Hooking up, under Lavinthal and Rozler’s definition, is an all-encompassing Gen-Y lifestyle choice. It’s often fueled by alcohol; includes petting, smooching, groping, or full-on sex, and applies to anything on the relationship continuum from the one-night stand up to, but not including, the serious boyfriend.
“Hooking up is about not being ready to settle,” explains Lavinthal, a beauty editor at —where else? — Cosmopolitan magazine. “You’re still finding yourself and having fun, not forcing yourself to be in a relationship you’re not ready for.”
Which makes for a book filled with first-person accounts (Pepper, 25, says, “A hookup is anything but sex.”), quizzes (How Shameful Was Your Walk of Shame?), typecasting (the Ex-Boyfriend, the Urban Metrosexual, the Older Man) and a “Sex and the City”-inspired quiz called “What’s Your Hookup Style?” (One sample question: “True or False: Manolo Blahniks.”)
For those who are wondering exactly what a Walk of Shame is in the first place, a list of hookup-centric vocabulary is even included (Lavinthal and Rozler define it as “having to walk home from someone else’s residence after a hookup…identifiable by disheveled hair, smudged mascara and an outfit that just doesn’t look right at 10 a.m. on a Sunday”).
Lavinthal, all citified sorority girl in knee-high Michael Kors boots and honey-colored highlights, and the more cerebral, reserved Rozler seem at first glance an unlikely pair, but it was these differences that drew them together. They met as journalism majors at Syracuse University, where they got together to write an article on hooking up after realizing that everybody was doing it but that no one quite understood what it meant.
A couple of years later, out of college and living in New York, hooking up was still a very real part of their — and their friends’ — lives. (Both Lavinthal and Rozler are still single.) “We were like, everyone’s still talking about hooking up,” says Rozler, who now works at a small book publishing company. “I mean, people date, but not in the traditional sense.”