A hookup is an act that involves sexual intimacy, claimed by many to be a sexually liberating act.
Garcia and others have noted that the "past decade has witnessed an explosion in interest in the topic of hookups, both scientifically and in the popular media.
A hookup culture is one that accepts and encourages casual sex encounters, including one-night stands and other related activity, without necessarily including emotional intimacy, bonding or a committed relationship.
Adolescents and emerging adults engage in hookups for a variety of reasons, which may range from instant physical gratification, to fulfillment of emotional needs, to using it as a means of finding a long-term romantic partner.
Hooking up is engaged in for the instant gratification for sex, pleasure, a feeling of being loved, an emotional feeling of being adhered to, the thought of the potential of the hookup developing into something less casual, and many more reasons.
The term "hooking up", meaning an instance of casual sex, differs from hookup culture.