How Hookup Culture Has Transformed My Poetry

Gratitude Journal - Reductress

It’s undeniable that hookup culture has changed the landscape of romance. I find myself constantly leafing through online articles lamenting the death of traditional dating culture; and while yes, Tinder has definitely changed my relationships with men, I’m more interested in the ways in which it has enriched, deepened, and transformed my poetry.

 

You should really see the difference. I mean, it’s night and day.

 

Whereas my previous poetry was flowery, sophomoric, and completely lacking in jarringly graphic sexual detail, my hookup poetry pulses with my truth—the truth of modern courtship.

 

Here’s an excerpt from my latest poem:

 

Dave: His Fingers, My Butt, Chili’s

 

Oh, u finished?

            Lol     the fries are

 

a metaphor

4

  1. vagina /

 

            Sure u can

 

pull out,

 

Dave.

 

This piece explores my experience with Dave and his fingers last Tuesday when I finally achieved orgasm in a Chili’s bathroom. It’s a raw piece that viscerally alludes to the casual intimacy of hookup culture. “Chili’s” is a far cry from my earlier, more spiritual work, with literally zero mention of penis. Hookup culture commodifies our sexuality, our bodies, and our relationships, and it is setting my poetry ON FIRE!

 

Here’s another recent work, clearly steeped in “u up?” culture:

 

Ponytail-Man At The Sports Bar

 

IRL,

(ew)

wow,

 

backsweat

me, sitting (close)

a ghost of (pussy past)

He grins.

 

(I re-download Tinder.)

 

As you can see, this piece examines the problem of people no longer knowing how to meet other singles IRL (In Real Life). Honestly, I could have skipped grad school and just gone on more dates with finance bros named Seth. I am so evolved as a wordsmith now that I definitely have HPV.

 

 

Years ago, my romantic poems focused more on the quality of my long-term relationships and the fleeting human interactions one has in this wild city. They were sweet, but lacked the sophistication of later works such as:

 

Bang! Of Frankie-Boi Getting It Up On Acid

 

Frankie-Boi,

I know

 

     this doesn’t

normally happen

 

2 ur peen,

 

but we r just atoms

 

or

 

Apples And Oranges; Bitchbois And Fuckbois

 

From bitchbois 2 fuckbois

            (screenshot me)

 

right in the clit,

 

do u

have

                                                (a charger?)

 

Hookup culture is a means and an end, and that end is sex, but more importantly, it’s my next chapbook being published by a real publisher. I truly cannot wait for pieces such as the one above to be read by a wider audience. It’s a far cry from my earlier, much more embarrassing work, where I drone on and on and don’t even acknowledge the size of my own clit:

 

Of Longing, Moonshed Of Liam’s Wide Cheekbones

 

I love

            the moon

                        (of your face)

 

Ughhhh, like shut up and fuck already!!!

 

Because of hookup culture, I feel more in touch with my own desire—desire for pleasure, desire for publication—and that has really improved my poetry. A casual relationship to sex may lead to more cases of STDs, but it also leads to me winning TWO slams in a row, so, personally, I’m all for it.

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