A Recipe for Challenging Hookup Culture

The #NotJustSexProject started at Marist College to challenge the expectations and liberations around hookup culture and well-being through storytelling, social media, and art.

This campaign is a way to help others think critically about the harms and joys that are enmeshed in hookup culture, whether or not individuals directly participate in it.Through the use of an online survey and a series of in-depth conversations about hookup culture, the #NotJustSexProject reflects a deep pool of nuanced critiques of hookup culture. By sharing these stories and inviting people to respond to them with their own perspectives, we have an opportunity to disrupt the harmful norms associated with hookup culture, and instead give people the tools to enjoy healthier hookups–if that’s what they choose.

About the Chef

I’m Courtenay Spalding, and I just graduated from Marist College, where I majored in Psychology. During my time there, I was a member and on the executive board of the Marist College Black Student Union. I am driven by the interconnected nature of the world’s problems, and want to help end gender- based violence in part because I knows so many people who have been impacted. I hate running, but will walk for miles and enjoy it. My passion is mental wellness. Learn more about my action and my work with Breakthrough here.

Ingredients

  • A recording device for interviews – or a smartphone app.
  • Private space for conducting interviews.
  • Graphic design software: If you know how to use Photoshop and have access to it, that’s a great option – or there’s free software like Canva and PicMonkey.
  • An online form: Google Forms is free and easy to use!
  • Social media accounts/pages for your action.

Prep time

2 – 3 weeks to collect survey responses, conduct interviews, and begin creating digital content.

Cooking time

2-6 weeks. This depends on how much content you have and how you choose to spread it out.

Recipe:

  1. Develop a set of questions that will encourage long-form answers about hookup culture. (Not yes or no questions!)
  2. Create social media pages for the project.
    • Build a brand! Make a logo, banners, and graphic templates. Your pages should look good–and consistent.
    • Think carefully about which social media platforms you want to use. You don’t need to be on every platform, but you should be on the ones that will give you the most reach on campus.
  3. Create a Google Form with your questions from step 1. Include a question that asks if anyone is interested in being interviewed in-person to expand on their experiences.
  4. Send out the survey. Use social media, get your friends to help, send it to student groups, ask professors to send it to their classes – whatever you can do to get the word out!
  5. Schedule and conduct interviews with people who signed up.
    • Transcribe or take extensive notes on these in-person interviews. If your interviewees are comfortable being audio-recorded, that’s even better.
  6. Create graphics that display eye catching quotes from survey responses and in- person interviews.
  7. Schedule social posts.
    • You can schedule them however you choose: it could be around certain topics if there are some recurring themes that arise, or it could be that you share differing opinions and perspectives and invite your audience to chime in, too.

Substitutions:

  • Apathetic student body? Worried about low engagement? Reach out to friends or students in similar groups from neighboring schools to share your survey.
  • Having trouble getting survey responses? Try reaching out to professors to see if they’ll offer extra credit to any students of theirs who participate.

Helpful Hints:

  • Post the survey on club Facebook pages or class pages (i.e. “Class of 2017”).
  • The action does not have to remain attached to your college/university, especially considering it is an online campaign– consider what will have the most impact.
  • Make sure your action is as inclusive as possible.
    • It is important your action is inclusive of many different lived experiences and intersections of identities. Work (bold) with (bold) other students and communities to make sure you are incorporating their stories accurately and they have control of the process. Never speak for a community; there is a difference between trying to be inclusive and tokenizing people’s experiences.
    • Are your survey responses not as diverse as you’d hoped? Check your dissemination strategy first. If you’re con dent that you’ve done good outreach, it’s important to remember that your responses can only reflect the diversity of your campus. It might just be endemic to the population.
  • Keep the number for your school’s counseling services on hand during the interviews – people might disclose something traumatic and it’s important to offer them ways of getting professional support
  • Be clear that you take confidentiality and anonymity seriously. People are more likely to share their stories if they trust you and feel safe doing so.