What’s your gender? Woman
How old are you? 27
What’s your race/ethnicity? Southeast Asian
What continent do you live on? Australia
Highest education received: Post-graduate degree (eg., MA, MS, PhD, JD, MD)
What’s your current relationship status? In a serious relationship (open)
Religious affiliation: Atheist
How religious are you? A little
What’s your sexual orientation? Unsure / Questioning
Any other term(s) that describe your sexuality or sexual identity? Sexually repressed from Muslim upbringing which has led to a sexually curious identity
How many sexual partners have you had in your life (including oral sex)? 3
How many hookup stories have you here posted before? 0

Boundary issues

How long ago did this hookup happen? Three years ago

What was your relationship status at the time? Single

How would you best classify this hookup? Friends-with-benefits

How long did you know the person before this hookup? For 1 to 3 years

Tell us about your PARTNER(S). What did they look like? How well did you know them, had you hooked up before? How/Where did you meet them? How did you feel about them before the hookup? Perhaps the most thoughtful man I’ve been with. Indian background with an urban Australian elocution. Pensive demeanour, mysterious and expressive eyebrows. Delicately framed eyes, broad shouldered and a pleasant musk. He was always curious about my Muslim background- I guess that sort of sexually repressive aesthetic gave him lots of playful fantasies to muse over.
I met him while pursuing my postgraduate degree. He had an irreverent charm and had moved to my city, living a free and well experienced life. I was at the time questioning my religious identity and was shamed into maintaining a relationship that should have ended way before. My family were being over zealous about getting me married, and I didn’t feel ready for anything.
He became a close friend who would tease my imagination with his candid stories about his casual hook ups and not being “interested” in anything serious. He never did take anything seriously. Not even our friendship.
One time he tore a hole in our friendship which set off an explosive path of self revelations in my life; I burned down my expectations of my family with my ex and religion and started another year of school with a dizzying sense of clarity.
I was climbing peaks, and he was barely making it to classes after unsuccessfully juggling a casual relationship. At a mutual friend’s birthday dinner, he cornered me and in a blaze of alcoholically lubricated unburdening of feelings, expressed severe regret over his actions that led to the downfall of our friendship.
I felt moved by his words, and bad for his situation, so invited him out for dinner so we could be friends again. This was the first time we hung out together outside of school in two years. After dinner, I showed him the house my family was building and excitedly chattered about the happenings in my life, noticing he always listened so intently. As we headed to my car, he grabbed my hand, wheeled me around and pulled me into a meaningful hug. At first, I was stunned. I vaguely flashed back to a time the year before when I drove to his place in a maddening, breathless sense of determination to see him in the dark wintery hours of the night. He came out to my car and gave me company, and I wrestled with my inner urge to just kiss him squarely then and there that night.
I had a boyfriend at the time whom I was contemplating leaving. To have kissed him then would have been unjust to all parties involved.
I felt that pang of intense feeling and unease creep back, but shushed it away. This time, I had only wanted to be his friend and I knew his behaviour was in response to me reaching out to him- as a friend.
We continued to hang out at school, but understood we had a closer friendship after that day, punctuating our meetings with hugs, leaning on each other or friendly gestures.

How/where did the hookup BEGIN? What led to it? Was planning involved? Who instigated it? We weren’t supposed to hook up. In our heads, we knew if we ever walked down this road it would be a painstaking situation to extricate ourselves from. We were friends. We were classmates. We were from very different religious backgrounds.
And yet…
The lead up to what eventuated that night I think has largely got to be handed to my irrational, incorrigible ex. I was finalising a draft write-up a research paper and needed my classmate to co-sign the paper for submission. Afterwards I was heading to a friend’s dinner. Of course, he wasn’t at school that day so I called him up to meet me at the library as he lived on campus and he showed up with his nonchalant attitude, smile and hoodie to sign off on the paper and be done with his part.
As we exited the building, he mentioned to me unthinkingly: “Oh, your ex messaged me. He said he was in the area and I think he wanted to hang out.”
I mentioned earlier that I had dumped my ex, but to clarify- I left him quite suddenly and brutally after I realised the level of manipulation involved to keep me in the relationship. Leaving him was like ripping off a band-aid- I had to commit, anticipate the pain, then move forward with healing. It left him with very little room for expectation and so his desperation in seeking me out, I’ll admit was normal. It was the timing which wasn’t normal (two months after it officially ended, four months after I stopped speaking to him). The Stockholm Symptoms started to resurface and I clinged onto his arm, knowing that my ex knows exactly where my car was parked around campus- and was probably waiting for me to show up.
“Hey, do you mind if we go to yours and wait for a bit? I want him to be out of the area before I have to go and need to wait until my dinner starts.” He didn’t mind as he had no plans that night, so escorted me to his sharehouse.
I had nothing on my mind but the need to get away from being spotted by my ex, so we sat on the sofa and watched the Regular Show absent mindedly. I leaned on his shoulder and he had his lips buried in my hair. Some more time passed before his housemate arrived and spied us in his living room. I thought we were interrupting a shared space so asked him if we could go to his room instead. He enthusiastically led me upstairs to his room and shut the door.
I didn’t realise that I had unknowingly sent him a signal that I was game on. So I suppose I indirectly “instigated” it.

