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What Is "Hooking Up"?

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
what is "hooking up"?
Signed: What Is "Hooking Up"?

Dear What Is "Hooking Up"?,

 

It is difficult to come up with an exact definition for the term “hooking up,” as different people may us the phrase to imply different things. Generally, “hooking up” refers to some level of physical intimacy – with the extent of the physical contact depending on the person using the phrase. Some may use the term to describe an interaction that involved just kissing or kissing along with heavy petting. Others may think of “hooking up” as involving more intimate physical contact, such as oral, vaginal, or anal sex. “Hooking up” also generally implies that the sexual contact was not something that occurred within a serious relationship, but rather something that happened with a stranger or acquaintance.  People who are dating or in an exclusive relationship with one another will rarely describe their physical contact in this manner.

 

There are a few important things to remember when it comes to “hooking up.” If you do engage in oral, vaginal, or anal sex, it is very important to protect yourself by using condoms to protect against unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs, and, ideally, to use a back-up method of birth control such as the pill or patch as well.

 

Another consideration is that hook-ups do not necessarily lead to any kind of long-term or exclusively committed relationship. Some people want to hook-up just for the sake of hooking up. If you know you want more than a hook-up, don’t put yourself in a position where you can easily be hurt – such as by hooking up with someone and then finding out afterwards they do not want anything more when you do.

 

Finally, hooking up with friends and strangers can often occur when people are drinking – and then there can be regret or unpleasant consequences after it’s all over. So this is another reason to be careful about how much you are drinking – to not get yourself involved in a hook-up that may cause you discomfort (such as making a friendship awkward) or serious regret (such as getting pregnant when you don’t want to be or transmitting an STD).

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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