Sex and the Ivy

Where The Hell I’ve Been

Filed under: Blogging, Dating/Relationships, Hooking Up, Men, Sex — Elle December 11, 2008 @ 2:44 pm

I just got done reading old Facebook messages/emails for a fun new project involving my best friend (more on this later). So! I recalled some cool things about my formerly slutty existence. Initially, I thought I stopped updating this damn thing because an ex-lover posted my naked photos to the Internet, but then I remembered that I discovered monogamy shortly after that incident and promptly stopped having sex of the promiscuous variety, thereby eliminating 80 percent of my material.

But apparently, I used to have sex with lots of different people. And since my conquests are so numerous that I inevitably never get around to writing up all of them, I thought I should share some items from a year ago.

In late 2007, I was flirting/going out with six men simultaneously and getting laid by (almost) none of them. I think I only had sex four times last winter. #1 took place on my friend Zac’s 21st birthday after I brought some dude along and we mutually got obliterated at the Kong. Classy. #2 took place in a fraternity house of all places, but it was MIT so I think I can safely say that I’ve managed to avoid becoming a total college cliche. #3 took place post-nudie-pic scandal in Los Angeles with some dude I barely knew, while my girlfriend sat in his living room watching, um, cartoons (I think?) with his friend. AWKWARD. And I met/fucked #4 approximately five days before I went on my first date with Patrick. Little did I know then that it would be my last gasp of promiscuity for many many many months (and counting … yippee).

There might’ve been a fifth guy at some point, but I obviously don’t remember. If you’re him: it’s not that you’re insignificant; you just didn’t leave any traces in my Gmail/Facebook inbox. Sorry, dude.

This list, of course, does not count September or early fall which was a shitshow of recycled ex-hookups. Old lovers get much of the credit for keeping my sex life sustainable (pun alert!) over the years. After my sex-deprived summer in New York, I was determined to get laid as quickly as possible. Former flings are terribly effective solutions. And in general, I went out and went down almost every weekend so my abstinent streak ended pretty immediately.

Junior fall/winter was also the first time I rejoiced in singledom. I usually hated dating and hooking up because I was constantly attaching, detaching, reattaching myself to men. Last year, I was so cynical about the prospect of a long-term relationship that I spent the majority of my non-fucking time making condescending remarks about the guys I was fucking. (To be clear, these were not remarks said to their faces, but rather, to my friends or uh, blog readers.) This says a lot more about me than the guys, and to be fair to my friends, they were becoming increasingly alarmed at my utter pessimism, which I framed then as “realism”. (But even today, post-monogamy, I would still say that I am, for the most part, undateable. Or at least, my blog is understandably a huge red flag for potential suitors. So there you go, I am still a realist.)

Now I am months-deep in a relationship — free doggie included! — and routinely turn down date/sex offers from the boys who used to make my blog/life so interesting. In exchange, I get walks along the Charles, unsolicited career advice, solicited foot massages, and the assurance that I won’t contract herpes even if we forgo condoms. On the downside, this means I can’t throw him out of my dorm room every time we have a fight. Mostly because I live in his apartment and not a dorm room.

I feel like a younger, more Asian version of Jessica Cutler, the sex-blogging D.C. staffer turned housewife. It’s kind of like I spent the last year in a cocoon. I entered as a filthy, whorish caterpillar and now I’ve exited as a butterfly with remarkably domestic tendencies and a desire to mate for life.

In conclusion, this is why I don’t update my sex blog anymore.

The Costs of Friends With Benefits

Filed under: Dating/Relationships, Friendship, Hooking Up, News, Sex — Elle October 3, 2007 @ 2:32 am

Interesting piece in the Times about the first research study conducted about the friends with benefits phenomenon. Of 125 young adults, 60 percent reported having been involved in a FWB situation:

One-tenth of these relationships went on to become full-scale romances, the study found. About a third stopped the sex and remained friends, and one in four eventually broke it off — the sex and the friendship. The rest continued as friends-with-benefits relationships.

Further it found that the common thread in these arrangements was a fear of emotional attachment:

The relationships tend to have little romantic passion, but stir the same fears that stalk lovers: namely, that one person will fall harder than the other.

Paradoxically, and perhaps predictably, the study suggests, these physical friendships often occlude one of the emotional arteries of real friendship, openness. Friends who could once talk about anything now have an unstated taboo topic — the relationship itself. In every conversation, there is innuendo; in every room, an elephant.

Pretty spot-on, in my opinion.

During my time at Harvard, I’ve had six friends with benefits. I’m currently friends with five of them and still hooking up with two as of last week (though I’m determined to become “just friends” with one of the two and probably should break it off with the other one too). It can be on-and-off with most of the guys, and I’ve definitely revisited some old flames in moments of weakness/drunkenness. In fact, I recently re-hooked up with my first ever friend with benefits (from high school) after a five-year gap. We’ve been friends for so long after our initial experience that I’d almost forgotten about it altogether. Kissing him again was incredibly strange.

