2021 Complete Guide on Hookup: Definition, Culture, Advice, Apps & Sites

Dating apps can get frustrating for hookup seekers, but there are options that just get straight to the point and actually work.

Our picks for the best free hookup apps out there include:

  • Best Hookup App for its Free version: Pure – Posting ads for free to score a quick hookup while not forking out for it.
  • Best Hookup App for Inclusivity: Feeld – Don’t feel left out from the game. Feeld has over 20 gender and sexual identities to fit right in.
  • Best Hookup App for the Most Options in Matches: Tinder – Whether you love or hate it, Tinder does have more than 57 mil users worth tapping into.


With the help of the hookup sites like these, casual sex encounters have become more accessible than ever, knowing that your cutie neighbors are available for a quickie.

With time not being on our side and heavy loads of life commitments, many people prefer to put relationships aside for casual sex including one-night stands, friends with benefits or “Netflix and chill.”

You get everything that usually entails from a relationship minus the emotional ties.

Apps have become the perfect hookup wingman to initiate hookups especially those with a proximity feature.

Hookups have generally been talked down and called degrading especially for women, who choose to go down this path.

However, it is vital to recognize that hookup culture opens the channel for discussions of sexual needs and desires, regardless of gender or sexual orientations.



So, What is a Hookup?

There is no one definition or meaning of hookup, making it confusing to some, but it does have one common consensus.

Hookup culture is defined as “meaningless” casual sex encounters, without the usual relationship mix of emotional intimacy, bonding or committed relationship.

This includes zero promise of a serious relationship after casual sex.

So, one-night stands, friends with benefits, flings, booty calls, no strings attached and casual dating usually falls within the parameter of what a hookup is.

Despite the common perception of what hookups are, hookups don’t necessarily end with sex.

It can involve kissing, fondling of women’s breasts, hands on genitals, oral sex and intercourse.

Interestingly enough, the term hookup wasn’t widely used in the media until the late 1990s and it did not become a popular culture until 2006.


Hookup Culture

Hookup culture is well-documented in music, books, movies and TV series history.

Although the rise of automobile usage and entertainment venues paved the way for hookup culture in the 1920s, young adults only became more sexually liberated in the 1960s.

Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” or even Katy Perry’s popular pop song “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)” are great examples of lyrics about hookups.

In a research article at the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, it says that 20% of sexual intercourse cases involved characters on television, who knew each other but were not in a relationship, and another 15% involved characters having sex after just meeting.

And the hot topic of hookups in college campuses became widespread in the media.

However, Lisa Wade, a sociologist who wrote American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus, said that college students are not having more sex than their parents did one generation ago.

She said that students believe that virginity is so yesterday and monogamy is boring, that college is a time to go wild and have fun; and that they’re way too young to be in a committed relationship.

An analysis by University of Portland researchers (Monto & Carey, 2014) concurs with Wade, that the only significant difference in their analysis of the General Social Survey, is that more teens prefer to refrain from sexual relations.

However, the hookup rate are almost identical when comparing 1988-1996 with 2004 to 2012.

Another study shows that activities of hookups can be less sexual than what people perceive a hookup is.

Most hookups involve kissing (98%), fondling breasts (58%), hands on genitals (53%), oral sex and intercourse (34%).


If you’re thinking of hooking up but feel unsure about the emotional aftermath, take some comfort that the College of New Jersey research in 2002 found that 65% of 187 students claimed “predominantly enjoyment”, while only 17% felt regret.

If you want to know why hookup culture and casual flings could be good, we got you!

You may find some interesting pointers in this post too.

Now then, if you’ve decided that hookups are what you’re seeking for and we have your back with these helpful tips below.


6 Things to Do For the Best Hookup



So you’re on the prowl to get laid but you don’t want to just hook up with anyone.

With the help of best and free hookup apps around, these are great Craiglist alternatives to find hookups near you or worldwide if you’re travelling.

If you’re one of those who types “hookups near me” on Google, you’ll find our list of apps super useful!

Some of the apps featured are more discreet about your identity and can get you matches real quick for both iPhone and Android users.

While the jury is out on how your next bed-hopping would end up, there are several things you can do to make sure you’re covered in case things don’t go as planned.


1. Find out their STI and STD statuses

This may suck out some of the fun out of your hookups but trust us, when we say this is seriously important.

It is necessary to know if they have been recently tested especially when you know that they have multiple partners.

And of course, the same applies to you too.

Plus, if they get all sensitive about it, this offers a great glimpse of their character.

You don’t need to deal with immaturity at this point so RUN if they get offended!


2. Consent, consent, consent

Hooking up should be a mutually beneficial activity so both of you must give clear consent and should be your guiding pillar when it comes to casual sex.

You two should also agree on what is okay and not okay during your romp to avoid getting your wires crossed and ruin the fun unnecessarily!


3. Speak up on your intentions.

While you may think you know what the other wants,  it can often lead to a lot of misunderstandings, which could lead to unnecessary drama.

So, communicate clearly what you want and be clear if you are hooking up for the sheer fun of it with no commitments at the end of the tunnel or even clear the air about your relationship status if you’re in any.

Give them a chance to think about it and if they’re okay with it. And if they’re not, let them have the chance to politely decline.


4. Exchange last names

This may seem strange to you but this could help protect you from any dangers, especially if you’re meeting through a hookup app.

While it takes away a little mystery by looking at Google for a little help, you don’t want to end up sleeping with a person with a criminal past.

A little digital footprint can be great to weed out any creeps and those who are hesitant to share such details.

Do this and it can literally save you loads of trouble later.


5. Don’t be afraid to initiate

Once both are agreeable to go under the sheets together, don’t be afraid of taking the lead in bed when it is clear both of you want it. Your partner will probably thank you for it.


