It’s tough being a college student at a time when traditional dating is virtually antiquated. Dating doesn’t really exist in college. Dating now entails hooking up, hooking up again and then maybe asking your new “friend” if they’d like to get some dinner. Yes, times have changed. And so have the rules about sex. For college students, they are usually as follows:

Paul Wong
Caitlin Nish

1. Have as much as you can …

2. Whenever you can. (This means day or night. In college, skipping a lecture to have sex at 2 p.m. is not only tolerated as appropriate conduct, but actually encouraged.)

3. Wherever you can. (Of course there are always special bragging rights for students who “do it” on the 50-yard line or in the stacks of the Grad. I’ve never actually known anyone who has done this, but guys all over campus are probably thinking right now, “Oh yeah baby, the 50-yard line,” and calling their girlfriends. It’s like having sex while keeping one eye on SportsCenter, a blending of the two favorite male pasttimes.)

Otherwise, there are no rules. Both men and women are congratulated for getting some. But here’s the problem, how do people on this campus meet each other? Aside from the chance meeting in a bar (“Hey, you look pretty cute, and I’m pretty drunk so, wanna go back to my place?”) most couples meet in classes.

I could see how it works. You spy the cute guy in your poetry class from across the room. You smile, then look away. He does the same. This goes on for about two weeks until he starts mouthing things from the across the room, sexy things. Things like, “What page are we on?”

Before you know it, you are sitting in Cava Java after class with ‘Hot Poetry Guy’ (girls love nicknames like this – we’ve got a million of them. For my male readers, if you hear a classmate whisper to her friend something like “oohhh, look at Hot Bio Guy’s sweater,” consider yourself golden and definitely ask her out). Anyway, peer-editing turns into something hotter and you find yourself meeting up at the bar later that night.

You arrive around 11, casually looking around until you spot him. Your best friend struggles to keep up as you drag her across the dance floor (and almost knock over an unsuspecting waitress) in your effort to reach him before he leaves. He spots you, then does the head nod or wink. He wants you, the head nod is a sure sign. You are dressed to impress, nonchalantly making sure he notices how cute you look.

You are watching your alcohol intake so you don’t trip down the stairs on the way to the ladies’ room (where you will stand in line for 15 minutes, reapply your lipstick and then compulsively check that you don’t have toilet paper stuck to your stilettos). He, on the other hand, is acting like the stud that he is, throwing back shots like a champ.

Everything is going perfectly. His wingman is telling stupid jokes to your friend (lucky for you, so you won’t get the beer tears and smeared mascara when she corners you later and shrieks, “You made me go out with you and then ditched me for a guy”). Then he says the magic words, “I think we’re having an after-bar at my house. Do you want to come?” Do not read too much into this question. This ladies, is simply an invitation to his home. It most definitely does not mean what it should.

My advice is to not even bother making the trip. You will have a much better time if you go home, change into your pajamas and eat frosting from the can. He’s been drinking all night, trying to show you how much liquor he can handle. Do you really think he’s going to be able to do anything? Do not be fooled. One of the following might happen:

1. He will say something to the effect of, “Um, this doesn’t usually happen to me. You must not be doing it right.” Right, like it’s our fault.

2. He will courageously attempt to rise to the occasion, fail miserably, then flee the bedroom and throw your clothes into the hallway saying, “Um, I forgot I have to get up early tomorrow. See you in class.”

3. He will make a half-hearted attempt to hook up and then he’ll pass out and/or vomit, maybe even on top of you.

The scenario I have just set forth for you happens every Saturday night to unsuspecting females on every campus across the nation. But don’t get me wrong, some men are studs and can perform under any condition. (If you have one, start shopping for a ring.) So, the next time you think college is a hard place to find a guy, just remember, at least you don’t have to worry about actually getting … well, you know what I mean.

– Caitlin Nish’s column on sex and dating will run every other week. If you have any comments, ideas or strange stories about sex that you want to share, she can be reached at cnish@umich.edu.

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