We startedour 8:00 hour with a segment on "hooking up" - a term coined by twenty-somethings to define any sexual activity from kissing to having sex. The term has gotten a lot of buzz recently, especially with older generations who see it as a negative term encouraging reckless sexual behavior among young women. We had two authors of current books on this topic on the show to debate and define what exactly this term implies for women today. WATCH VIDEO
I caught up with one of the authors, twenty-three-year-old Amber Madison, in the greenroom after the segment. Amber's book "Hooking Up" aims to provide young women with the tools and information they need when facing their own sexual experiences to help them to make informed decisions. I found this topic to be really interesting, as a twenty-something young woman myself, because I have heard the phrase being used for years. I was recently surprised when having a conversation with my own mother, who was a young woman in the sixties (the age of free love and the sexual revolution), when she mentioned reading about a new term "hooking up" and how shocking and seemingly negative the practice is with young women.
I was caught off guard by her shock, and had to take a moment and think of what exactly about the phrase she was responding negatively to. What I came up with seemed to mirror Amber's observations: what my mother's generation is responding to is the issue of non-committal sexual activity at the cost of self-respect for young women. I think my mother was worried about young women jumping into sexual activity without thinking about what they want to get out of it, merely because it's what everyone is doing -- casual sex becoming the only kind of sex to be had. Is this what women my age and younger are thinking when we use this term?
I agree that women need to be informed and aware of what they want, be it on a date or in the bedroom. Amber closed the segment by saying that the issue really lies not in what women are doing sexually, but the way they go about getting what will ultimately be a meaningful relationship for them: "It all comes down to respect." I'm interested to see what our viewers thought of this segment (let us know!), because I think all women will agree that we deserve respect and fulfillment in whatever relationships we choose to have. How do we differentiate between being sexually empowered and sacrificing emotional connection to sex?