Hookups in high school and college are exciting, and can be your first real meeting with the issues of love and sex, issues that most of us don’t really understand in our teenage years. That’s why it’s important to experiment — but equally important to follow these crucial hookup ground rules:

1. Consent is Important

If you’re just kissing, or going all the way, make sure both participants are comfortable and willing to continue with the interaction. From awkward teenage meetings to adulthood, consent will never not be important, so it’s an important concept to have down.

2. Do Whatever Makes You Comfortable

Sometimes hookups can seem fun and innocent, before they go a step too far. Don’t feel like you’re being pressured into going past your comfort zone — it’s always okay to tell your partner to stop.

3. Try Not to Hurt Anyone

That hot guy you’ve been lusting after? Let’s say he’s your best friend’s crush too. If he makes a move on you at a party, is it really worth hurting your BFF’s feelings just for a fleeting good time? Think long and hard before you make the decision to hook up.

4. Stay Safe

Many acts that people consider “hooking up” carry the risk of infectious diseases being spread from person to person. Even if you didn’t think of it before the hookup, you’ll want to visit a clinic and make sure you’re healthy and clean. Also, never put you in a dangerous situation.

5. Don’t Get Caught

This is aimed more at those teenagers hooking up with each other in their parents’ basements. Trust me, getting walked in by your parents is one of the most awkward things that can occur during a hot and heavy teenage hookup.