What Is Hooking Up?

By Slim Jackson

Depending on who you ask, “Hooking Up” can have a variety of meanings. Is it making out? Is it a peck on the lips? Is it spooning in the dark? Is it heavy petting with neck kisses? Is it touching in a special area? Is it coitus? Is it fell… or cunning…? We’ve all been in those conversations where someone says “Did you hear that Herbie Red hooked up with Cruella Johnson?” My first question is usually “How?”. I’ll get the puzzled look in return and then have to explain that their statement was ambiguous before offering props to the dude. I also find that this phrase takes on different meanings amongst the races…noooo, this isn’t an entry about race! But seriously, there were times in college where I saw my Caucasian pals ferociously making out in a corner (with women). The next day one of them may say “Dude, did you see me hooking up with that chick in the corner last night?” In the back of my mind, I’m thinking that I saw them kissing but not hooking up in the way I’d interpret it. Thus, making me less impressed. I didn’t tell them that though. I usually just gave them a high five and kept it moving.

Now given the variety of definitions for the phrase, how do you think that rumors of “hooking up” impact a dude or a chick’s reputation? Rephrased, how does hearing that someone “hooked up” impact his or her marketability for a relationship? I know that I look at somebody who pecked someone on the lips drunkenly a lot differently than the girl who made a few visits to the Frat house during a semester. Granted, those are 2 extremes and I left out all the in-betweens (puns galore). A lot of our readers are beyond college, we know. But still, you know exactly what I’m talking about. “Hooking Up” is more vague than “I had Ray-Ray/Jackie come over last night after work”. Thoughts are encouraged and appreciated…as usual.

Keeping You Intellectually Stimulated,


19 responses to “What Is Hooking Up?

  1. I definitely agree. As a graduate of a PWI and as a former football player I was privied to all of the locker room talk. The white man views the “hook up” as a kissing a broad. “Us black folk dont be kissin no broad in the mouth, especially in public” is what we used to tell them but they didnt get it.

  2. LOL! This is the best! I did undergrad at an HBCU where the term was basically unheard of. Either you were smashing, or you were “just talking” but hooking up, not so much.

    Then I went to grad school at PWI and was introduced to the world of “hooking up.” The funniest thing is that two white girls drunkenly making out in the club is ALSO hooking up! Go figure!

    In my opinion I like the phrase. I think it leaves a lot to the imagination on purpose. It’s easier as a woman to say yea I hooked up with this person versus going into details about exactly what you did with someone. The only time the hookup phrase is a problem is when a chick says oh yea I hooked up with the football team at hoemcoming! LMAO

  3. That is definitely a phrase that white folks seem to love to use. I’ve been walking around for at least the last 5 years wondering if hooking up meant sex or making out.

    Because the definition can be different according to who uses it, I believe that it’s impact on a person’s reputation is relative.

    When I was in college, it was the girls who were frequent visitors to the basketball house that we looked at with disapproving eyes, lol…

  4. I agree with Insomnia Poet. I like the phrase’s ambiguity. I’ve used it often to avoid clarifying a relationship that is ‘none of your damn business’. I do have another term to throw out there — “kicking it”. People use it all the time, usually to down play a relationship like “oh, it’s not serious, we’re just kicking it,” but is there any standard definition?

  5. “Us black folk dont be kissin no broad in the mouth, especially in public”

    As a result of reading that comment, the water I was drinking is now all over the floor.

  6. RightCoastLexSteele

    And the funniest part about it is that dudes front about not kissin ’em in the mouth. Especially in public.

    I don’t respect the terminology. If you have ever seen any of my LeftCoast counterparts “work”, you know the how the Steele’s get down, so when I do speak on my performance, I give vivid detail.

    **Pulls the hair out his teeth…**

    “Does it smell like fish in here to you?…no?”

  7. Sowhatiff Jenkins

    RightCoast…you always have to take it there. lol.

    I must agree with Peyso…black folks don’t use the term as freely, nor do we really get down like that. I wonder why that is.

  8. It is because, Sowhatiff, black folk prefer keeping things on the hush-hush, the down-low, between the sheets, etc.

    What we do, we try to do behind closed doors. Dudes do it so they can continue to get at as many chicks as they like. Women, to keep the reputation as clean as possible. Everybody does not need to know.

  9. I do it cuz i dont want no mono. (Not to sound racist, but is it me or do white folk always have mono?)

  10. RightCoastLexSteele

    Uh…no se papi…I think folks do a lot of talking behind closed doors, it’s just not broadcast on billboards. More often than that they tell someone they are close with…or a few people they are close with. They idea of hush hush is all well and good, but I’ve definitely had friends of particular young ladies be able to recite certain details which could only be known if they were there or they were told. So usually when she says “I won’t tell anyone” that means “I won’t tell anyone except my roommate, my ls’s and the girl you messed around with last semester and you didn’t think we knew each other but we do because we had a class together and had to work on a project and we were the only two black girls in the group.”
    Or maybe people that went to SU don’t know how to keep their yaps shut…

  11. Seattle Washington

    I say it’s the latter sir. Pretty much the latter. At least that’s how it was at Scandinavian U.

    Hooking up is the most ambiguous term of this generation. It could build up or ruin someone’s reputation. If you heard, “Yeah, John and Kate hooked up in the bar.” You don’t know if they were in the bathroom working on those 8 kids they have now or if it was just a make out session to Journey.

    After reading this post, it reaffirms my decision to go to a PWI. I got to learn a new language and be entertained all at the same time. It’s like the Rosetta Stone, but much more comical.

  12. Seattle Washington

    Yep. I said it. Journey. “Don’t stop… Believing…”

  13. I caught a midnight train going anywhereeeeeee

  14. RightCoastLexSteele

    I prefer Bon Jovi myself…

  15. …I’m not sure but it looks like I may be the only white person on here that comments…

    the “hooking up,” comment…I never knew what it REALLY meant either. It’s one of those things I always heard people say and as one person commented I always thought hmm was that making out or sex…and on the reverse if someone was trying to find out mine or a friends business that they didn’t need to know, it’s an easy escape to say “oh they just hooked up,” and leave it at that with the mystery of how much hooking up really went down.

    The journey comment is hilarious, by the way.

  16. I always guessed that people said “hook-up” to keep nosy, detail-oriented people out their business.

  17. RightCoastLexSteele

    “I’m telling you this whole place smells like fish. …What? …Are you 10? It’s not my upper lip dumbass…”

  18. Seattle Washington

    shout out to Steph for rocking with me and Journey. let’s hit the bars homie. me, you, RightCoast, Peyso and a couple of pitchers.

    oh and don’t worry about color. this is a safe place.

  19. WithRainbowSprinkles

    JON & KATE + 8!!!

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