These books add to a loudening cautionary chorus: Young women are hooking up and tuning out emotionally.
I didn't do much hooking up in college; I went to a single-sex school.
But after I closed the gates to that cosseted women's school -- and all of its unsexy talk about misogyny and the patriarchy -- I opened those other, um, metaphorical gates of mine. That's not to say I had a host of one-night stands -- I've never had a one-night stand, only several-nights stands. The first night we hooked up, he took me back to his house and played guitar, sang every song he'd ever written, and juggled his collection of vitamin pill bottles. We would have passionate, hours-long debates, as though we were opposing counsels in court; the first of such debates ended with him throwing up his hands and announcing, "Congratulations, you've worn out a professional litigator." He owned his own three-story house with a panorama of the Bay Area, drove an SUV -- with a shiny hood ornament that made me cringe -- and wanted to sweep me off my feet, rescue me from my one-room apartment, as well as the dishes piled up in (and under) my sink and my bipolar upstairs neighbor whose monologues are the constant soundtrack to my home life. Then there was the pilot, whom I would see whenever his flight schedule brought him in town.
But, as the median age of marriage continues to climb, young women are spending a lot more time romantically vetting -- and being vetted.
It isn't just that hooking up is becoming a common preamble to dating, either -- living in sin is increasingly a prelude to marriage.
A few months back, a New York Times Magazine piece about chastity on Ivy League campuses relied on this false binary: It pitted a prim Harvard abstinence advocate against a campus sex blogger (who recently posted a photo of her face covered in splooge). I don't exactly advocate picking up guys at frat parties and screwing atop the keg as the path to marital bliss.
It's just that hookup culture is not the radical extreme it is so frequently mischaracterized as in the media.The onslaught started in the spring with "Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance and Religion on America's College Campuses," which reports that all but marriage-minded evangelical students are sleeping around -- and attending Pimps 'n' Hos parties -- in hopes of meeting that special someone.Next came "The Purity Code," a book for Christian teens detailing "God's plan for sex and your body." The catalog climaxes this week with the Aug.I lost my virginity at 16 with my first love and best friend; it was all champagne and roses.It was also as-porn-ational sex: I enthusiastically guided us into nearly every position I'd long marveled at online.In a few cases, I felt used, but other times I felt like a user.