HOOK UP ETIQUETTE

September 18 17 min read

Everyone knows at least one or two couples that got married after meeting on Tinder, or by having meant to only have a single one night together but somehow developed deep feelings. While it's all great, a lot of them will later find themselves squirming in discomfort when their 86 year old grandma asks to hear the story of how they met, realising they can’t actually say “He fingered me at a club, then we went back to his place, not before I went down on him in the bathroom”. 



Even though we all grew up watching popular TV shows like “Sex and the City”, “How I met Your Mother”, “Californication”, “Queer As Folk” and more that showed openly and unapologetically sexual adults having a ton of consensual casual sex in their 20’s into their 40's, there’s still stigma around people, especially women, who choose to openly disclose their sexual conquests and not just like to have it, but actually advocate for casual sex. 


The reason a lot of people still feel the need to judge others and believe hooking up is degrading and something they look down on, is that often their personal experience caused them to feel degraded and used while they had it. If all you had were terrible experiences that made you feel terrible and regret you got into the situation in the first place, why wouldn’t you keep judging the people who ‘do this’ to themselves time after time?! I mean, what’s wrong with them for liking this horrible feeling?! 



Well, just because some people’s personal experience with a casual hookup was regrettable, it doesn’t mean it’s a terrible thing. If anything, it just means that just like everything else in life, lack of experience will cause you to have a bad time. The overall lack of education causes people to treat others poorly, and a more open and honest discussion around the topic is going to make everyone feel better and have a much more positive experience.

Just think about it, once consent became a trending topic a few years ago and more people began looking into their past to wonder whether they themselves were ever pushy or if they could have avoided any situations they regret by being more clear about their personal boundaries - the discussion around sex became a lot healthier. 


People started calling each other out for problematic behaviour, people started learning to ask for permission and people became a lot more clear with where they draw lines because they saw it was not only okay to say those things out loud, but that it was necessary for our collective sexual pleasure. 




Therefore, here’s a little hookup etiquette guide to make sure you’ll fuck your way into the best orgasms of your life: 

 

  • IRL vs. Online In the real world, it’s easier to know if someone is into you. They’ll keep looking over, they’ll smile at you, they’ll start a conversation, they’ll casually touch you and so on. Online, it can be a bit harder to know if you have chemistry. You’re not only ‘fighting’ against the general population for that person’s attention, but also against all their other matches and all the other witty and smart messages they’re getting.


From my experience, what works best is to mention something about their personality, their job or their taste rather than their genetics. If you compliment someone about something outside their control, it’ll mean less than if you comment on something they’ve actively chosen to engage in and are passionate about. 

Ask questions. A very good first message would be to mention something about their personality or something they’ve said they’re into, and asking a question about their opinion on the topic. Even if all you want is to have a single sexy encounter, it’s always best to start a vanilla conversation and check the water before going full blast with sexting. Treating people like people and not like sex objects will get you laid a lot faster. Guaranteed.



 

  • Clarity If all you’re looking for is a hookup but the person you’re speaking with is openly stating they’re searching for a relationship, let them know of your intentions. If you’re unclear and you end up having sex only for them to then realise this isn’t going anywhere, they can feel used since they were open about their long term intentions.  Why put yourself in a situation where the other person is most likely to regret the encounter and feel like it was a waste of time? 

    Even people who are actively on the search for something long-lasting want to have sex and might decide to still meet up for a fun night, and being upfront and honest will only give you points in their mind. Always let the person you’re speaking with know you’re not looking for anything serious and let them make an educated decision on how to move on.

  • Other people’s pleasure is HOT If you’ll read any study about hookup culture and young people’s sex statistics, you’ll often find than while about 80% of men orgasm when having sex, only about 30-40% of women do. In comparison, about 75% of women have orgasms in relationships. This happens because in relationships you build up trust and learn over time to either direct your partner or ask for what you want. 

    Due to the social stigma against women who engage in casual sex, it’s a lot harder for a woman to direct their hookup partner to help them reach an orgasm. Casual sex tends to focus on the male orgasm and finish when they reach one. If you’ll make an effort to listen carefully and ask for directions, you might end up beating the statistics. Trust me, if you’ll make someone feel comfortable enough to breach the orgasm gap, they’re way more likely to want to return the favour and pleasure you to the best of their abilities in return.



  • Rejection happens Whenever you put yourself out there, you won’t always succeed. Even if you’re the smoothest person alive, eventually you’ll get rejected. You’ll get ghosted. You’ll get stood up. Shit happens. Rejection has nothing to do with you. A lot of times, the person that just said no to you was someone you didn’t even know existed until a few days prior. Hence, no reason to dwell. Rejection starts hurting when you develop expectations towards the person you are trying to hook up with, and those expectations don’t come true. 

    However, if you only take whatever they give you without assuming they owe you anything-  if they suddenly ghost you, nothing happened and you move on. You can never know why someone said no. They might have just come out of a relationship and realised they’re not ready for sex. They might be going through something. They might have met someone else more suited for them. They might have gotten bored with online dating. They might have been a catfish. You never know. 95% of the time it’s not about you or anything you’ve said. Just wish them luck, be mature about it and say thank you, and move on.


  • If you only get rejected, look into what you’re doing If you only get rejections and people never respond positively to your advances, it’s time to change something. Look at your language. It’s hard to find the correct words to use when wanting to turn someone on. Either they sound too cold and clinical, or too vulgar. Try to be more subtle, it tends to work better than directness. If you’re already very subtle, make sure it’s not so far off that people aren't getting the hint and maybe be a bit more direct. It could be that people aren’t responding due to cultural differences, the delivery of your message, the number of texts you’re sending or the hours in which respond. Ask a friend who’s doing well to look over your conversations and give you some pointers.



  • Always talk about past hookups with respect A person I was dating once referred to the women he was seeing before we started our relationship as “random sluts” which should have been a massive red flag. Nothing excuse speaking about people as objects. Or making statements that express how they don’t actually respect someone who’s slept with them, even if they themselves were the ones initiating the hookup. 


There’s a dangerous double standard where a lot of men chase women in order to get in their pants, but instead of treating them like people afterwards, they degrade them and act as if the fact that they both shared a consensual connection makes the women somehow worthless. Just like you wouldn't want someone to judge you, speak badly about your character and treat you worse because you chose to spend the night with them - you should never do it to someone else, regardless of their gender.

As a general rule, be respectful, ask for directions and don't be afraid of some intimacy. A sexual connection can be 100% casual without being meaningless or making the other person feel used and discarded. It's the 'meaningless' part in 'meaningless sex' that draws the bad memories for plenty of people. If we'll all work together to change it one amazing fuck at a time - the world is only going to get happier and sexier.

Laura Patrick
« Laura is a freelance writer visual artist and science nerd. She is passionate about self development and personal growth and spends most of her free time reading scientific papers about the human experience and summarising them so that you won't have to. » All posts →