Getting it on, wherever you are

By Ariel Parrella-Aureli

Hooking up is tricky business. Whether you are living in the city, the suburbs or a small rural town, sometimes navigating the trials and tribulations of sexual encounters is not simple. A lot of it depends on your surroundings and the kind of culture in which you are immersed. Being in a city versus living in a suburb or a rural town will have different affects on your hook ups.

The Chronicle compiled some advice and tips from students with experience hooking up in each of these areas to better assist those looking for flings or hookups all over the map.

The city: Because of the city’s large population, there is a plethora of potential partners, including some you never have to see again after hooking up, according to Paige Hanson, a sophomore business & entrepreneurship major who has experience hooking up in Chicago’s urban cityscape. 

Unlike many others, Hanson said she has never used dating apps to find sexual partners but has met people through Twitter and mutual friends. She said when having one-night stands in the city the next day can be awkward—if you stick around for too long.

“Leave before the person wakes up,” Hanson said, recounting her hookup experience with a guy from London who was visiting Chicago for one night only. “There is no good way to say goodbye after hooking up. You can’t shake their hand, and kissing them is too close.”

Not texting the other person first the day after is another bit of advice from Hanson because no one wants to look desperate.

“You got to keep that mysterious illusion going,” she said.

Hanson gave the obvious advice: use protection. She added that carrying condoms is important to always be prepared.

The suburbs: Living and hooking up in the suburbs may be tricky because the population is slim, but Jacob Buckley, 21, from Riverside, Illinois, said you can still be smooth if you don’t come on too strong. Because there are fewer options, Buckley said you don’t want to get straight to the point and ask to hook up.

“A better option would be to ask them if they want to go out or go see a movie or get dinner before you make initial moves,” he said. “Play your cards right and just let everything fall into place.”

Small towns: Hooking up in small towns is usually not as appealing or illustrious as is it in big cites, according to Sofia*, a sophomore Columbia student from a small neighborhood in Illinois. Although now she lives on campus, she recalls having flings in small towns. It’s hard because everyone knows each other, making it difficult to keep secrets. She said there was no privacy and gossip spread fast—living in a religious and conservative town also did not help.

“It was harder to be okay with [hooking up] because I still lived with my parents, so I felt a little more guilty about it,” Sofia said.

Her advice for hooking up in small towns is to keep it on the down low if possible, so people do not spread gossip or judgment.

Logan Katsoufis, a junior audio arts & acoustics major originally from small town Redding, Massachusetts, echoed the pitfalls of hooking up in a small town. He said everyone knows each other and is involved in other people’s business; however, he said it can get more personal that way, if people appreciate that.

“Don’t change anything about your personality afterward,” Katsoufis said. “Which in hindsight [means] don’t be a dick.”

But Katsoufis said judgment or intertwined friendships should not deter from hooking up and having a good time. 

“I would go ahead and do it—you are not going to live there for the rest of your life, so what is one embarrassing tale?” he said. “It makes for a good story when you are older.”

*Name has been changed for privacy.