Monday, June 21, 2010

Thoughts on "Hookup Culture"

Many articles have been written about Hookup Culture. Like many written-about things, most people who feel the articles refer to their own culture will tell you that the new buzzword is all stupid hype- that it's not a real thing.

But nothing with the word "culture" in the title is a "real thing" because no cultural phenomenon is really tangible. "Hookup Culture," like "Infomania" or "Boy Crisis" is an attempt to describe something that was not directly created and has no quantifiable measurement.

I taught myself a lesson after college. I taught it to myself with the thought that I would use it when I further pursued an expensive degree in cultural studies, and I thought that it would make me one of the greatest theoreticians of all time (before I realized that just about anyone feels like the greatest theoretician of all time at some time or another, and that study often distracts you from applying your analytical skills to your own life). 

The lesson is this: When you analyze a topic, don't ask why it exists. Ask what functions it serves.

So that's what I'm asking now. What are the functions of Hookup Culture?

These are the functions that I can think of. Please feel free to add more and to argue these.

- makes the desire for sexual adventure more palatable to those who may otherwise be squeamish about it

- uses a clinical term to distract from emotions that may occur during a sexual situation

- replaces the older phrase "sexual conquest" and other dominant/submissive terminology in narcissistic discussions of sexual encounters - lightens the sense of narcissism

- takes constant desire for attention from the opposite sex - eg "mommy issues" and "daddy issues" - and repackages it as a desirable commodity

- lets women know that they shouldn't feel lonely after sex with someone they don't know

- takes men's potential loneliness after sex with someone they don't know and buries it even deeper into the ground 

- responds to a world that is threatened by overpopulation and rampant spread of STD's by further mystifying the details of sexual arrangements, making all contemporary sexuality much easier to swallow

- speeds up the process of getting to know a person - is very useful to those who do not have enough free time to go on dates and confusing to those who do - lends an air of urgency and decisiveness to any sexual encounter

What does Hookup Culture mean to you? What functions do you think it serves?


Hipstercrite said...

Great post! I agree with all of your points.
Who knows why one individual person choses to hook up with another? It definitely boils down to ego and loneliness.

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Island Gal said...
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Mademoiselle Hautemess said...

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