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EP26 How to be an Ethical Hookup (11 Ways)

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I've always considered myself to be an ethical hookup. Until I came across this list that sex educator, therapist, and columnist Yana Tallon-Hicks posted on her Instagram. After looking at the 11 ways of being a more ethical hookup, I realized I had a bit of work to do. But let's be honest, we all do.

So I drove to western Massachusetts to sit with Yana and go over this ethical hookup list. You'll learn how to share your STI status, how to consider others' feelings, how to respect your and your partner's boundaries, and more. Don't miss this one, this is the sex ed we should have gotten in school. 

EP26 Ethical Hookup

Here's the ethical hookup list that teenagers aged 16-19 came up with during their summer camp Sex Talk.  

Ethical Hookup

The Ethical Hookup Key Takeaways (or what we talk about in the show)

  • 1
    How to bring up your STI status and a sexual health script
  • 2
    Know and be clear about your intentions ie. If you're a one-night stand person - say it. 
  • 3
    How to respect your own boundaries and your partners boundaries
  • 4
    How to seek ongoing consent in a hot sexy way

The Ethical Hookup Show Notes and Resources

Yana Tallon-Hicks is a couples & relationships therapist and a consent, sex & sexuality writer and educator living in Western Massachusetts. Her work centers around the belief that pleasure-positive & consent-based sex education can positively impact our lives and the world.

Find her on her website and on Instagram.

Find all the great Oh Joy Sex Toy comics and toy reviews on the web here

Check out here  Ted Talk: Is the Porn Brain our new Sex Educator?


This show has been produced by Shaun Galanos with help from Gilford Street Studios. 

The Ethical Hookup Transcript

Yana Tallon-Hicks: My name is Yana Tallon-Hicks. I use she/her pronouns. I'm a sex educator, sex columnist and therapist. We are going to talk about how to be an ethical hookup and we're also probably going to talk about a lot of offshoots.

Shaun Galanos: Let's get into how to be an ethical hookup and why it's important to be an ethical hookup. Shall we go down the list?


Yana Tallon-Hicks: This list was actually made by a group of teenagers 16 to 19 years old at a summer camp that I used to go to, and this summer camp is one of those sort of colty sort of camps in a way where you go there as a teenager, which I did; then you end up working on staff; which I did; and now I just go back every couple of years and I do their sex talk. I just actually did it yesterday.

So this was part of our pre-camp planning session. So what you do is you go with some of the campers that are in staff sort of positions. They're called spirits. They’re like youth leaders. It's very darling. So the spirits and the other staff members and I came up with this list.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Yeah, all of it. So I think that young people actually are the best people to be telling us about what makes an ethical hookup. I think they know, maybe more than we do. I think having adult guidance when making these lists is always a good idea, but this content was really from them.

Shaun Galanos: Why is it important to be an ethical hookup?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I mean, I think it's important because, first of all, we fuck it up all the time. Second of all, hooking up should be fun and positive and there are too many avenues for it to be negative and shitty, as we know. And also, being ethical as a human being is something we should be striving for. I don't think it's anything that we ever hit. I look at this list and I'm like, “Oh, have I done all of these 11 points every single time I hook up with somebody? No.”

Shaun Galanos: Definitely not. I mean, I don’t know that you don't, but I definitely don't. I think I’m pretty ethical but I have work to do.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Okay. Same.

Shaun Galanos: Okay, great.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: But I'm more ethical than you, probably.

Shaun Galanos: Definitely. There's no doubt about that. Why though?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Probably because of our social position in the world.

Shaun Galanos: What is your social position?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: I’m a woman and you’re man.

Shaun Galanos: Right. That’s true. And how does that make me less ethical?

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Because you have been raised with a certain set of power standards that probably let you breach ethics more often without you thinking about it.

Shaun Galanos: So I had a recent conversation with someone that said that men and boys are conditioned to push boundaries until we reach…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Your goal.

Shaun Galanos: Well, until we reach our, yes, the goal or some significant pushback.

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Mmm.

Shaun Galanos: Because people don't do what is in this list. They don't talk about their intentions and their boundaries. We're getting better, but historically men have been taught to just…

Yana Tallon-Hicks: Achieve.

Shaun Galanos: To do whatever you can to get that thing.


Click below to read the full transcript. 

Read The Full Ethical Hookup Transcript here.

If you liked this episode, you'll love this one:

EP21 How To Be Great at Eating Pussy (5 Ways!)
Want to be great at eating pussy? April and Amy from The Shameless Sex Podcast interview me about my five steps to being great at eating pussy.
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Shaun Galanos

Shaun Galanos is The Love Drive. He believes that talking about sex and love isn't always easy, but it doesn't have to be awkward. He lives in Montreal.