Hooking up at Skidmore College

Posted by Mohannad Aljawamis Older generations may not understand or even use the term "hookup." It persists as a frequent topic of gossip on campus and inspires both laughter and embarrassment among students.

No one has officially declared traditional dinner dates out of fashion at Skidmore College. However, we often see young adults consuming a glass of Jack Daniel's over ice to quell nervousness and stave off judgments before they engage in a hookup.

In simple words, hooking up requires less effort, less time and often proves to be a forgettable experience. Hookups are so normalized at Skidmore that it seems that they may have lost value.

Despite the fact that everyone has heard the term, the definition of hookup remains completely open to individual interpretation. Some people consider making out to constitute as a hookup. Others refer to casual sex as a hookup. Some students cannot even give a set definition of what a hook-up is.

Urban Dictionary describes a hookup as an intentionally ambiguous term that describes any sexual activity. From a taboo perspective, hookups result in disaster and produce no positive consequences.

But hookups are not so bad as long as they are safe and consensual. Sexual activities can boost your mood, self-esteem and immunity to illness. They also help you burn calories and regulate your sleep.

In order to benefit from the positive effects of sex, you must practice healthy behaviors. Emotional health is very critical during a hookup. Partners must be aware of each other's needs and desires. Each partner should be able to communicate freely what he or she is willing or not willing to do. No one should impose pressure to continue a sexual activity, and each partner has the right to stop activity at any point.

Although students who are solely in pursuit of sexual pleasure may be looking for uncommitted hookups, emotions will likely play a role, even when they are unwanted. As such, partners should evaluate each other's emotional sensitivity and understand what sex means to them before they engage in a hookup.

Health is another essential component of hooking up. If your ideal hookup does not include long-term consequences, such as pregnancy or sexual transmitted infections (STI's), then it is crucial to know your preventative options. For example, birth control pills prevent up to 99% of pregnancies but cannot protect against any STI's. Condoms, on the other hand, can prevent up to 89% of pregnancies and provide protection from most STI's. Of course, these statistics only apply when you are talking about traditional male-female vaginal sex. Although there are risks that exist when engaging in all kinds of sexual activity, there are also safe ways to participate in sex. Stay informed by conducting research and exercising safe decisions.

In spite of the fact that alcohol may distort your judgment and impair memory, you should still be aware of possible STI's, pregnancies and emotional consequences that can be caused by hooking up. Being intoxicated does not serve as an excuse for nonconsensual or unprotected sex. So if you chose to hookup, an action that has its positive and negative side effects, remember to remain safe and consensual.

Mohannad Aljawamis is a sophomore from Jordan, studying International Affairs and Business Management. He works as a Peer Health Educator and is interested in nutrition and physical health. 

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