How common is "hooking up" in college?

Discussion in 'General Sex Discussion' started by remind, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. remind

    remind New Member

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    I am trying to understand the concept of hooking up and how common it is in college today. I realize there is lots of drinking and sexual activity in college, but I guess I didn’t realize to what extent.

    I was never one to hook up. I preferred relationships and have only been with a few women. I never lived at college, but my girlfriend did for 4 yrs. She has had "sex" with 3 guys before me. But her definition of sex is different than mine. She only considers vaginal intercourse sex. I guess I'm old fashioned, but I would consider oral sex and anal sex to be sex, and any hand usage/penetration to qualify as sexual activity, too (though more of a grey area, I guess). She considers that stuff "hooking up" or "fooling around". She said she hooked up about 12-15 times in college, sometimes with friends of hers, sometimes with people she met a few hours before. So I was a little surprised by what she told me.


    So I guess I have a couple of questions:

    Should I consider sexual activity other than vaginal intercourse as sex?

    Do women feel a lot of pressure from guys, their friends, and their social groups to hook up?

    How common is this behavior among college women today?

    Is 12-15 "hook-ups" (ie. oral sex, anal sex, hand jobs, fingering) over a 4 yr period a high/low/normal amount for college women? (Should I be concerned that my girlfriend can’t even recall the exact amount?)

    Am I being naive to think that most women (in college or otherwise) don't have this many experiences by their mid-twenties?


    I don’t mean to be sexist and focus only on women’s behavior, because I am sure men do it just as often. I guess I am just trying to understand my girlfriend’s concept of hooking up and whether her behavior is typical of most college women.
     
  2. HardRocker

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    I'll give you my opinion on one of those questions.
    Oral, mutual masturbation, etc., all begin with sexual attraction, are fueled by sexual feelings of excitement, and frequently end in orgasm. Because of that, I'd say it is sex, but not nearly as intimate as the wonderful act of copulation. You'll have to decide what to call it for yourself, but I do understand the source of your trepidation.
     
  3. Kronnie

    Kronnie Banned

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    College hookups have strangly enough been going on for quite a lot of years.
    The real question as i se it, do you love her, does her past scare you because she has more experinces sexualy than you do ?

    To me how many times a female has had or given hand jobs, bj's anal vaginal intercourse would not bother me , because i was the one that was with her at the moment.
    I would suggest to stop dwelling on her past and think more about the here and now and your future together.
     
  4. Young Dumb &...

    Young Dumb &... New Member

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    How common?

    Hmm... probably more than normal.

    Probably not as much as guys will claim.

    Probably more than girls will claim.

    *I'm not making any sexist comments. It is just my observation that guys will generally act like they get more than they do while women will play it down. I think the reasons are obvious.
     
  5. Kronnie

    Kronnie Banned

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    Because of a one sided sexual slandering .

    I dont understand why guys in genral slander females for having many different lovers, male and females we are both of the same making as in we both enjoy sex and love .
    I for one wouldnt class a female that has had multiple partners as a slut, because i know at one time i have had multiple partners , unless i am going to be called a slut ?

    I have been in a unique position to have had sexual partners and sexual clients at one time.
    Not unique in the sense that i am the only one to have done this, but as in one of few males that have.
     
  6. remind

    remind New Member

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    When she said hooking up I was thinking kissing, grabbing over the clothes, or maybe under the shirt, that sort of thing – but nothing below the belt. So that is why I was interested in knowing what specific activities people considered sex.

    The numbers don’t matter per se, but the manner in which they were accumulated do, at least to me. If these activities would have occurred in the context of a relationship I think I would be much more understanding. Only one of her three “sex” experiences was in a relationship. Her hook ups were either with friends/acquaintances, or with people she had only known for a few hours. Alcohol was usually involved and she said she always regretted it afterwards. Which I think makes it easier for her to accept her behavior, but it doesn’t for me. 2 or 3 instances can be mistakes, once you start getting over ten that starts to look like a pattern of behavior.

    I never have had a casual hook up and don’t believe in them. Only been with two other women in any sort of sexual way, and I was in a loving relationship with them at the time. Beyond that I only have kissed three other women, nothing more. I know how many times it happened because I think sexual activities are very intimate things, and shouldn’t be done with friends or strangers. So low numbers are important in the sense that they are representative of what my values are, and hopefully of hers. That is what I am having difficulty reconciling.
     
