Behind Closed Doors: Love thy neighbor

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August 21, 2009

12:26 PM

Welcome to Williamsburg, freshmen. I’m your friendly neighborhood sex columnist. My column, Behind Closed Doors, appears in The Flat Hat once a week. Its chief purpose: to keep the sexual morale of the College of William and Mary firmly erect.

Hopefully, you have all settled into your dorms easily. If some of my favorite websites are any indication, many of you have begun looking for special friends. After all, when young, sexy coeds are living together, how could hook-ups not result? A guy and a girl, two girls, two boys, three girls, two guys and a girl — I’ve watched all of these scenes play out on the internet over and over again.

Encounters between dormmates are affectionately — and not so affectionately — referred to as “dormcest.” Urbandictionary.com has a charming and insightful definition: “Common among freshmen, who excited by their newfound freedom have sex with the nearest person they can get their booze-soaked hands on. It’s all well and good until October rolls around and you hate each other but still see each other everyday.”

Not all of you will participate in dormcest, but it is an experience that will beckon to most. Those inclined to get down with the same sex are the most likely to follow the yellow brick road to Dormcest City. The people in your dorm are often the first people you get to know, and they will stick with you throughout your time at the College. In this way, freshmen hallmates are like herpes– once you have them, you will never get rid of them.

Getting to know the people in your building is nearly inevitable — and I mean that with all the Biblical implications of the word “know.” There are a huge amount of lures to dormcest. You may run into the sexy guy from down the hall after his hot, steamy shower, while his chest is exposed and a drop of water trickles effortlessly down his six pack towards his, erm, towel. He is likely to be in your group of friends, so you will interact with him often. And late at night, his room is as close as the vending machine.

After a midnight snack, the walk of shame is softened by the fact that you never have to leave the building. He will always be there after you go out, should you have failed to find a mate at the frat party you were attending. And you may feel comfortable with him in a way that you don’t with other men because you’ve known him the longest.

But dormcest has its perils, too. As Urbandictionary.com states, things may go awry and you will have to face your hook-up over and over again for the rest of the year. Every time you see her at the water fountain, you will be forced to think of the passionate, yet fumbling, grope you shared in the stairway after Convocation.

Worse, still, are the downsides if you go on to have a relationship with a hallmate. Confining yourself to your dorm may leave you without a steady friend group when the relationship is over and your former mate claims everyone in the building. Basically, do not put all of your eggs into one hall basket.

So what’s the final verdict on dormcest? My opinion is to go for it. Plan for the worst and do it anyway. You only get one freshman hall and one freshman year, and sweet, sweet love — or sweaty handholding — is worth a little awkwardness.

At the same time, don’t let your in-building adventures stop you from searching for mates elsewhere. Go forth on campus in search of booty.

The more people you meet, the better. Your probability of finding a bed buddy increases as your sample size increases. Also, should you accidentally fall prey to dormcest with an unsavory partner, you’ll have someone else’s arms to run to across campus.

Now get out there, freshmen. Or, stay in your dorm. Whatever you do, be safe and get your groove on; you’re in the big leagues now.

__Maya Horowitz is the Flat Hat sex columnist. She maintains a very close relationship with many of her freshman dorm-mates even though she has moved on to bigger and better dorms.__

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