Is Hooking Up Dangerous or Liberating?

Just came back from the gym and heard an interesting piece on NPR – The Hookup: Dangerous or Liberating?

Like any reasonable debate, both sides have merit. I don’t think we’d want to go back to the repressed ’50s, however, I think it’s clear that there’s something damaging about the frequency and availability of hookups. Some combination of post-feminism, technology, and societal mores has taken its toll. Witness all the letters from women who can’t find a guy to commit.

Yet let’s think about it from the male point of view – if there’s always an available hookup out there, and most men don’t have the desire to settle down until their mid-30’s, and most men lose big-time in divorce, why SHOULD they commit?

I’d like to challenge the women reading this to put yourself in the shoes of a man and ask yourself why HE’d make a commitment – not why YOU want a commitment or why you want HIM to make a commitment. You may be surprised to find that it’s more desirable for men to stay single…which is exactly why they so often do.

Your thoughts are appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 121
    Michael

    On the birth control thing, particularly in a hook-up type situation, guys have to wear condoms all of the time if they don’t want to father children, or get vasectomies. Not that either one of these is even fool-proof though.
    How would two layers of condoms work?

  2. 122
    Curly Girl

    Vino@119: I remember it very clearly, my friend. It was maybe a year or so ago, and it was a particularly vitriolic thread. You were insisting that women be on the Pill, that dating men should not have sex with women unless those women were on the Pill. Because women were saying 1) the Pill isn’t 100% effective, so the risk was still there, and 2) not all women can take the Pill because of adverse side effects. And then you, maybe other guys, poo-pooed the side effects. I remember it b/c I have had horrible side effects on the Pill–it was terrifying. So I thought your stern advice was really ignorant and uncharitable at the very least. But you’re right. We wouldn’t agree about dating. Or about sex. Or about birth control. So why bother drinking together? We see on this thread what that leads to.

  3. 123
    Cilla

    @ Michael

    Wearing two condoms is like wearing two pairs of surgical gloves: if one pair is breached the second pair hopefully provides a back-up barrier.

  4. 124
    vino

    Curly Girl Jun 10th 2009 at 03:00 pm 122

    I noticed you didn’t prove I said that as I asked.

    Now you’re going to get an argument. PROVE where I said At least Vino isn’t saying we all have to be on the Pill, like he used to.

    Provide proof I said that, or you’re just a bald-faced liar for intentionally mischaracterizing what I said. You can’t prove it. I am confronting you on this, because you lied as a means to attack me and what I’ve said. The rest of what you said is mere distraction. As I’ve said ad nauseam, there are about a dozen forms of birth control for women, and women who are sexually active AND do not want children will take one of those forms. It ain’t limited to the pill only. Those who take no birth control (a condom’s not woman’s birth control) and have sex want to have a kid on some level.

    So PROVE where I said At least Vino isn’t saying we all have to be on the Pill, like he used to. or drink a few pints of STFU.

    We wouldn’t have fun drinking anything together. I detest liars.
    ______
    Cilla Jun 10th 2009 at 02:30 pm 120

    While your characterization seeks to make me look unreasonable, I’ve had women say they would never have sex unless they saw a blood test because they are, you know, careful. I do the same, and ask to see ‘scrips and other similar proof. I also ask follow ups about other meds, antibiotics, etc. She also has to prove she’s responsible enough for me to have sex with her too, ya know.

    I’m also very open about not wanting kids, which is the first great filter. If you get blow back on that, you’re better off not having sex, for it’s more likely she isn’t taking ‘precautions.’ Like I said above (113), being open about it will get you fewer romps. It’s worth it.
    ———————
    Do I detect a bit of anger at how I suggest men take control of their sexual and reproductive lives? It may not be the most romantic way of looking at things, but it is the most responsible. It prevents unwanted pregnancies. Oh wait, that must not be a laudable goal.

    Geeze, where are those who lament that people should wait longer before having sex till you really *know* that person better? After all, aren’t we talking about troubles of hookups before *truly* knowing someone deeply?

  5. 125
    Michael

    Yes.

    I wonder if there are concerns about the effectiveness of surgical gloves in preventing the spread of communicable diseases.

  6. 126
    vino

    And I agree with Jennifer’s 118 re: contentiousness (and in all other respects too).

    Lying can’t be tolerated, though.

  7. 127
    Cilla

    @ Michael

    Hand washing is still the gold standard for preventing the spread of most diseases.

    The worry with surgical gloves is that they can tear easily with sharp objects (e.g., scalpel, broken glass in a motor vehicle accident, etc.).

