Back to School
They Don't Teach Any of This in Sex Ed, So Allow Me
Photo by Kelly O
Back to School
- The Stranger's 2013 Back to School Guide
- Academic Trouble: Choosing Classes, Getting Off Campus, and What to Do if You Really Fuck Up
- Drinking Trouble: How to Avoid Getting Into a Police Chase
- Social Trouble: Drugs, Parties, Shitty Roommates, and More
- Race Trouble: Do Not Waste Your Time with Racist People
- Love Trouble: Getting Into a Relationship, Getting Out of a Relationship, Getting Over Being Dumped
- Sex Trouble: Hooking Up with Roommates, Getting Knocked Up, Dealing with Cheaters, and More
Step 1: Get online—OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, Recon, Match.com, FetLife, JDate, Stranger personals—and put up a personal ad. Put up a few. Post current and accurate pictures, fill out the profiles, write a little about yourself, don't write too much about yourself. No poetry, no cat pics, no duck-faced selfies, no bitching about exes.
Step 2: Get offline. Go to class. Go to cafes. Go to bars. Go to class. Go to parties. Go to gyms. Go to parks. Go to class. Go places and meet people.
Step 3: Get drunk—no, wait. Don't get drunk, i.e., don't binge, don't get shitfaced, don't get messy, don't drink until you black out. Shitty people sometimes do extremely shitty/rapey things to people who are shitfaced. (Avoid shitty people, look inside and make sure you're not shitty people yourself.) But having one or two drinks at a party—sometimes three but never four—makes it easier to converse without rendering your conversation unintelligible (or making you unbearable). Also, too, pot. Never, ever meth.
Step 4: Get brave. Be bold. Take a risk. Boldness and risk are relative, i.e., one person's bold-and-ballsy-risk-taking move is another person's idea of cowardice and still another person's idea of social suicide. But you have to be willing to take risks—however you define them—to get into a relationship. Risk asking for someone's number. Risk a hookup. (Lots of great relationships get their start as sleazy, drunken, risky hookups.) Risk rejection and infection, heartache and heartbreak. Take reasonable steps to minimize and mitigate your risks, of course, by using birth control, condoms, and common sense. But take risks.
Step 5: Get it on. Hook up, make out, have sex. If it goes well—if the sex is good, if you like the taste of each other's spit, if you enjoy spending time together with your clothes on, if being with each other makes you feel better about life and school and the world in general—then keep hooking up. Congrats: You got yourself into a relationship.
Step 1: Get it over with, i.e., break up promptly. As soon as you know you want out—as soon as you're sure the person you're dating isn't someone you could spend the next four or five decades of your life rimming—you have a responsibility to end the relationship. And it's easy to do: Just open your mouth and say, "It's over." Don't break up with someone immediately before a big final or their mom's funeral or whatever, but never let a relationship drag on and on for stupid reasons like "I don't want to hurt him/her/SOPATGS*." Trust me: You're not that special. He/she/SOPATGS will get over you.
Step 2: There is no step two.
Step 3: If there's no step two, why on earth would you think there would be a step three?
Step 1: Get all messy. The freedom to weep and wail and wallow in pain—and the expectation that friends will listen and empathize and fetch us froyo—is the only perk extended to the freshly dumped. So mope, watch sad movies, listen to maudlin music, and plague your friends with your pathetic whining.
Step 2: Get a calendar. You have six weeks—tops—to weep and wail and inhale froyo. Make a note on your calendar when your six weeks are up and resolve to either be over it by that date or be able to fake being over it by that date.
Step 3: Get some perspective. Being dumped sucks and it's painful and it can really shred your confidence. But billions of people were dumped before you, and billions will be dumped after you. You're in pain, yes you are, but the pain you're in isn't special or unique. And it isn't permanent. Everyone you know who's in a happy, loving, and stable relationship got dumped at some point in their dating history. They got over it, dumpee, and so will you.
Step 4: Get online—OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, Stranger personals—and get offline. Go to class. Go to bars. Go to parties. Get a drink (or two), get brave, get it on.
* some other point along the gender spectrum.