This essay from Lisa Wade at Sociological Images (responding to this article in The Atlantic) sums up nicely my own concerns about “hook-up culture”, and explains why I wasn’t quite as enamoured with its supposedly feminist merits as the author of the original piece:
But what young women don’t control is the context in which they have sex. The problem with hook up culture is not casual sex, nor is it the fact that some women are choosing it, it’s the sexism that encourages men to treat women like pawns and requires women to be just as cunning and manipulative if they want to be in the game; it’s the relentless pressure to be hot that makes some women feel like shit all the time and the rest feel like shit some of the time; it’s the heterosexism that marginalizes and excludes true experimentation with same-sex desire; and it’s the intolerance towards people who would rather be in relationships or practice abstinence (considered boring, pathetic, or weird by many advocates of hook up culture including, perhaps, Rosin).
Fundamentally, what’s wrong with hook up culture is the antagonistic, competitive, malevolent attitude towards one’s sexual partners. College students largely aren’t experimenting with sexuality nicely. Hook ups aren’t, on the whole, mutually satisfying, strongly consensual, experimental affairs during which both partners express concern for the others’ pleasure.
Then again, by the standards I observed around me in college, I was practically a prude, so you may not want to take my word for this.