The Hook Up: The Parent Talk + Being a ‘Good’ Hook Up

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 not interested in sex right now, but every time I talk to my parents about it they think I’m having sex. I just want to be open with them about any questions or concerns I have. How do I explain that? – Michayla

Dannielle Says: 

Brace yourself. The only way to fix this is to be a little bit awkward.

When I was 16 my mom VERY SERIOUSLY was like “dainyel, arr ewe havin sexxx” (she has a very thick southern accent) and I was like ‘NOOO’ with a panicked look in my eye. Panicked because I was lying? No. Panicked because my mom was trying to talk to me about sex? Yes. I had no interest in talking to my mom about the fact that I wasn’t swapping boners with people. The whole idea of talking about sexistuff with my mom just made my insides curl up and vomit themselves out.

HOWEVER, If I were me RIGHT NOW or if I were you (you seem comfy talking about this stuff) I would say “NO” with a panicked look in my eye AND THEN LATER be like ‘listen, seriously, i’m not having sex and I know I’m suuuuuper hot and totally should be or whatever, but I’m not and the reason i’m not is because i DON’T WANT TO.’

Chances are this will open up a conversation where your parent(s) actually believe what you’re saying because it isn’t just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, it’s a dialogue. If you explain to your parents why you aren’t interested in sex right now, they’ll feel more comfortable with the idea that you’ll be honest when you ARE interested…. aaaaaand saying things like ‘i know how to be safe and this is where i could tested’ will make them feel a lot better too, prolly.

Kristin Says:

Here’s the thing. You say, “No, I am not having sex,” and your parents hear, “I AM HAVING SEX AND I JUST DON’T WANT TO TELL YOU.” This is the way that parents’ ears work. I don’t even think they can help it.

What I would do is very similar to what Dannielle suggested. I would sit them down to talk about talking about sex. Since you have brought up sex and they have gone totally haywire on you, you can now sit them down and knock their socks off by explaining yourself, your position, and your needs from them as parents. Kids can school parents, you guys. Your parents have never been your parents before, so they need a little help sometimes.

Say, “Listen, parents. I love you and I trust you, and I want to be able to come to you with questions and concerns. However, when I talk about sex you immediately think I am hiding something from you, and that makes me feel like I can’t approach you. I want to figure out a way where you can trust me and know that my questions don’t signal anything apart from me growing up and wanting to get information from the people I trust most.”

Their eyes will probably be real big and they won’t know what to say bc HOLY SH*T they raised a goddamn genius. Then you can say, “Plus when I DO decide to have sex, I am probably not going to be able to call you in the moment with my questions and concerns because that would be totally weird…”

Then hopefully you will all laugh, and they will be able to approach things better in the future. Just be patient with them and remember that you can teach them how to be even better parents by being honest and patient and diligent in your efforts. Huzzah!

How can I be a “good” hookup? Word gets around at school about who’s good and who’s not. -Evan

Dannielle Says: 

The only way to guarantee a good hook up is to ask questions. It seems weird, but like, if from the very beginning you’re asking what the person likes then they just think that’s HOW YOU ARE and they just answer the questions and go along with what you’re doing and they’re like ‘THIS IS AWESOME THIS HUMAN IS DOING ALL THE THINGS I LIKE!!” You basically trick them into having a great time with you.

Ask questions and if you feel weird asking them outright, pay VERY CLOSE ATTENTION. Pay attention to they way a person breathes and moves and kisses and make them do more of all of it.


Kristin Says:

Oh man. Three cheers for giggling all night.

First of all: anyone who is rating the quality of your mouth kissing to their friends ISN’T WORTH YOUR MOUTH KISSING. I know that this is a thing that happens, I know that we have to talk about it and what it means, but like… kissing someone’s mouth is something that you do with THAT someone, and if they are so shallow that they have to report back on the QUALITY of that mouth-kissing… that is stupid and dumb.

Second of all: Since this happens, since people are shallow and insecure and feel the need to report back on things like this and you truly want to know how to be a “good” hookup, I am going to first tell you that you are not the only person who makes a hookup good or bad. The quality of a hookup depends EQUALLY on both (or however many) parties involved in the hookup. So – no matter WHAT – a less than awesome hookup is never just your fault.

My advice on how to make things enjoyable on your side of the line would be to take your time, to be adventurous, and to listen to their feedback (which, as Dannielle aptly pointed out may be in words or in breathing or in movements). The sexiest part of hooking up with someone is in the moments when you are exploring what the other person enjoys. Try new things and do what turns you on… usually if you are turned on you are automatically engaged in the activity and that automatically turns the other person on. To echo Dannielle one last time: CO.MMU.NI.CATE. Ask questions, make jokes, take a moment to breathe. Hookups are not a thing to be rushed, and are not a thing that is meant to be perfect.

To the rest of y’all: stop rating your hookups with other people. The people you are hooking up with have feelings, just like you, and if you didn’t enjoy something… be a big enough person to communicate that in the moment. It will make for a better hookup and it will make you a better person.

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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