Hookup Meaning & Hookup Definition: Deconstructing Hookups 

A hookup means having casual sexual acts between two people, ranging from just kissing to sex with no intentions of taking it in full gear to a committed relationship. 


Ask your friends what a hookup is.

Chances are you did but ended up more confused than before.

And you have every right to be as everyone seems to be creating or interpreting their own meanings and definitions of what a hookup is as they go along.

“Why?” you might ask.

Well, part of the thrill of hookups is remaining ambiguous and cryptic.

And that is what makes it so tempting to hop on the hookup culture.

It accommodates a broad spectrum of desires and the rules are left written between the two parties involved.

To give you a better grasps of the subject, we’ve broken down the hookup culture for you in hopes of wiping off that frown.


1. What is considered a hookup then?

This is a valid question especially if you’ve been thinking of embarking in a hookup.

We’ve shed some light on the highly debatable meaning behind hookups so you get a gist of it.

We’ll give you the scoop on the different meanings by different research findings and you can tell why it is a highly fascinating subject.

According to a research article by Jennifer A. Shukusky, hooking up is defined “any spontaneous sexual activity between uncommitted individuals (not involved in a traditional romantic relationship- dating, boyfriend/girlfriend) including kissing, intimate touching, oral sex, anal sex, and/or sexual intercourse.”



While in this research article titled “Sexual Hookup Culture: A Review”, it reported that nearly all hookups involve kissing with 98% of respondents reported kissing within hooking up.

In the same paper, Hatfield, Hutchison, Bensman, Young, and Rapson define casual sex as “outside of a ‘formal’ relationship (dating, marriage, etc.), without a ‘traditional’ reason (such as love, procreation, or commitment) for doing so”.

The common definition you’ll find is that hooking up comes with no emotional attachments after the deed.

Both go their separate ways without any further expectations.

Despite popular belief, hooking up doesn’t necessarily include sexual intercourse in the picture and could merely just involve kissing.

Over the years, hookups comes with many slang terms such as “no strings attached”, “casual encounters”, “booty call” and “one-night stands”.


2. How about Friends with Benefits then?

We hear you.

“Friends with benefits” or “fuck buddies” have been thrown in the mix over the years with a distinct nuance from the typical hookup.

The usual definition of hookup usually involves two strangers who meet at random places like parties.

However, “friends with benefits” usually involves two friends agreeing to embark in a sexual relationship without emotions in the picture and involves an arranged agreement.


3. Okay, where do people hookup?

In the same research article, it is no surprise that hookups were found to be very popular among college students.

It is also unsurprising that 67% hookups happens at parties, 57% at dormitories or fraternity houses, 10% at bars and clubs and 4% in cars.



This is some food for thought. Some 61% of men and 34% of women engaged in sex within the same day.

Outside the campus, casual sex also takes place at parties, singles bar, away on vocation, on business and on blind dates.

Don’t forget hookup apps make it easier to get people today to have casual sex encounters and don’t make it necessary for them to actually go to parties to meet someone they want to have a fling with.

So now, that you know about hookups, you may want to weigh in on the pros and cons.

We have elaborated more about this in another post on the possible good and bad of hookups.

This includes opening conversations about sex and being able to explore while finding your sexual identity.

It also allows women, who were shamed in the past for participating in hookups, the freedom to explore their sexuality without the shame and guilt.

Then comes the question of….


4. Should I hookup?

Hookups have been hyped over the years but it doesn’t necessary mean it is for everybody.

Some give in to peer pressure, thinking it is a way to fit in and if they don’t do it, they may be considered a social outcasts.

There are sexual risks that comes with hookup culture though.

This ranges from sexually transmitted infections to accidental pregnancies.

Some are even affected emotionally and psychological after hooking up such as getting emotionally attached with the other party or “feeling empty” after a hookup.

In the “Sexual Hookup Culture: A Review” research article, it is worth to note that among a sample of 1,468 college students, only 46.6% of 429 of them (who engaged in sexual activities during hookups) used a condom.

So, to answer the earlier question, you are free to choose whether you want to choose to hookup or not.

If you think it is for you, then be free to explore but always stay safe.

Check out our full guide for hooking up here. (Hint: You may get some tips for the steamiest hookups there!)

However, don’t give in to social pressure in something that doesn’t interest you.

If you are into serious relationships, that is all good and no one should tell you otherwise.

There are many dating apps out there to find people who are interested in the same kind of relationship as you.

In summary, you do you!



(Last updated: 21 December 2020)


About the Author

Kelvin Kevin is the Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Content Editor of the World-Renowned HappyMatches.com Dating App and Dating Site. An avid writer since young, he is an Expert Dating and Relationships Coach for Casual Dating, Serious Dating and General Dating. You can follow him on Twitter (@HowToDateBetter), and also check out his personal Dating Blog, for the latest Dating Advice and Dating Tips to help Straight, Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Singles and Couples find and enjoy Fulfilling and Intimate Dating Relationships.

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