Sex and Relationships

College Hookup Culture: Healthy or Heartbreaking?

some want the “smash and dash”

others would rather wait and pass

For many students, college means the end of lying to mom and dad about sleepovers with your significant other, romantic interest . . . or person who you met at a party less than three hours ago.

Things got steamy, and suddenly you find yourself with the option to head home with practically a (sexy) stranger. It remains a question as to how you want to “spend the night.” For some, the answer is a no-brainer, especially if in the midst of cuffing season or post seven shots of Tito’s. But for others, small voices inside the brains push for spontaneous fun, but their hearts want to save sex for someone special someone (or at least for a time when you’re soberer). When alcohol and late nights in crowded basements and bars are involved, it’s highly likely that you’ll come across situations when you have to decide if casual sex is an option or not. Consider arguments on both sides as to whether casual sex benefits or harms your personal well being.


Assuming that you aren’t tied to a relationship, hooking up can fulfill physical needs with no strings attached. Whether your partner is an ONS or “f*ck buddy,” you can feel short-term satisfaction without the burden of devoting time and emotional commitment. Several partners (and using protection each time, of course) also presents chances to experience a variety of techniques and positions for you to find out what you enjoy in bed. Hooking up allows you to not only learn from multiple people but also teach others through pleasurable experiences. Thankfully, we live in a time in which it is socially acceptable, if not the expectation, by most people for college students to be sexually active, even if not in a relationship. If anything, western culture makes college hookup culture the epitome of making the most of your bachelor or bachelorette days prior to marriage.


Though it has its pros, the “hump and dump” is not for all.


To start, casual sex is not the safest way to have intercourse with someone. You put yourself at risk when exchanging bodily fluids – essentially having sex with all of the other people your partner has screwed with. The risk rises after too many drinks; though some find appeal in care-free, sloppy, it can be difficult for both people to clearly communicate and give consent.


Though we’re warned about the safety concerns in casual sex, health class did not teach us about the messy emotions that can arise from intercourse, hookup or not. If hooking up, it is assumed that no one should expect anything long-term to come from the sexual encounter(s). However, that isn’t to say that A). this isn’t impossible and B). someone can’t help but “catch feelings” for the casual partner. This can become even more complicated if someone loses his or her virginity through a hookup and regrets it afterward. In short, hookups are meant for intense thrills, but it’s easy for someone to get hurt.


Though you know what’s best for your body and mind, inner conflicts make it difficult to come to a decision if haven’t thought about it before. Regardless of the reasoning behind your sexual encounter (or lack of), both partners should show respect and ask for consent.


Author: Sarah Carlson