“Going out on a date is a sort of ironic, obsolete type of thing,” says 25-year-old Elizabeth Walsh, who graduated from college in 2005 and now lives in Boston. She says that among her friends, dating is a joke. “Going out on a date to dinner and a movie? It’s so cliche — isn’t that funny?”
It seems it’s far easier to have casual sexual encounters or hookups, though several national surveys of college students found a stalwart 28 percent who remain virgins. The term “hookup” is so vague, however, it might well encompass someone’s idea of virginity — it involves anything from kissing to fooling around, oral sex and sexual intercourse.
“For me, it’s been anytime that I was attracted to a guy and we spent the night together,” Walsh says. “It has been sex; it has just been some sort of light making out. That’s the beautiful thing about the phrase. Whatever happened is hooking up.”