Sex Panther: Relationship Structure


It’s Thursday, my dudes. You know what that means! Time for another fun edition of your favorite advice-but-not-really column, Sex Panther! I know you just can’t wait. I’ve been thinking a lot in the past few weeks about relationship structures and hookup culture here at Midd. I mean, it’s pretty much always on my mind but you get the point. I want to talk about hookup culture specifically as it relates to relationship structure; often, it feels like hookups happen in this limbo where talking about emotions, expectations, and desires can be taboo. You know what can help break those taboos? COMMUNICATION. Which I know I talked about last week, but it’s damn important. 

While a good part of that taboo is probably due to the way alcohol relates to hookup culture– let’s be honest, sex kittens, you probably don’t find that surprising. But that means that often people aren’t in a headspace to have those conversations in the moment. And let me be crystal clear: when you or your partner(s) are under the influence you legally cannot give consent. Does that mean that drunk hookups don’t happen? Of course not. In an ideal world would that be the case? No. But we need to recognize that fact before getting further into this discussion. 

Ok. So say you’re drunk. You’ve been flirting all night with the cutie/s at the party, who has/have also been drinking. The stars align and you dance together, one thing leads to another, and suddenly you’re wrapped in a passionate embrace. Or a sloppy drunk makeout. That one’s probably more likely, tbh. ANYWAYS, let’s say you head home together. Score! Right? Maybe you’re thinking about the fun that awaits, and maybe not so much on the conversation aspect. But the conversation is very important, especially in hookups. 

From here on, things can go a few ways. Now would be a great time to disclose your relationship status, if you haven’t already. And I don’t mean just making sure you’re both single (though that is a good rule of thumb if you are both monogamous people for whom that classification makes sense). You need to make sure you know exactly what you’re committing to for the immediate future, and how that fits with everyone involved. 

For example, I am not monogamous. Nor would I classify myself as polyamorous; I lean more towards the relationship anarchy side of things (go/relationshipanarchy; I am sure to let people I am hooking up with know this fact as well as my expectations i.e. that I would love to have sex but plan on sleeping over with my sweetie, or that I would be down to make out and sleep over, but not have sex.) Sometimes it freaks people out to hear me be frank about not only my desires but also about the way in which I engage in relationships. And that’s totally ok. If being upfront about the fact that I have other sweeties or that I am looking for a casual relationship which involves both sex and friendship or what have you, I think it is only fair to let that person know my full intentions at the outset. 

If you are in an open or a poly relationship, that might mean telling the person you’re hooking up with that you do have a primary partner/s and checking that they feel comfortable hooking up knowing that arrangement. If you are monogamous and don’t have a partner, that is good information to disclose as well! Point is, the only thing that being upfront about your relationship ’sitch and your expectations adds is clarity. That doesn’t (and shouldn’t) kill the vibe. If it does, that person was maybe not the best fit for you in that moment. Having these conversations is so so SO important, and can save you so much heartache later down the line. And a hookup doesn’t have to end in a sexual relationship. Some of my closest friendships here have come out of hookups we all agree were fun, but the chemistry was more that of a non-sexual nature, and that was fine! What isn’t fine is refusing to communicate with your hookups.