When you arrive at university you’d be forgiven for expecting the next 3–5 years to be filled with sexy escapades, loose nights and many hours spent making out behind Mooseheads. Movies like American Pie and Superbad, TV shows like Gossip girl and Skins, and songs by KE$HA and Katy Perry, among others things, all give the impression that college kids just want to get down and boogie.
And yet the ANU is a fairly tame place sexually. Even in cess-pits of vice like John XXIII and B&G, hook ups are the norm far more than sex. Rarely are you regaled after a big Thursday night with stories of how X and Y were covertly getting busy in the spare bathroom at ICBM. Games of ‘I have never’, even with third years and members of college social committees (the most uninhibited residents) rarely see stories of elevator quickies or even hook ups with strangers.
What accounts for this? Are we actually just not interested in sex? Then why is popular culture featuring risky business so popular with our demographic? Do we find risky sex distasteful? Perhaps, but it still floods shows like Entourage, Sex and the City and Californication. Obviously these shows feature older protagonists, but they are popular with us nonetheless.My suspicion is it’s because 18-21 year olds are a pack of gutless wimps. But more than that, it’s because before we are inclined to go large and throw caution to the wind we want to confirm our fundamental sexual attractiveness in the secure confines of a long monogamous relationship. Once we know we’re hot shit we’re more inclined to go scampering about town because there is no longer potential to be considered ‘easy’ or ‘cheap’. But by then we’re 23 and have finished uni.
I think this is a shame, principally because the successful relationships I am familiar with all started randomly. Neither party declared their affection from a distance. People partied, started shagging, and eventually discovered they liked each other.
Second, adventure is the spice of life and, when you’re young, the stuff memories are made of. The funniest next morning stories are invariably erotic and the most magical events are where you click with someone over a few beverages at a 21st. Those things don’t happen if you don’t take risks. And sure sometimes things blow up in your face, but that’s memorable in itself and with a few years you’ll come to laugh at and appreciate those moments.
The essence of youth is the feeling of invincibility, and that time will heal all wounds and wash away all mistakes. So go and make some!
The author blogs at markfabian.blogspot.com