Hookup Culture: So Where is this Going?

Brand Girl Hookup CultureIt happened again. KABOOM.

Another promising startup with a “him” ended with a hideous crash, landing a girl squarely on her ego. (C’mon! It bruises so damn easily these days). It was a scene that could’ve been written for the movie Bridesmaids; A girl was dismissed by text, mere hours after intimacy, on New Year’s Eve, by a boy channeling a god awful Jon Hamm. I mean, WOW. Who does that (channel Jon Hamm)? And why is this still happening (the bruising)? I get dizzy when I think about how fast I was knocked off my high horse this time. However, do not fret my friends, he didn’t get away fully unscathed. Like a dragon, I have an innate ability to burn everything in site. To a crisp. From great distances. And by text.

His reply to my well-deserved lashing: “You’re a wacko.” Silly boy. All us girls are.

Drama aside, (though you know there’s so much more to that story), it’s utterly funny how technology advances all forms of communication, all the while, our interactions have not evolved at all. I mean, we don’t hear each other well when lying next to each other naked in bed… why would we hear any better in a cryptic text message? He hears what he needs to, and she sees what she wants to. How on earth do we think we would understand the nuances of the subtext of the subtext of a subtext of a text sent the day before? Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, and these two orbiting planets speak very different languages. No Rosetta Stone CD or revolutionary smart phone app will change that. And by the way—adding an emoticon at the end of a text doesn’t make it better. In fact, it makes it a bit suspicious if anything. The real problem has and always will be the interpretation of messages—whether it’s in person or on a screen. But I digress.

After my brutal landing on New Year’s, I naturally sought comfort with some Arnica, a chilled bottle of Kistler and my closest confidant—a six-year old. Unsurprisingly, like any gal pal, the six-year old offered up her hilarious, youtube worthy advice and gave me three solid steps to getting a relationship with a boy—in no time.

It was her step 2 that amused me the most… “Ask him to play in the playground because you want him to be near you.”

The irony here is that I spend most of my time trying to keep the boys out of my playground. Yes, we are largely adults here. I’m talking about my bed. Sex. After all, the dating game has changed significantly and is now more confusing than ever. Sure, social media has helped to catalog a large number of available bodies via all these online dating sites. And without a doubt, we definitely have more channels to contact folks. Part of the confusion lies in the fact that everyone seems to have their own definition of dating and what being in a relationship means. Today, the world of dating appears to be redefined as largely a culture of “hooking up”.

That Awkward Moment, kind of an awful movie, does one thing really well: it captures the essence of what I’m brooding about. The guy-centric rom-com is basically about boys hanging out in bars around Gramercy Park in New York City, sniffing around for sex and dodging any form of responsibility, a.k.a. “a relationship.” They’re just playing with the girls, killing time before the dreaded “So” moment is launched upon them. The “So” defined as the point in the conversation when she will ask, “Where is this going?” In return he gives you his best deer caught in the headlights stare while snatching up his clothes and making his way to the door hoping nothing sharp hits him on the way out. It’s a scene many of us know well. Awkward for all parties involved.

This CNN article, “Young Adults and Hookup Culture” suggests that

…romance may be getting short shrift these days, replaced instead with quick “hookups” devoid of any real emotion. That’s the argument of a provocative new book, “The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy.” Not only are more college students hooking up––kissing, making out and having sex––but these experiences often leave them feeling empty, sad and regretful, author Donna Freitas argues.

I can argue that sadness and regret are feelings that linger after loose intimacy, even when pushing fifty. Remember those crazy relationship books like The Rules, and Getting to I do? Well, idyllic as they might have been in offering strategies that were inapplicable–at a time when women where being encouraged to strut their own stuff, never mind learn to stroke the ego of a man–one aspect remains fairly relevant. It is a largely accepted fact that a hormone called Oxytocin is released during the act of fooling around. Allegedly, this love hormone evokes feelings of contentment, calmness and security after “mating.” As luck would have it, women tend to develop more of an emotional connection–an urge to bond, which is why felines take a longer time to letting it “go,” and are quicker to getting to “so.” And. And this is a very big AND. If you’re one of those rare, well-practiced gents that can actually get a girl to have a sexual climax, congratulations orgasmic machine. You have released an extra dose of this love hormone and it will be that much harder for you to keep your relationship with her a casual one. She is now stuck on you like Crazy Glue, and will start staring at you with those Crazy eyes and perusing around for that Crazy thing called a Commitment.

Dude. Once you’ve Oxytocin-ized a girl, she is potentially locked in.  (beat)

I was locked in. Not terribly long ago. While I was unconscious. Seriously. One morning I woke up to a series of text messages––from a guy that had been (ahem) courting me––thanking me for the “hot sex.” Seriously. Sadly, none of which I could really recall as I was in a chardonnay inspired coma (that was inspired from the night before). For a brief moment, I sat upright half-naked in my bed feeling like a champ. Victorious. A brunette Jenna Jameson. However, that moment was quickly replaced by pure angst that was fueled by a now surging level of Oxytocin pummeling thru my veins. Thank you very much sir! I was attacked by fuzzy flash backs as I read through his messages trying to decipher the subtext and recreate the night, all the while, wondering why he didn’t think to call. I was horrified further by what looked to be massive rug burns on some of my body parts. Seriously? Can a girl be too old for rug burns? I must google this.

Just for the record, it really is a bad, bad move to choose to consummate a budding union with a girl that’s not fully present. I don’t care if she’s pulling Jennifer Aniston like strip tease moves on you, or if she supposedly begs you to stay (Lord knows that’s footage that a few of us would love to see). You just don’t do it. And if you do, do it, and she wakes up looking for the equivalent of a ring, or starts acting extra wacko, you only have yourself to blame. Horn dog. Yes, I wrote that out loud.

If That Awkward Moment is a snapshot of today’s dating trends, I finally understand why I don’t date well. My tendency––one that I would like to see grow into a trend that sticks––is to spring the “So” moment onto a guy before he gets the key to my proverbial “playground” (as my sassy six-year old niece might call it) that is my bed. I can still count on all my fingers and a dozen toes with whom I have been intimate with. And maybe in today’s standards that makes me a prude. Perhaps even a bit of a mystical character: one in want of a relationship, fiercely guarding their Oxytocin, and subjecting all current and potential candidates to a Facetime approval by her dating coach. Yes, a six-year old.

Filed: boys, rants, social activities, social media

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  • Sharon DeSanti February 13, 2014 at 8:54pm

    I think she is the next Oprah. Sometimes the simplest way of handling things ends up being the best. Hats off to a future talk show host!!!


  • I find this story refreshingly truthful and funny – I love the witty and smart 6 year old! It just goes to show you how even the best of women can find themselves in tricky situations, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.


  • ahhhh…the endless pursuit of understanding, snagging, and maintaining the ‘grand illusion’ (that is, romantic, sexual and pragmatic love). Adore your additional contributions to this ocean of research. Nicely done, BG.


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