What happened DURING the hookup? What sexual behaviors took place (e.g., oral, vaginal, anal, kinky stuff)? How did you feel during it? How did they behave toward you? Were they a good lover? What did you talk about? How did it end? The situation quickly escalated. I was on his bed in his dimly lit room and he put on a playlist I knew he had curated specifically for these types of hook ups.
We sat on the bed, his lips again in my hair raining soft kisses. I could feel my breathing become heavier and slow. The pangs from before reached a breaking point, and as he was about to place another kiss on my head, I turned up my head to meet his lips with my own.
A silent supernova erupted in that room.
We kissed deeply into the void of our pent up sexual tension. We kissed hard against the rules that had kept us apart for so long. We didn’t talk because words were only another boundary that had to be overcome by our two year abstinence. His skin felt so warm and his fingers grasped my head into fistfuls of hair. We started undressing each other before I felt my upbringing nipping at my heels. I pushed him back as he went for my bra. “No.”
I meant it. He tried to swat my hands down, but I firmly said, “no” again. The third time, he did overcome me and I did later explain I felt assaulted, but on reflection I know that I knew I wanted it, but it was the residual confrontation of my upbringing which was digging its heels in at the time.
He pulled it off, marvelled at me, perhaps mentally compared it to his expectations before pressing me onto the bed.
Feeling invigorated, brave and competitive, I started to take charge. I didn’t want him to walk away from this with satisfying mental snaps and me with nothing. I stripped him from his clothing and went down on him eagerly. He later told me that the takeover caught him completely off guard and drove him mad with the desire to take me completely for his own.
He was goal oriented but thoughtful, considered how turned on I was and teased my body into a quivering heap, buckling under his shoulders. I didn’t let him sleep with me that night because I feared I would regret it the next day-knowing how morally confused I was at the time.
He understood this time and accepted my “no”.
“Hey…so…we’re just casual, right?” he asked tentatively. I nodded and smiled, wondering where this new sense of assuredness was coming from.
I drove back home and reflected over every insatiable moment that weekend, too afraid to message or talk to him over those two days.
During class on Monday, after enough to-ing and fro-ing in my head, I asked him in a low, earnest tone: “What are you doing after class today?”
He paused, then realising exactly what the nuance was behind that question, raised his eyebrows half in disbelief that this was actually happening, half in anticipation and nodded, “keen. I’m keen”

I’ll save the sexual hook up details for myself to savour on.

How sexually satisfying was this hookup? Very

Did you have an orgasm? No, but I was close

Did your partner have an orgasm? Yes, one

What happened AFTER the hookup? How did you feel about it the next day? What are/were your expectations/hopes for the future with this person? How do you feel about them now? The day immediately after our first hook up, we had a mutual friend’s BBQ to attend and he avoided most- if not all contact. I felt like I had lost a friend but immediately reproached him for behaving so immaturely when he himself asked for a casual sexual relationship.
It did culminate in us having a very torrid affair spanning three months which eclipsed all of our other sexual encounters we were simultaneously engaged in at the time.
We’re now in a deeply committed relationship (and open to new possibilities) with each other three years on.

What precautions did you take to prevent STIs and pregnancy? (Check all that apply) None, No penetrative sex happened

What were your motives for this hookup? Fun, pleasure, horniness, Attraction to partner(s), Learning new things, experimenting, Emotional intimacy, closeness, connection, Thought it was an important experience to have

How intoxicated were you? Not at all (no alcohol or drugs)

How intoxicated was your partner? Not at all (no alcohol or drugs)

How wanted was this hookup for you at the time? Very

Did you consent to this hookup at the time? I gave enthusiastic consent

How wanted was this hookup for your partner at the time? Very

Did your partner(s) consent to this hookup? They gave enthusiastic consent

To whom did you talk about the hookup? How did they react? To my best friend at school who was surprised but quietly mulled over it and I believe she was also worried if I was able to handle transitioning from an incredibly prudent sexual background and monogamous relationships to a sexually explosive and polyamorous arrangement.

How would you best summarize people’s reactions about this hookup? Relatively positive

Did you get emotionally hurt as a result of this hookup? Not at all

Did your partner get emotionally hurt as a result of this hookup? Not at all

Do you regret this hookup? Not at all

What was the BEST thing about this hookup? Discovering I am greater than the sum of my experiences and I can govern my choices responsibly.

What was the WORST thing about this hookup? My ex showing up to his house twenty minutes after I had left…

Has this hookup changed the way you think about casual sex, sexuality, or yourself in general? It has changed everything about how I live, practice and engage with life.

All things considered, how POSITIVE was this experience? Very positive

All things considered, how NEGATIVE was this experience? Not at all negative

What are your thoughts on casual sex more generally, the role it has played in your life, and/or its role in society? What would you like to see changed in that regard? Casual sex is an important pathway to learn about what it is you want from your life, and how to transact with someone in a dignifying way about a topic as codified (especially for women) as sex and getting what you want.
It is also incredibly important to help understand consent, especially where it is hard to glean consent from a “in the moment” hookup.

What do you think about the Casual Sex Project? This has been very cathartic to read and write about. I will be closely following.

You have a hookup story to share? Submit it here!