Hookup etiquette

Sarah Rosenberg

Some people are simply the relationship type. Others prefer to just “dabble,” if you will, with a number of girls or guys, with the mindset that college isn’t the place to be monogamous. Monogamy is a complicated word to many college students, much like capitalism, assimilation or existentialism — something we’ve all learned about and know is important, but are pushing into the back of our brains until it’s absolutely necessary in our lives.

For some people, females in particular, it takes a while to accept that having solid relationships in college is often unattainable. With that said, the “hookup” acts as that awkward in-between. It is what happens when you have a reciprocated attraction to someone, but don’t want a concrete partnership. Hookups can be a one-time occurrence, but when it becomes habitual, things can get messy. Personally, I believe it’s the stereotypes of certain gender roles that skew the idea of hooking up, preventing it from ever being a perfect, well-drawn-out college experience.

For one, males need to erase the word “attached” from their vocabulary. I truly think that men single out women for getting “attached” after a fling, mostly for bringing emotions into the picture when all men seem to want is a friendship plus physical attributes. Most girls will not go into a hookup unless there is a certain level of attraction, and in most cases will expect a little more out of a physical encounter. Don’t be mistaken — this doesn’t always mean a relationship, necessarily. Some girls just want respect after the fact, to be treated the way things might have been beforehand or to be seen as an equal who doesn’t become a morning-after story for a pool of guy friends. Thus, know what to expect before you go in for the kill. A girl is a girl no matter how you spin it, and although this isn’t a universal concept regarding females, emotional attachment is a core ingredient of their makeup. Expect it, work with it and don’t penalize them for it. Why would you want to hook up with someone made of stone, anyway?

Secondly, don’t be a repeat offender. This idea goes for both males and females, that when you’re out (and perhaps under the influence of alcohol) you seem to be attracted to people you wouldn’t normally be interested in. Some people call it the “beer goggle effect,” but I just think that alcohol makes you overly-affectionate. Either way, if you so happen to delve into a hookup that leaves you scratching your head the next morning, don’t do it again. This is disastrous, as the recipient of your confused hormones will most likely get the wrong idea, and no feeling is worse than false hope.

Maybe the key is to rid ourselves of these ridiculous gender stereotypes — that women are clingy and prone to episodes reminiscent of “Fatal Attraction,” and that men are void of emotional consciences when physical and sexual opportunities arise. Nonetheless, hookups are not the stuff of classic love songs.