Entertainment Love and Romance What Does “Hooking Up” Mean? Share PINTEREST Email Print Tetra Images/Tetra images/Getty Images Love and Romance Relationships Sexuality Divorce Teens LGBTQ Friendship By Stacey Laura Lloyd University of Pennsylvania Stacey Laura Lloyd is an author with a passion for helping others find happiness and success in their dating lives as well as in their relationships. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Stacey Laura Lloyd Updated September 04, 2017 While the term “hooking up” is used quite frequently, it’s interesting to note that there are multiple definitions and explanations as to what it actually means. In fact, hooking up is an expression that can signify many different things to different people. So in order to determine if hooking up with someone is the right choice for you, it’s important to understand what hooking up truly means and entails. What Does Hooking up Actually Mean? In the most basic sense, hooking up with someone means that you’re sexually intimate with him or her, yet this intimacy can range from kissing all the way to intercourse. To that end, hooking up is actually an overarching expression that can be used to describe the wide range of sexually intimate acts that you engage in with someone else, but it doesn’t imply monogamy or that you’re in relationship or are even dating this person. In addition, hooking up with someone can be a one-time occurrence or a type of ongoing sexual relationship that you have with him or her and/or with multiple people. Why Is the Term so Ambiguous? There are many different reasons as to why hooking up is such a broad and extensive term. In the first place, it enables people to openly discuss and share their sexual experiences without really having to reveal the exact details about what transpired. In other words, this phrase enables you to maintain some privacy about the specifics of your intimate time with someone else by keeping things vague and open-ended. In addition, using this expression to describe a sexual encounter can also help to lessen any stigma, judgment or social pressure that people can face when they engage in these intimate acts with others. And this is especially true for men and women in regards to having intercourse—or not having intercourse. Does Hooking up Ever Lead to a Serious Relationship? While it’s definitely possible that hooking up with someone can pave the way for a deep, meaningful and committed relationship with him or her at some point in the future, it’s certainly not a guarantee. In fact, the very act of hooking up with someone can actually imply that he or she isn’t really interested in having anything serious at the moment. However, there are many different couples who first hooked up with one another and then were able to cultivate an emotional connection after having a physical one. What Are the Pros of Hooking up with Someone? If you’re considering hooking up with someone, it’s important to understand the upsides as well as the downsides of this kind of decision. Firstly, many people enjoy the fact that they’re able to have new sexual experiences with no strings attached. And if you’re not looking for anything serious, you aren’t yet ready for a monogamous commitment and/or you just want to explore your options, hooking up with someone can be a fun and exciting endeavor. In addition, hooking up with someone can be a way to experiment and expand your sexual horizons, and you certainly won’t suffer from FOMO when you’re able to play the field at your discretion. What Are the Cons of Hooking up with Someone? However, there are definitely things to consider before you hook up with someone, especially in terms of your physical and emotional health and well-being. First, it’s imperative that you’re not only physically safe when you’re hooking up with someone, but that you make good choices and not put yourself in harm’s way. And when it comes to your emotional health, you should recognize that it’s not too uncommon for people who hook up with others to feel as though they’re lacking the support, care, and compassion that are the cornerstones of a more serious and committed relationship. In a word, you’re at risk of feeling expendable, unimportant and disposable in this type of sexual relationship, and this can be especially painful if hooking up with this person means more to you than it does to him or her. With this in mind, it’s important that you fully understand your own wants and needs so that hooking up with someone can be a rewarding experience in every sense.