    #6 remind, Apr 13, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  7. Kronnie

    Kronnie Banned

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    Well if you are so black and white , then perhaps this young lady is not for you, as she can not live up to your high expectations.
    These "hook ups" have already happened , no matter how much you personaly wish they had not, they have , it is time to either let her go ( because you can not deal with the fact that she has had these hook ups) or to move past that and become closer to her.

    Most people male or female experiement sexualy, with or with out the aid of drink.
    It is usualy a part of growing up and finding out about your own sexuality, it is also a manner of how you were brought up.
    whether you see sex as a dirty thing , or only to be had inside of a loving relationship.
    or if you were brought up to see that experimentation was something not to be looked down upon.

    Sorry if i seem i am being harsh towards you, but i strongly believe someones past is just that the past.
    It is far more relavant as to how she is now, rather than how she was then.
     
  8. remind

    remind New Member

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    I don't think your response is harsh. I thought it was black and white too, but I am questioning whether I am being unfair to her with my expectations.

    So this is where I am having the real problem: My girlfriend and I have a great relationship in every aspect. She is an incredible woman. One of the things I loved so much about her was what I thought were her similar values with regards to sex and intimacy. She always has said that she never fit in with the college crowd, she felt she didn’t belong and that she didn’t understand or accept a lot of the sexual behavior of her friends and classmates. She doesn’t like the bar/club scene. She and I both thought it was gross when her present roommates (she’s out of college now) brought home random guys from bars. So I had this impression of her sharing the same values, which I don’t think was unrealistic based on what she had expressed to me about her values and her past experiences.

    As our relationship has progressed we have talked more about our pasts. Then I made the mistake of asking what she meant by hook-up. So she told me about the specific experiences, the ones she could recall at the time anyways. It was a very relaxed and comfortable conversation, not judgmental in any way. She had originally told me she had only had intercourse with two people. Turns out its three. She omitted one from the total because she didn’t want it to count. A couple weeks ago she told me she hooked up with 5 or 6 people, now its 10-12, and I get the feeling its more. If she truly regretted it each time, why would she continue this behavior?

    The hook ups I really have a difficulty with are the people she had just met or barely knew that she did these things with. One was two months before we met. So did she really leave this behavior behind in college? Or is she just trying to convince herself she did? She came on very strong after a few drinks on our 2nd date, and the only the fact that I am a gentlemen prevented anything beyond kissing from happening at that point. I imagine the outcome would have been different if she was not with a gentleman.

    I am not saying i am perfect, far from it, but my views of sex are a strong conviction I have. And I am trying to understand how I can reconcile her behavior with my values, because I truly want to do that. I want to view her the same today as I did last week before finding all this out. I realize I should weigh all the good against the one thing I find bad, and the answer should be obvious, but right now it’s a hard thing for me to get over.

    So, I want to believe they were mistakes, and that she has changed. I guess that is really why I am trying to understand if this behavior is common and to what extent. If her behavior is normal does that make my expectations of her unrealistic? When she first told me I thought I was okay with it, but the more I think about it, the less sure I am. The thing I worry about most is not her past, but that I will overreact to it and damage what we have together.
     
  9. Young Dumb &...

    Young Dumb &... New Member

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  10. PulpFiction

    PulpFiction New Member

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    I don't think that what a person does in college is necessarily indicative of their sexual behavior and values later. I am a little biased on this because I was a so-called slut in college. I slept with several different guys on a regular basis my freshman year. Pretty much anyone who looked at me could get me into bed. There are various reasons and issues for this; one, I'd just gotten out of an abusive molestation situation and basically saw myself as worthless except for sex, and two, I had been raped right before going to college, which further served to reinforce a lot of what I'd learned the years before that. I wasn't in a good place.

    That being said, I've since changed a lot. Since then I've slept with only the men I've had relationships with. I don't have casual sex and I've actually gotten dumped for not putting out (guess that tells you how much I liked the guy--I'm not for holding out if you like the person, but I suppose it's telling to date someone for 6 weeks and not really be into the idea of having sex with him). To judge someone on what they did in the past doesn't really take into account who they are now. There are mitigating and aggravating circumstances in every situation, and if you really care about this girl, you need to get over what she's done in the past and move on. If you can't, then perhaps you might not feel as strongly about her as you thought.
     
