The Hook Up: Reciprocity

Courtesy of Superbad
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

We tend to be a bit obsessed with the idea of fairness. We want grading to be fair. We want court cases to be fair. We want wealth distribution in America to be fair… or so I hope. However, sometimes we get a bit petty about fairness. For example, I’m currently holding grudges based on a few things: the fact that my younger brother currently has a later curfew than I did in high school; that sophomore spring I had a 9L and my roommate didn’t and thus got to sleep more than I did; that once in middle school where my brother ate the last Nutter Butter cookie. However, there are issues of fairness in our everyday life that necessitate further discussion. While I could ramble on about the meal plan or people talking in the Tower Room, I decided to stick with something more in my area of expertise: reciprocity.

Reciprocity can mean a lot of things, but when it comes to sex, it usually means oral. Oral is one of the more obvious ways one person receives pleasure while the other person is “doing work.” Plus, if we’re looking at heterosexual relations, guys are getting blowjobs more often than women are getting eaten out. I’m in a sociology class that focuses on love, romance, intimacy and dating (you econ hooligans wish you could be learning this much out of a major course), and this was one of the topics we’ve discussed. With the class plus my Google skills, I found some possible reasons that guys aren’t going down as much. Continue reading

The Hook Up: Articles I meant to write, but then I got bored


Coming up with article ideas sometimes gets annoying because I’ll have a topic come to me that seems, for a second, to be really relevant and important. Then, I’ll start writing, and realize it basically can be summed up in one sentence. This week, I’m taking the time to record all the things I have listed on my ever-growing sticky note (excluding the few whose true meaning have been forgotten, including “white wine/dry humping” and “sex dreams ho”) So I present: my stickies. Continue reading

The Hook Up: Enthusiastic consent


Writing about consent for this column felt a little weird at first. I try to avoid getting super intense here, so people sort of know what they’re getting into when they click “read more.” That means no super graphic posts or listings of sexually transmitted infections or depressing poetry about my love life. However, consent isn’t actually something stale and depressing (like a celibate sex columnist). The phrase “consent is sexy” has been tossed around, but it’s more than that; consent is sex. If we see sex as a shared experience between two people, focused on not only one’s own pleasure but also the pleasure of one’s partner, then consent isn’t just a box you check. It is an essential and intrinsic part of sex. Without a partner (or partners!) who are as excited about what is happening as you are, sex loses its meaning. Sex, when seen in such a lens, is an ongoing, communicative process of assessing your partner’s enjoyment, and vice-versa. Thus, sex is consent. Continue reading

The Hook Up: A step-by-step guide to buying a vibrator


I recently read a book about religious extremists that touched on the ideas of missionaries and conversion[1]. While I’ll save the cultural imperialism spiel for my sociology papers, I admit to having a certain amount of admiration for people who believe in something strongly enough to dedicate their lives towards spreading its word. Viewing my own life, I have found the only pursuits that inspire the passion necessary for peer conversion are South Asian dance (having forced a truly bizarre number of people to join Vandana) and the use of vibrators[2]. For once, I figured I’d skip the enthusiastic praise and medical benefits of sex toys, and go right to the nitty gritty: how to get a sex toy in Hanover. Continue reading

The Hook Up: The frightful freedom of friends with benefits


“Friends with benefits” is a pretty agreeable phrase taken at face value. Who doesn’t like friends? Further, who doesn’t like benefits? I certainly like both, individually and as a sum of their parts. However, my enthusiasm has been tempered by others’ experiences. Talking to a friend about friends with benefits, she brought up the concept of “settling” for less than a romantic relationship. In my mind, a f*ck buddy partnership isn’t settling; our communities’ inability to conceive of sex outside of marriage-track relationships or isolated incidents of drunken hook-ups is. In a culture of extremes, intermediary relationships turn poisonous, if they exist at all.

That’s not to say there is anything wrong with serious relationships or random hook-ups. Believe me, I have been enthusiastically engaged in both at certain times of my life, and know people who happily engage in both now. And, if you want a boyfriend or girlfriend you shouldn’t even start scoping our your friend group for a f*ck buddy who you can sneakily transform into a significant other. The beauty of a friendship with benefits is in its own right — the positive aspects of hooking up with someone you enjoy spending time with. However, this requires communication and a certain amount of trust. And thus, we encounter the first of our problems. Continue reading