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Hooked Up: The Myth Of Sex With No Strings Attached (Revisited)

An illustration of a Black woman looking confused with the silhouettes of four different people standing around her, with their backs to her and a speech bubble with a heart coming out of each of their mouths. The words "Hooked Up" are in the upper lefthand corner.
Charnel Hunter

Anita is confused about hook up culture. Is it a thing, and if so, who makes the rules? She talks to a recent college grad about her research on the sex lives of her peers, plus a therapist who shares her take on why it doesn't feel as liberating as we think it should. Then she dives into Celibacy TikTok — a space where Gen Zers are committing to being sex-free.

Meet the guests:

  • Sophie Aaron, a writer, researcher and 2021 graduate of Oberlin College shares insights from her senior thesis on hookup culture on her campus in the time of COVID
  • Dr. Cherlisa Jackson, a sexual health educator and counselor based in Atlanta, talks about the myths vs. realities of hookup culture
  • Cindy Noir, a motivational speaker and TikTok creator, talks about why she has experimented with abstinence in response to hookup culture

Read the transcript | Review the podcast

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.
Audrey Smith is a writer, educator, and temporary producer of "Embodied" based in Greensboro, NC. She holds a Master's degree in Secondary English Language Arts Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2018) and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from Oregon State University (2021).
Elizabeth Friend grew up in North Carolina listening to public radio in the backseat of the family station wagon. She has been reporting and producing at WUNC since 2016, covering everything from Army history to armadillos. She's also the co-founder of the beloved summer event series Audio Under The Stars. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the outside world with her family, dabbling in esoteric crafts, and cheese.