My Thanksgiving break was marred by a harrowing look into our collective sexual future. All of what I’m about to say may be obvious, but I think it bears repeating because most of us forget to think about it.
College is the sexual jackpot. Granted, the College of William and Mary may not be the orgiastic sexual Valhalla that some of us would like it to be, but we’ve still got things pretty good. With around 5,000 undergraduates, the vast majority of whom are unmarried, finding a coital partner should be as easy as pie (apple pie that’s warm and gooey inside).
Now, maybe it hasn’t been so easy for you so far. But let’s just take a step back and think about this for a second. The sexual environment on the College’s campus is unlike anywhere else. There are thousands of us, independent for the first time in our lives, stuck together in the middle of colonial-nowhere with very little responsibility and a lot of free time. All of our bodies are young, hot, supple, panting, panting, panting, searching, waiting, expecting, seeking release …
Ahem, I may have digressed. The point is that there are a lot of good-looking people (it’s easy to be beautiful when you’re young and healthy) living in close quarters. The chances of you living in a sexual environment as fertile as this one ever again are very slim. When we graduate, the balloon bursts (and not in a sexy, cherry-popping sort of way).
If you attend graduate school, you may be surrounded by a large number of individuals again, but many of them will be older or married. Those who are not will still probably have their own thing going on. Chances are, you won’t be attending loose sexual dance parties themed “bros and hos” when you’re 25.
As a working professional, you can’t expect your colleagues to be young, single or ready-to-mingle. You may meet singles at bars, but you’re entering at your own risk. You have no way of knowing anything about the random hottie you approach. At least here, when you’re at the delis, you can expect the chick you’re approaching to be a little nerdy, very smart and touchy about the whole “applying to UVA” thing.
What it comes down to is that the real world is scary. As in, scary because there aren’t enough opportunities for safe fucking.
The beacon of hope for our generation is online dating. Services such as match.com and eHarmony are becoming more and more popular. Most of you probably scoff at the idea of using one of these services, but the stigma of needing help in the dating scene is being sloughed off in favor of a modern approach to seeking a mate. Many of my older friends and family have used these services successfully.
But, here’s the catch: Online dating is vicious. You may be matched on 1,500 levels of compatibility, but the first thing prospective daters do is check out all of your pictures. Even with Myspace angles, sepia tinting and sixty different shots of your gorgeous face, a dater may find one picture they don’t like and fixate on it. Or they might check out what you’ve written about yourself and decide that you don’t seem that great.
When you meet someone in person, you get the benefit of the doubt. Your personality and charm may win them over, even if they’re not used to dating girls who are taller than 5’6’’. Online dating essentially allows people to filter out potential mates for idiotic reasons. Sure, I’d love to date a man with a body that looks like it’s cut from marble, but in real life I’m going to give the guy with a few extra pounds a chance. Whereas on match.com, I’d probably click away and never look back.
Here’s an example: What if you are a mustached divorcee who is a former smoker with six kids. Gross, right? I would never go out with a man of that description. But if I met Brad Pitt in person, I’d probably rip my clothes off and tell him to park his pink rocket ship in my garage of love immediately.
The lesson of today’s sermon is: Enjoy the college life while you can. I have looked into the crystal ball that is my older cousins’ and siblings’ dating lives, and the future ain’t pretty. Or, at least, it didn’t seem pretty from its eHarmony profile pictures.
__Maya Horowitz is The Flat Hat sex columnist. She always remembers to eat light and leave room for sexy time during the holiday season.__