6. Take your time

While it can be tempting to jump and straight up have sex, foreplay can be really make a difference in making your hookup pleasurable or a forgettable experience.

Eye contact, touch and going for the neck (yes!) can make the other go nuts as your partner could feel your confidence and desire.


Lesbian Hookup



While we provided a general guideline above for everyone, we also understand that there aren’t much information when a man is not part of of the picture.

If you’re curious about lesbian sex and want to hookup for the first time, take comfort that you’re not the only one!

First, take your pick of the cream of the crop by exploring the best lesbian hookup apps.

Whether you have always known that you were into other women or maybe even bi-curious, here are some of our tips to prepare you for your first lesbian hookup and make it less daunting.

It could make your experience change from ordinary to fun and steamy!


1. Practice makes perfect

The best way to know how to arouse another woman, is to start with yourself first.

So yes, we are talking about masturbation here.

Get to know your own sensitive areas and don’t be afraid to experiment to know what turns you on.

And yes, it is true that every woman would have different preferences, but if it works for you, there is a good chance it’ll work on her too.


2. Guard your sexual health

Despite the common mis-perception that lesbian sex is considered safe, it may be shocking for you to find out gay women are actually at risk for the same STIs as straight couples!

Gay women are at risk to catch herpes, genital warts and chlamydia- just to name a few.

Any bodily fluids exchanged can put you at risk of getting a STI.

If both of you are menstruating, that brings on a greater risk.

So taking a few steps of precautions such as washing your hands before and after sex, would be advisable for safer sex.

The most important thing that both of you could do is go for a STI screening to clear the air on each other’s status and have a peace of mind.

If you either of you have any cuts or open wounds in the mouth or lips, it may be worth it to give the oral sex a rest.

Another option is to use a dental dam, which is a physical barrier to cover the anus or female genitals during oral sex.

While this may be a killjoy, these precautions are necessary to ensure that you and your partner experience a truly enjoyable sex sesh, minus any regrets later!


3. Clearly communicate your desires or even fear!

Similar to straight sex, communication is key to make sure both of you have a great time together!

Even more so if this is your first time.

Don’t afraid to let her know what you would like and things you’re unsure of.

Your lady partner would appreciate that you genuinely want to know what she likes and to fulfil her desires!

And keep the communication going and asking if she feels good as you go along!


4. Nails check

Check your nails before heading out! It’s something that is easy to forget but so necessary for a good hookup.

Women’s vulva and vagina are really delicate and should be handled with loads of care.

To keep things pleasurable instead of a bout of pain, get those nails in check.


Gay Hookup



Gay hookups can play a vital role in helping people figure out what they like and want sexually.

If a hookup is something you enjoy or you think you’ll enjoy, you’ll be spoilt for choices in terms of your next fling candidates with the amount of booming gay apps out there.

Find your galore of gay men on the best gay hookup apps and don’t settle for anything less!

If you catch yourself researching “gay hookup locations near me” online, you’ll enjoy our lists of apps as some of the apps features gay bars and hangouts to find a great hookup partner. 

Get out there and don’t be afraid to explore (but safely of course) to find what is up your alley.

Once you have found your next hottie and you are figuring out what to do next, here are some things to do to get the steamiest hookups while being safe.


1. Video call

Certain apps have video calls integrated into them such as Taimi and Grindr.

For apps that don’t have that option yet, you can always set up a video call with many different apps out there.

Some may not be open or welcome the idea of it and may not want to do it but initiate the idea and see where it goes.

It’ll give you a chance to make sure you’re not being scammed or catfished.

Plus, it gives you the peace of mind and also a sense if there is chemistry between you two.


2. Hygiene first

So let’s say you’ve already decided on your bed-hopping partner and he’s coming over, it’ll be a great idea to do a general clean up if you haven’t in awhile and while you’re at it, your toilet too!

You’ll be surprised how a dirty toilet can really dampen the mood.

While you’re at it, give yourself a good shower as well and clean everything! And we mean, everything!


3. Keep your condoms nearby but not in sight

Good impressions do matter in hookups. Afterall, you’re probably hooking up because you are attracted to him.

And although it is just sex, you don’t want to make it to seem like it’s a free for all.


4. Ask them their HIV status

Be clear and honest with one another about this.

You’ll know how to deal with the situation when things are laid out on the table.


5. Share location with a trusted friend

If at all you’re going over to his place or any outside location, do share your location with a trusted friend or even better, to a few friends.

Let them know you’re going for a hookup and that if they don’t hear from you by a certain time, they know the drill!


Ending a Hookup Relationship


It’s never easy to end something even if it is a hookup relationship.

It can make you feel like crap and a jerk for being the one to “break up” with someone.

And because of this we all have a tendency to avoid the subject altogether and retreat into our caves.

It is easier to silently remove ourselves from the relationship than to face the music.

In a casual relationship like a hookup, we tend to not answer messages, resort to giving short answers like “ok” or suddenly become unavailable for any hookups.

This goes on until we’re just “too busy” to even talk to them.

We tell ourselves that “I don’t like hurting anyone” but we really are if we resort to such silent treatments.

Avoiding the problem causes a lot of unnecessary guilt of not ending it the proper way or hurt and anger in the other person.

So, there are bad and good ways of going about it.

Ghosting is definitely one of the bad ways of hurting someone and makes the other person confused on what happened.

This is because there is no closure at all with the person and they will always be left wondering what led to the phaseout.

And yes, even a casual relationship, it can still hurt even if it was just sex.

If you’ve been doing the “phase out” tactic all these while, try to end a hookup relationship the right way instead.

Be part of the change of moving from pulling a disappearing act to having a face-to-face breakup with the person.

Your partner would appreciate it more than you know and you may just find out that there was really nothing to run away from in the first place.



(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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