Urban Dictionary defines the term “hook-up” in two main ways: 1) verb – to engage in any type of sexual activity or 2) noun: a) purposely ambiguous, equivocal word to describe almost any sexual action, usually used to exaggerate or minimize what exactly happened. A hook-up can range from a make-out session to full out sex. b) person you hook up with.
As a member of Generation Y or the Millennials or whatever the hell those of us between the ages of 18 to 32 are supposed to be called these days, it seems that “hooking up” has always existed—we’ve just put a name on the activity (or activities, as the case may be). Both women and men have used sex in all its iterations for pure pleasure, business, and everything in between.
With the recent publication of Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men, talk of “hook-up culture” has resurfaced with a vengeance. (Although one can argue it has never truly disappeared since its emergence in last 10 to 15 years.) And as always, we have polarized this topic: on one hand, there are those who feel the hook-up culture has “liberated” women and has few or no negative consequences and on the other, we hear the voices of those proclaiming its immorality and inevitable danger. (As if hooking up were analogous to tightrope-walking without a net.)