What Does "Hook Up" Really Mean?

What We Talk About When We Talk About Hooking Up

Young Couple kissing
Sunny/ DIgital Vision/ Getty Images

The word "hookup" gets thrown around everywhere - from people at school to movie characters to Kelly Clarkson. So what does everybody mean? Kissing? Sex? Something in between?

Well, it kinda depends on whom you ask:

  • Jessica Rozler, who wrote The Hookup Handbook, defines "hooking up" as anything more than a kiss.
  • Most Teen Vogue readers say that only kissing and touching count as hookups.
  • Geek.com says that "hooking up" is when you attach your iPad to a 3G network. (I'm not sure why we bothered to ask them.)
As you can see, there isn't a clear definition of "hookup." Some people might mean sexual intercourse, while other people might just mean kissing. If you really want to know the gory details, you'll have to ask them what they're talking about.

There's one thing everybody agrees on, though: hooking up happens outside of relationships. There's no commitment involved, meaning that if you hook up, the other person might have no expectations of hooking up with you again - and many hookups stay one-night stands.

If you've got your own definition of "hookup," share it here!