This column was originally published in the Feb. 3, 2009 edition of The Daily Californian.
Sex and a college campus is a legendary match that rivals peanut butter and jelly, Harold and Kumar, and the Bush administration and stupidity. Our fresh spring admits out there may be wondering exactly how sex occurs on the UC Berkeley campus: Where could a UC Berkeley newbie possibly fit sex in with all the classes and clubs they are supposed to join? CalSO doesn’t offer a workshop on “Sex: How, When, Where and with Whom?” although such a workshop would be much more beneficial than “Finding Your Classes on the First Day!” (hint: a map).
In all seriousness, though, I’m sure our incoming spring admits are not completely clueless when it comes to sex. Nevertheless, no matter how extensive your sack experience has been (or lack thereof), sex in college is a slightly different ballpark from sex at home — especially your first year away. Which brings me to my first topic as your new sex columnist: residence hall hookups.
Most of your sex freshman year will probably take place in the residence halls unless you are smart and start dating an upperclassman with an apartment. The residence halls, as you will soon discover, are simmering cesspools of teens living on top of one another, complete with clogged bathrooms, unwashed sheets and the lingering smell of weed. Such an environment makes for prime seduction — no joke, I found my first two serious boyfriends in campus housing. When you are crammed in with a bunch of people your age, there will always be that smoking hot person you eventually pursue.
I will never forget my first UC Berkeley hookup. The night began where most Saturday nights (inevitably) begin: choking down shots of cheap vodka with hallmates. After an hour or so, we’re a little giddier and a lot hornier. Enter: delicious friend of a hallmate. He’s a tortured artist with a sweet guitar and a deep voice. I’m hooked.
After an evening of sake bombs, dancing and a doughnut run, he asks the imminent question.
“Do you want to find a shower stall somewhere?”
My first thought — am I really this desperate?
My second thought — yes.
I lead him up to the seventh floor (the all-girls floor), thinking that this floor will be quiet. I’m right, and the hookup commences from there — a steamy affair involving some soapy lotions and a loofah. We are thoroughly enjoying ourselves until the door to the bathroom opens, halting us in our sudsy tracks. The mysterious visitor stood silently outside the shower door long enough to completely freak us out, and then suddenly left the bathroom. Needless to say, the mood was killed. A week later, my resident assistant laughed to me about some “drunk couple” she heard having sex in the bathroom while she was doing her rounds. Oops.
Stopped midaction — a frustrating, although typical, end to a residence hall hookup. Privacy in campus housing is certainly an issue, which makes the rules of the residence hall hookup exist on a plane separate from normal reality. Many of you will encounter the awkward “roommate sex” when you awake in the dead of night to suspicious rustling in the bed next to you. Others of you will venture to questionable hookup nooks such as bathrooms, lounges or stairwells. No matter how you achieve your residence hall hookups, I can assure you that they will provide memories for years to come. How could you possibly forget when you snogged/shagged your neighbor/RA/some random chick when you were on your roommate’s bed/the balcony of the lounge — despite the fact that your roommate was there/you just threw up?
All kidding aside, though, some of my best hookups in college occurred when I was in campus housing because the sexual tension was amped up by living on top of the guys I wanted. Residence hall lust is like a slingshot: It will turn you on more and more until finally, you go after whom you want and drag them into the nearest shower stall. If you look out for your RA, you should have no problem making an unforgettable memory. There’s a reason why they say college years are the best years of your life.
Carmel de Amicis was an undergraduate at UC Berkeley and is a former Daily Cal columnist.