Laura Sessions Stepp made an appearance at Politics and Prose last night in honor of her new book, Unhooked, and a FishbowlDC operative was there to bring you all the dirt.

    Stepp addressed an audience of mixed ages and genders. She began by thanking her husband who “has not sat down for two years” while cooking her dinner (role reversal anyone? More on this later).

    Stepp read passages from her book, in which she followed 9 “young women.” Focusing on Duke and GWU (of which some students were in the audience), she addressed the how women’s urge to be equal to men in both “the boardroom and the bedroom” has resulted in a society of hook-ups, as opposed to the dating of previous generations.

More on Stepp’s talk below…


    Stepp calls women the “sexual gatekeepers.” But what they are missing my hooking up is a balanced life where there is room for love (all together now… awwwwww). Stepp also blames colleges for abandoning their role as “arbiters in good behavior.” Now Stepp makes it clear that she is not suggesting that schools revert to the days of single-sex dorms, but notes that there is a culture of drinking that goes along with these “hook-ups” that has resulted in a level of alcohol consumption among young women that matches that of young men.

    Stepp admits that she does not have all the answers, nor does she offer them in her book. But she does call for a national conversation on this, stating that the implication is felt among young men also. She asks how do women go on to build long term relationships built on caring, respect and trust when a hook-up is everything but.

    The question and answer portion of the evening brought some additional insights from Stepp:

    “Girls have a particularly romantic streak.” She also advises that while men should not “get off scott free,” by hooking up, women are missing out on the fun of the game.

    But some good news for some of you, or bad news, depending on how you take this — according to Stepp, “Hook-ups can turn into long term relationships.”

    Technology has isolated parents for their children. With cell phones and the internet, there is the possibility for “hook-ups we never see.”

    Stepp also answers the age old question — can women have it all? She says, “yes.” She said, “I don’t think relationships have to be forever.” She reminding the audience that while she was “a very busy woman in college,” she “had no lack of male companionship,” followed by a quick shout out to her husband who was in the audience.