Hooking Up

College students love casual sex

The term “hooking up” is generally considered to mean consensual sexual relations between two (or more - it’s college we’re talking about) people, usually outside of a romantic relationship. It’s also something that you’re probably going to do at some point during college, despite what you claim (yeah, you might be Miss Morals now, but wait until you have four or five beers).

Dos and Don’ts

If you don’t want to wake up next to someone you don’t recognize and have your roommates laugh about it for years, the only surefire method is to never hook up with anyone. Since that would suck a lot, try these easier strategies to avoid awkward hookups:

  • Do: Be choosy. Don’t hook up with someone you wouldn’t be proud to wake up next to. Have some standards, man.
  • Don’t: Hook up with someone who lives on your floor. Some students call this “floorcest” or “dormcest,” and it’s almost always a bad idea. You’re going to see your hookup partner hundreds of times over the course of the school year. Do you really want to dread walking down the hallway to the bathroom because you have to pass his or her room?
  • Do: Stay somewhat sober. One study showed that 99 percent of bad hookups involve intoxicated participants. If you have to drink heavily to make what you’re about to do bearable, chances are it’s something you’ll regret.
  • Don’t: Drink and dial. Turn off your cell phone after you get a buzz going. You’ll only end up sounding pathetic as you call all your contacts looking for booty. If you’re drinking at home, apply this rule to instant messaging.
  • Do: Wear a condom. Do you really want to explain to your kid that he or she was conceived in a dorm room bunk bed?
  • Do: Lock your door. That last thing you want to have happen is your roommate bursting into the room and taking pictures of you in mid-hookup.
  • Do: Exit gracefully. If it was just a random hookup and you have no plans to pursue a further relationship, you need to get out of there as quickly as you can. Waking up early and quietly sneaking out is good. Leaving before you fall asleep is even better. Try using an excuse like “I need to get a good sleep because I have a test tomorrow morning,” “I need to feed my pet fish,” or “My brain medication is in my dorm room and if I don’t take it before I go to sleep, I’ll die.”
  • Don’t: Pretend it didn’t happen. In the days following a hookup, it’s a good idea to make some kind of contact with your partner in debauchery (provided you can remember who it was). A simple e-mail saying “I had fun the other night and look forward to seeing you again at some point in the future” can suffice to smooth over any future awkwardness that might exist when you two encounter each other on campus. Plus, you can make arrangements to give back the underwear that was left in your apartment (on second thought, maybe you should just throw it out).

Let’s Get Serious for a Moment

Remember that some regrettable or awkward hookups actually qualify as sexual assault. If you think you’ve been the victim of an assault, talk to someone about it.

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