  11. Joe

    Joe
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    Remind,
    I don't know what the "norm" is for college students, but it shouldn't make any difference. You either accept that your gf has a sexual past or you don't. If you don't, leave her now. If you do, then it shouldn't matter.

    I was much like you when I was younger. I had one gf in high school, married her and was faithful to her for 27 years. Until I was 47 years old I'd only been with her. At that point I divorced her and immediately found another woman who struck my fancy. She'd been with a quite a few men; I'll never know how many. But it didn't matter a twit to me how many guys she'd been with. I wouldn't have cared if she'd been a hooker before meeting me.

    We fell in love and were married a year later. Every now and then she'd let it slip that she'd slept with this guy or that guy. I always found it interesting and it never bothered me, but because she'd had so many more partners than I had, she always felt a little bad about it. Incidentally, we had a WONDERFUL marriage until her death a few years after it all began. Had I felt she wasn't right for me because of her sexual past, I'd have missed out on the best few years of my life, and I think I'd have deprived her of her best years as well.

    After her death I went kind of crazy and had sex with a dozen different women over the next couple years. Then I met my current wife. Since we've been together I've had no sexual interest in other women. (Well, at least no sexual contact, and I don't expect I ever will.) My sexual past is just that -- in the past. And I feel the same way about my wife. What she did before we met has little bearing on our relationship. If she were to tell me today that she spent a few years as a hooker and had sex with a few hundred guys, it wouldn't change how I feel about her.

    If you love this woman, you should accept her past in its entirety, as it's what's made her the woman she is today. I really think you should -- without judging her (which is exactly what you're doing now), but if you can't, let her go so you can try to find someone who meets your standards. (But I don't think it's fair to hold her sexual past against her; it's not something she can change, and it has little to do with your present relationship.)
     
  12. Dreama

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    Well, I'm in college, but I've been engaged since before I've been here, and my fiance is here too...I have no idea how common hookups are, since I'm not a part of that scene here.
     
  13. BiBiBaby

    BiBiBaby New Member

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    Should I consider sexual activity other than vaginal intercourse as sex?

    only you can decide what you define as sex, some people can orgasm by grinding and making out with their clothes on does that make it sex? to me no, to some yes...

    Do women feel a lot of pressure from guys, their friends, and their social groups to hook up?

    No, not really, even when I was single the only pressure I ever felt was to dance...I was known to flip out if a guy grabbed me after being told to stop more than once

    How common is this behavior among college women today?

    its one of those things that depend on the woman and the area, from my friends I would say that fooling around with someone, when you are not in a relationship, is pretty common...although most of my friends avoid having actual intercourse (vaginal or anal) unless they are in a committed relationship

    Is 12-15 "hook-ups" (ie. oral sex, anal sex, hand jobs, fingering) over a 4 yr period a high/low/normal amount for college women? (Should I be concerned that my girlfriend can’t even recall the exact amount?)

    I would say you really needn't be concerned that she can't remember the exact number, you've already said she wasn't proud of her moments and alcohol was involved. she could have unintentionally blocked them from her memory... as far as a number, I have aquaintances who have a new 'hook up' every week... I would say if she was hooking up at all 12 times over 4 years isnt very often

    Am I being naive to think that most women (in college or otherwise) don't have this many experiences by their mid-twenties?

    women in this forum may have a difficult time answering this one because we have a tendency to be more open to new experiences than the general public...
    but to be honest, if she's had STD tests and she's come up clean, the number and her past really shouldn't matter and you should try to focus on the NOW part of your relationship.
     
  14. remind

    remind New Member

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    I really appreciate everyones perspectives and advice.

    We have talked about it and I have only expressed that I was somewhat surprised as to the number of hookups she had, and she is aware that this has upset me and that has already caused some anxiety and guilt on her part – not about her behavior, but the effect it has had on me. I realize this is not the end of the world, but it has come as a rather big shock to me, and I am trying to cope with how to properly deal with it. I don’t want my irrational thoughts to negatively effect the great thing that we have.

    I have not yet fully expressed to her my feelings about the amount and casual nature of her hook ups. I haven't done this because I don’t even know if I should. I’m not even sure yet how I feel about it myself, as I have only known about this for a few days. At this point I am not even so concerned about the number and nature of the hook ups, but that there is such a disconnect between her stated values, both then and now, and how she behaved.

