Hooking Up Dos and Don’ts 

Back to School ’07: Don’t be a cad or a cadette. Play by these simple rules.

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As a fresh-faced co-ed, sometimes you just need action. You can’t blame it on puberty now, but why should you? You’re a free adult.
That cute brunette from ecology class is standing outside Nobrow during Gallery Stroll. You say, “Hello.” You are a language and literature major, and she asks if Dostoevsky is a brand of vodka. But she’s close. Right?

Hooking up doesn’t require common interests or even the same IQ range. It does require some sensitivity on your part to come out clean. Here are a few one-night stand forget-me-nots that will help you wake up the next morning smelling like flowers, not stinking of treachery.

Make your apartment or dorm room base camp. Picture this: You meet a girl in the bathroom line at an off-campus party. Later, you ladle some sangria into her plastic cup, and she laughs when you promise you washed your hands. She asks if you live near here; she lives right around the corner. Suddenly, you’re in a subliminal war. Whoever hosts the midnight hook-up calls the shots: whether you/she will spend the night, how long you/she will sleep in, even mood lighting. If you bring her home, you get to sleep in tomorrow while she sneaks around searching desperately for her left shoe.

Approach everything with a sense of humor. It is daybreak, and you wake up with only a vague memory of the night before. There’s Whatshisface lying on his side of the bed. Hopefully, you had fun. Don’t be grave about it now. Joke with the guy as you see him to the door. When your roommate makes a grumpy quip about the noise keeping her awake, quip back. Maintaining the same light mood you had last night will help it all blow over faster.

Offer coffee the next morning, but never breakfast. That bacon frying smells distinctly like commitment. Just because you wake up in the same apartment doesn’t mean you’re living together. Don’t bother with breakfast. Offering a fresh cup of coffee, however, gives you an excuse to exit the bedroom and showcase the manners your momma gave you. Plus, the caffeine might speed up your guest’s exit.

Be prepared to have a conversation. Sure, it’d be nice to spend the night with someone, shake hands the next morning and shut the door behind him. But what if he wants to give you his number or set up a Thai restaurant lunch date later this week? You’ll have to initiate a “This didn’t mean anything” conversation. It’s troublesome, but you’ll avoid awkward run-ins later.

Use protection or don’t do it at all. You’re drunk, know the other person unbelievably well, and/or are on the Pill. So what? No condom means no deal. Both women and men should keep condoms in their desk drawers. If you don’t, find a 24-hour Walgreens (like the one at 909 E. 2100 South) or settle for a PG-13 make-out session. Otherwise, however pretty you are, this may be your last hook-up; herpes is not attractive.

Hook up with exes, friends, friends’ exes, or ex-friends. Hooking up should be carefree. That’s the point. Any emotional tie, even pure hatred, ruins the fun you could have. Besides, this is your chance for new experiences (read: positions); why spend a mediocre night with your ex-boyfriend? The key is to keep it drama-free. Sacrifice sleeping with the friend you’ve loved secretly for years and escape the heartbreak. Save emotions for the dating scene.

Try to keep it a secret. Never going to happen. Don’t sneak in and out because you don’t want your housemates to hear you. While it’s polite to avoid waking them up, chances are your roommates will hear the bed squeaking or run into your visitor at the bathroom door. Everyone at the party will see you leave together, and just because you keep it hushed doesn’t mean your hook-up isn’t going to tell his friends he got some. So why bother? Approach it maturely; you’ve got needs and no reason to hide them.

Do it in public. Just because everyone will know you took someone home on Monday doesn’t mean you should conduct a demonstration on the dance floor. Dry humping in public doesn’t improve your street cred. Unless you’re a declared exhibitionist, you will regret finding photos on Facebook next week.

Plan on finding someone. We all have those conversations. “I haven’t had sex in months. I need to find a hook-up; I’m getting desperate.” If you go to a party or bar looking expressly for someone to take home, you may be disappointed. Even when looking for a no-strings-attached stranger, you shouldn’t give up everything you stand for. Enjoy your night; don’t settle. Imagine waking up with a start next to what you thought was just a nightmare.

Expect it to be more than it is. You don’t expect it to become a relationship, but you shouldn’t expect any future hook-ups, either. Even if you don’t regret it, expecting anything more from a one-night stand is emotional suicide. You may share a class or dormitory with your hook-up but remain uninterested. Sure, people repeat hook-ups, but why should you? There might be someone better at the next party. {::NOAD::}

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About The Author

Kit Warchol

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