Hooking up and Grinding

Sarah Wills

The articles Hooking up: Sex in Guyland and Grinding on the Dancefloor both discuss the new sexual behaviors that college students participate in. I found both of these articles to be very relevant to students our age. It is so interesting how this new subculture has formed on college campuses where people are not interested in relationships or labels. It is also very interesting to read the observations and analyses of “grinding” at college parties because most of us have also been witnesses to this behavior.

First off, the article Hooking up: Sex in Guyland really highlights the differences because how men and women approach  “hooking up”.  Kimmel points out that men are more advantageous than women when it comes to hook ups. For men, it is unplanned and not thought out. However, Kimmel feels that for women it must be planned, “the girls can’t be ‘spontaneous’ about it. They have to think-whether or not, with whom, under what conditions-and plan accordingly, remembering a change of clothes, birth control, and the like. They have to decide how much they can drink, how much they can flirt, and how to avoid any potentially embarrassing or even threatening situations”. I found this statement very interesting because I had never thought about the differences between how men and women treat hook ups. If men get a rise out of the spontaneity of hook ups then women are at a disadvantage if they cannot feel the same way. This could correlate to the difference between how guys and girls view hook ups. If girls have to put more thought and effort into a hook up than a guy, then she might take the act of “hooking up” more seriously than the guy. Whereas if the guy has literally put no thought into it and was completely spontaneous, then he doesn’t feel as strongly about the act. Girls and guys can be on very different pages when it comes to hooking up because everything about it is undefined. Even the “hooking up” does not have a single definition.


The article, Grinding on the Dancefloor, by Shelly Ronen, also makes interesting points about the differences between girls and guys when it comes to grinding. Just as expected, the guys do most of the initiating and have the control during this act. As Ronen and her researchers observed, the men tend to approach a girl and begin dancing with her and then she will follow his lead. Yet again, this just shows how males continue to assert dominance over women. An interesting moment that Ronen observed is when a man approached a woman with her boyfriend. Ronen described the boyfriend’s reaction by “pulling her very close to him and dancing with her, sending the clear signal that the [other] man should back off”. However, if a woman does not have a boyfriend, but is simply just not interested in the man, her actions were not as effective in getting the man to “back off”. Ronen describes the male’s actions as “more effective in indicating a woman was unavailable rather than not interested, which reinforces the implicit understanding that men’s desire is consistently privileged over women’s”. Guys respect each other’s wants and needs more than they respect the wants and needs of the girl they are trying to “grind” with. This is pretty disturbing because is almost seems as though the men do not even think about what girls actually want, but rather just view these girls as objects to dance with.

Both of these articles made interesting points about how men and women view sexual acts such as hooking up and grinding very differently. It is so interesting to read analysis and observations from these topics because it is so prevalent in the lives of college students these days. It is clear that men and women are not on the same page when it comes to such behaviors. However, the hook up culture seems to be short lived just through college years. Yet, there could be serious effects on the nature and maturity of future more serious relationships.








4 thoughts on “Hooking up and Grinding

  1. Sarah discusses the point that hookups are so much more casual for men than they are for women. Stereotypes about women all suggest that they are clingy and become obsessed with a guy after she hookups with a guy once, but when you really think about it this begins to make some sense. When a woman hooks up with a man she is has to be so much more aware of what she’s doing and acknowledge the risks involved, such as becoming pregnant. She is the one that will wake up the next morning and spend her money on plan b if something goes wrong. People are quick to look down on and accuse women of being needy and too attached, but the fail to realize that this is how women should be responding.

  2. Sarah brought up an interesting point in the reading that I found to be quite sad yet not all that surprising: that men were more likely to leave alone uninterested women if there was another guy there to make him back off. Having other women make the guys back off, or the uninterested woman doing it herself, was a lot less effective than another guy simply stepping in and dancing with the woman himself. It is upsetting, and pretty frustrating, that guys will not listen as well to women when they make it clear that they are uninterested. It shouldn’t take another guy stepping in (or really, other women stepping in) in order for the woman to not have to dance with the guy.

  3. Carly Ozarowski

    Something interesting you brought up from the reading is that women need to plan ahead before their “spontaneous hook up”. When Kimmel addresses that women need to plan ahead for how much they can flirt or drink he also brings up birth control. It appears that only women need to worry about the use of birth control and in men’s spontaneous hook ups they do not need to be bothered by what could come of their one night of “fun”. The use of birth control, in the hook up scene, has been a burden placed only on a women and not on the two people involved.

  4. Kimmel speaks to the idea that the hook-up is supposed to be spontaneous when it is actually very planned out. As you mentioned this is more visible from the girl’s end who must consider many different variables. While men and women approach the hook-up from different angles it seems that a lot of the time that both understand what they are getting into but sometimes one wants more that the other afterwards. Also the point about the man’s greater respect for another man rather than a woman was alarming and shows the extent of the problems with this reality. The woman is usually powerless in situations on the dance floor outside of the help she receives from the friends around her, but even as she rejects the males she must do so without hurting his ego. The woman is rarely in a position to defend herself and when she does move away she must do so respectfully in order not to hurt the male because he comes first.


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