Sex and Health: The Scoop on ‘Ethical Hookup’ Culture

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Sydney L Lucero

Contributing Writer

The subject of sporadic sexual encounters, i.e., “hook-ups”— summer flings, friends with benefits, one-night-stands— are intrinsically linked with the overall college experience. 

While one might not think “hookup culture” is synonymous with being ethically considerate or emotionally satisfying, this is a misconception we need to reevaluate.

As we are still within the Red Zone when, according to Psychology Today, nearly 50 percent of sexual assaults on campus occur.

It seems like an appropriate time to also take a long look at how others are treated in sexual encounters.  

With the rise of dating apps and the close proximity of living on campus, sexual gratification is accessible.

Depending on one’s own morality, the short-term nature of hooking up can, in itself, seem like a violation of ethics, but it is important to remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and lifestyle.

For starters, the double-standards that praise men who frequently have casual sexual affairs versus the negative associations with women who also choose to live promiscuous lifestyle need to be thrown into a dumpster and set on fire.

It’s 2019: we should not let the binary and its ideas about gender performance be a weak excuse to diminish other people.

Although “slut-shaming” and judging one’s lifestyle choices is completely inappropriate and antiquated, this conversely does not mean we can simply use people in the same manner as paper plates either.

It is crucial to be aware of and let potential sexual partners know the current status of your sexual health.

The general recommendation is to get yourself tested for STIs at least once every six months or every time you engage in sexual activity with a new partner.

Opening a dialogue about STIs and methods of safe sex establishes a mutually ethical and positive experience.

Another important aspect tied to communication is making one’s intentions clear, setting boundaries, and allowing partners the ability to make informed choices about how they wish to interact sexually.

Despite the barrage of media, movies, and music about allowing hook-ups being void of emotion in order to be successful. 

As long as one’s intentions are clear, there is no inherent necessity for feelings to be hurt or ignored. 

A huge facet of consent lies in communicating and respecting boundaries.

A hook-up might be a short, contained experience, but that does not mean one should not directly ask what their partner wants or convey their own preferences. 

 Not only does this ensure a fully consensual sexual encounter, but it also is a way of improving the chances that it will be mutually pleasurable.  

Consent is also something that is ongoing so one should continuously check-in to make sure their partner is comfortable with any specific act taking place.

Hook-ups, perhaps despite one’s best efforts, are enlaced with vulnerability and it is important to ask for information on pronouns, triggers, and where and how a person likes to be touched to maintain a sense of safety and respect.

If a partner tells you about how they identify in terms of gender and sexuality, respect them, believe them, and use the language they ask you to use.

Finally, do not “kiss and tell.” Sharing personal information, details, or hints is a violation of one’s consent, privacy, and trust.

Even if the intention is not to harm the person, always ask permission before posting or sharing intimate details about them. Remember there can still be integrity in hook-ups.

Email Sydney at:

slucero@live.esu.edu

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