Students no longer have to rely on parties or bars to score a steamy hookup — that’s so last decade.
College hookup culture has gone viral. College students can find everything from one-night stands to long-lasting relationships with the tap of the “download” button on any smartphone. Tinder, Down and LuLu are among the apps that are making sex by smartphone possible.
Synchronized with Facebook, Tinder finds its users’ matches based on location and looks. Users are given a selection of Facebook pictures of their potential matches and are then able to swipe each photo to the left or right, depending on whether the picture of the match given meets the user’s standards.
This app is different in that its users don’t have to fear rejection. However, for some Tinder users, rejection is replaced with a feeling of disturbance.
“In general, after you match with someone, the first thing they ask is when they can meet you, which is kind of creepy,” said Taylor D., a junior history major, who asked not to have her last name used. “I barely knew the guy, and he already wanted to meet me.”
Another popular hookup app, Down, formerly known as Bang With Friends on Apple devices, allows users to find Facebook friends who are “down” to have sexual relations.
Unlike Tinder, this app strictly pairs up people who want to skip the dinner date and small talk and go straight to the bedroom. As with Tinder, users are given Facebook pictures of potential partners. After viewing those pictures, there are only two options to choose from: “up to hang” or “I’m down.” The difference between the two options is if the user is willing to get to know the person before getting into bed with them.
“I think apps like these take away the experience of meeting someone organically,” Taylor said. “Eventually, people won’t meet in person because they won’t know how to because of these apps.”
Many hookup apps on the market appeal to both males and females. However, LuLu, which is also connected with Facebook, allows girls to anonymously rate their male Facebook friends based off looks, commitment level and sexual abilities.
“Although it sounds like a terrible thing to do, it’s cool to be able to warn other girls about the guys you’ve gotten with,” said Kelsey Geaney, a junior communication major.
LuLu members are encouraged to review their past hookups by answering a series of questions that generate hashtags to describe the man. These hashtags, such as “#NotBigOnBathing” or “#OneOfTheGoodOnes,” help other users make smarter decisions when it comes to choosing guys to hook up with in the future.
Lulu software integrates Facebook profiles when registering users to make sure they are all females. If people identify as male on Facebook, they can’t create a Lulu account.
“This app brings girl talk to a whole new level,” said Sam Bernsen, a freshman hearing and speech sciences major. “It’s funny seeing what other girls have to say about the guys I went to high school with.”
Although these apps add elements of convenience and selectivity to the hookup process, some students said they still prefer to meet the old-fashioned way.
“With these apps you can literally act like anyone and not be yourself,” said Joe Atmonavage, a junior journalism major. “I’d rather meet girls in person, when you can be yourself, and get to know them better.”