  8. 128
    Cilla

    @ Vino

    You ask girls to bring prescriptions to dates (I assume the bottle or packaging, since the scrip itself has to be turned in to the pharmacy when being filled), and you follow up on antibiotics, etc.? I would tell you to f*** off, but apparently your method works with some women. Creepy.

  9. 129
    Curly Girl

    Vino, are you drinking again? I’m not going to wade through all of EMK’s old posts to find the thread in which you were ranting yet again about women and birth conrol. You crazy goof ball.

    Call me a liar all you want. Sticks and stones. I remember it clearly. If there were an emoticon on this board with a tongue sticking out I would throw it at you.

  10. 130
    Karl R

    Curly Girl said: (#129)
    “I’m not going to wade through all of EMK’s old posts to find the thread in which you were ranting yet again about women and birth conrol.”

    Here’s the thread.
    http://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/where-are-all-the-cute-successful-funny-interesting-men/

    vino said: (#124)
    “Provide proof I said that, or you’re just a bald-faced liar for intentionally mischaracterizing what I said.”

    Let me introduce you to my favorite quote:
    “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

    I agree that Curly Girl mischaracterized your quote, but given that the thread was over a year old, it’s highly probable that she didn’t remember precisely what you said.

    Furthermore, by accusing her of intentionally lying, you’re guilty of the same behavior that you’re accusing her of.

    vino said: (#124)
    “I suggest men take control of their sexual and reproductive lives?”

    Then why do you rely on your girlfriend’s use of the pill? If you’re going to take control, then take control.

    Get a vasectomy and use a condom. That’s two forms of birth control and one form of STD prevention. Since they’re male forms of birth control, that puts the control firmly in your own hands. And when the men get their own version of the pill, you can take that for added protection.

    I advocate personal control too … but I mean control of my person, not the other person.

  11. 131
    Curly Girl

    Ahh, thanks Karl! This clears it up. Vino said there were 11 forms of birth control for women, but the ones he kept citing were all estrogen-based drugs, i.e., variations on the birth control pill. Meaning the same principle (suppression of ovulation through drugs) but different ways of administering (tablet, implant, ring, etc.). He mentions the diaphragm briefly, so I give a nod to that. You guys might not know all this about the pill and its derivatives, never having been on it yourselves. The point Simone was making on the thread is that if you can’t tolerate estrogen-based birth control Vino’s way is not going to work. For some reason the diaphragm got short shrift on that thread. Ah, well.

    But Vino also states that the condom is the BACKUP form of birth control, that female birth control (via suppression of ovulation, one might infer) is the primary form to be used, and that all women who are dating and having sex should be using it if we are to be fair to men and their entertainment needs.

    Read the thread–it’s very lively!

    I believe I stand vindicated.

  12. 132
    Curly Girl

    Update: It was Simone who mentioned the diaphragm once or twice. In Vino’s posts, I didn’t see that as a suggested option–might have missed it in my search. He mentions the IUD three times. But far and away he talks about estrogen-based birth control, even using it in his example against the poster. Hence my takeaway.

    It’s really amazing that I remember that post from over a year ago. Or maybe that is scary.

  13. 133
    vino

    Karl R Jun 10th 2009 at 06:57 pm 130
    “Then why do you rely on your girlfriend’s use of the pill? If you’re going to take control, then take control.”

    “Get a vasectomy and use a condom.”

    How do you know I haven’t & don’t? Big ASSUMPTION. Just because the subject was what I feel women should do, that doesn’t mean I don’t practice what I preach. Of course, you assumed otherwise. Big mistake, White Knight.

    Further, since you actually took the time to find the thread where Liar intentionally mischaracterized my statements you provide simple proof that she could easily find it to prove her assertion.

    “Furthermore, by accusing her of intentionally lying, you’re guilty of the same behavior that you’re accusing her of.”

    Hardly. She’s a liar for intentionally mischaracterizing what I said and for failing to prove it after being asked to prove it TWICE where the source is readily available, as you proved. Truth is a defense to slander/libel. She STILL hasn’t proved her lie and you gave the source to do so. That’s because I never ever said that. Ergo, she lied. Deal with it.

    “I advocate personal control too but I mean control of my person, not the other person.”

    A simple reading of what I wrote indicates I do not attempt to control anyone. If you can’t/won’t take birth control and provide proof of same, that’s fine, but I’m not going to have sex with someone who won’t. No one is forcing someone to take/not take it. There is no control or duress there, and mischaracterizing it as such is fallacious and disingenuous.

    Where’s your favorite quote again?

    And keep your assumptions to yourself. You clearly don’t know it all, particularly about this.
    ______
    Curly Girl said: (#129)
    I’m not going to wade through all of EMK’s old posts to find the thread in which you were ranting yet again about women and birth conrol.

