Hooking Up Healthy

Hooking Up Healthy

kissWe here at loveisrespect know that not all of you are in a relationship and not all of you want to be. We just want you to be happy in whatever form that comes. Sometimes all a person wants is an occasional hook up. That is OK, as long as you are hooking up in a way that keeps you happy and safe. We do have some practical advice for those of you who are looking to hook up in a healthy way:

Know what the hook up will mean for both you and your partner. This is the key to avoid doing something you will regret. Skip the emotional minefield by considering if you might view the hook up differently tomorrow. Ask yourself what this hook up will mean to each of you. If you both have different ideas about the significance of the hook up, it may be time to talk.

Make sure it’s consensual. Every hook up should be consensual, meaning that both partners are willing. The Consensual Project can help you work consent into your hook up smoothly. Remember, consent is essential because it makes sure you and your partner are on the same page in terms of what you want. The Consensual Project calls consent “good game” and describes it as “utilizing wit, charm, creativity and humor to let somebody know your desires and discover theirs.”

If both of you are drinking, don’t feel bad about stopping things. You won’t regret stopping things, but you might regret not stopping them. You don’t want to take advantage of your hookup partner, just like you don’t want to be taken advantage of yourself.

Let a friend or roommate know where you will be. We know that you may not want to tell them every detail, but just give them a heads up that this is who you are with and this is where you are

Have a way home. If you aren’t comfortable sleeping over, make sure that you have enough cash to pay for a taxi or have a friend who has agreed to pick you up at any hour. 

Be considerate. Be considerate of your partner, his or her roommates and your own feelings. This extends to after the hook up too. Are you allowed to tell your friends? Be sure to talk about this.

Set your boundaries BEFORE you’re in that situation. Your personal boundaries probably need to be figured out before the hook up deed happens. If you feel like you may be leaving with someone that night, before you go out, take some time to think about what you are comfortable with and what you are not.

Get educated. If you are getting involved in casual hook ups, arm yourself with knowledge. Check out sites like www.safeteens.org and www.stayteen.org and stay informed on sexual health information. 

Listen to your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right. There is nothing wrong with calling a friend to come pick you up mid-hook up. Be selfish and don’t think of the person next to you on this one.

Remember, sexual coercion and reproductive coercion are real issues. Sexual coercion (persistent attempts to have sexual contact with someone who has already refused) and reproductive coercion (one partner pressures the other, through verbal threats, physical aggression, or birth-control sabotage, to become pregnant) are serious problems that do happen in real life.

If you find yourself in either one of these situations, call, chat or text us. You should always feel that you have control over your life and body.

 Do you have any more tips about hooking up? Share in the comments.

*Photo Courtesy of Makena G

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