Campus Culture: Hooking Up & Friends with Benefits

Many people in college choose to forgo the relationships altogether and instead look for “friends with benefits,” or the occasional hookup. Although it might seem like everyone is doing it, the truth is plenty of students aren’t. A study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that 84 percent of college kids talked about hooking up, but only 54 percent of them actually had sex during the school year.

Those revealing numbers don’t change the fact that the hookup culture in college is becoming more common. Students face interesting new problems when engaging in hookups rather than typical relationships or dating, as they might deal with emotional confusion, concerns about reputation, or hookups fueled by alcohol or drugs – which could lead to a whole other host of issues, such as forgetting to use a condom or doing things that might lead to embarrassment in the harsh light of day.

Learning how to protect yourself when choosing to hook up is important. Here’s how:

  • Always use protection

    Use a condom, dental dam, or other barrier protection, each and every time, with no exceptions. If you don’t have one on hand, don’t have sex.

  • Be cautious about anonymous encounters

    A hook up may seem sexy and steamy on television, but that isn’t always the case in real life. It’s important to talk about contraceptives and STDs, and ask if there’s anything you should know about your partner’s sexual health. If someone isn’t willing to divulge, it may be best to walk away.

  • Let a friend know where you are

    Casual sex might be fun, but make sure it is safe, too. Let a friend know where you are and who you are with, as well as when you expect to be back in your own room.

  • Trust yourself

    If a hookup doesn’t feel right, it’s not. Let your gut do the talking on this one. Say your goodbyes, make your excuses, and get out of there.

  • Don’t have expectations

    When it comes to “friends with benefits,” one person often ends up wanting more. If you’re on the same page, great! But don’t go into the situation expecting a relationship – you will only get hurt.

  • Remember that you don’t owe anyone anything

    Your body is yours and yours alone! You don’t owe anyone anything.

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