What’s With All the Sluts Nowadays?

What’s with all the sluts nowadays? That’s the lazy rhetorical question asked by many when it comes to the widely-used phrase and widely misunderstood phenomenon known as "hooking up".

There’s been some nice chatter by Matthew Yglesias, The American Scene, and Dana Gouldstein who are all tackling the issue raised by a recent David Brooks column. Brooks said this ($):

Now young people face a social frontier of their own. They hit puberty around 13 and many don’t get married until they’re past 30. That’s two decades of coupling, uncoupling, hooking up, relationships and shopping around. This period isn’t a transition anymore. It’s a sprawling life stage, and nobody knows the rules.

This strikes me as accurate. As you can see from all the blogosphere discussion, though, it’s really complex.

I expect I’ll have more to say once I’m living in a dorm. Until then, here’s an old post of mine on girl-on-girl hookups and performative lesbianism which had 21 comments. Here’s a summary of that discussion. Here’s my review of I Am Charlotte Simmons. Here’s some chatter in the comments to one of my old posts on "fuck buddies".

4 comments on “What’s With All the Sluts Nowadays?
  • Can we talk more about guy and guy hookups? by far more interesting than some weekend lesbians.

  • It seems like this could be another one of those cultural shifts that gets analyzed, overanalyzed, and then reanalyzed, when it’s really just another new trend. Looking over the stuff out there, it doesn’t seem like anything insightful is really being generated in the “blogosphere” about this issue.

  • When one meets a new mother, one may be forgiven for believing her that she is the first mother ever on earth! It is similar with such commentary.

    Everyone, who is over 30, actually lived the 13-30 life stage facing similar challenges, give or take some based on cultural context. It is also my view that small town kids even in the US do not so much experience a 13-30 stage but rather something different depending on what is acceptable in their social context etc.

    In the UK, it is estimated that by 2026, some 38% of the total number of households will be elective or forced single households. The proportion of people living alone is projected to be 18% of the population by 2026, up from 13% in 2001 and 6% in 1971. (Rowntree Foundation) Which means that rather many will be experiencing the tale end way past 30 years of age..

    The early puberty and late marriage issue has to be analysed in the context of the rise in long-term cohabitation. The rules in long-term ones are similar to those in marriages, and some are better than marriages in that the two people stay on their toes and best behaviours at all times.

    I do wonder though: should, between the ages of 13 and some 23-24, people not be preoccupied with and focused on building a good foundation for life – educationally, professionally?? How much time is spent on chasing ‘mates’? Is awareness of sexual health keeping up with this rise in ‘hooking up’?

    You can see that different cultures interpret this phenomenon differently…

  • I agree with Jesse’s statement. Blogosphere commentary on this trend has the odor of journalist make-noise.

    I first had sex in 1968. The sexual climate was permissive in the ’60’s and the ’70’s, at least for young people.

    Don’t let baby boomer parents fool you about how promiscuous they were when they were young.

    There was a lot of casual ‘hooking up’ going on then, too.

    I like to remind people that there’s only ten years between your last day of being a teenager and your first day of being in your thirties.

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