Hooking up isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be

Photo Illustration / Sara Novenstern

When Will Johnson came to Castleton in the summer of 2008, his freshman year certainly started off with a bang.

“So I came to Castleton for that summer transition program that the school does for us incoming freshmen, where we had to take those math and English tests, and one of the girls who lived on my floor, I thought, was super cute,” said Johnson. “Long story short, we ended up hooking up, nothing serious, but her roommate walked in on us and it was awkward as hell. From then on, I would always put a sock or a tie over my doorknob, just so I could have some privacy.”

An increasing trend among freshmen on college campuses all over the country is light years from the traditional courtship you hear from your parents about how they met in college, either having a class together or bumping into each other, spilling each others’ books outside of the dorm.

Nowadays, that courtship has diminished into what has become our generation’s newest craze, the hookup culture, where guys and girls only enter into sexual relationships for pleasure – not companionship.

It is understandable that when freshmen enter college, they don’t necessarily want to be tied down. But the hook-up culture life can backfire quickly.

Drinking, which is a huge part of college for many, has ties to hooking up and getting yourself into a backfiring situation.

“According to National College Health Assessment, 38 percent of students who reported drinking, regretted something that they did the next day,” said Jamie Bentley, Coordinator of Campus Wellness Education.

And that’s not all.

“Also, 30 percent of students under the influence of drugs and alcohol reported having unprotected sex,” Bentley said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of the 20 million  sexually transmitted diseases diagnosed each year are among young people ages 15-24 years old. The CDC also reports that one in four college students have some kind of STD.

Although STDs are probably the worst byproduct of hook-up culture, unsatisfying sex is another, according to Amy Bremel, who works closely with Bentley and runs groups through the Castleton Wellness Center and teaches FYS courses about hookup culture.

“From the data we collected from the National College Health Assessment, college freshmen that hook up with multiple people have depression,” Bremel said. “Also hookups aren’t that satisfying. For girls, only 30 percent of them actually orgasm, while 80 percent of guys actually orgasm from hooking up.”

Robert Gorruso, who transferred from Castleton after his freshmen year, remembers a particular incident with a girl where the condoms weren’t performing up to par.

“A girl came back to my room one night my freshman year, for obvious reasons, and luckily, I had a bunch of condoms in my desk drawer,” Gorruso said.

All good, right? Well, not so fast.

“The only problem was that they were too old. So I put one on and soon after it breaks, and this keeps happening probably to seven or eight of them. And this girl keeps throwing them all over the room after they break. A few of them ended up on my roommate’s bed for him to find the next day.

“Then to top it all off, she gave me the biggest hickeys you’ll ever see and I just stared at them the entire next morning and she didn’t even tell me.”

Current freshman Erin Flood, who is in a committed relationship, reflects on her suitemate’s horror stories of hookup life.

“One of my friends was going to hook up with a guy because they were really into each other,” Flood said. “But he had a girlfriend the whole time and was lying to her and she found out from his Instagram.”

Since Flood is in a relationship, she said she is disappointed that someone who came to college in a relationship wouldn’t stay committed to that person.

“It made me mad because just because you are in college doesn’t mean you should think you can get away with stuff like that,” Flood said. “And my friend isn’t the type of person to tell his girlfriend, but I really wanted to because I feel like he would’ve learned a lesson and she would have left him!”

From Flood’s friend’s hookup horror story, it may seem like the guy always hurts the girl, but that is not always the case. Johnson has had a couple hookups gone wrong stories himself.  

“There have been a couple of times when I was hooking up with a girl and her boyfriend knocked on her door and I’ve had to jump out her window,” Johnson recollects. “It just goes to show that you should not be in college and be in a long distance relationship.”


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