    Nice cop out Liar. Now it’s changed to “ranting about women & birth control” from At least Vino isn’t saying we all have to be on the Pill, like he used to.

    Be consistent & prove the latter. Until then, you are simply a Liar.
    _________
    Cilla Jun 10th 2009 at 05:00 pm 128

    And I would tell you the same, for in not being open about it, you prove yourself someone to definitely not have sex with. But of course it is okay to demand a guy provide blood/std tests….. no castigation about that, I noticed.

    Reminds me of a date I went on a year or so ago. Attractive, seemingly nice. During the course of the date, she tells me she wants kids. Ok. No big deal. Then she proceeds to tell me she’s been broken up only a few months. You see, she further tells me she was with her ex-bf for a few years. She knew he did not want kids, as he had a child from previous marriage.

    A couple of years into the relationship and she decides she wants one, unbeknownst to him (about a year before I met her). *Poof* She gets pregnant, against his wishes and knowledge, for they had been together for a few years (knowing he did not want kids). Then she had a miscarriage and had the cojones to tell me he wasn’t supportive during that. Duh. Otherwise, he’d be a daddy against his wishes. She was dumb enough to tell me this. Her ex was lucky. He dodged a bullet with a manipulative liar who he’d be legally tied to for decades…

    That’s why you verify. If you can’t understand that, there’s no talking sense with you.

    So just what is your objection specifically, Cilla?

  14. 134
    Cilla

    @ Curly Girl

    Even the most popular IUD currently, the Mirena, releases a small amount of progesterone, meaning it is not entirely hormone free. There are precious few alternatives for those who cannot tolerate hormone-based contraception.

  15. 135
    Curly Girl

    Cilla: Did not know!! Wow. That’s really interesting.

  16. 136
    Karl R

    In response to my suggestion that vino get a vasectomy and use a condom… (#130)
    vino replied: (#133)
    “How do you know I haven’t & don’t? Big ASSUMPTION. Just because the subject was what I feel women should do, that doesn’t mean I don’t practice what I preach.”

    I believe that you preach exactly what you practice. No more, no less.

    And in two vitriol filled threads, you’ve never mentioned that you had a vasectomy. Given the lengths you will go to to “win” an arguement, it seemed highly likely that you would have mentioned it.

    But until you replied to my post, it was just an educated guess. Then you replied and confirmed it.

    Vino, like most people you are basically honest. You don’t want to state an outright lie in your post. So you accused me of making an assumption (and you were correct). You told me that making assumptions is a big mistake (which is a valid opinion). But you didn’t directly state that you’ve had a vasectomy … because it isn’t true.

    So you danced around the subject; it appears to me that you were hoping that I’d assume that my first guess was wrong.

    Now you’ve piqued my curiosity. You go to greater lengths than anyone I know to avoid unwanted pregnancies. You’re also less trusting of your partner than anyone I know. (I’ll take my girlfriends’ word that they’re on the pill or have had their tubes tied.) And I may be wrong, but it sounds like you sometimes engage in hookups; that would increase the chance that you’d sleep with a partner who doesn’t use her birth control correctly.

    Why haven’t you gotten a vasectomy? I’ve strongly considered it, and I’m a lot less sexually active than you are. To the best of my knowledge, they’re the most reliable form of birth control after abstinence. It seems a little surprising that you haven’t gotten one.

  17. 137
    Cilla

    @ Vino

    I didn’t ask WHY you verify. I asked HOW you verify. “If you can’t understand that, there’s no talking sense with you.”

    You still haven’t answered my question. You’ve only provided a long-winded diatribe about one situation several years ago that supports your argument in a minimally anecdotal way.

  18. 138
    Steve

    I would like to point out that “birth control” is not the only issue. There is also STD prevention. Given that infidelity is common, some sort of barrier method will always be a relevant option.

  19. 139
    Selena

    #136

    Karl,
    I’m not convinced Vino is alot more sexually active than you are. Given the attitudes you each hold regarding women, I suspect he runs into the strong response Cilla gave (#128), more often than you ever would.

  20. 140
    metsgirl

    Karl, I like your attitude. It’s good to know that not all men have intense anger/hatred towards women. I’m thinking this may be why hookups could get dangerous….there seems to be a lot of anger regarding an activity that some people swear should be so simple. I personally think it’s a bit more complicated.

    Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a hookup and who (gender-wise) should be responsible for anything bad that may happen. It seems a high price to pay for something that may last a few hours (I’m being optimistic).

  21. 141
    vino

    To LIAR:

    – Ah, the dissembling and obfuscation begins.

