The Vocabulary of Generation Sex

The Vocabulary of Generation Sex
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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.

Engagementringophobia (n.): an intense fear of becoming engaged or dealing with the obligations of a more serious relationship.

Ex (v.): "It has become a phenomenon. 'Ex' used to just be a former lover. Recently, a combination of slang and relationship behavior has caused it to become a verb, 'to ex': to hook-up or, in some cases, get back together with an old boyfriend or girlfriend."

Gamer widow (n.): a female who is forgotten in a relationship in favor of video games.

Half-night stand (n.): a shortened version of the one-night stand; leaving a sexual partner's bedside before morning, typically before the partner wakes.

Horizontal rule (n.): a standard for defining whether sexual activity constitutes a full hookup, in respect to the relative positioning of students' bodies. Ex) "Were your bodies horizontal for more than a minute? Definitely a hookup. Passionate making out on the steps... in the rain? Not a hookup."

Hookup with fries on the side (n.): a twist on traditional dating, equating a majority of college relationships with a trip to a fast-food restaurant: quick, cheap, and enjoyed for its convenience.

House booty (n.): engaging in sexual activity with an individual in a student's immediate geographic proximity or inner circle, including in the same dormitory, student organization or academic major. AKA: Dormcest, floorcest, and hallcest.

Hungry mungry (n.): an individual obsessed with performing cunnilingus, or oral sex on a woman.

McThreesomes (n.): quick, spontaneous, convenient group sex encounters.

My sex (n.): a label for a partner, symbolizing the ambiguity involved in student relationships. Ex) "'So I was at my Sex's place,' my friend began. Your what? 'My Sex. I don't know what to call him. The guy I'm having sex with.' Apparently neither of them had popped the question yet. You know, the one that goes, 'What, like, are we?'"

Out-slut (v.): to engage in more sexually promiscuous behavior than another individual.

Overly organized orgasamers (OOOers)
(n.): individuals who multi-task during sexual activity, including making mental to-do lists. Ex) "Some women make very efficient use of this time [sexual intercourse]. . . . Between a moan and an oh! Oh! OH! she can map out her day. She's thinking, 'If this ends by 9, I'll have time to write the tail end of that paper, pluck my eyebrows, and maybe alphabetize my DVD collection.'"

QGP's (Questions to get into an individual's pants) (n.): "First dates follow a sequence, they may be with different people but the topics of conversation are often the same. . . . We all have our own form of QGP's." Three of the most popular types:

  • QGP of favorites- "You ask the person their favorite food, color, sexual position, etc. You can analyze a lot about a person by their favorite things."

  • QGP of extracurricular activities- "This is where we discuss what kind of things the person does outside of school. Asking someone their extracurricular activities is a polite way of asking them to categorize themselves: jock, brain, criminal, princess, and a basket case."
  • QGP of past relationships- "This is the most sensitive and important QGP's. It's like buying a car. You need to know its history before you buy it."
  • Sexpel (v.): expelling a roommate from a shared dorm room or residence because of an individual's engagement in sexual activity, more traditionally known as sexiling. AKA: Sexpatriate.

    Stride of pride (n.): the trip home from a hookup's residence, typically the morning after engaging in sexual activity, traditionally referred to as the walk of shame. AKA: Post-sex swagger, strut of infamy, victory lap, and walk of fame.

    WWGS (What Would Grandma Say?) (n.): a reference point for dating etiquette, imploring students to consider their grandmother's reaction to their behavior while out with a partner.

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