unhooked: how young women pursue sex, delay love, and lose at both

This book by Laura Sessions Stepp really made me think about why people go through ‘hook ups’.  I liked some of the things written in here, so I’ll jot them down. 

*”Saying ‘I hooked up last night with this guy whose name I don’t remember’ is a lot easier than saying ‘I gave this guy who name I don’t remember a blow job last night.'” You’ve got to give them credit; they’ve come up with a vocabulary that gives them maximum freedom.  The distance between what one says and what one means has never been greater.  (pg. 28)

*teabagged: took his testicles in her mouth 

*had a roast beef sandwich: the guy going down on a girl

*shack pack: toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other supplies given to pledges by sororities

*horority, sorostitutes: sorority

*Love, to them, seemed an awful lot like marriage: sometimes risky, frequently boring and potentially very hurtful.  Their confusion was understandable.  Unlike other nationalities, Americans use the word ‘love’ for some any things–new friends, comfy old bathrobes, the coffee shop down the street–that it has become virtually meaningless. (pg. 48)

*If you don’t hook up, or only hook up once, that’s considered weird. (pg. 84)

*Hooking up is also very selfish. It’s all about what you want, not what the other person wants. (pg. 137)

*My generation–actually our society–is into taking shortcuts…Get rich faster. Skip this step. Win instant approval. Hookups are like the shortcut to intimacy, while dating is the long way around, the scenic route.  We want to get there, wherever “there” is, as quickly as possible, and I think we’ve lost the ability to enjoy the journey.  Sometimes we forget that how much the “end” means depends on the “means” you took to get there.  Sometimes patience is a virtue.  I think some people are starting to realize that the intimacy learned from a hookup is no match for the intimacy from a relationship.  However, they aren’t quite sure what the difference is. They don’t recognize that the process of dating/getting to know someone/caring for someone is very important in creating the depth of feeling you will have for them.  Or that you don’t have to marry someone in order to learn from spending time with them.  There are some realtionships that aren’t going anywhere, but you can still learn about yourself, even if it’s only to stand up and tell the guy he’s not what you need. (Pg. 253)

*Right now in college, love is seen as a game of luck. We wander around meeting tons of people, each with our own personal arsenal of huge life plans, and we make new friends and hook up with people and collide in many different ways. It is just luck if you happen upon that guy whom you happen to click with. Perhaps an idea is to turn this game of luck into a game of skill…the skill of developing meaningful relationships. (pg. 254)

*If the [hooking up] culture is going to change, it will take both to change it.  That won’t happen, however, until they have opportunities to think about it smartly and ask each other questions such as: What about hooking up do they want preserve? What do they want to toss? Are there characteristics of old-fashioned dating that they would like to restore?  What would a new model of relating look like? (pg. 256)

*A letter to mothers and daughters
~A guy can make you feel valuable, but it’s not the guy who makes you valuable.~ 

You are the subject of your life, not someone else’s life: not your parents’, your friends’ or your partner’s. On the outside you may look like you could take on the world. But you and I know that on many days you feel pretty ordinary, and that’s when you’re vulnerable to doing things that whittle away at your self-confidence. The more confident you become, independent of love, the more confident you will be in love. (pg. 261)

~Don’t let them have what you’ve got until you, and they, know who you are.~

Your body is not an introductory offer. It’s a return receipt.  Your partner gives you love or at least respect and affection, and in return you give him part of you–and you decide which part. (pg. 262)

~Explore your feminine side beyond the black lace bra.~

Neither of you should get hung up on gender stereotypes when it comes to making the other feel special. (pg. 263)

~Love won’t change you; it will just make you more of who you are.~

~Lust is not love, although it can feel like it.~

~The past is prologue.~

~Breaking up is hart to do–and instructive.~

~Even with a good guy, you’ll still need friends.~

~Think erotic, not pornographic.~

~Sex always has meaning, even when it is ‘meaningless’.~

~Plan your dive and dive your plan.~ 

~The personal is the political.~

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