    “Vino said there were 11 forms of birth control for women, but the ones he kept citing were all estrogen-based drugs, i.e., variations on the birth control pill.” “He mentions the diaphragm briefly, so I give a nod to that.”

    – So its, morphed again, LIAR. PROVE I said At least Vino isn’t saying we all have to be on the Pill, like he used to. You can’t. I never did. You lack even the common decency and minimal honor to admit it.

    “But far and away he talks about estrogen-based birth control, even using it in his example against the poster. Hence my takeaway.”
    – No. I said they can use one of the 11 or so forms and used one or 2 examples off the top of my head. You again mischaracterized my words, Liar, and prove yourself incapable of minimal paraphrasing skills or reading comprehension. I suppose it depends on what the meaning if ‘is’ is, right?

    “I believe I stand vindicated.”
    – Only in your hubric Owrellian fantasyland where up is down and lies are truths. Liar. Your word means nothing. You still haven’t proved I said that. And, as we see, your story now shifts and dissembles.
    _______________
    Cilla Jun 11th 2009 at 07:59 am 137

    I did answer your question. I’m just not going to format it like a television script. Answer mine in return, or take a hike.
    _______________

    Apologies to many readers for the harsh bluntness of my responses. However, when people blatantly lie about what you said in order to try and win or discredit you in some fashion, they should be called to account. I suspect most people would not take such behavior towards them kindly in person, and I won’t take it here either.

  22. 142
    Evan Marc Katz

    I’ve done this before, and I’m afraid I’m going to have to do it again: STOP THE NEGATIVITY!!!

    Seriously. This is a dating advice and relationship advice blog. I post articles, provide my 2 cents, and hope that you take something insightful away. It should not be a forum for sniping, hatred or pettiness, that’s for sure.

    It’s easy to get sucked in – I admit it, I do. But it’s ultimately bad for all of us. So I’m not sure if I’m going to shut down all comments, or just stay above the fray entirely, but I will ensure there will be no more personal attacks. If I see any personal attacks, they will be deleted, along with the rest of your post.

    Respectfully disagree with each others’ opinions all you like – but please, no insults. I will do the same.

    Many thanks.

    -The Management

  23. 143
    Selena

    Metsgirl brought up an interesting point:
    “Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a hookup ”

    I suppose I’ve thought the term to be a synonym for “One night stand” – that kind of thing where people meet at a bar, club, party and after a couple/few hours decide “What the hell” and go home to have sex with each other. Alcohol usually involved the decision.

    I can see how “hook-up” concept could be expanded to include “booty-call” arrangements. Those were the two people involved get together for sex now and then, but don’t really like each other enough to have an actual relationship.

    What about dating casually though? The type of thing where you date (with sex) until you realize one or both of you aren’t into the other enough? Or the kind where you enjoy each other’s company as well as the sex, but for whatever reason you don’t feel ‘serious’ about each other, or see it going in that direction? Do these scenarios fit the definition of “hook-ups”, or are they something different?

    Curious as to how others define hook-up. Any takers?

  24. 144
    Ava

    Personally, and in general, I think hooking up is when you know from the get-go that it’s going to be casual and nothing more, and when you are in it just for the sex and the short-term. I guess there are people who have long-term flings like that, or even something more serious that comes out of the hook-up, but that’s rare.

  25. 146
    Jennifer

    @Honey- my school was the same way! Any chance you attended college on the East Coast? :-)

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, in my peer group hooking up came to mean anything sexual, up to and including intercourse.

  26. 148
    Selena

    Honey,

    That was funny! Thanks for sharing.

    I don’t remember the term “hook-up” being used much when I was in college (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth). Anything of short duration was “went out with”, which could mean making out, sex, or nothing happened, depending on how one was so inclined. Thinking about it, I still use that term in conversation today: “I went out with him a few times”, or for a couple months, or “I went out with this guy once who…” Having “gone out” with someone did not mean they were ever a boyfriend. Back when I was in high school/college the term “dating” seemed old-fashioned; something our parents did back in ’50’s. Now it’s current lexicon again.

    I like your bf’s expression “kick it in the head” too. Never heard that, it’s great!

  27. 149
    hunter

    I am glad we have several definitions of “hook up.” I was beginning to say to myself, “where I have been, all this time?”

  28. 150
    Mikko Kemppe

    I think “hooking up” and can be both dangerous or liberating depending a lot on the person doing the hooking up.

    I agree with Janet in that today women stay single for those very same reasons many men do. There is a lot more to life than just easy sex, but I think it takes maturity to realize that, especially on our men’s part. But on the other hand, I would not judge myself or those who would enjoy a liberating hookup.

    Mikko Kemppe´s last blog post…Do Men Just Want Sex? Should My Decision Be To Wait Or Not To Wait?

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