It took me 19 years to figure out how to flirt with boys and then I got mono. A lot of my love life has been like that - exhausting and kind of gross.
Don’t get me wrong there have been beautiful parts too. I was in a year and a half relationship with one of the most wonderful people I know. But he dumped me.
So, now I’m busy falling back in love with myself, and so far the recipe for that involves equal parts work, gym, and vodka.
If you’re single at College, you’re inevitably thrown into the dark, sweaty blur that is hookup culture. And that culture is incredibly biased against senior women. I’m a senior. I’m a woman. So things are looking good.
Welcome to A College Student’s Guide to Hooking up – a series of blog posts documenting the absurdly casual world of college sex, and the pressures that come along with it.
Remember that bias I was talking about? Well here’s how it works. Imagine a simple graph with an x axis variable Year and a y axis variable Desirability. Year is Dartmouth speak for grade – freshman, sophomore, junior, senior are replaced by the corresponding year of graduation (19,18,17,16, respectively). Desirability is pretty self explanatory, and represents the degree to which an individual is perceived as sexually desirable.
Now imagine a line that runs from the lower left hand corner of this graph (0), all the way to the upper right hand corner. Label that line ‘Men.’ This would suggest that, as they age, male students become more desirable. Beginning in the upper left hand corner is another line labeled ‘Women,’ which runs all the way down to the lower right hand corner. In case you aren’t getting the idea, this line suggests that as they age, female students become less desirable. The two lines intercept in the middle of the graph – a time period which lines up with Sophomore Summer, the academic term smack in the middle of most student’s college careers.
This is the Dartmouth X.
The entire Dartmouth X concept is extremely problematic. For one thing, it’s heteronormative to a point of ignorance. It also functions on a massive set of generalizations and stereotypes. It is assumed that as male students age, they gain more social capital and thus are more sexually desirable. It is also assumed that as female students age, they stop putting as much effort into their physical appearance and so become less sexually desirable.
By this logic, I stay in on the weekends, never wear makeup, have a self-imposed uniform of yoga pants and Patagonia, and would rather drink wine with my girlfriends than take tequila shots with strangers.
Right. I go out Fridays and Saturdays, spend so much money at Sephora that I earn rewards, and would wear heels every day if it didn’t cause me so much pain. I also happen to love tequila.
In all seriousness I take pride in defying the Dartmouth X. I have had an immeasurably more successful love life after my X interception, due in no small part to the fact that as I’ve grown up, I’ve become more confident in who I am and what I want. I’m not going to find love in a frat. And I’m not looking for it either. But I don’t wait for what I want to come up to me in a basement anymore – I go get it myself.