What your subject tells you about love

Thank God I don’t do Phys Natsci

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In this season of love, I have set out to ask lonely Cambridge students what their subjects teach them about love.

The task turned out to be quite difficult, because people are either clueless about their subjects or about love. One person literally replied, “I don’t know because I haven’t been to a lecture in over two weeks.” Nonetheless, it seems that the academia has a lot of opinions when it comes to love – too opinionated, in fact, for a bunch of people who see books more than humans.

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“Our anuses evolved the same way as sea urchins.” Anal sex will never be the same again. She added, “But sea urchins have their mouths on their bottom and anuses on the top. Thank goodness we didn’t evolve like that.” Told you all the sex positions are bullshit. Sea urchins did all that before it was cool.

The wrong hole?


I decided to ask my friend Tom about love. He took two days to get back to me and came up with this:

“What does literature tell us about love, the seemingly bottomless inspiration for many a tedious sonnet? Depends on who you ask. For Petrarch, love is a matter of tyranny, the cold and unreciprocating mistress flouting the piercing sexual gaze of her helpless thrall. In Love is a Dog From Hell, Charles Bukowski said that we end up ‘mutilated either by love or no love’, so in that case I’d say don’t bother: you’re screwed either way. Mind you, he was a misogynistic old pisshead, so who knows? Do what you want, see if I care. What was the question again, Olivia?”

I don’t even know anymore, Tom, let’s elope.


It is not difficult to find love in HSPS literature. Marx flirts with the idea of universal prostitution, and Lévi-Strauss thinks marriage is a transaction. Our lecturers are quite vocal too when it comes to love. One lecturer once made the sulky statement, “sex is not the same as marriage, apparently.” I hope things didn’t go too wrong.


My friend Fergus told me this horrific case: a man got into a road accident, and was then rescued by a fire brigade that his dad was a member of. His dad then sued his son for causing him PTSD.

Damn son.

“Get close to someone and you get fucked over by tort.” My other Law friend said before reflecting for a moment and adding, “the tax benefits though.”


“Given the current constraints the conditions are very hard to satisfy, NP-hard at least.” My friend Richie simply threw this answer at me without further explaining. But I guess this is love for you. Good luck with this year’s Valentine’s, Richie.


“We learn about how yeasts mate.”

If they don’t mate there will be no alcohol. Long live yeast.


“Sex is amazing [in literature] which obviously doesn’t reflect real life. And everyone’s buff which also isn’t real.” An MML student complained. He seemed rather bitter about it.


“Economics is a soulless subject,” my friend Sach, who aspires to be a banker, said while complaining that I was distracting him from his “lit lecture on correlation and regression”. Ladies, Sach is obviously a real keeper.


Love basically goes wrong very often in Classics. Luckily we don’t live with the Greeks and Romans anymore. “The men used to go and inspect the bum prints in the sand after the boys had left,” a Classics student said as she told me about pederastic relationships. Apart from that, there are quite a lot of stories about cumming, and how humans are born out of semen. And of course, how can we forget the story of the greatest fuckboy in history, Jason, and his psycho wife Medea. “Jason betrayed Medea to marry someone else, and she murdered his new wife and her father as well as her own children, so that went a little bit wrong.” Her understatement in the end makes me quite worried.

This queen slays quite literally.

In the end, my friend loves observing drama but not being in one herself. There of course has to be some distance between her and the drama. We think 2500 years is quite a good distance.


“Eatin’ ain’t cheatin’, either that or to always use protection.” That’s why philosophers should really be kings.


Our most romantic subject award goes to – Medicine! Despite being surgical in their approach to love, Medics aren’t clinical about human emotions (haha, I am a funny girl). A Medic Colette explained that without love, which she defines as “random chemicals messing around in your brain”, we’re more likely to fall sick. Dammit Medics, now you know that you can all be out of work pretty easily.

I guess it’s true that a cuddle a day keeps the doctor away. Either that, or read more about Lévi-Strauss and sea urchins.