Minus the City: Great Sexpectations

Dear Class of 2021,

Welcome to Colgate! Enjoy your time here, and make it count. First and foremost, I’d like to say that the Shaw Wellness Institute has a supply of free condoms and lube, and you should take advantage of it. Sorry, there aren’t many easy segueways to talking about sex. Also, emphasis on picking up the free lube: it helps prevent irritation and UTIs.

While I believe in the importance of protection and preparation, I didn’t bring it up so you could run down to 113 Broad Street (the location of the Wellness Institute) every other day. See, no one talks to you about hookup culture going into college. Parents, teachers, friends, friends’ parents, great-aunts, acquaintances and random people you meet on the street love to offer advice and opinions, welcome or otherwise, on the topic of college. It is unlikely that sex, casual or romantic, is ever brought up. 

Luckily for you, and I hope you can read my sarcasm here, there is a whole genre of less-than-mediocre college party movies to teach us about college hookup culture. These wannabe Animal House movies adhere to a very strict ideal of the American university. In these movies, life revolves around constant frat parties, where girls dance on tables, guys compete to see who can drink the most beer and everybody is always having fun. Oh, and a ton of sex. Sex all day, every day. Sex in the dorm. Sex in the bathroom. Sex in the car. Sex in the lab. Sex with someone different every night. According to these movies, the life of every college student, specifically male college students, is dominated by the pursuit of and the partaking in sexual acts, and wild parties are the means to this end. 

These movies do a good job of grasping the casual ridiculousness that college life can be, but their portrayal of college hookup culture is locked in a painfully inaccurate, male-biased tunnel vision. Yes, people party, and yes, sometimes people hookup at or after said parties. Colgate is not the setting of the next American Pie sequel, though. It’s real people living real lives, and real life does not revolve around sex. And sex does not have to revolve around partying.

As you adjust to campus life, I encourage you to disassociate yourself from the protagonist of these movies. Your character arc is not rooted in pursuing sex. There is no pressure to partake in this Hollywood-designed hookup culture, so move at your own pace. No one is keeping score, because it’s not a game. 


Your Local Carrie Bradshaw Wannabe

Contact Kate Hinsche at [email protected]