215 Yet mostadults aren’ttalking. The morereligious amongusmay have firmly heldbeliefs thatdictate abstinence and tolerate nomiddle ground, while themore liberal among usmay give our adolescent childrenbooks that explain thephysiological aspectsofwhat theyneed toknow butsay nothing of the emotional component inherent in sexuality.Butrarely do mature adultsactively engagetheirsonsanddaughters inthe kinds of candid conversations thatmight actuaIly proveuseful tothem. Rarely do we talk about asexuality that can beboth passionate andethical; rarely dowe even explain thatthere is such athing as ethical sexuality that doesn’t promote oreven include abstinence asagoal. Instead, the whole subject is soshrouded inembarrassment anddiscomfort thatwe generally avoidit,hoping thatourkids willfigure itout forthemselves without toomuch trouble in themeantime. Luckyforusthey often do. Butnotalways. 216 GUYLAND 189 their girlfriends unless they act like porn stars.” DavidAmsden, “Not Tonight, Honey.I’mLogging On”in New Yorh, October 20,2003. CHAPTER NINE: Hooking Up: SexinGuyland 193 complex dance that he called “rating-dating-mating.” Willard Waller, ”The Rating andDating Complex,” in AmericanSociological Review, 2, October, 1937: 727-34. 193 depends on dating more than anything else.” Ibid., p.730. 195 there will likely be no future commitment.” Tracy A. Lambert, “Pluralistic IgnoranceandHooking Up” inJournal ofSexResearch, 40(2), May, 2003, p. 129. 195 (28 percent) have hooked up ten times or mor~. Our numbers seem tosquarewithother surveys, or, perhaps, runabit tothe conservative side, since wehave alarge sample ofcolleges inour pool, andvirtually allother surveys weredone onlyatthe researcher’s university. 196 very vagueness and ambiguity that characterizes it.See, for example. Andrea Lavinthal andJessica RozIer. The Hooh up Handbook: ASingle Girl’s Guide toLiving ItUp (New York: Simon Spotlight, 2005). p.3. 196 from, in myopinion, kissing to having sex” says another. SeeKathleen Bogle. Hooking Up: Understanding Sex,Dating andRelationships in College and After (New York: New York University Press,2008), p.26. 197 good friend and they’re telling you an the details. Quotes from students atRadford University comefromresearch by my colleague Danielle Currier, whose in~depth interviews parallelthesurvey research ofthe online study. Iam grateful toDanielle for sharing someofher findings. 198 for awoman there’s still’some loss of value.” Laura Sessions Stepp, “Study: Halfof All Teens HaveHadOral Sex” inWashington Post, September 15, 2005; SharonJayson, “TeensDefineSexinNew Ways” inUSA Today, October 18, 2005. 198 rituals for what has become known as “the girl hunt.” See, for example, David Grazian, “TheGirlHunt: Urban Nightlife andthePerformance of Masculinity asCollective Activity”in Symbolic Interaction 30(2),2007. f99 participants are drinking or drunk,” says one study. Norval Glennand Eliz.abeth Marquardt, Hooking Up, Hanging Out, andHopingfor Mr. Right: College Women on Dating andMating Today. New York: Institute for American Values, 2001. p. 15. 200 her book, Unhooked, “is asmall price to pay for exoneration. JJLaura Sessions Stepp. Unhooked: How Young Women PursueSex,Delay Loveand Lose atBoth, (New York: Riverhead, 2007).p. 115. Endnotes 309 201 so annoying when you start dating them.” BenoitDenizet-Lewis, “Friends, FriendswithBenefits andtheBenefits ofthe Local Mall”in New York Times Magazine, May30,2004, p.32. 201 pushed aside or drawn closer at our whim. Laura Sessions Stepp, Unhooked, pp.40, 174. 202 then play video games or something. Itrocks. “Ibid., p.32. 202 outside of relationships, guys don’t need relationships.” Ibid., p.34 203 any night and you know that’s fine with them. Bogle, Hoohing Up, manuscript, Ch. 6,p.6,Ch. 4,p.7. 204 Asian students arefar lesslikely to do so. The median number ofhookups for whitemales, juniors andseniors, was6 (3for white women). The median for black andLatino males ‘was 4,and for Asians itwas zero. 209 had intercourse every time they hooked up,” she writes. Bogle, Hooking Up, Ch. 5,p.20. 210 end it,” because “they’re like bored with it.” Paula England, Emily Fitzgibbons Shafer,andAlison Fogarty, “Hooking Upand Forming Romantic Relationships onToday’s College Campuses” in The GenderedSocietyReader (ThirdEdition) edited by AmyAronson andMichael Kimmel(New York, OxfordUniversity Press,2007), manuscript, p.7. 211 90 percent’of both boys and girls are sexually active. SeePeter Bearman andHannah Bruckner, “Promising theFuture: Virginity Pledges and First Intercourse” in AmericanJournal ofSociology, 106(4),january, 2001, pp. 859-912. 212 just as likely to practice oral sex as nonpledgers. Angela Lipsitz, Paul D. Bishop,andChristine, Robinson, “VirginityPledges:WhoTakes Them and HOv Well DoThey Vork?” Presentation atthe Annual Convention ofthe American Psychological Association,August2003. 212 kissing with tongues broke their abstinence pledge. See Bearman and Bruckner, 2001, and Lipsitz, BishopandRobinson, 2003. 212 they “kept” their vows had experienced oral sex. Lipsitz, et aI., 2003. 213 impair their ability to develop those relationships-ever. Laura Sessions Stepp, Unhooked, pp.13,28, 58,4. 213 those grandmothers!-could never have imagined. Forexamples of this, seeLaura Sessions Stepp, Unhooked; andNorval GlennandElizabeth Marquardt, Hooking Up, Hanging Out and Hopingfor iWr. Right. 214 postponing marriage, so they have time to play the field.” Citedin Sharon Jayson, “What’s Upwith Hookups?” in USA Today, February 14, 2007. 215 your body and make yourself emotionally invulnerable.” Laura Sessions Stepp, Unhooked, p.243. 310 Endnotes

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