On Hookup Culture

First, a disclaimer: everyone’s bodies are their own. There is nothing wrong with casual hookups if that’s your thing. Do whatever with whoever you want and you shouldn’t be judged for it (as long as everything is consensual and expectations have been communicated).

But, as a college student, I think there’s a pressure to hookup in a certain way and spill the details. There’s an expectation that we should treat everything from kisses to sex as devoid of intimacy and reduce the people we do these things with to the story, to their skill or lack thereof, to their bodies, to a ranking.

There’s a problem with this pressure and the things we justify because of it. 

We treat hookups like conquests. Hook up with enough people, the right people, and it’ll get you status. Granted, you have to share who and when and where and for how long and how good it was...

It is perfectly acceptable that this kind of information is passed along. We create communities based on who has hooked up with who and descriptions of these encounters. 

Too often, personal things are revealed about others - embarrassing things - things we would never want said about us. We reduce our hookups, we humiliate them, we are cruel. And they are probably humiliating and cruel right back to us. And it’s normal, it’s accepted, there’s nothing to be done.

This is not good for anyone. It harms those who participate in hookup culture as much as it does those who stand outside of it. Not hooking up can be isolating.

I’ve never personally liked causal hookups. At times, I’ve been a reluctant participant, wanting to fit in, and it always left a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve never wanted to keep things casual. I just personally find hookups to be emotionally charged. Because of it, I’ve been looked down on and condescended to by “friends,” I’ve been ashamed, I’ve been afraid that I will be judged for who I am and what I want. And I know I’m not alone.

Can we start allowing more narratives to exist than drunk hookups with near strangers? There’s nothing wrong with it if it works for you, but there’s also nothing wrong with wanting no part of it.

College campuses should welcome anyone: casual, committed, uninterested, single, experienced, unexperienced... whatever it is. Come as you are and do (who and) what you want.