Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Alcohol and hookups: A collegiate love story

It’s 1:47 a.m. on a Friday night (technically Saturday morning), and I can see the panic begin to set in after the bartender announces the last call. I’m sitting at a bar stool on the second floor of Wando’s, looking out over the balcony as students begin looking around desperately, trying to find someone to take home.

I watch a guy in a blue polo stumble over, wrap his elbow around a girl’s neck and try to convince her why she needs to make her way to his place, pronto. I watch a skinny brunette straddle her girlfriend and stick her tongue down her throat – and I watch the guys drool over them.

And I wonder – what the fuck is going on with hook-up culture on our campus?


It’s no secret that college students get drunk and fuck each other. And while meeting up at bar time definitely doesn’t represent the full range of ways that students get it on on campus, it’s hard to deny that alcohol use spurs a large number of hook-ups between students every weekend.

Now, as a second-semester senior, I have my own personal opinions about drunken hook-ups. But I think that when it comes down to it, it’s more important for you guys to hear what your peers think about the topics I write about.

So over the last couple of weeks, I talked to as many students as possible about the influence of alcohol on hook-up culture at the University of Wisconsin (names have been changed). Here’s what I found:

Alcohol makes hooking up sloppier:

“In my experience, people who are super drunk tend to use their teeth. I don’t like that.” – Mike, sophomore

“I barely remember it, but one time a guy told me the next morning that while we were hooking up, I fell off of him and off the bed. So embarrassing.” – Ally, junior

“One time, this guy starting blowing on me, like actually blowing on my legs with his mouth. And he was saying things like, ‘oh yeah, you like that?’ And I was like, what the fuck is going on? But we were drunk, so it was just like, whatever.” – Clay, junior

Some people enjoy the freedom of a drunken hook-up:

“It’s kind of nice to be able to go out, go home with someone, hook up and then just go your separate ways. You don’t need to have that talk about, like, ‘what happens now,’ because you both understand it was just a drunk hook-up.” – Joe, senior

“To be honest, I just don’t have time to be in a relationship. But, like, I still want to do stuff. I think it’s okay to not want anything more than sex sometimes, or to be friends with benefits with someone, if you’re mature enough to handle it.” – Liz, sophomore

Some people feel pressured to take part:

“I’m not 21 yet, and I don’t have a fake, so I’ve never been to the bars before, but from everything I keep hearing, that’s like the main reason that guys go to the bars. You know, to find someone to hook up with.” – Nick, freshman

“That’s what everyone talks about. Like, you talk to your friends the next morning about who you met, what you did, if you’re going to text them or not. I mean, getting some is definitely the goal, especially on Halloween and Mifflin.” – Matt, sophomore

Some have regrets:

“The only time I’ve ever had to use Plan B was after a really crazy night. It was one of my first nights here, and I was so drunk I slept with someone that I never would have even looked at sober. And now I see that person everywhere, and it’s really awkward, and it just reminds me of how dumb it was.” – Jessica, sophomore

“I found out I got chlamydia a couple of weeks after I took someone home from the bars. I felt bad about it, but we never exchanged numbers or last names or anything, so I couldn’t even let them know once I found out.” – Mark, junior

Some choose not to take part:

“As someone who’s decided to stay abstinent ’til marriage, it’s hard for me to see what some of my friends are doing. The thought of having sex with someone I met an hour ago just makes me uncomfortable.” – Liz, freshman

“You never really know if people are telling the truth anymore about if they have STIs, and for me, it’s just not worth the risk.” – Katie, senior

And some don’t know how to feel about it:

“It’s not that I like or don’t like what goes on; it’s not about that. But sometimes it seems like there’s no other option here for hooking up, unless you go on Craigslist or something.” – Emily, sophomore

“Isn’t that just, like, how it works? I mean, it’s college.” – Megan, freshman

There ya have it. ‘Til next week, Badgers.

Send Mary a spark at [email protected].

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