Opinions

The new freshman fifteen

Whatever happened to old-fashioned courtship? We’ve all heard admonitions against going to college with a significant other, and how serious relationships aren’t conducive to a youthful lifestyle …but when did dating become a problem?

Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve never given up on chivalry or monogamous relationships. It’s not that I think dating around is necessarily a bad thing – there is nothing wrong with it all. But I will admit that I was a little surprised to uncover a recent advancement in co-ed relations –eduHookups.com.

The site is exactly what it sounds like. A website completely devoted to pairing up students that submit a valid university email address with casual sex partners. It’s like any other online dating site…without the obligation to buy your date dinner first.

The service, created by students at the University of Chicago, pairs sexually-charged young scholars up based on a number of criteria – body type, living arrangements, social group, year, personality label, involvement in Greek life and the “ideal hookup” (one night stand, friend with benefits, etc). It even asks users to rate their bodies on a scale of 1 to 10.

So what about this site makes it attractive to college students? The layout is relatively nondescript. It doesn’t feature testimonials or even user-geared advertisements.

I suppose the draw must simply be the lifestyle that the website promotes, but even that doesn’t seem an adequate explanation, for as Jay Leno put it a few years ago, “You know what, we already have a place where college students can hook up for casual sex—it’s called college.”

Perhaps it’s the greater degree of anonymity that is so appealing. Internet hookups do not necessitate one to be especially selective, and peers can’t pass judgment if they aren’t able to see the ‘sideways-mambo’ propositions in your inbox.

In the first month of its existence, eduHookups.com hosted over 1,300 private conversations between university students.

One student from New York’s Fordham University, Kathleen Adams, said in an interview on college sexuality with USA Today, “You just don’t date in college.”

Especially if you have a service that ensures you don’t have to.

The site is just one of many developments rising from the changing sexual culture of emerging adulthood. Now there seems to be a negative stigma attached to being a “college virgin.”  Livescience.com stated that 54 percent of college students questioned admitted to having “hooked up” with someone in the past year, and 84 percent said such hookups often fall into the realm of casual.

That’s just it—sexual freedom is one of the many privileges of entering adulthood. Discussing one’s personal sex life with classmates used to be seen as taboo, but now sex seems to be a hot topic for public conversation. Sex is fun to talk about. However, there’s a fine line between talking a big game and going in for the home run with someone you’ve just met online.

Maybe I am over thinking it, but it seems that something so personal as sexual relations ought to have some sort of value other than physicality. While crawling in bed with someone you don’t know can exciting, it is certainly a big risk to take both emotionally and physically.

Courtship seems to be declining these days, so maybe I’m just behind the times (to be clear, I’m certainly not advocating embracing prudish values), but it seems that eduHookups.com, useful as it may be to some, sends a skewed message about intimacy and safe sex to the next generation. It represents the harbinger of cavalier promiscuity that I, for one, hardly find attractive.

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One Comment

  1. Fu Man Chu says:

    Thanks to this article (I believe), the number of registered UPS students on this website has gone from 2 to 12 in a matter of days. Most new registrations are by males, most involved with Greek life. What a great tip!

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