"anything from making out to having sex": Men's negotiations of hooking up and friends with benefits scripts

  • Epstein M
  • Calzo J
  • Smiler A
 et al. 
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Popular media and academic literature often portray men as happy beneficiaries of nonrelational or casual sex--a view that is consistent with traditional notions of masculinity. This study examined the validity of this notion, using semistructured interviews to explore ways that 19 college-age men defined and enacted "hooking up" and "friends with benefits" scripts. Men's definitions reflected both standard and alternate conceptions of these scripts, and their experiences indicated variability in intentions and outcomes. Whereas a few men embraced the no-strings-attached nonrelational scripts, most rejected the script or enacted an amended version that allowed for greater relational connection. Further, their experiences were not all positive and were not all devoid of emotional connection. These alternative enactments challenge the pro-masculine, universally positive conceptualization of nonrelational sex portrayed in the media and in some empirical research.

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  • Marina Epstein

  • Jerel P. Calzo

  • Andrew P. Smiler

  • L. Monique Ward

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