In my interviews, I chose to talk to two women of different generations. One is in her mid-50’s while the other is in her mid-20’s. They both brought different perspectives to relationships, dating and sexual expectations.
The first woman that I interviewed was in her mid-50’s and I found her responses to be interesting in that they showed how much things have changed for women and their expectations in dating even over the past 30 or so years. When I asked how she knew someone was interested in her, she said that they would either tell her they were interested or ask her out on a date. Later, I asked her what was acceptable in terms of hooking up. For example, when was it appropriate to hook up, “how far” was it acceptable to go, and how did people talk to one another about hooking up? She said that most of her friends really “didn’t discuss their sex lives in detail.” This was more of a private matter that people she hung out with didn’t openly talk about. She said that hooking up “probably happened after a few dates” but that “everyone was different” in terms of when they started hooking up with someone and what hooking up actually entailed.
These responses were different from what I got when I spoke with a woman in her mid-2o’s. When asked how she knew someone was interested in her, she said they would “make eye contact with me and probably try to hit on me.” Even this first question got me thinking about how dating has changed in just a short amount of time. Instead of taking the time to ask someone out on a date in order to get to know them better, dating has turned into making advances at someone in order to get an immediate response or to make a quick judgment about the person. Also different was how the younger woman responded when discussing hooking up. In contrast to the first woman, she said that most people “hook up after the first or second time of hanging out.” She also said explained how hooking up could involve “anything from making out to having sex.” This was a much more laid-back response than in my first interview. It seemed as though it wasn’t really a big deal and that any sort of hooking up was normal, even early on in the relationship. Lastly, when asked about her how her and her friends talked about sex, she said that they are “pretty open” about the topic and that “most people expect it to happen anyway.” This was also a much different response than what I received in the first interview.
Each of the interviews were eye-opening for me in revealing how our dating culture has changed in recent years. It seems as though we are moving toward a more relaxed view of hooking up and having lower expectations in terms of how we expect courtship to come into play in our relationships. I think this says a lot about how sexuality is socially constructed. The younger generations have different views of what is socially acceptable in a relationship than older generations. This is shown also in the Hooking Up reading, where the hook up culture on college campuses is discussed. It is clear after reading that article and conducting these interviews that things are quickly changing in terms of what dating means to younger people and that hooking up is becoming more commonly included in open discussion.