Personally, I don’t think that emotional elephant exists in my relationships, at least not any longer since I’m in the unique position of overanalyzing all components of my interactions with men in the process of writing about them. That makes it difficult to ignore the non-physical aspects of relationships and means I’m much more honest to myself about what I expect from certain people. Of the six FWB, I’ve had romantic feelings for 1.5 (the half being a guy I wasn’t entirely sure about) which is pretty safe if you ask me. As far as openness goes nowadays, I have no doubt my friends with benefits know where we stand. This article actually comes at a really opportune time since I’m feeling an ironic combination of commitmentphobic and hormonal. Time for a new pal?

So any thoughts on the study and the long-term feasibility of these relationships? Sixty percent of you guys should have interesting FWB stories of your own to share …

Random Thoughts on Random Hookups

Filed under: Hooking Up, Sex — Elle May 15, 2007 @ 2:49 am

My blockmate Terra said to someone yesterday that I just don’t do Harvard guys (and I mean “do” in an all-purpose, not entirely sexual sense). I can’t deny that she’s right. With the exception of early sophomore fall and the occasional drunk makeoutfest, I’ve stayed away from Harvard undergrads when it comes to both dating and sexing. I just don’t like the way college boys feel. Too young, too inexperienced, too disappointing. My most satisfying experiences have been with older guys — at least four years removed. One exception: I lucked out as a freshman with my first college fuck buddy. Despite being a virgin, he was miraculously savvy in the sack. I’ve yet to encounter such blow-my-mind manual dexterity in the year and a half since.

Is it any wonder that of the guys I have hooked up with, the overwhelming majority are from this year’s graduating class? It’s not as if two-year’s difference means terribly much but the difference, however minute, is enough. At the very least, I’m no one’s first drunken error and the guy has a condom if I don’t and he will actually attempt oral sex somewhat successfully. But I’m being completely critical at the moment, generalizing about an entire population, and not exactly offering helpful tips. So I’ll cease.

The reason I write all this is that I recently spent the night with an undergrad who was actually responsive to my needs, respectful, and not entirely awkward come dawn. I left feeling like he was a decent individual, which is not what can be said for 90% of similar situations I’ve been in. It made me wonder why hooking up couldn’t always be like this, and especially why hooking up in college, at Harvard, couldn’t be like this. From this, I formed the conclusion that there are some universal rules to abide by:

1. Phone calls aren’t expected after one-night stands, but acknowledge the other party in public instead of conveniently looking at your shuttle schedule when they pass by.

2. Unless they’re about to puke on you, let your hookup spend the night. You took them home; it’s polite.

3. Do spend the night if offered. It’s polite. (At least pretend that you weren’t just over for the orgasm).

4. Straight couples: if the girl insists on going home anyway, walk her even if it’s 3 a.m. Just do it. Gay couples: not so sure on the etiquette — call cab? Either way, muggings are not so sexy.

5. Reciprocate. Especially when it comes to oral.

If everyone would just do stuff like this, it would make the entire hookup scene more pleasant and less awkward.

On a tangent, I’d also like to take a moment to clear my name. My atrocious behavior last weekend (not reciprocating after receiving oral sex — and in fact, only kissing the guy) wasn’t that bad when considering the context. First, I told him before I even went home with him that I wouldn’t “be doing a damn thing” for or with him so I was already going further than promised. Second, he got off on going down on me anyway. Win-win. Besides, getting oral sex is far from consent to give it. It may not be terribly polite to deny the other party (after all, I’m breaking my own rule), but there is certainly no obligation. Also, this instance is most definitely a first and will not be repeated. Not that he should be holding his breath.

Partying Like a Freshman

Filed under: College, Hooking Up, Partying, Sex — Elle May 8, 2007 @ 2:16 am

This weekend harkens back to freshman spring. For the most part, I’ve been on a sober, monogamous, responsible streak. Maybe it was Cece’s visit during Mather Lather and my subsequent reintroduction to binge drinking. Maybe it was the festive year-end mood. Maybe it was my enabling friends. Whatever the case, this past weekend was more alcoholic than any other this year. Sure, I’ve had my blackout moments but it’s been a long time since a three-day streak with a different cock and cocktail each night.

Which isn’t to say that I broke the no-sex rule (let’s assume for a moment that oral doesn’t count). I just engaged in a lot of making out a la high school. It was kind of fun, I must admit. Besides the serious damage at Currier Formal (five glasses wine, a Lemon Drop, and a White Russian), I was going strong Friday with a sangria-fueled Quad-a-thon.

