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Hook up Etiquette: The dos and don’ts of one-night stands

Hook-up culture, whether we acknowledge it or not, is prevalent. People are having casual sex all the time, yet there seems to be a lack of common understanding on the rules of engagement. With the help of a group of 30 somethings, we established a few universal dos and don’ts.



If you are Kenyan, you will know the term the hook up term “chips funga” well. For our other African siblings, let me elaborate on the term. “Chips funga” loosely means “chips takeaway”, and it refers to a person you “took away” or “took home”, often from an event or night club. When the term is gender specific to refer to men, the very on-the-nose term used is “sausage funga”.

For now we will use the gender-neutral “chips funga”, in which the person taking away is the “chipser” and the person being taken away is the “chipsee”. This is often defined by whose house you end up at.

Here are some of the issues you will encounter in casual hookups and how you could navigate around them.

Theirs or yours?


It’s been a great night, you’ve found the person you want to take home – but whose house do you go to? Assuming both of you can have company over, this consideration boils down to comfort and convenience.

If you want to be in a safe zone, where you can call on your neighbours if things turn sour, your place would be the best option. It comes with comfort, safety and you won’t have to do the ‘walk of shame’ when it’s over. However, you get stuck with the tricky and awkward task of navigating the other person’s peculiar habits and getting them to leave.

We are going home

Okay, so you’ve decided whose house will be used for the do, but how do you get there and who pays? If one of you is driving, this point is moot but if you need to take a cab or public transport, then who pays?

The consensus reached by our group was that the person whose house is being used should pay for the trip there, because the other person will have to pay for their trip home. This makes it an even split if you are about equal opportunity pairings. If you are more old school and expect the man to pay, even in casual encounters, then aim for your house so you won’t have to worry about getting home. If not, have a plan in place because not every man will pay for your transport home.


Remember, consensual sex benefits both people and therefore no one owes you anything for partaking in it. So don’t be the girl pushing for cab money to get home because he ‘owes’ you for ‘giving up the goods’.

PS: You should also use the commute to pick up whatever essentials you need, like condoms, lube, food, drinks, toiletries etc. Preparation is key!

Read: South African Law and Multiple Romantic Partners in a Polyamorous Relationship

Not a sure thing?

Sometimes you’ll have gotten as far as the house only to realise that you were not on the same page or someone changed their mind in transit. Given some time to sober up or see the other person in better lighting could change a sure thing to one of the most awkward situations ever.


For this situation, solutions ranged from blatantly asking the person to leave to creating a fake family that’s on its way home or that you have to go attend to. The only thing that could make it less awkward is if both of you can laugh it off and leave it as a missed opportunity.

A good time for all!

It should go without saying that both parties should try their best in the bedroom and that guests should have access to everything they may need to be comfortable. If you are missing anything basic, like toiletries, do your best to pick them up on the trip home. The more at home and at ease your guest is, the better the sexual encounter is likely to be. If you are ill prepared for company, then don’t push to go back to your place.

Stay for breakfast or home time?

Call it savage but most people don’t want a hookup to turn into a sleepover, let alone breakfast. As the chipsee, try not to linger even if the whole affair lasted half an hour. Unless it is expressly understood that it is an entire night’s activity, you should assume that once it’s done, its home time. Treat it like a job – competently execute your duties, then pick yourself up and go home.


Should it last all night, then also assume (unless offered) that breakfast is a myth. If last night’s offerings are over, they may not have anything else on hand to offer and, quite frankly, not everyone is enough of a morning person to whip something up. These are all things you would not notice if you weren’t already dilly-dallying!

Lastly, a large part of the group felt that trying to get the other person’s number when they don’t seem keen or have not overtly indicated that they would like a repeat scenario is just awkward for everyone.

Have you got anything to add to the list?