This process can happen in your head, or it can come in the form of an actual catalogue. Burlesque performer and sex educator Fancy Feast recommends making a “Yes and maybe list” to physically commit your comfort level, needs, and wants to paper.
On the other hand, men may often feel as though they need to seem ultra “masculine” or “strong” in order to impress women and suppress any emotion or strong feelings. “As a woman, I think there is still a lot of stigma for how we should act in a relationship,” McAuliff said. “For example, you want to show you care, but you don’t want to come off too strong because many men see that as clingy.” Hookup culture has been an idea that has existed for years and certainly before Generation Z or Millennials. But for many, coming to college may be the first time they ever felt open to that experience, which may largely be the reason for hooking up being so widely seen as a college phenomenon.
If you’re inviting someone back to your dorm (“do you want to get out of here/do you want to come home with me”) make sure you clarify your intentions while you’re walking. You should ask your partner what they want to do that night and take steps to make sure it will be safe . If you’re in a position of power, make sure you don’t pressure them—restate that it’s their choice and that you will not be offended by their decision. Be attentive to nonverbal cues like unresponsiveness or lack of enthusiasm, and don’t assume that your partner will be comfortable enough to speak up all the time—so give them space and empower them to say no.
No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person. All of these ideals put together can often cause a strain on students and become just another part of their stresses in college. Some may even put off the idea of dating in order to avoid all of the complications that can seemingly come along with it.
Communicate with them about what you’re looking for, and check in with your friends throughout the night to see how they’re doing. “My friends ask each other, ‘Sex or no sex, are we hooking up or not? “They will squeeze each other’s hands, or give some kind of sign.” Know where your friends are and who they’re going home with—and ask them to do the same for you.
It’s also particularly important to ask questions when there’s any kind of power dynamic. Though both partners should ask questions, men should make sure to check in if its a cishet hookup, for example. Everyday Feminist offers a great list of ways to “pay attention to power dynamics” in hookup culture. These include who is older, whose place you’re partying or hooking up in, whether you’ve just bought your date a drink or dinner, and who has more experience.
- (Never put yourself in the path uber honey of danger. Most campuses have a hotline for campus security, which is different than campus police or any type of law enforcement, who can escort students or drive students home).
- If you are going out, make sure you’re with friends you can trust and who can make sure you get home safe.
- “They will squeeze each other’s hands, or give some kind of sign.” Know where your friends are and who they’re going home with—and ask them to do the same for you.
- Communicate with them about what you’re looking for, and check in with your friends throughout the night to see how they’re doing.
But a frank discussion of hookup culture necessarily involves acknowledging it so that it can be navigated. Empower yourself to treat your partners with respect—break the cycle of ghosting or shaming. Be vigilant about recognizing behaviors within hookup culture that are unacceptable and do your best to intervene. Thinking about it in literal terms will also give you the words to use when you begin to communicate your needs—and this is where a lot of people have trouble. You should begin with honest introspection about what you want to get out of it, and what you’re comfortable doing.
Knowing how to communicate your needs is an essential first step—both in making sure you are satisfied, but also making sure that your partner are comfortable and consent to everything that you want to do to and with them. It’s also an important skill to develop as you continue to have sex, regardless of the number of partners you’ll have throughout your life.
Don’t Waste Time In The Friend Zone
If you’re in a position of power, make sure you act like you’re also in a position of responsibility. Solving the systemic problems that create toxic hookup culture is far beyond the scope of this article.
“‘Hookups’ can turn into meaningful relationships, study suggests.” ScienceDaily. In a study of Chicago-area adults published earlier this year, Paik reported that being involved with a friend increased the likelihood of non-monogamy by 44 percent for women and 25 percent for men. Involvement with an acquaintance or stranger increased the odds by 30 percent for women and 43 percent for men. In conducting the study, Paik controlled for several factors known to influence relationship quality, such as marital status, children and social embeddedness. Consistent with prior research, he found that unmarried couples and those with children had lower relationship quality, but couples with positive ties to each other’s relatives had higher relationship quality.