The 10 horrible hook-ups you’ll have at Durham Uni

The trials and tribulations of a sexually liberated second year: a personal guide to DU’s shoddiest shags


An iconic motto that may resound with both the freaky fresh and or sexually-seasoned finalist comes from Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones: “I’m a try-sexual, I’ll try anything once”.

Having generously applied this motto, I can safely claim the authority to compile a simultaneously relatable and horrific list of encounters which will hopefully guide you through the troubled waters of Durham’s dating pool.

1. The single bedder

Arguably the least offensive on the list, the single bedder is typically either a silly fresh or a miserable older year who pulled the short end of the stick. Unless you intend to do the devil with two backs entirely vertically this drunken shag will likely leave you with battle scars from awkwardly rolling off one too many times and being 2D flattened against the wall until morning. But, in the words of Texas-born legend Kelly Clarkson, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

2. The keen fresh

As an official shark, I’ve had my fair share of first years, however beware of the keen fresh! Though seemingly harmless, one night of mediocre-at-best passion from someone who still qualifies as a teenager can lead to weeks of dead chat and Snapchat stalking your nights out. My advice to current sharks: don’t make your Harry Potter uni experience into JAWS.


Credit to Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures

3. The sport spectator

Possibly one of the most on-brand on experiences I have had in my two years at Durham has been waking up (tits out) to my one-night stand and his flatmates intently watching a cricket game next to the bed… Now I like a spot of live sports as much as the next man, but enough to ignore a fully naked woman in your bed in favour of an impromptu lads gathering? I think not.

4.  The timetable twin

Every once in a blue moon, the stars align and the statistical impossibility of seeing this former fuck EVERY SINGLE DAY of your week will become your inescapable reality. The first few encounters may elicit the odd awkward smile or perhaps the more professional brisk nod, but by the end of term you’ll probably be eligible for your own secret handshake. Graphic sex flashbacks, whether they’re 50-Shades-worthy or more Apocalypse-Now-worthy, are the last thing you need when speed walking to your three-hour practical.

5.  The PHD (Patronising Huge Dickhead)

If your favourite Pretty Little Liars character was Aria Montgomery, this one’s for you. The concept of shagging a more mature student, bonus points if he’s your academic supervisor, is one that’s best kept in the imagination. Though the sex may be mind-blowing, the ick of being mansplained through their diss as pillow talk slightly ruins it. Sexting this Patronising Huge Dickhead is more akin to WhatsApp texting your distant uncle, with the highly millennial use of laughing emoji being the final nail in the coffin.

Credit to Freeform / Courtesy Everett Collection

6. The flatcest fuckboy

Infamous among tight-knit colleges or student houses, the flatcest fuckboy seems to operate on a one-mile radius shag rule. Throughout first year, one by one, the entire female population of your college friendship group will make a confession to submitting to his charms in their darkest hour – and perhaps catching something that even 50 Hail Mary’s can’t fix.

For second years and beyond, you often find yourself straddled (literally) with this one after you’ve convinced yourself against going out and pulling, when you could have sex in the comfort of your own home, much like Deliveroo. Where shagging your flatcest fuckboy differs from Deliveroo, is your other flatmates don’t mind you moaning too loudly eating your burger and, most importantly, you can’t accidentally fall in love with it.

Credit: Netflix and Love Actually


7. The rebound

If you feel like you’re third wheeling when hooking up one-on-one with this allegedly single Durhamite it’s probably because you are! Sparing a moment to look at their picture wall you, might notice a sea of the same face or the same name in all their notifications – no, your hook-up isn’t an obsessive stalker – you are currently the slutty interruption to someone’s contribution to the 72% DU marriage success statistic.

This hook-up revelation often happens retrospectively, once you see the jumper you once resorted to using as a jizz rag worn proudly by their significant other on their Instagram story. I’m team Rachel on this one: “we were on a break” simply doesn’t cut it Ross.

Credit to billiondigital and FlatWhiteDurham/Twitter

8.  The trophy keeper

This odd phenomenon is particularly rife in all-boys houses, specifically all-knobheads boys’ houses. Waking up next to a particularly hideous creature you charitably hooked up with the night before, you may notice him unsubtly texting the house group chat or (God-forbid) taking an unsubtle picture. Even without getting papped, a congratulatory fist-bump or “well done there, mate” from a housemate over tea in the kitchen consolidates the raging misandrist in you. Feeling held hostage by your own sexuality, you once again lament why you’re compelled to feel sexually attracted to m*n. Ew.

9.  The serial cheat

Much like The Rebound, you feel as though you’re interrupting something… turns out it’s an actual relationship this time. You would have thought with Durham’s campus being the size of a postage stamp, people would reconsider cheating, but this is clearly not the case. It’s often an exciting but rather confusing hook-up before you join the dots, before you realise that sneaking in after the flatmates are asleep wasn’t just an elaborate sexy game of B&E roleplay. Accidentally hooking up with the serial cheat may also involve a nosedive in confidence as you find out through an Instagram anniversary post that they’ve only gone and cheated on some bronzed, European goddess.

10. The foot fetish

This one slightly speaks for itself, nothing against the foot-lovers of this university but the surprise attack is never the move with this particular fascination. To end on some personal anecdotes: please refrain from romantically holding a woman’s foot like a hand when going down on her. Surely, I’m not the only one who wants a petition to include surprise foot fetish moves on the mandatory consent module?


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