Student Columns Name, Define Terms for ‘Generation Sex’

Half-night stands. Dance-floor erections. Dating with a lowercase ‘d.’ A hookup with fries on the side. House booty. Hungry mungries. McThreesomes. And the stride of pride.

The new sex terms of the current student generation have an unlikely primary source- the college newspaper. Over the past decade, college newspaper sex columns have coined or publicly solidified the largest amount and most varied set of words, acronyms, and euphemisms related to student sex and socializing.

As one former student sex columnist told me, “My generation, this is what we need to be talking about, and it’s a discussion that needs to happen on our own terms. We’re not Baby Boomers or part of Generation X. We’re Generation Sex.”

Below is a sampling of this generation’s sexual lingua franca. The vocabulary hints at a campus culture in which romance is dead, monogamy is dying, and, as one columnist puts it, “sex is sex is sex is sex.”

For a complete list of more than 200 new sex and dating terms, check out my book Sex and the University: Celebrity, Controversy, and a Student Journalism Revolution.

Bangability vs. personality scale (n.): a comparison of an individual’s physical attractiveness with his or her mental capacity and social traits.

Carpe datem (v.): a spin off the phrase carpe diem (Latin for “seize the day”). In this case, to “seize the date” means to more actively attempt dating instead of hooking up and to interact with relationship partners in person instead of relying upon electronic means of communication. Example) “If you care to continue a friendship or instigate a relationship beyond the safe bounds of a computer or cell phone, carpe datem. Pick up the phone. Get off IM. Take your cell number off of Facebook. Make actual plans — ones that don’t require electrical outlets.”

Dance floor erection (DFE) (n.): an erection experienced while dancing in public. Ex) “[Y]ou start dancing with cute Bobby… Bobby seems to love it: Whoa! What’s that? Yup, that’s right, it seems you have backed into, well, Bobby’s bobby. Bobby appears to be pitching his tent on your campsite. To put it bluntly, Bobby has a Dance Floor Erection. He’s been struck with a DFE. Poor kid can’t even control it.”

Dating with a lowercase ‘d’ (n.): the more casual one-on-one activities historically known as courting that “on the relationship spectrum… falls after hooking up but before monogamous commitment.”

DUI (v.): dialing under the influence of alcohol, typically to solicit sex.

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One Response to “Student Columns Name, Define Terms for ‘Generation Sex’”
  1. You’ve got great insights about sex, keep up the good work!