Grinding and Hooking Up

Gina Pol

I felt both readings “Grinding on the Dance Floor” and “Hooking Up” were interesting and disturbing at the same time as it brought up several occurrences that we as college students have seen or even can relate to. The readings discuss the current hook up culture and lifestyle on several college campuses. Kimmel explains how the combination of a college campus’ location and atmosphere open up opportunities for hook ups to occur away from the pondering eyes of parents. College is seen as a time for having fun, partying, and less responsibilities (as portrayed in media and movies), which all contributes to this hookup culture. Yet even as often as the term is used across college campuses, the definition of “hooking up” is still a blur. Yet the vagueness of the term is what makes the term so appealing. It leaves people curious as to what possible interactions may have occurred between two individuals who were seen with one another on a party night.   

In both readings, one significant theme is the need of approval from friends. Kimmel mentions that some men look forward to sharing hookup stories to their friends before the hookup even occurs. The desire to share a hookup story with one’s guy buddies earns him “cool” points and raises one’s ego and confidence. This sort of approval only encourages men to continue to hookup with women since they are being applauded for their actions. On the other hand, due to double standards, women are viewed disapprovingly as “sluts” or “hoes” when they are seen hooking up with men too often. In “Grinding on the Dance floor,” several women look at another women judgmentally when she is leaning in to kiss a guy that she has been grinding with for hours. These actions are the kind that reinforces double standards. Even women themselves are giving other women disapproving glances based on societal norms for how women should act.   

Another form of approval that many women seek from their friends was their dance partner when they were on the dance floor. Women grinding on the dance floor often times looked to their friends for confirmation when men were grinding on them from behind. Once they received the approving nod, they would continue to grind on whoever it was that was behind them. Similar to the men who shared their hookup stories to raise their ego, this was a way for women to do so. By having a partner to grind with, these women felt beautiful, sexy, and hot. After all they were chosen among many other women on the dance floor. This is also the reason why women who are alone on the dance floor feel unwanted. If a women does not having a dancing partner, obviously she was not pretty enough or sexy enough that night right? Absolutely not, but these are the kind of feelings that are elicited through the norms that have been created from grinding on the dance floor. If you do not have a grinding partner or a dancing partner, you are definitely doing something wrong.

From these readings, it can be said that hooking up ranges from kissing to touching to intercourse and much more in between. Ronen states that grinding on the dance floor leads to other actions that entails hooking up, but I wonder if grinding on the dance floor should be considered a form of hooking up or just a form of intimate dance. So my question is, are only the actions that occur after the grinding considered hooking up or is the action of grinding itself a form of hooking up as well? 


4 thoughts on “Grinding and Hooking Up

  1. Gina makes the point that men who hookup are looking up to while women who hookup are looked down on. I think that this is all too true. I think it’s important to acknowledge this fact because it also speaks to the fact that women are not “allowed” to initiate the hookup, something that Ronen mentions in her article. Why shouldn’t women be allowed to choose their mate? My friends and I have discussed the fact that even at Conn we feel like we are stuck waiting for a guy to come talk to us because it almost seems socially unacceptable for us to pursue a guy.

  2. Carly Ozarowski

    You bring up a really important point that it is often times women shaming other women. While men usually congratulate other men on their hook ups women are usually being policed by other women. Women are being held to multiple women’s standards. While you and your friends may view grinding/hooking up as one thing that doesn’t mean the girl in your math class who saw you saturday night and gave a judging agrees. I believe, this is where names and the double bind women face daily really comes from.

  3. Haris Kuljancic

    I can’t stress enough how important the point about “Friend’s approval” is. Kimmel mentioned this in a previous reading and brings it up again in the chapter on “Hooking up”. I grew up with fairly strict parents and a constant phrase that my dad uttered in my ear as I walked out the door to go to the park, movies, or anywhere outside of the house was, “Don’t let your friends choose you; You choose your own friends”. He understood the importance of friends and how influential this could be. This makes me think about the micro societies within a college: Sports teams, clubs, friend groups. Each one has different expectations and influences on a person.

  4. The importance of hooking up for male’s friends as opposed to the actual joy of the act was the part of the Kimmel reading that stood out the most. This really shows the lack of meaning in these late night encounters especially from the male’s side. It shows the disregard for the human being on the other end. Also while the phrase hook-up is extremely the actual approach including how each side is supposed to behave seems to be fairly well understood. For the most part both sides know what they are getting into as well. While the hook-up is a wild action that is considered spontaneous, it is planned on both sides and created in the correct setting at the correct time with the right amount of lead up. While the setting makes this action seem spontaneous it is really far from it.


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