Things Lena Did Friday Night (probably not completely in order):
1. Drink three full Solo cups of sangria at Mather Happy Hour. Start feeling good.
2. Put on ridiculously short minidress with ridiculously tall stilettos
3. Quad Quad Quad with ZAP ZAP ZAP
4. Make out with male acquaintance at door of No Pants Dance
5. Make out with another male acquaintance inside No Pants Dance
6. Forget the name of second male acquaintance. Ask friend. Resume making out.
7. At some point in evening, yell at/hit Riley in the face seven or eight times. With permission.
8. Order $50 worth of sushi.
9. Consume $50 worth of sushi.
10. Ply Kay with alcohol. Unsuccessfully.
11. Go home with male acquaintance whose name I only vaguely remember at this point.
12. Get oral sex.
13. Tell him there’s no way I’m going down on him. (Sorry!)
14. Or so much as touching his dick. (Sorry again!)
15. Ask him mid-hookup — totally seriously — “You don’t happen to have a girlfriend, do you?”
16. Get more oral sex.
17. Realize that there’s been sexual tension between us for over a year. This is it?! Disappointed.
18. Roll over as he talks about his commitment issues and how he’s really not that bad a guy. Could care less.
19. Wake up in the morning. It is 12pm and all I have to wear are the ridiculous mini dress and the ridiculous stilettos.
20. His roommate walks in on me while I’m in a t-shirt and thong. Thanks.
21. Am invited to lunch in the dining hall with his roommates. Riiiight.
22. Attempt the Quad to Mather Walk of Shame in ridiculous minidress and stilettos. Get honked at. A lot.
23. Am complimented on ridiculous stilettos (purple peep-toes) by girl coming out of Leverett Dining Hall. Feel slightly validated.
24. Realize last night’s hookup has probably told all his roommates that we had sex in 80 positions. Hate him intensely.
25. Immediately email friends my account of the evening.

Anyhow, I can’t have more than one of these weekends a semester. It’s way too draining. Besides, I really prefer regularity over a half dozen kissing partners, even if all that means is a three-week Reading Period fling.

Fall Flashback

Filed under: Aidan, Hooking Up, Kay, Morning Afters — Elle April 19, 2007 @ 1:40 am

I’ve been bedridden and ailing since this weekend, so I’m incredibly behind on schoolwork and freelance assignments. No time to blog — nothing besides summer plans to blog about, anyway — so I dug up an old entry I never posted, because I feel guilty for slacking on the website. I wrote the following wayyy back in October. You can totally tell it’s dated: the guy, the newfound celebrity, the pre-meltdown indicators. Also, Kay makes an appearance, and when’s the last time I saw this girl? Oh yeah, last semester.

So here’s an oldie (but a goodie!) from when Lena was slightly unbalanced, still alcoholic, and actually sexually active …

Quite the weekend it’s been. Friday was basically a bust.

Kay and I parted ways on the corner of Mt. Auburn and Dunster with cheek kisses and assurances to do lunch. The soundtrack to my walk back home was Counting Crows’ “Mr. Jones,” blaring from inside the Fly and stuck in my mind the rest of the night.

Already, I was in no mood to deal with men. Friday had not been friendly to Kay and I. We called it quits early and made our way to Flat Patties at 1am. But the night wasn’t a complete loss. Over chili cheese fries, I caught her up on the entirety of October. I love the girl for sober moments like those.

Saturday was more eventful. I woke up the next morning dizzy and next to someone else. The standard issue college twin definitely does not facilitate premarital sex. Thank goodness I’m petite or Aidan and I would be subject to very dangerous sleeping scenarios. I remember crawling over him in in a semi-drunken stupor, stating indignantly, “I NEVER SLEEP ON THE INSIDE!” I think what I meant to convey was, “I think I’m going to roll off in the middle of the night, please help prevent this.”

The previous morning I nudged him awake, opened up his curtains, and made numerous threats to write unflattering blog entries if he didn’t get up. It was all to no avail. On Sunday morning, it was his turn to prod me relentlessly until I finally gave up all hope of sleeping in. How completely unfair, and obviously a result of territorial advantage. From now on, I will only hook up in my suite so I can sleep in as I please and the guy can trek it to his room at 2pm in his clothes from the night before. Boys have no shame.

Speaking of regrettable morning wardrobes, I made the very unwise decision to attend brunch in the same tiny top and skirt I donned hours ago at a party. Of course, I conveniently bumped into my sophomore adviser. She has the unfortunate luck of being assigned to me. Really, she couldn’t have asked for more of a handful. After she gently reminded me to see our Allston Burr Head Tutor, I reassured her that I would not sleep past yet another appointment, and would, in fact, make a personal visit to his office to assure him that I am not completely insane. Apparently, Mather House tutors have expressed concern for my well-being. I’m not surprised. In a school where everyone delivers, how do you tell people that you just can’t deal?

During brunch, a couple girls sitting in the table next to mine were discussing “Sex and the Ivy,” but promptly ceased their conversation when they realized my friend had alerted me. My life has devolved into something of a television show, at once comedic and dramatic. A dramedy, if you will.

I was telling someone just yesterday that my blog can be summed up by the following: “Hey guys, something really weird happened to me. Has this ever happened to you? No? Okay, then. I’m just a total fuckup. Thanks for the confirmation.”

This weekend was as low-key as they come, and still, I feel like life doesn’t quite turn out this way for anyone but me.

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