Is hooking up safe?

This past weekend the New York Times released an article about women in college and their preferences for hooking up rather than dating. You can read it here.

Penn is my alma mater, which means it’s very close to my heart. This article didn’t really sit well with me. In general, I feel that it unfairly (1) selectively singles out Penn and (2) generalizes from the girls it quotes to the entire female student body. But, of course, I understand the temptation of piggybacking on the reputation of an Ivy League school for publicity. Next time maybe try Princeton, and ask “Penn mom” to give advice?

(I should mention here, in case that joke didn’t hit home, that Penn and Princeton are rivals.)

Snark aside, this raised a very important question in my mind. Just how safe are hook-ups and one-night stands anyway? Initially it seems like an easy and harmless (with proper precautions) way to de-stress and have your needs met all at once. The next day, you’re back to the hustle and bustle of daily life. No consequences.┬áRight?

Of course, it’s never that simple. Modern technology might have provided ways around the physical consequences of (willingly) hooking up, but we still possess a monkey brain behind all of that civilized intelligence. And this monkey brain may just retaliate in the most unexpected ways later on.

In this video, I explain how this combination of hooking up and monkey brain can spell bad news for your future emotional well-being. (please excuse my bad hair day… we all get ’em!)

Unfortunately, you can’t measure the consequences of hooking up. They blend in along with everything else you experience and show up in tiny ways in day-to-day mostly unconscious behavior. Shame is a tricky little devil. It sneaks up on you and strikes just when you least expect it (and you most often don’t even realize it). Unless you have a policy of complete authenticity in your life, there’s always going to be some shame hanging around waiting for you to address.

What’s your take on this?