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How does Miami define a Hookup?

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The Approach

By A.J. Newberry

For the better half of the spring semester, our publication has been seeking to bring our readers conversations about relationships on campus. We have been trying to understand what modern intimacy, desire and fulfillment look like in college. But maybe as we should've expected, talking to student journalists about your sex life isn't at the top of students' lists.

So we set up a table in Armstrong, put out a suggestion box and asked one question: How do you define a hookup?

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A first year male was the first to approach our table in the student center. "I've gotta send this to my friends. This is so crazy," he smiled as he took a picture of the question on his phone, "we were just talking about this last night." For hours, he said.

His answer: sex.

Over 100 people came and shared their thoughts. From a sea of passersby, we collected answers from (to name a few): a polyamorous student, students in an indie rock band, several couples, more than one member of the Associated Student Government and (via phone) a student's 53-year-old dad. Most people stayed for 2-3 minutes, choosing their words carefully. One student remarked, "You know, no one ever asks if you want to hook up. I think you just use it when you're talking about what you did."

For some people, discussing semantics just isn't sexy, for others it's simply not part of the rules of the game.

The student who answered "sex" was among the largest demographic. But the question then becomes, how do you define sex?

During the weekends of April 13 and 20, you may have seen our tent uptown, where people came and shared their stories about nightlife, parties and the dating scene.

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We're continuing to cover relationships, sex and hookups at Miami , so if you're interested in learning more about our project and how you can share your story, visit

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The debrief: how guys and girls talk about hooking up

By Ceili Doyle

Two Saturdays ago I woke up to a slew of text messages:

"Wtf happened?!?!?!"

"Wow wow wow we need to debrief"

"Wake up bitches, I want to chat over some McDonald's breakfast"

"Should I come home now for debrief and breakfast (aka McDonalds and McDick)?"

My friends and I jumped in the car to discuss what exactly had transpired the previous night, over Egg McMuffins and hashbrowns.

We talked about how we'd all managed to wake up in different situations, and we grilled one another over who we woke up next to and why.

Our generation plays a lot of mind games. The way we communicate with each other is confusing and indecisive, which complicates the way we build relationships, have sex and hook up in college.

Throughout the past semester, I have spent a lot of time talking about sex with my girl friends. But recently, I've been thinking a lot about how and why the way guys think and talk about hooking up is so incredibly different from the way girls do.

Two weeks ago, our editor-at-large, Emily Williams, and I talked to eight guys from four different fraternities for a podcast for the Student.

We started off by asking each of the guys what their last date was like, but it quickly evolved.

We discovered what it's like from their perspective when a girl they're hooking up with, but not dating, is convinced she can change his mind about commitment, or how dating apps change the way guys approach girls at bars.

According to them, they don't overanalyze every interaction they've had with a girl. And they certainly don't flood their group chats at 8 a.m. on Saturday mornings with flurries of expletives and demands to talk about the previous night's hookups at Mickey D's.

"Guys, for the most part, say what they mean," one of my best guy friends often says.

"Be direct," he tells me.

That text from the kid who asked you to formal and said "it's cool if you don't paint me a cooler" -- it's actually cool. That guy from Brick who you thought was hot, but is also a tool -- tell him you're not interested rather than make up excuses for why you can't leave the bar with him.

I'm not going to make a judgement call on how sound his advice is when applied to each person's individual situation, but I do think there's some universal truth to what he says

While navigating relationships, sex and "hookup culture" in college is a minefield, the key to guys and girls understanding each other is to be more direct about your experiences and the connections you forge along the way.