If a girl is dating three guys at the same time, she's looked down upon."Dig deeper and it turns out that most of the hookup aficionados assembled that night do not see hooking up as a seemly way to approach their 30's.While most women agreed that serious dating is being delayed at least a bit these days, they also said they don't plan on living a "Sex and the City" life when they are anywhere near as old as the women on that series. Whiffen said she has seen many examples of women who insist they are going to keep hooking up with no thought of having a serious boyfriend until they are at least 25."I know a lot of people who will go home with the same guy they have before just because it's not going to raise their number," explained Jennifer Babbit, 26, a publicist."A lot of my friends will say: ' I started having sex with this guy, but it only lasted a minute.I don't know if it counted,"' offered Beth Whiffen, a former associate editor at Cosmopolitan.Yes, there are conquests, but there should not be too many of them.So among this group of women with three-inch heels tipping out of their 0 jeans what is the right number, that is, the last number before you hit the wrong one?
The book's title and many of its guidelines ("Getting a room isn't just polite, it's a necessity") suggest that a new sexual revolution is afoot among a fast-and-loose generation nurtured on the wisdom of "Sex and the City," who see boyfriends as passé, dating as dated and the idea of commitment laughable. Yes, they take pride in having thrown off the shackles of earlier generations of single women. Spontaneity is crucial, but even more is a good clean exit strategy from any guy who turns out to be Mr.Still, the back cover of "The Hook-up Handbook" makes a stab at it: a hookup is "anything from making out to doing the nasty, generally with no commitment or plans for said commitment." But as Ms. Rozler explain it, a hookup has less to do with what happens between people than with the surrounding circumstances: specifically, that the meeting is unplanned and even unexpected. "Late-night grinding on the dance floor, maybe a little groping" was one version, said Kate Kilgore, who is in public relations at Victoria's Secret Beauty.The few men who spoke up seemed to find the elastic nature of the term somewhat tiresome.The courtship rites of this generation of urban singles seem to borrow from the mores of their grandmothers in the 1950's (date lots of boys; smooch, spoon, nuzzle or neck to your heart's content, but hold out for that pledge pin from Mr.Right) as much as from those of their mothers' love-the-one-you're-with 70's."Most girls don't have one-night stands," Ms. "They might have one or two in their life."Take the number discussion, for example.FOR the young and the single in New York dating has always been a numbers game, whether it is tabulating the guy-to-girl ratio at a bar or guessing at the bank balance of the quarry across the dance floor.Still, it is not every night that a group of unattached young women in low-slung jeans sit around pondering questions that might stump a mathematician at Caltech, questions like can one plus nine ever equal just nine?"But the second 'he' comes along," she said knowingly, "it's done."And while "The Hookup Handbook" explicitly forbids its readers to mistake a hookup for a potential boyfriend, not everyone thought that was realistic."People who are hooking up are trying to get into a serious relationship," insisted Caitlin Gaffey, 24, a beauty assistant at the magazine Shop Etc.They are not waiting on Friday night hoping "he" will call. Not Exactly."It's not that people aren't dating," explained Ms.Rozler, an editorial assistant at Allworth Press when she is not practicing nightclub anthropology. People still want to be in relationships, but they don't want to be settling."But even as they raise pink drinks in the air and roll their eyes at the absurdity of commitment, these are not women embracing sexual abandon.