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The 10 Rules of Hooking Up in the Modern Era

Sailun Tires

Hooking up is easier than ever thanks to the prevalence of apps and websites designed to help people look for a romantic (or purely sexual) connection. In fact, it鈥檚 inspired the development and sustenance of 鈥hookup culture,鈥 where single individuals freely look for physical connections without the need for any lasting commitment, romance, or emotion.

If you鈥檙e looking to recover from your latest breakup, or if you鈥檙e young and just want to experiment a little, hookup culture can be quite inviting. But before you delve into the now-thriving dating culture, it鈥檚 important that you recognize some foundational rules.

Hookup Rules

These rules are unwritten and unenforced, but they鈥檙e important to understand and acknowledge if you want to be more respectful, more polite, and ultimately more successful:

  1. Only use the best hookup apps and sites. There are a lot of options out there, but some hookup apps and sites are better than others. They offer a much richer pool of individuals to talk to, they have better features for ensuring your privacy and safety, and they鈥檙e simply easier to navigate. Do your research, look at reviews, and focus your attention only on the best candidates; you鈥檒l have a much better time than someone who picks one at random.
  2. Avoid ghosting where unnecessary. Ghosting is a phenomenon that鈥檚 arisen from hookup culture, and most people agree it鈥檚 hurtful and unnecessary (in most situations). Ghosting is ceasing all communication with someone with no acknowledgment, explanation, or further responses, as if you鈥檝e disappeared into thin air. It鈥檚 usually better to be direct with something like, 鈥淚 don鈥檛 think we should see each other anymore.鈥 The exception here is if you feel threatened or otherwise unsafe, or if you鈥檝e tried to acknowledge the separation to no avail; in these cases, ghost away.
  3. Be upfront about your wants and needs. If you鈥檙e in the dating scene specifically to hookup, state that. Don鈥檛 lie about your motivations by saying you鈥檙e looking for committed dating or long-term partnerships. You may narrow your dating pool, but you鈥檒l meet more people looking for the same thing.
  4. Respect the wants and needs of others. By that same token, pay attention to the wants and needs of the people you meet. If they鈥檙e looking for a one-night-stand, don鈥檛 pester them for more dates afterward. If they鈥檙e looking for a meaningful romantic connection, don鈥檛 lead them on if you鈥檙e only looking for sex.
  5. Don鈥檛 get jealous. If you鈥檙e entering a casual arrangement, both you and your partner are free to seek (and flirt with) other people. If you catch the person you鈥檙e sleeping with on a date with another person, don鈥檛 freak out; they鈥檙e allowed to do this.
  6. Don鈥檛 hook up with friends or exes. It may be tempting to pursue a platonic friend or an ex if you鈥檙e both in the casual sex market, but this is usually a bad idea. It may complicate your existing relationship or result in much heavier emotional damage to both of you.
  7. Be honest. Try to be as honest as possible. Nobody likes being lied to or misled. If you misrepresent your intentions, your desires, or even personal details about yourself, it could result in a much lower-quality hookup鈥攁nd trust issues for the other person to deal with in the future.
  8. Use protection. Safe sex is a must. No exceptions. Use protection when having sex with a new partner, especially if you鈥檙e having sex with multiple partners in a relatively short span of time. While you鈥檙e at it, get tested for STDs before, and regularly during, your escapades, even if you use protection consistently.
  9. If it鈥檚 鈥渘o strings attached,鈥 keep it that way. Many people in the hookup scene aim to have a 鈥渘o strings attached鈥 connection, but if it truly is no strings attached, you need to keep it that way. Don鈥檛 act like the other partner owes you something, and don鈥檛 get emotionally invested.
  10. Protect (and respect) privacy. Finally, maintain your own privacy and protect the privacy of others. That means avoiding stalking people on social media, resisting an urge or request to film/photograph your encounters, and being careful which personal details you share with someone you don鈥檛 plan on seeing again.

The Most Important Rule

Nearly all of these rules are based on one principle: be considerate of others. These are people you鈥檙e hooking up with, and you need to treat them like people. Respect their feelings and intentions, protect yourself, and make sure you鈥檙e hooking up with the best people you can find. If you follow these rules, you鈥檙e much less likely to suffer (or cause) heartbreak, and you鈥檒l keep yourself safer in the process.



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