I hadn’t planned to write a blog post this week, yet here I am. After recording this week’s episode of Sexpert with my co-host, Madison, I was inspired to write a companion to Episode 038. So, in anticipation for the latest episode of Sexpert (which comes out Friday!), here’s a sneak peek into what we’ll be discussing.
College dating is a completely different world than it was for our parents; though there are many similarities, hookup culture is much more common now. With apps like Tinder, Grindr, and Bumble, a “match” is just a swipe away, and with all of our “matches” at our fingertips, we have more selection than ever.
So why would anyone settle?
This is why hookup culture is thriving for young adults — and this is a great thing…when done correctly.
As someone who spent her freshman year of college hooking up with people (primarily Tinder matches), and as someone who has looked back on this and noticed what she did wrong and right, I’d like to offer you my do’s and don’ts of hooking up in college.
Note: these are not all of my tips. For the full list, please listen to Episode 038 of Sexpert. Subscribe to us on iTunes podcasts, Google Play, or Podbean to be notified of when it goes live!
DO: let someone know where you’re going and who you’re going with.
Safety is a primary concern when hooking up with someone you don’t know very well. With most hookups happening via Tinder or Grindr, it’s rare to even meet the person face-to-face before having sex with them (though I would recommend going out for coffee before meeting them at their dorm). Tell at least one of your friends where you’re going and who you’re going with, and when you expect to be home. This way they can keep a lookout for you in case something goes wrong.
DON’T: go out with them if they seem “off” to you (even if it’s only a little bit).
With most of my freshman year hookups, we met for coffee before we went back to the bedroom. By going out with them in public, you’re able to feel (and be) safer while also allowing yourself time to judge your comfort levels around them. If you don’t feel comfortable having coffee and talking with them, you probably shouldn’t go back to their dorm room…alone. Basically: if they seem just a little “off,” imagine them as an axe murderer — would you want to go home with that?
DO: use a condom AND get tested afterwards.
Hooking up and condoms just don’t seem to go hand-in-hand. But this is why the CDC has found a sharp growth in STDs on college campuses. Even if part of the party is on birth control, that doesn’t protect you from STIs and STDs. Always carry a few condoms with you when you go out (this includes you too, ladies!) and, if you’re able to, tell the person beforehand that you want to use condoms — and make them stick to it. If they don’t want to use a condom against your wishes, you may not want to be having sex with them anyway. Regardless if you use a condom or not (but especially if you do not), go and get STD tested afterwards. You’re always supposed to get STD tested between new partners, and once every six months if you’re in a monogamous relationship or single. All college campuses offer free STD testing with their campus health programs, so there’s no excuse not to get tested.
DON’T: hookup with them if you can see them being your S.O. or if you have emotional feelings for them.
If you find yourself emotionally attached to someone you’re about to hookup with, I’d suggest two things: either discuss it with them beforehand (and then take the necessary steps afterwards) or just don’t do it at all. By not hooking up, you can suggest going on a few more dates to get to know one another, and if they’re not down for that, then they probably only want sex and nothing more. This is a good sign to go your separate ways. If your emotions start interfering, it’s time to take a step back and assess the situation.
DO: make sure you have money on you, whether it’s cash or card.
Honestly, you should always have “emergency money” (as my grandmother calls it) on you. Personally, I’m very bad at this. But whenever I’m going out with someone new and, quite frankly, when hooking up with a stranger, I always had money on me or in my bank account. This way, in case something went wrong, I could pay for an Uber or have the costs to cover any other emergencies. It’s also not a bad idea to have a fully-charged phone on hand to call a friend in case there are any troubles.
Hooking up can be fun, but there are plenty of things to keep in mind before “doing the deed.” Check out Episode 038 – Hookup Do’s & Don’ts on Friday for more tips.
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