For many young adults, college is the first place you get a real taste of freedom. You’re free from reputations formed since childhood, free from parents, free from your tired teenage life. You’re also surrounded by a lot of attractive, horny people who are simultaneously experiencing freedom for the first time, and also finally have the bedroom space to enact their desires.
While the last few years have reshaped the way we think about sex and physical intimacy-there is a much greater understanding of consent, and more awareness about the ways communication is misunderstood-that knowledge is unevenly distributed, and many young people really don’t know what they’re doing as they stumble toward their first few sexual experiences. We are frustratingly far away from the ultimate goal that we all deserve: physical intimacy that is not only safe but is also good.
Seeking a good hookup experience can feel like navigating an impossible quagmire, especially given toxic campus cultures that pressure students into having sex and can make intimacy feel transactional even when it’s fully consensual.