It's been four months (almost to the day!) since The New York Times published a trend piece about young women's sex lives. Thank goodness Natalie Kitroeff was willing to delve into the topic again, this time focusing on orgasms (or lack thereof). In "Women Find Orgasms Elusive in Hookups," we discover many things about college girls having sex, some of which are true.
Kitroeff begins the piece with the shadowy suggestion of "regret," an important theme when you're talking about women having sex. Unfortunately, she couldn't get any woman on record expressing regret for a hookup, so she had to write this: "Natasha Gadinsky, 23, says she doesn’t have any regrets from her years in college. But the time she hooked up with a guy at Brown University does come close." (Ivy League mention: check.)
Then Kitroeff invokes "hookup culture," which, as we've noted before, isn't real. According to Martin A. Monto's study published in August by the American Sociological Association, there's “no evidence of substantial changes in sexual behavior that would support the proposition that there is a new or pervasive 'hookup culture' among contemporary college students." Still, Kitroeff writes, "Researchers say that young women are becoming equal partners in the hookup culture, often just as willing as young men to venture into sexual relationships without emotional ties." Researchers say!
The actual research part of the piece: Kitroeff notes a few studies showing that women are more likely to have an orgasm with a boyfriend than with a casual hookup. To really drive the point home, we get a quote from "Duvan Giraldo, 26, a software technician in Elmhurst, Queens," who admits he doesn't perform as well when he's with a one-night stand.
And so "hookup culture" hurts women once again. Kitroeff does suggest that sometimes people have sex for reasons other than having an orgasm. Vanessa Martini, a 23-year-old from California, notes:
"You have to balance a lot of things in your brain, like what’s more important to me — just getting off, or do I actually want to have a connection with this person?"
So as not to end the piece on the weird, shame-y note that is the signature of most of these trend pieces, Kitroeff throws out a quote from 29-year-old Kim Huynh, who says something about something being ... "empowering."
"To sort of know yourself to be sort of skilled in a way or to be able to see someone else’s pleasure that was your own doing, I think there’s definitely something very empowering about that."
See you all again in four months.
Photo by Michael Jung via Shutterstock.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.