The Hook Up: ‘Am I Ready?’ and Gift Giving for Dummies

Photo: (Everyone Is Gay)

The Hook Up is a weekly relationship advice column from MTV Act and the It’s Your (Sex) Life campaign, written by the very talented Kristin Russo and Dannielle Owens-Reid.

From the awkward to the complicated to the down-right-adorable, these girls have you covered. To submit your question about love, lust or anything in between, email us at We’d love to hear from you, and your question could be chosen for a future column! Plus, the first 30 people get free MTV Act shirts. FYI, in case you’re a little shy, all questions can be anonymous.

I’m horrible at picking out gifts. Any good holiday ideas for not super serious relationships?

Dannielle Says: 

DON’T buy anything involving diamonds, gold or platinum.
DO buy anything involving an inside joke, a favorite tv show or justin bieber.

DON’T plan a romantic getaway.
DO plan a cute date night.

DON’T give something you inherited from your grandmother.
DO give something i inherited from my grandmother (like these).

DON’T get sexy lingerie or edible underwear.
DO get granny panties as a joke.

DON’T propose marriage.
DO propose a favorite-movie marathon make out sesh ft. candy & popcorn.

Last but not least… DON’T think about it too much and DO have a blast.

Kristin Says:


{cheer} {cheer} {cheer}

I cannot tell you how many times I have been like, “Oh man, SNUGGLEPUSS (a new boo) would love to have this thing, it is perfect and I will get it for them,” only to then have the item at my house and start thinking about how maybe SNUGLEPUSS might not like this or maybe they will think it is too much or too little or maybe I am just an idiot and ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

So, then I tuck the gift away or keep it for myself and go out and get what I think is a better gift – which actually isn’t nearly as good of a gift because it came from the land of over-thinking. Then, a few months later I confess to my over-thinking, and SNUGLEPUSS is like, “OH MAN I LOVE THIS THING, WHY DIDN’T YOU GIVE IT TO ME IT IS PERFECT!!!!”

The lesson here is: go with your gut. Walk around the mall or the holiday fair or the internet and just think about small things that might make a person happy. Etsy has a million tiny cute handmade things that are affordable and just say, “Hey, you are cool, Merry Holiday.”

Por ejemplo:

This journal OR this adorable trio of shaving kit things OR these adorable mitten-glove things OR this tiny lil’ terrarium kit that you can make together!! OR a really awesome T-shirt OR OMG A JAUNTY ANIMAL CALENDAR

So, I feel like I’m ready to have sex in the relationship I’m in. Of course we would use a condom, but how do I know 100% that I’m emotionally ready to have sex?  -Question submitted by Brenna

Dannielle Says: 


{cheer} {cheer} {cheer}

That part at least is simple– condoms are the only method that can help prevent pregnancy and STDs. But honestly in terms of the emotional side, we all have so many different emotions that mean so many different things, it’s difficult for me to know what to tell you.

I know people who have had bunches of sexi with bunches of people and they are completely and totally emotionally stable. They are cool, calm, collected, successful, have the ability to recognize their emotions and deal with them in the appropriate manner. AND I know people who have only had sexi with one person their entire life and they are on the same emotional playing field as aforementioned person. NOW ALSO I know people who have lots of sexi with lots of people and are not at all mentally sound AAAANNND people who have only had sexi with select people and can’t handle it.

The most important thing you can do is REMEMBER THAT WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. You might be ready, your partner might not be, SO talk about it. We all get carried away with our body feelings and hormones and that’s totally natural, but you can step back for a second, be smart about it, and don’t put yourself in a position that you might later regret. We all have our own moral compass, no one is right and no one is wrong and no one can tell you what to do. You know, deep down in your heart area what makes you comfortable and what you think is the right thing to do. So, follow your heart, unless of course you are a bird looking for some fruit loops, in which case, follow your nose.

Kristin Says:

Personally, I’m not sure that you can actually know beforehand if you are emotionally ready to for sexitime.

For starters, what we do with our bodies and when we do those things with our bodies is our decision, so you shouldn’t let anyone else pressure you into “being ready,” or into thinking that you aren’t ready. You know you, and you should trust you. People of all different ages, temperaments, and experiences are ready for things at all different times. I also agree with Dannielle, in that sexitime does not automatically have to make your emotions go totally Fruit Loops.

I suggest that you think about what you want to do with your boo when you are sitting quietly by yourself. Think about what it means to you and why you want to do those things. If you know in those quiet moments that you want to explore sexitown with them, then that is what you should do. Safely, slowly, and honestly. Check in with yourself, be honest with each other about your decisions and your emotions, and always make sure you are protecting yourselves and know how to protect yourselves.

You guys. Sexitime is important, sure, and it’s an awesome thing to connect with others on that level… but also, it doesn’t have to be the cornerstone of emotion/feeling/life/everything. It can just be fun.

Kristin Russo and Dannielle Owens-Reid are the co-creators of Everyone is Gay, a website and organization promoting kindness between all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. The views expressed in these blog posts are the viewsof the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of MTV, KFF or the It’s Your Sex Life campaign.

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