A Take On Hook-Up Culture: What I Wish I Understood Before College

Image - Flickr / shitsuren
Image – Flickr / shitsuren

It’s a right of passage. It’s cool. It’s fun. It’s… awkward. If you consult Urban Dictionary (as I do every time I hear some new made up phrase of our generation, i.e. THOT) it says a “hook up” could either be a received good or service as a favor, to make out with someone, or to have sex with someone. Hooking up is one of those super ambiguous terms you use with your friends that could entail a gazillion of different acts. For the sake of reaching a mutual understanding, let’s assume that hooking up means kissing/making out.

I remember in my first 2 years of high school when the group of girls I hung out with would have ‘boy talks’ during study hall, it’d usually go a little some thing like this:

“Mike has been texting me, we’re suppose to hook up at the keg on Friday.”

“Omg Kate hooked up with him last month, you probably shouldn’t tell her.”

So, let me get this straight: you set up a time and place to make out with someone even though you know that they’ve probably hooked up with a bunch of people before you? Oh and also, it’s at a social setting where there will be countless other people your age who, even if they don’t see you in the act, will hear about it and spread the word. I never understood.

Now in college, it’s a little different. It’s kind of something that’s just expected at every social gathering; be it frat house or apartment party or dorm. Oh and you have to see that person around campus occasionally, no matter how large it may be.

Why is this a thing?

Personally, after hooking up with someone who doesn’t even mean anything to me, I feel like shit. There’s never really even a level of satisfaction that I get from it. It’s always just… regret. It seems like the more that we do it, the less that it means to us. When before we could put names to those faces, now it’s just another person on a list.

Kissing someone for the first time that has really started to mean a lot to you is different. You get butterflies, and your heart starts beating fast, and all that cute stuff. So, why don’t we wait for that? Why do we tarnish and take out the meaning of something that could essentially be beautiful?

Going from hook up to hook up will not make you any more confident or attractive. It will instead scare you of commitment and essentially leave you wanting something more.
We never really want to think of ourselves as users. In most cases, we think of ourselves as the ones being used.

So if we know what it feels like to be used in different scenarios, such as for a ride or for money, then why would we do it in the most sacred way possible? Using someone for “pleasure” is one of the most dangerous things to do nowadays. It could lead to people misinterpreting the hookup and sometimes getting hurt because it meant more to them than it ever did to you (or vice versa).

There is a made-up, three letter acronym for those who like hooking up but can’t deal with commitment at the moment: FWB. Friends With Benefits. More like let’s have fun together and pretend we don’t care about feelings when in reality we’re just hurting each other. A friend of mine, the sweetest girl that deserves so much more, settled for this title her first year of college. At first it was just a guy she had chemistry with… until they kissed and everything changed. It went from hanging out to just cuddling to drunken texts of “Can I sleep over?” In the beginning it seemed as if he really liked her, but as time went on it became a meaningless booty call. Looking back, she tells me that she wishes she’d never let a guy treat her this way. That she’d wake up in the morning thinking, “Why the hell did I hook up with him again?”

On your wedding day, you kiss your bride/groom to say “I do.” It’s to show a promise, a vow. If only we could start to view kissing as something that has a purpose. If only it could be something special to us that makes way for that level of intimacy that everyone truly seeks deep down.

For when you find yourself in these situations: take a step back, think about how much more you are worth. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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