He studied literature in London. She’s getting her Ph.D. in history. He’s writing a philosophy dissertation on Immanuel Kant. She’s a genius at the econ homework you just can’t get. And despite being a just a few years older, your graduate student instructor is in a position of power. Which, despite the obstacles it presents, is also kinda hot.

The attractive GSI is an enigma. He marks you late to discussion, she grades your papers and writes assignments on the blackboard just like your third-grade teacher – but the GSI is also well within your dating range. Unlike the aspiration of sleeping with a professor (which usually comes with complications like a 20-plus-year age gap and perhaps a spouse that also works in the department), the GSI rendezvous is a far more attainable, practical endeavor. The only real challenge is breaking down that barrier of authority and cracking the feigned wall of professionalism the responsible GSI likes to exude. Here are some tricks of the trade for getting beyond the blue book, and snagging that sexy academic before the semester is over:

1. Office hours are a must. Tucked away in the intimate cubbyholes of eighth floor Haven Hall, you and your GSI are innocently forced into close contact. Hovering together over a possible paper topic can lend itself to more than just a good thesis statement. Also take note of any posters or books in the office that may give you a good conversation starter (i.e. “You like ‘On Walden Pond’/the Beatles/’The Godfather’ too? That is my absolute favorite book/band/movie of all time,” etc.)

2. However, if your GSI is the kind to keep his door ajar, the possibility of faculty intrusion can severely hurt your game. For this reason, out-of-the-office office hours are the best way to go. Inside a campus coffee shop, you’re both just 20-somethings having a scone together. Even better, meeting at a midday bar like Ashley’s can offer the perks of slight inebriation.

3. The “after-class linger” can also be an effective tactic, and is quite easy to create the pretense of “not understanding the material.” This lingering can often progress into a side-by-side hallway walk, or even into a sunny Diag stroll. A recurring theme here: get out of academic buildings.

4. Surprisingly, e-mail contact can be a good way to break the ice with your GSI of choice. Gradually de-formalize the greeting and signature of your e-mail, eventually signing your name with only your first initial and using openers like “hey you.” Throwing in a joke about dumb students in the class can also aid the cutesy e-mail banter.

5. If your GSI is the kind to attend lecture, sit strategically. In smaller classrooms with awkwardly close desks, the inevitable shoulder-brush or foot-tap might open the floor for a sheepish “Oh, I’m sorry” followed by a warm, if-only-you-weren’t-my-GSI smile.

6. If your GSI is the accessible, I’m-cool-enough-to-give-students-my-phone-number type, that number is a golden opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. If you’re feeling particularly courageous on a Friday or Saturday night, accidentally drunk-dial your GSI. The conversation should go something like this: “Oh my gosh, this is Danny from History 319? I’m so embarrassed. I meant to call my friend David – he is right next to you in my phone.” This is a risky move, one that could prove insanely awkward come Monday morning. But if you’ve been following suggestions one through five throughout the semester, your GSI may just take your after-hours phone call as an opportunity to … go over the intricacies of your latest exam at her apartment.

7. But perhaps the best opportunity to go from square one to homerun with your GSI is the unplanned bar run-in. Lurk around Ashley’s or one of those Main Street bars. If this gift from the get-with-your-GSI-gods presents itself, there is one commandment you absolutely must obey: Do not, under any circumstances, bring up class. This is not a chance to get a sneak peak at your midterm grade. Do not bring up the fluorescently lit classroom while in the musky haze of the bar. This is your chance to go in for the kill.

It’s almost Thanksgiving break, so if you haven’t already begun cozying up to your GSI of choice, now’s the time to buckle down and study the techniques that have worked for lusty undergrads since the start of the “discussion era.”

A Sinful Suggested Booklist

Getting off without getting the pages sticky

Mmm, a pint of Boddington’s at Conor’s, followed by heavy debate on postmodernism and heavy petting. OK – maybe not. Sometimes actually pursuing the GSI that’s the fire of your loins isn’t the best idea, especially with the University’s policy strictly discouraging instructor/student fraternization. And there are certainly other lusty taboos that are best left in the mind or on the page. But vicariously enacting your sexual fantasies through literature, even the most perverse or depraved, shouldn’t be a problem.

“Delta Venus,” Anais Nin

“Lolita,” Vladimir Nabokov

“Naked Lunch,” William S. Burroughs

“Lady Chatterly’s Lover,” D.H. Lawrence

“The Unbearable Lightness of Being” (not centered on sex, but top-notch sex scenes), Milan Kundera

“Justine,” Marquis de Sade

“American Psycho,” Bret Easton Ellis

“Ulysses,” James Joyce

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