When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for two consenting parties to get their mutual rocks off, mankind has resorted time and time again to the perennial spectacle of the “Hook Up” in order to satisfy its carnal needs. From casual make-out sessions to all-out boot knocking, humans have been engaged in the barter of sexual favors pretty much ever since we evolved to develop the capacity for euphemisms, and at an increasingly rapid pace since the invention of alcohol, Cosmo, and the internet. But despite the interminable nature of this miraculous form of erotic consortium, there are some moments in hook up lore that truly stand above and beyond the rest of the fray. These aren’t just your run-of-the-mill regrettable one-night stands, but rather moments of extraordinary courage and fervor, where the libido of two humans changed the course of human history forever.48,000 BC: Caveman and Cavewoman
Historians have concluded that the first hook up in the history of man occurred approximately 20 minutes after Homo sapiens reached full behavioral modernity. The inaugural event, commemorated on cave walls and cave chat rooms everywhere, is rumored to have taken place at the annual Festival of the Woolly Mammoth, when a noticeably intoxicated caveman of the local Sig Ep tribe managed to seduce a female, forget her name at least three different times, and engage in a brief and thoroughly mediocre tryst with her. The next morning, the proud male reportedly never even considered hunting breakfast for her the next morning, and neglected to send smoke signals her way after a three-day waiting period. During their next encounter at a cave party in Lascoux, France, the two cordially greeted each other, but then quickly separated to avoid the shame and awkwardness that was to forever plague the human race. 41 BC: Cleopatra and Mark Antony
The inventor of the “power trip,” Cleopatra was never quite satisfied ruling over one of the greatest civilizations in the world or bearing Julius Caesar’s child. Instead, she cooped up in her love den with Marcus Antonius (the most tantalizing triumvir in all the Roman Empire) in what became one of the most geo-politically significant coitions of all time. Using highly sensitive facial recognition technology, archaeologists have determined that Cleopatra was approximately 56,000 times hotter than a combination between Brooklyn Decker and Pippa Middleton, which goes a long way to explaining why Antony preferred to get his freaky on in Alexandria than return to Rome and his wife Octavia. Pascal once that “Cleopatra’s nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed,” which means that, had Cleopatra been less of a slampiece or Antony less of a gallant philanderer, Octavian might never have risen to power as Augustus, and the world never would have inherited such valuable cultural contributions from the Roman Empire as corrupt politicians, togas, and lax sexual mores. 1591 AD: Romeo and Juliet
In a now classic move, two adolescents met each other for the first time at a lame party and fell instantly, nay noxiously, in love with the first person to ever requite their affection. This hook up practically wrote the template for horny teenagers using make-out sessions to rebel against their family, and imbued western society with a healthy dose of suspicion towards drug-dealing Friars that hang out with 15 year old girls. That, combined with the fact that any male who can recite the balcony scene is instantly guaranteed to get some at any time he so desires, makes Romeo and Juliet’s horrifically saccharine relationship qualify for a position amongst the masters of the art of the hook up. 1788 AD: Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
Jefferson’s 38-year relationship with his slave Hemings that produced 6 children born into slavery was not just one of numerous blights on American Presidential history and convoluted racial past, but also a testament to three of the most important aspects of most hook ups: lying, hypocrisy, and shame. It took major cojones to write that all men are created equal and born with unalienable rights, and then to turn around and use those cojones to knock up a slave. Like most other men, Jefferson never divulged the truth about his affair, and the shame of his duplicity still hangs over the nation even worse than the memory of that one time with those two theater majors and a bottle of rum. 1928 AD: Harry Blackmun and Tiffani Brooking
During Justice Blackmun’s junior year at Harvard, the Lambda Chi brother experienced a regrettable one-night stand with his Con Law study partner. The episode turned far more distressing, however, during the ensuing pregnancy scare. It is said that the tense period when Blackmun wondered if he would become a father at the age of 20 greatly affected the future Supreme Court Justice, eventually playing the deciding role in his authoring of the Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. The American hook up scene would be a much different world without Blackmun’s passionate advocacy of abortion rights, earning this jowly Minnesotan the distinction of having partaken in one of the most important hook ups in all hook up history.