The Ghost of last semester’s hook-up

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September 4, 2010

5:09 PM

Hello, loyal readers. I hope everyone’s surviving the first full week of classes, and staying dry in the flop sweat that is Williamsburg’s version of Hurricane Earl. If you’re like me, you’ve spent the past week wringing your hands and wondering how the heck you’ll ever make it through senior year. Or perhaps you took the advice I gave you in the last post and made an effort to reorientate yourself to the sexual minefield that is our college campus. Either way, I hope you’re healthy and happy as we dive into September.

A new semester means new classes, and new classes means new faces to stare at from across the room. That dude you had a class with sophomore year who’s now lookin’ fiiiiine in your advanced creative writing class; that transfer girl with the crooked smile and the expensive computer in your bio lecture – these are the faces that will populate your life for the next few months. So get used to them. Go to class with brushed teeth and a clean shirt and you’re sure to make a new friend. Yay friends!

But what happens if there’s a familiar face in that sea of new ones? And what if that familiar face is staring back at you with a stomach-churning mixture of confusion, annoyance, longing, disgust? What is going on here? Could it be, horror of horrors, that you have a class with…your ex-hookup?!
Dun dun dunnnnnn!!!
Guess the summer wasn’t as forgiving-‘n’-forgetting as we thought. It’s hard to escape your past at a school as tiny as W&M, especially if that past includes a broken heart or two.

Ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends are a common part of adult life, a consequence that comes with dating in your 20s. Treat these people with respect and understanding and hopefully things won’t be too awkward. Ex-hookups, on the other hand, are a horse of a different color.

Let’s talk about the nature of a hookup for a second. They come in all shapes and sizes, sure, but most hookups develop along similar lines. A hookup is someone you’re not necessarily interested in dating or even being friends with. Your relationship with this person is mostly physical, and might occur only in certain situations. Maybe this is a person you only text for a booty call after a night of drinking. Maybe you only see them between classes for a quick de-stress make-out session. However your interactions with your hookup manifest, the main idea is to enjoy a simple business relation of pleasurable friction. No room for emotions, no room for baggage.

Easier said than done, clearly. Whenever sex gets added to the equation, things get tricky. Feelings develop, one way or the other. Lucky for you, summer break is an inevitability for college kids, providing something of a respite to the murky waters of hookin’ up with no strings attached. That is, until you come back and see your hookup sitting across the lecture hall from you.

Most likely, the two of you weren’t in contact over the summer. There’s the unspoken understanding between two people hooking up that it’s pretty location-specific. Warm bodies looking to get warm together don’t usually translate well to a long-distance relationship.

So now you’re back in school and looks like you’ll need to deal with the aftermath. Do you ignore each other and just hope you won’t be assigned to work on the same group presentation? Do you drop the course? Do you bite the bullet and say hi? What if, upon seeing them, you realize you want to start hooking up again? What if you want to start dating them? Or what if the opposite happens and you want to die from sheer embarrassment over the whole thing? That was so last year, right? Wrong! Loose ends demand to be tied up, and all this sex blogger can do is hope that you’ll find a way to do so in a respectful and productive way. As always, share your opinions and suggestions in the comments. Let’s hear your thoughts on ex-hookups and what to do with them!

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