San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

How students view casual hookup culture on campus

Jasmine Miles
For students like Jasmine Miles, reading books about sex can help with better understanding hookup culture.

In the age of Tinder, sneaky links and rotating rosters of f*ck buddies, everyone’s hooking up these days – or are they?

While casual sex has always defined a popular college pastime, the experiences within San Diego State hookup culture come in more than 50 shades of grey. 

Senior journalism major Jazracanah Zulueta believes SDSU hookup culture provided her with an astonishing awakening coupled with an unrealistic pressure to explore her sexuality.

“There’s so much pressure upon entering college to engage in this culture and that’s the part that I particularly take issue with,” Zuleta said. “Coming to college, you get the sense that people are more sexually liberated, and in turn, you become the same way and are more accepting of that.”

While SDSU is a large campus, students are more likely to engage in casual sex largely because social circles intertwine.

“People come across each other all the time at different parties and students know each other from around the way, so it’s more than likely that people are going to be more inclined to hook up,” Zuelta said.

There are many students, like freshman kinesiology major Jozlyn Gomez, who normalize casual sex for stress relief and fun.

“People think ‘I want to feel good, I want to be with someone who makes me feel good.’ They’re looking for a good time,” Gomez said. “It’s not viewed as provocative, it’s not scary, it’s viewed as something we all do and everyone I know is more concerned with people not having pregnancy scares, having consent and being safe.”

Gomez, who regularly hooked up with her boyfriend before their relationship started in February 2021, now engages in sex solely for intimacy purposes.

“I have sex more so for the intimacy with my boyfriend, I do it for the connection, I do it to make sure we still have the spark in our relationship.” 

Similarly, senior speech language and hearing sciences major Kaley-Shae Doherty identifies as “sex-positive” and engaged in casual sex before entering her current relationship.

“I knew people having sex in the residence halls and I was one of them,” Doherty said. “Hooking up is really just a ‘get in and get out’ kind of thing. Go do the business, don’t get attached, don’t stay too long, because once you do, it just starts going down.”

Jasmine Miles, second-year Community Based Block social justice and multicultural counseling (CBB) graduate student, shared that books like Audre Lorde’s “Uses of The Erotic” and bell hooks’ “All About Love” helped her reach a deeper sense of her sensuality amid campus hookup culture.

“The erotic is usually linked to pornography and things of a sexual nature, but it doesn’t always have to be that way,” Miles said. “Pleasure can come from so many vessels like poetry, writing, cooking, cleaning and whatever feeds your soul.”

Miles graduated from SDSU with a sociology degree and Africana studies minor in 2020, and describes her casual sex encounters during her undergraduate years as an escape mechanism.

“I was looking for intimacy that was very surface level and I was too scared to go deeper because that meant I’d have to open myself up, and that’s scary,” Miles said. “‘All About Love’ by bell hooks really showed me what I was doing as an undergraduate student was very hurtful for me and hurtful for the people that I was with.”

On the contrary, sex itself may be considered taboo in some spaces and not discussed on a larger social scale. 

“I don’t really bring sex up to other people, so it could just be that no one is creating a space to talk about it,” senior rhetoric and writing studies major Summer Ycasas said. “If you go up to somebody and ask them, you may not get a great response or you’ll be met with defensiveness or unwillingness to divulge that information.”

Identifying as asexual, Ycasas is passionate about sexual health and she believes students, regardless of their relationship to hookup culture, should be cautious and educated about sexual pleasure.

“Personally, when it comes to sex and my sexuality, I usually slide along the spectrum of being indifferent to sex or just being kind of disgusted by it,” Ycasas said. “There are many different forms of sex and they will all yield different results, so I think it’s best to really weigh your options and think critically.”

Regardless, hookup culture isn’t a cause for concern nor is it utopia either — and SDSU students refuse to be characterized by a single extreme, per usual.

About the Contributor
Trinity Bland
Trinity Bland, '21-22 Managing Editor
Trinity Bland is a senior studying film with an emphasis in television, Spanish and journalism from Washington, DC. Her interests include social justice, entertainment, leadership and sports. She can easily be found watching Grey's Anatomy, a retro sitcom or listening to R&B music. Follow her on Twitter @trinityaliciaa.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
How students view casual hookup culture on campus