SIAN DOLDING offers some advice for the sexual odyssey of student life…
Upon moving into our new home here in Durham I discovered that one of my housemates had already created a “lad chart” in anticipation of the sexual odyssey of third year. It’s pretty extensive, there are train-tracks travelling all the way up our dining-room wall, eventually leading to a “lad heaven”, complete with personalised counters for each of us. She clearly has too much time on her hands. But it did make me think about all the knowledge we, as a house, have amassed from our ridiculous sexual encounters in Durham, and so I decided to compile a list of do’s and don’ts for the coming year.
1. Bedroom Décor. A crucial one; the boudoir really does set the tone. I have a friend who went back to a guy’s room once to find a weird, printed out, thumbnail-size picture of Captain Jack Sparrow adorned with tinsel above his bed. This is not conducive to sexual desire. At the other end of the spectrum you don’t want to go too sparse decoration-wise, my friend once took someone back to their room, which at the time resembled a crack den, and, cringing with horror, realised that she had forgotten to take down a poster from a show he had once starred in. There’s nothing like hearing “Hey, isn’t that me…on your wall?” in flagrante. Mood-lighting is also a deal-breaker, because nobody’s vagina benefits from the fierce glare of a 40 watt desk lamp. Do yourself a favour and invest in an outrageously low wattage bulb, do it now. Also, leaving an open copy of the Kama Sutra on your bedside table is not impressive, just intimidating, especially when used in conjunction with Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” in the background.
2. Living-room blunders. If you’ve decided against the bedroom as it is simply too awful to entertain in, the living room perhaps? No. Your friends are going to walk in and openly high five your conquest/sit down for a chat (I am one of those high-fiving bastards). My friend’s housemates actually stood on the half-landing once and provided a running commentary on the proceedings, a sure-fire way to harsh your one-night stand mellow. The same goes for Castle roof, especially awkward when you leave your campus card at the gate and have to return the next day to a sea of knowing looks.
3. The over-sharer. Do beware of the dreaded kiss and tell; nobody wants to end up on “True Lad”. Take “Harriet” for example, who, whilst innocently perusing the “top lad stories” of the day came across one posted by an actual conquest of hers from the night before. He had audaciously divulged his incredibly agile attempt to pee into her sink from the bed whilst she lay asleep, blissfully unaware. Shit lad. But over-sharing can also strike mid-action so watch out for that chestnut; I have a friend whose conquest blurted out “OH GOD I’M STILL IN LOVE WITH HER” mid-penetration. It was not the footloose and fancy free night she had hoped for, she ended up counselling him for most of the night and even exchanging numbers so that he could get in touch whenever his recent break-up became too much.
4. Vomit. Not that kind of vomit, word vomit. It’s probably best not to say that thing that’s running through your mind in the heat of the moment. My friend once had a moment of crippling self-doubt, froze and went “Wait, I think I’ve forgotten what you look like!” to which he gallantly replied “Well let’s turn on the light and see if you look surprised shall we?”. Terrible. I speak from experience though on the crime of word vomit; last year, upon walking in on a group of my housemates, who were engaging in a ménage-a-trois, I saw absolutely nothing wrong with making some toast and plopping myself down on the edge of the bed for post-Klute chitchat. This is not acceptable behaviour, although it has undeniably brought us all closer.
5. Trophies. No, not the traffic cone type, I’m talking belts, cufflinks, scarves, leavers’ hoodies, devil horns, blackberries, wallets full of cash, keys…you need all these things! And now you get the added benefit of a treasured memory to go with your new possession. I even heard of a Durham student who used to trophy pillow-cases from his conquests the next morning. Clearly this is a time-honoured tradition.
6. Stranger-danger. Yeah, probably don’t pick people up on the street. Sometimes they don’t know English or turn out to be casual drug dealers with a border-line sex addiction, attempting to entice you with a myriad of narcotics to stay in their bedroom forever. Not ideal. Sometimes they may not even be using their real voice, take Johnny from Dublin for instance, who turned out to be plain old Tim from Salisbury, a distinctly disappointing encounter.
7. Parting words. Just as first impressions count so too do your parting words. Unfortunately the combination of quaddys and self-loathing will do funny things to a person’s grasp of the English language. I have a friend whose conquest said his goodbyes with a sombre salute whilst another hapless dolt put her in a mock head-lock and proceeded to jovially tousle her hair. Neither of these are suitable ways to end a night of passion. What’s so wrong with a simple kiss farewell? Or, alternatively why not quote Channel 4 comedy “Fresh Meat”: “There’s a continental breakfast included in the service: grab a ryvita and fuck off”.
But then again, maybe you shouldn’t be taking advice from me; I am in last place on the lad chart after all, having amassed a measly four points. Said points were won for scoring free food from Spags and being a good wing-man, third year has not been kind to me so far.