SmackDown: Is College Sex Site Worse Than Your Average Hookup?

Filed under: Opinions, Teen Culture

college sex site

Illustration by Dori Hartley

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!

Say what?

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, ("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 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:

  • 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.
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?

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?"

A pervert!

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! 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.

Online Or Off, College Kids Will Make Dumb Sexual Choices

by Tom Henderson

When I was in college, I often quoted Woody Allen.

"Sex without love is a meaningless experience," he observed. "But as meaningless experiences go, it's one of the best."

Not really. Experience taught me it truly is meaningless. Serves me right for turning to Woody Allen for sexual wisdom.

Unless you really are just a rutting pig, all purely recreational sex does is leave you hungry for a true emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical connection. You end up feeling more alone than if you had just stayed home and read a good book.

Not that you can tell anyone between the ages of 18 and 22 such things. They will listen attentively and promptly go out and heed the calling of their Klingon blood.

Maturity is a hard journey. You can't take a taxi. You have to carry a canoe. In other words, my son is going to make the same stupid hormonal mistakes and learn the same painful lessons I did until he realizes there's a reason the poets pipe of love in their childish way. It's a good thing.

In fact, it's the best thing.

By the time he reaches college, my guess is there will be something akin to the website at the University of Chicago that enables students to arrange casual sexual encounters. He will use it. God knows I would have at that age. Everything else is available online these days. Why not casual sex?

Even dull-witted undergrads are endlessly brilliant when comes to tracking down sexual opportunities. If this site were not available, students in Chicago would still have Craigslist and countless other online venues for getting what they want.

And I must admit, it beats my old M.O. of lying to girls in journalism school. ("Wow, Ming, you may just be learning English, but you're a great writer!")

At least everyone approaches the website with the same agenda. You know what the other person is after.

I was after the same thing when I suddenly found myself middle-aged and single in the wake of a divorce. I should have remembered the lessons of my youth, but after being rejected by my wife of 15 years, I wanted someone to find me desirable.

Besides, I was comfortable being someone's partner. So I hit the Internet in search of a replacement part or, barring that, a warm body to tell me I was still purty. Those sorts of bodies are easy enough to find online. Sadly, they can often be found among the people who insist they are looking for true love.

I met some of those people, and God forgive me, heeded the call of my Klingon blood. It was college all over again. Part of my brain was there, in the moment. The rest was wondering if I should stop on the way home and pick up some milk.

I remembered why I was so happy to be married in the first place. Making love is only truly satisfying if you are in love.

Good luck finding many people -- young or old -- who will heed that wisdom. Most young people are going to lose their virginity during their college years, if they haven't already. Whether they find sex online or in political science class, there's little use getting mad at them about it.

About all you can do is hope you raised them to make good choices so early experiments with recreational sex don't have life-long consequences.

They must learn themselves that drinking too much gives you a headache, staying up all night makes you tired and having sex for the sake of sex drains your soul. They will learn.

We all did.

Here's hoping they won't need refresher courses later on, and the lessons won't hurt -- too much.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.