Hook Up Definition: 4 Ways to Make Sense of the Hook Up Meaning and Hookup Culture
Looking to Hookup? What does “Hooking Up” actually mean, and what to do if someone wants to hook up with you?
What’s the Hook Up Definition – you kinda know what it means, but you don’t really know exactly what it means, and you’re not sure who to ask. Don’t worry, you’re in good company.
Everyone loves talking about hookups – theirs and everyone else’s – but no one can quite agree on its definition. Chances are, we’re all talking about pretty different things!
In a recent study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, over 50 percent described hooking up as involving sex, nine percent said it didn’t include sex, while one-third said it was “ambiguous.”
Another study on college students in America found that some students feel that hooking up generally refers to “having sex”; however, many others indicated that when they say hooking up they are referring to something “less than intercourse”.
To some it means “just kissing”, “making out” or “fooling around” beyond kissing, which includes sexual touching on or underneath clothing. Still others suggested that hooking up means “everything but” intercourse.
OK, so we’ve touched on the range of physical possibilities, but what of the emotional landscape of hooking up? Is there even one, or are emotions a definite no-go zone?
The study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln surveyed 274 college students, and eventually concluded by attempting to define hooking up as “entailing certain sex acts between two people who are not dating or in a serious relationship and do not expect anything further.”
While definitions of the actual acts involved can be contentious, there is more clarity around the emotional investment in hooking up – or absence of it.
Most students surveyed are of the opinion that hooking up “could become a regular thing, but carries no emotional attachment and is not in any way a relationship”, and generally means “not having any intention of maintaining a relationship type commitment”.
While the widespread popularity of Hookup Dating Apps and Hookup Dating Sites means you’re never too far from a potential hookup, most hooking up still tends to happen IRL, and often at parties or clubs when the alcohol is flowing and inhibitions are out the door.
When asked about their experiences with hooking up, some students revealed that “hooking up usually happens at parties when two people have drank and both want to have sex with somebody”, or involves “having sex with someone whom you recently met and don’t know very well but have sex with anyways either because you are drunk or just because it’s the thing to do”.
Sure, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that alcohol and sex go because of heightened emotional states and the increased likelihood of reckless behaviour – but what of the morning after? Can it truly be commit-free fun or are there consequences to face once the deed is done?
On average, both men and women appear to have higher positive affect than negative affect after a hookup. In one study, among participants who were asked to characterise the morning after a hookup, 82 percent of men and 57 percent of women were generally glad they had done it.
So what do all these statistics mean when they’re applied to you? For example, someone you’ve swiped right on on Tinder has asked if you want to hook up – now what?
Does this mean you have to have sex if you say yes? Does this necessarily have to involve alcohol? What if you end up liking this person – are you absolutely not allowed to have any feelings? And must you definitely be OK with it all because everyone else seems to be?
And the only sensible answer to all that is a resounding NO.
The fact is that it doesn’t have to be complicated – remember that no one can agree on exactly what a hookup entails, and therefore it is up to you both to call the shots. You are the only other person involved in this (only if you want to, of course), and your hook up can be anything you and your partner want it to be.
Never feel pressured by what you think everyone else is doing, including what you think your hookup will expect of you – hooking up is an extremely personal matter, so be true to your beliefs. And yes, you can have smart fun – be discreet, keep it light, and above all, stay safe.
In our modern day Hookup Culture, Hook Ups are seen by many as part and parcel of life, and an indispensable component of Dating and Relationships.
Saying which, a Hook Up is only one of the various Types of Dating Relationships available. Having made sense of the Hook Up Meaning and Hook Up Definition, it’s extremely important for you to understand yourself and what you want – and whether a Hookup Relationship is for you. Don’t let anyone else dictate what you do – “Yes” or “No” to a Hookup is entirely your own decision and prerogative.
It does not matter whether you are looking for a Heterosexual Relationship, Gay Dating, Lesbian Dating or even Bi Dating.
Consider a less one-off and medium term NSA Relationship or Open Relationship if you want a less transient relationship connection with someone you fancy. If you’re ready to take the plunge, then of course consider a longer term relationship option: a Serious Relationship, Committed Relationship, Romantic Relationship or Monogamous Relationship would clearly work better for you in such a case.
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