NPR’s “Hidden Brain” offers a stunning podcast called “Just Sex” about the hook-up culture among young people and the difference between serious sober sex with someone they like and casual, often drunken sex with someone they don’t care about. The primary focus is on college students, but it references the early starts in high school, the relationship to rape culture, the relationship between casual sex and the perception of feminine power, approaching sexuality as a way to be liberated as men do, the bad girl vs. good girls. Host Shankar Vedantam notes, “You’re going through the hook-up culture to try to find a relationship, but the rules demand that you can’t actually ask for one.” It examines the troubling disconnect between sex and real intimacy, the genuine relationships that are kind, supportive, loving.
Sociologist Lisa Wade believes the pervasive hookup culture on campuses today is different from that faced by previous generations, somehow convincing students to be embarrassed for having authentic feelings and wanting real connections. It’s worth a listen -- episode 61: “Just Sex.”