It’s no secret that hooking up in college can get complicated. Whether it be the fact that he lives on your floor, she starts to develop feelings that aren’t reciprocated, or they only text you at 2 am… they’re just complicated. But I’m not going to lie, attention always feels nice. Actually let me rephrase that: wanted attention feels nice; it feels especially nice from a man or a woman that you are mutually interested in. Hooking up in college is not only complicated, it’s exciting and thrilling and even a bit scary. But what happens when that attention goes away? The looks from cute frat boys start to decrease, that random girl you met at The Boot doesn’t text you back, or “your game” just feels completely off. Once the attention is gone, the motivation to put yourself out there can come to a screeching halt, and a little phenomenon called a “dry spell” can occur.
Dry spells are brutal. Going through long periods of time with extremely minimal sexual attention from other people can be a huge hit to your ego, especially in the college scene. Not hooking up with someone can cause individuals to feel unattractive, unwanted, or just simply bleh about themselves. You may fall into that “hookup funk,” where the lack of attention leads to little motivation to go out, which creates less opportunities to put yourself out there, which only deepens the frustration and “funk”.
You may go out feeling like the hottest person in the room, having put in extra time getting ready due to the unfortunate circumstances you have lately found yourself in. However, despite this extra effort, no one looks at you for longer than a quick glance. “WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?!” you may ask yourself. Your confidence plummets, and all that is left are feelings of desperation, frustration, and maybe a little twinge of resentment. Who is hooking up with people?! What are they doing differently than me?! How did I reach such a low point in my sex life?!
Don’t get me wrong, hooking up with someone is a fun aspect to one’s college life. However, hooking up is not the only way to have a fulfilling, spontaneous, and exciting college experience. First of all, just because you are going through a dry spell doesn’t mean you won’t hook up with anyone in the future. You must accept the fact that our sex lives are constantly in an ebb and flow. At one point in your life you can be having copious amounts of sexual activity, and other times, nothing is really going on. By accepting these facts of life, the rest will be much easier. Dry spells provide an abundance of opportunities! This is your time to go out and have fun with your friends without the pressure of needing to go home with someone at the end of the night. The friends you make in college are the ones that are supposed to last you a lifetime, and no boy or girl should hinder your time spent with them.
As someone in a long distance relationship, I have found that setting up my friends with someone is almost as satisfying as being set up myself. Take on the role as the matchmaker for a little! This gives you the opportunity to talk to people without the pressure of hooking up with them. You can socialize with others, but in a way that hopefully will benefit one of your friends. This “nothing to lose” mindset can only CREATE opportunities for you and your friends.
Dry spells also give you the time and space for some self-reflection. Did you actually enjoy hooking up with Brad for the last 3 weeks or was it simply because of the attention you were getting? Was hooking up with a different girl every time you went out truly satisfying your needs? During this time you can learn about yourself and what you really want. This also enables you to create either lower or higher standards in order to realistically attain the perfect hook up.
But most importantly, have fun with your people and stop worrying about boys/girls for a while! It can be SO refreshing to take a break from the slightly toxic circumstance known as college hookup culture. The experiences you make in college are not dependent on random sexual encounters or unsatisfying drunken hookups. The memories that you make in college are contingent on the lifelong friendships that you make with the people around you. Opportunities often arise when you’re least expecting them, so take the pressure off and surround yourself with positive, fun, happy people that bring you a more substantial fulfillment and satisfaction than a hookup can.
Cover Photo: Bianca Falanga