Hooking Up

Hooking up can be any sexual interaction between partners and can range from kissing to intercourse. It is a relatively broad statement that can mean almost anything, but usually describes intimate interactions in casual relationships. Hook-Up culture has gotten a lot of attention lately. This conversation raises a lot of questions about the connections between hook-ups and intimacy as well as people’s physical, social, emotional well-being and safety.

What’s most important to remember about hooking up is that whether or not you hook up needs to be up to you. If you think you are interested in hooking up, you deserve to be safe and to feel respected about the decisions you make about your own body. This means your potential partners should respect your right to make consensual decisions about yourself (like what you will do, and how you will keep yourself healthy) even if they personally choose differently. For more information about consent, click here.

A recent study about hooking up and college found that

  • 91% of college students report that their campus is characterized by a hookup culture
    but… The average number of hookups for a graduating senior is 7
  • 25% of college students will never hook up
  • 30% will hook up three times or less in four years
  • 30% will hook up 4-9 times
  • 15% will hook up 10 times or more during college

In other words, 85% of students hook up rarely if at all. Only 10% or so have four hookups per year.

In the same study, students reported hooking up because they wanted at least one of these things from the sexual encounter:

  1. Empowerment
  2. Pleasure
  3. Meaningful experience

Very few students claimed to have gotten any of these things from hooking up. Overall, most students who hooked up also reported being unhappy with their sex lives, and feel that hookup culture impedes healthy sexuality and relationships.

Of the students surveyed,

  • 11% enthusiastically enjoyed hookup culture.
  • 50% were having hook ups, but were doing it reluctantly, some with extremely negative experiences.
  • 38% opted out of hooking up altogether.
  • Less than 1% maintained a committed relationship after hooking up with that individual.

Making the decision to hook up is up to you. If you decide to hook up, it is important to be as safe as possible. This includes making sure that you and your partner(s) get tested for STIs regularly, and use a condom or dental dam during each encounter. With the vast array of colors, textures and flavors of condoms available, safer sex can still be fun.