Minus the City: Honest Hookups

I am a firm believer that men and women are completely capable of maintaining a friendship without sex getting in the way. Some of the greatest friends I have ever had in my life are guys that I have never thought of hooking up with. Women and men often view the same situations entirely differently. It can be extremely beneficial for me to talk to some of my guy friends about how my dating life may be going, before sending a Snapchat to the guy I’m interested in. They can offer me a perspective that I hadn’t initially thought of, and make me see things completely differently. That being said, being so close to men on this campus sometimes makes me the liaison for their female problems, as well. It can be as innocent as crafting a semi-risky text to a girl they’re into, or just general questions about sex from a female perspective. These questions vary and depend on the situation, but a recurring question that I encounter from my male friends here is: “How do I tell her I want to hook up with her, but I don’t want anything serious with her?”

First off, I think we should start by saying that there are plenty of women here who are interested in casual sex. For years, society has simply assumed that only men can be perceived as “sexual,” whereas women just simply wait, unassumingly, for someone to notice them and drag them back to the bedroom. It’s 2017. This is not a Jane Austen novel. Just because some people stereotype women as demanding, obsessive and consumed with finding their “soulmate” does not mean women are actually like this. Personally, I think there is a lot of merit to being a single woman and hooking up with whomever I want. Contrary to common belief, I’m not obsessing over our future house with a white picket fence and our 2.5 kids. The truth is, a lot of women on this campus want the same things as men. 

However, this doesn’t speak for all women. Everyone here is different, and everyone is going to expect something different from a hookup. So when one of my guy friends asks me about how to handle a hookup when he might be unsure of what the girl wants, I go for what seems to be an obvious answer: talk to her. If you know that you don’t want something serious, but you think that maybe she does, just tell her that. I totally understand why guys are hesitant to do this. It’s not a fun conversation to have. But, even if she gets upset, she can’t get mad at you for being honest. And the same can be said for women who fear becoming too attached to someone they aren’t really interested in. The truth is, you have to be honest with your sexual partners in order to avoid confusion and frustration down the road. No one is going to read your  mind and intuitively understand what you’re thinking. That’s why you have to tell them yourself. 

Being the liaison for guys about their girl problems has given me a lot of laughs, frustrations and powerful insights to how men view the hookup culture at Colgate. If any of my advice stays with them over the next couple of years, I hope it’s that they should always be honest with themselves and their partners. And that they should always use a condom, of course. 

Contact Helen Misiewicz at [email protected].