The brazen casual encounters site that gained notoriety as UChicago Hookups is spreading like the cl— hmm . . . well, it's spreading. After changing its name to eduHookups last week, the site opened registration on Monday to people with Columbia College and Northwestern e-mails; it launches for DePaul and Loyola students at midnight, Yale and Washington University on Friday, and Brown next Monday. Earlier this week it reported having a modest 800 registered members, but as it expands across college networks, the site seems poised to go viral, Facebook-style.
UChicago Hookups started quietly enough in February as a dating and hookup site for people with University of Chicago e-mails, but quickly started gaining media attention: CBS, the RedEye, and England's Daily Mail wrote about it (this AP story tells it best); it got mixed reviews at the Trib. Even Leno had something to say about the site.
Its organizers have given it the tagline "where fun comes to thrive" (in response to the perception of the U of C as a place where "fun comes to die"), but its appeal may be better represented by a recent posting: "Sex, and . . . well, no, that's it actually." While there are options for people looking for casual, serious, or platonic relationships, there are about ten times more postings in the casuals section than the other two combined.
Posts are ridiculous ("looking for 3 Asian chicks, a plunger, and a box of glazed doughnut holes"), assertive ("Are You Better Than My Boyfriend?"), defensive ("I'm Not a Ho"), earnest ("Nice Guy Looking for a Potential Serious Relationship"), and funny ("Be my Doctor, I'll be your companion. And we can go to Gallifrey"—that's a Doctor Who reference, ladies and germs). The site also offers safe sex and safe messaging tips, and messaging is always anonymous—if you like what you read, you can direct message someone to arrange to meet. No word yet on how often someone who posts an ad actually gets laid.