    Obviously, I want to be honest with her but I would imagine expressing certain emotions might do more harm than good. I don’t know if there is anyway to express my feelings without making her feel cheap, dirty, looked down upon, unloved, betrayed, and so on. This is the last thing I want to do. I do not view her as easy or promiscuous. I realize they were mistakes, she regrets them, and they are in the past. That’s why I am looking for some perspective and advice before I make any decisions.

    And I am going to have an STD test. After that I have to somehow approach her about having one with out making her feel like she is dirty.
     
  15. metricoath

    metricoath New Member

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    It depends on the college I think. There are a lot of casual sexual occurrences though, from what I've been told/heard. The more the frat and sorority impact/hierarchy is on campus, I usually think the more promiscuous and "free" people are, people just hook up every weekend. Same with artsy schools I think. There was a really horrifying article about Duke University girls that I read a while ago, scary stuff. Personally I find some antics really degrading towards women, it can objectify them.

    I'm about to go into college so all that really worries me. I'm not a terribly sexual person, and I feel it's something only to be shared with someone VERY important to you. The thought of people being experienced in the past doesn't bother me much, as long as they're safe and healthy NOW nd have learned from their explorations, and can learn to actually love.
     
  16. FormerFreak

    FormerFreak New Member

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    My practical suggestion is that you follow Joe's advice: "If you love this woman, you should accept her past in its entirety, as it's what's made her the woman she is today. I really think you should -- without judging her (which is exactly what you're doing now), but if you can't, let her go so you can try to find someone who meets your standards..." He has a fair number of years of experience and I think pragmatism is generally favoured over moral absolutism in this day and age, is it not?

    But if you must go with moral absolutism, I ask you: was Ms. Taggart a slut? Perhaps it's best we should revisit a cult-classic:

    "Honesty is the recognition of the fact that the unreal is unreal and can have no value, that neither love nor fame nor cash is a value if obtained by fraud--that an attempt to gain a value by deceiving the mind of others is an act of raising your victims to a position higher than reality, where you become a pawn of their blindness, a slave of their non-thinking and their evasions..." For the sake of your own morality, don't act as though you weren't bothered by her past "indiscretions" as I'm sure you think of them. You must be fully honest, and honesty is sometimes brutal, but to be otherwise is unworthy of your values I expect.

    "Justice is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake the character of men...that you must judge all men as conscientiously as you judge inanimate objects, with the same respect for truth, with the same incorruptible vision, by as pure and as rational a process of identification..." You must acknowledge your judgment of your lover. You DO judge her, and according to YOUR standards. A is A. As undeniable a truth now as ever it was.

    Bearing these two points in mind, in your judgment of others note that there ARE "errors of knowlege" and "breaches of morality". In the morally mixed up world we live in, we find our way with great difficulty, and it will come to pass that we err time and again. I think it reasonable to assume that one of the most trying times of a young life is in college. The free reign that is all of a sudden dumped onto our laps can be daunting, and there will be poor choices made for the greater part of the population. You perhaps being the exception, I expect a large number of people end up experimenting, trying to find the thing that they like, be it a boy or a girl, this boy as opposed to that one, that opposed to this...and it sounds like your girlfriend was one of these people.

    Hardly errors of knowledge (but as close as I can equate for the argument at hand) these experiments are forgiveable. Now I've heard of girls in college sleeping--not just "hooking-up"--SLEEPING with up to 30 different people in the quest for "love" (or just a lay for the night, but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt). So despite your girl's pithy 15 instances of heavy petting, and the full-on sexual encounters with 3 other men (whom I am quite sure you are envious of, Rearden!), she's not a "bad" girl (unlike these others whom I tend to think might have breached their own moral code). Don't make her feel like one.

    And if it's born-again X-inanity that's your bag, nothing I say can help. All this Christian dogmatism and obsession with virginity drives me up a wall--and if THAT'S your hang-up, well then it's time to move on, fella. Or conversely, you could practice what you preach and forgive and forget. But I doubt you're a Christian fundamentalist; I think you have even an even more iron-clad inventory of values and moral axioms than they, but you seem reluctant to use them for fear of the repercussions of your morality gone full-throttle.

    Again: be honest in your judgment of your lover. Admit your feelings. But heed: it's not a matter of "judging" her so much as it is one of condemning her, which I believe you do, and THAT is the shameful thing. Not her sexual seeking of a kindred spirit, but your condemnation of that search. Try being honest, but loving, and most of all forgiving.

    What a rant, eh? LOL