Communication, Consent, and Hooking up

Define “Hooking Up,” for yourself. Go ahead, try. Now, define what someone else means when they say, “We hooked up last night.” There is a large range of activities which can be encompassed by the phrase “hooking up.” Interestingly, there is a generational change for the term hooking up. For some, especially older adults, hooking up means meeting up with a group of friends to spend time together or, “Let’s all hook up after work at Charley’s to grab some drinks and talk about the upcoming business proposal.” For others, particularly middle-school students, hooking up can mean anything from providing connections for someone as in, “Jimmy hooked me up with tickets to the school dance,” to the more traditional young adult meaning. Teenagers and young adults in this historical moment, use hooking up as an ambiguous term to describe almost any sexual experience, from kissing to intercourse. In her book, Hooking Up, Kathleen Bogle suggests that, in this instance, it is intentionally ambiguous so that one can exaggerate or minimize the sexual encounter (28). However, regardless of your specific definition, one aspect holds true through all of them: the foundation of hooking up is social interaction.

Continue reading