The depressing part of the “hookup culture” debate

Warm bodies, I sense, are not machines that can only make money” – Live, Pillar of Davidson

This Hanna Rosin video segment helped me figure out what bothers me about the “hookup culture” beyond the sexual issues — STD risk, pregnancy risk, the risk of going to private places with people you don’t know well, the psychological question of whether people can really separate sexual intimacy from emotional intimacy, my regrets over being awkward and geeky when all this was going on in college and my early 20s, etc.

Rosin sees the hookup culture as crucial in a society in which women (and men) delay marriage to develop their careers. But the problem is that we aren’t just delaying marriage. We’re turning away from relationships.

If a steady boyfriend — or just a monogamous partner — is considered a hindrance to career success, what does that say about our ability or our need to have relationships of any kind. With our parents, with our classmates, with our friends, with anyone?

Our college years and our early adulthood are our best chances to make friends based on our common interests. Then our lives become more centered around our families. That’s not to say we can’t make good friends in our 40s, but there’s a reason we have class reunions other than snarking on the bullies who now look like Uncle Fester.

And I’m not trading the memories of — or the continued contact with — the friends of my teens and 20s just to get ahead in business.

I don’t care too much for money / Money can’t buy me love – The Beatles




3 thoughts on “The depressing part of the “hookup culture” debate

  1. I knew there was something bothering me about it. Other than, like you, being to nerdy to partake had it even existed when I was in college. Thank you for nailing it.

    1. Perhaps not. But it if we’re going to be distrustful of “relationships” as things that can derail our single-mindedness toward career success, then will friendships be included?

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