Breaking Up With Hook-Up Culture

Tracy Clark-Flory reflects on her first “for-real” date and the joys of traditional courtship:

As I wrote four years ago in my essay “In defense of casual sex,” hookups can be a legitimate way of getting to know other people, as well as ourselves. And even when they aren’t, who cares: Women are just as entitled to meaningless flings as men. But, yes, as I’ve gotten older, casual sex has lost some of the luster of freedom. It isn’t that I’ve forsaken the delights of no-strings flings, but rather that I’ve tired of hookup culture’s dictatorial reign over modern courtship. It doesn’t feel so free when it doesn’t feel like an intentional choice.

In a follow-up interview with Amanda Marcotte, Tracy adds:

I think it’s great that people can get to know each other casually. Grab a burrito and a beer! Make out at the bar! But it’s also nice to not feel totally stuck with diminished romantic expectations—as in, I can’t expect more than a taqueria “hangout” arranged last-minute via text message.