Family, Sex

The 3 Types Of Holiday Hookups, Defined

mistletoe sign

Holiday hookups may be all the rage this season — you know, right alongside temporary boyfriends and desperate attempts to hang out under the mistletoe. Temporary Holiday Boyfriends: WTF?

But before you take the plunge into Christmas sex, you might want to take some time to study the rules of such encounters. A new study, published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, explored the various types of casual relationships among young people (ages 18 to 27) and their "codes of conduct," so to speak.

It starts, says researcher Jocelyn Wentland, by knowing exactly how to classify your relationship. "Casual sex" is a blanket term; instead, choose a more specific description, like "booty call," "friends with benefits" or "one-night stand." If you're having trouble ironing down exactly how to describe your hookup, here's some help from the participants in the study.

"Booty calls" are requested late at night. The caller is usually intoxicated or otherwise impaired. The "call" is actually sent by text (at least most of the time). And, if there's no response, there's no immediate feeling of rejection or sadness. 3 Ways To Avoid Being A Booty Call

These may be kind of "duh" descriptions, but the participants added some extra details that even we found surprising. For example, a "booty call" isn't normally a Facebook friend. Rather, the social media buddy that you sometimes hook up with is classified as a "friend with benefits." There is a level of respect in a FWB relationship that doesn't exist with a booty call.6 Evolutionary Reasons for the Rise of Friends With Benefits

"One-night stands" may include a sleepover — but there is no guarantee of coffee (or even conversation) the next morning. These encounters could, however, develop into another category; perhaps the aforementioned "friends with benefits" or, possibly, a true relationship?

If it all seems like a game, that's because it kind of is — a game where emotions can get absolutely wrecked if any of these lines are blurred. All it takes is for one player to develop feelings for the other, and the whole balance completely crumbles (sounds like a good romantic comedy plot, right? Oh wait, it's been done). So while this study may be telling us what we already know, it's nice to have a reminder about the "rules" of these relationships before plunging into potential holiday hookups.

What's your holiday hookup style? Do you follow the rules of the hookup "game"?