Does this conversation sound familiar?
“So last night we hooked up.”
“Define hooked up.”
With hook up culture on the rise on college campuses, these early morning conversations have become the norm. They happen during Sunday brunch, over coffee at Starbucks, or simply sitting around the kitchen table in your apartment. But when you come back from seeing That Guy you always need to explain it a little more to your friends.
We used to have “bases.” Do you remember in middle school people would say “we got to second base.” OK, so maybe that sounded a little strange, but at least it was clear. Now we are stuck with things like “hooked up” and “together”.
While it absolutely sucks that these terms are as ambiguous as Britney Spears’s song “I’m Not a Girl Not Yet a Woman” what we’ve found is that most college students agree on these terms—despite what you may have thought before.
College students from all over the country—men and women—both agreed that hooking up was an ambiguous term that encompasses any sexual activity except sex. Basically hooked up is making out plus.
One Washington and Lee female student said: “you say hooking up after you make out and do a little more with a guy. But then your friends still want to know what else you did. So hooking up doesn’t really explain much if you want to get into the nitty gritty of your activities last night.”
Some male students in particular believed that hooking up cannot be applied to just making out with someone.
One Boston College male student said: “if you just kissed, you cannot call it a hook up. Absolutely not.”
Her Campus Verdict: Anything beyond just kissing equals hooking up. Having sex, however, needs a term like “slept with” or “had a one night stand with.”
Hooking up is the continuation of a hookup — with or without sex. Other terms used for this—hook up buddies (the cousin to the more inappropriate f&#* buddies), fooling around, talking to, friends with benefits, sleeping with, or a booty call.
Her Campus Verdict: If you’re “making out plus” repeatedly with ZERO commitment (just a few texts during this week and a desperation to meet up after the bars close) call it “hooking up”.
This requires a conversation. That might be the biggest defining factor in the beliefs of the students polled. You have to sit down with the person and discuss how you are only going to hook up with each other (a conversation Elin Nordegren never had with Tiger Woods).
According to one Cornell female student, “everyone knows you two are together”—aw how cute.
This starts with dating or hooking up—or can be used to progress the hooking up.
One Rutgers male student explained: “I’ve had to become exclusive with girls before just so they would sleep with me.”
While going on dates isn’t implied, what may be according to an overwhelming number of students is no flirting or dancing with other people.
Her Campus Verdict: Sit down and talk about how you are only hooking up with each other. Then you’re exclusive. The only problem is now how to explain it to your parents … or end it.
An Open Relationship
Most commonly defined as “stupid” or “a mess” an open relationship is when you have committed to the person—he is your boyfriend (until the relationship actually becomes open and you upset him…) and then he might go away for the summer or go abroad and you open it up so that physical indiscretions won’t ruin your relationship. Her Campus Verdict: We recommend avoiding this at all costs. Not one person polled advised getting involved in this relationship.
Sources: College students from all over the country.