The term "hook-up" has different meanings.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Halsey Smith

Kiss and tell?

How high schoolers talk about love

October 30, 2018

The Vision asked staff writers Blaise Gourley and Jack Hollis ’20 to comment on the teenage dating / “hook-up” culture at East Grand Rapids High School. Read their columns below to see the girl’s and guy’s perspective on various topics such as consent, making out, hooking up, flirting, SnapChatting, and potential heartbreak.

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That’s what she said

Spilling the Tea

Girls love the “kiss and tell.”

Girls also love the flirting, the talking, the texting, the possibility of being with that one cute boy.

A good friend might spill the tea on who they want to talk to that night or reveal who the current cute boy they are snapchatting is.

Streaks and Snaps

With the multiple forms of communication today, most relationships don’t start in person, but by starting a streak on Snapchat.

“People usually talk on Snapchat or text,” Audrey Whiteside ‘19 said.

Snapchat takes the pressure off of awkward in-person conversations and can lead to two people planning a hook-up before it happens.  

“Sometimes, yes, people talk about it before, but sometimes it’s nonchalant, you know shoot your shot, shoot your shot,” Ella Pietenpol ‘20 said.  

The Hook-up

“A hook up is making out with someone, potentially with someone who you like and it could escalate to further stuff,” Grace Lee ‘19 said.

Katie Bill ‘20 defined hooking up as, “anything from making out to sex.”

Oftentimes, once a hookup occurs, girls, whether it be through texts or in person, go straight to their friends to share all the juicy details about it.

“We talk about all the details and if it was good or not,” Audrey Whiteside ‘19 said.

“Sometimes no… but usually yes. We talk about how it was, an overall performance rating, and whether we would want to do it again,” Pietenpol ‘20 said.  

A common misconception is that people go to parties just to hook up with someone.

“I would say people go to parties just to have fun, but hooking up might just be a perk for some people,” Pietenpol ‘20 said.

There are many girls in agreement with Pietenpol as they describe parties as places to have fun with your friends, and not just a place to make out with people. On the other hand, people really do go to parties to show off their significant other.

“Yes people go to parties to hook up, you can see someone talking to a certain person,” Bill said.

High school is a very confusing and complex time in all aspects of life, and this includes boys. Hooking up happens a lot in high school, whether it is a one-time thing or the start a new relationship.

Girls have to deal with the strenuous pressures of their appearance and the secret cravings many have of getting into a relationship. The constant pressures to be perfect which derive from social media and boys places a great deal of stress on teenage girls. This is why it is important that girls, along with all high school students, respect their bodies as they journey through four years of incredible chaos.

“It’s okay…dating and hooking up can be scary for many high school students. That is why it is important to have strong peers and adults who can guide you through that process,” health teacher Katie RietKirk said.

Many adults would agree with this statement as they too have had to navigate these uncertain and sometimes scary times like teenagers are now.

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That’s what he said

Spilling the Beans

Guys are always talking about which girls they think are cute or who they are SnapChatting.

Boys spill the beans often, and most times relatively quickly after a new interest arises, or after guys have hooked up with someone.

“Hookups are a very common topic between me and my friends,” Jack Billo ’19 said.

The conversations can be about the hook-up itself, or how the experience was.

“We just ask how was it, how far did you go, did you get that dub, ya know, the basics,” Jacob Starner ’20 said.

The nature of the conversation really depends on the nature of the relationship as well, though.

What really is a Hook-Up?

What really is considered “hooking up”? This question is often asked when friends are talking about how far they have gone.

“Making out, and maybe sometimes going past that,” John Shelton ’20 said.

Hookups are a very common topic between me and my friends.”

— Jack Billo '19

Although most definitions are relatively broad, most guys can agree that it starts off with kissing.

The Hook-Up

With the ease of communication over texting and SnapChat, guys are able to talk to girls they may be interested in more often than just during school or on the weekends (assuming they don’t hit you with an o-bomb).

This can also be a way to “plan” a hook-up and possibly talk to them before and after.

Kelly Murray ’20 said he talks to girls prior to possibly hooking up with them, “on occasions, but it depends if she is nice.”

“Like if we’re talking logistics…then sorta,” Starner said. “But usually you just gotta go for it.”

“Some people do, some people don’t. Some people just like the feel of the moment,” Billo said.

So now once you’ve talked to the girl about the potential of hooking up with them, most guys wonder: where?

This is really dependent on the situation, but one commonly thought of place is at a party.

“Some people go to parties to hook-up with people,” Billo said. “Other people go to parties just for the fun of it, but yeah it’s a possibility.”

Some people don’t feel the same.

Shelton said, “No I don’t, that’s kind of disgusting.”

Again, the time and place really depends on the situation.

High school is a chaotic, stressful, and uncertain time for both boys and girls. What each guy experiences varies but it typically includes school and hooking up. Along with the chaos, stress, and uncertain feelings, come poor decision making.

Guys, if you are uncertain about a situation (particularly a hook-up), just think to yourself: How is this going to turn out? If you have to think about it for too long, just do everyone a favor and don’t do it.

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