SmackDown: Is College Sex Site Worse Than Your Average Hookup?
Here's a Thought: Hit the Books, Not the Sack!
by Jennifer Mattern
Ah, college! One's first foray into adulthood, a time of self-growth, newfound wisdom, and rampant casual sexual encounters conveniently orchestrated online!
An Internet site offering the college crowd a veritable EZ-pass to casual hookups is now expanding its operation. Originally created for University of Chicago students, eduHookups.com ("Where Fun Comes to Thrive!") is expanding its randy range to Northwestern University and Columbia College students -- making sure Chicago's collegiate crowd has better sex access, 24-7.
Proponents of eduHookups.com espouse the site as a "safe" way to scratch that special itch. The site's FAQ insists that eduHookups is vastly preferable to trolling Craigslist for one's next booty call, for the following reasons:
Listen up. I may be a creaky old MILF now, but I went to college, peeps! And while I was there, I learned deductive reasoning skillz, yo! I hate to bust your butt, eduHookups, but actually, it's NOT so simple to conclude that eduHookups is a "safer" community to Craigslist, simply because its members have an .edu suffix to their emails. Anyone seen "Animal House," or one of the 4,000 versions of "I'm a College Sex Addict" flicks out there? No? Just me?
- eduHookups is open to members of selected colleges and universities only, while Craigslist is public. It's not hard to conclude which community is safer and has the more reputable (not to mention the more intelligent!) members.
- Because an EDU email address is required to sign up on the site, the amount of spam/fakes/etc can be kept to a minimum.
- Craigslist eventually requires interested parties to communicate on their own via email. eduHookups handles every step of the process, from public posting to private communication. Our private messaging system means that no user information is ever disclosed.
- Our campus events section allows publication of local events that are more interesting and relevant to our user base.
No email suffix will ever guarantee safety. There are a lot of freaky-deaky souls out there, and plenty of them go to college. It's like that old joke: "What do you call someone who graduates in last in Pervy School?"
Okay, so it was a med school joke, originally. Whatever. You get the point.
The fact is, a degree (or the attempt at a degree) has nothing to do with sex cred (or sex ed). Let's get that straight.
EduHookups offers an illusion of safety, but there's no real safety net whatsoever for a very vulnerable, very unschooled population. Call me a paranoid pessimist, call me a mother of daughters, but man, sites like eduHookups can't help the very serious matter of date rape on campuses, not one bit: "She was looking for casual sex JUST like I was -- her profile proves that. We had a responsible plan, as advocated by eduHookups.com! And we had .edu email suffixes!"
Did I see some action in my college days? You betcha. Do I expect my kids to see some action in their college days? You know it. Call me old-fashioned, though, but I actually think there's still some merit in getting to know a potential sex partner over a cup of coffee.
Sex is a very complicated dance, and trying to "simplify" the casual version thereof via an online hookup marketplace is a joke, benefiting only the most casual of the casual-sex-seekers.
I appreciate the need to get one's rocks off during those stormy collegiate years. But if you're supposedly smart enough to have earned that .edu? Maybe it's also time to earn the sex you're jonesin' for -- the sex you think you're entitled to -- by taking the time to be a human being in your college community and encountering (gasp) other human beings, without laptop screens as smokescreens, with real names instead of usernames.
That's becoming a lost art, and that scares me for my kids. Sure, sex is fun when it's safe. Really fun. It's even more fun when it's a part of life, and not a rabid goal.
It's a scary world out there, and college kids are in a hurry to grow up, in every way. I'm not going to be the cool mom who says, You go, girlfriend! to my daughters. I'm going to tell them what I've told them since the beginning:
1) You're worth more than the cheap, quick way to anything -- always.
2) The right people will find you, if you're being the best version of yourself. Be patient.
3) Do your homework. There's no shortcut for homework, in any arena. Including sex.