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Spring Break Flings: A Great Thing, or The Greatest Thing?

Spring Break.
It’s a week drenched in piña coladas, tanning oil, sea spray, and… bodily fluids. Sex and spring break seem to have become inextricably linked in the minds of college students everywhere. The no-strings-attached Spring Break hookup has both its pluses and minuses: tan hot guys buying you drinks, tan hot guys helping you rub suntan lotion on your back… what were the minuses I was talking about again?

But before we dive head first into the tempting and excessively chlorinated pool of eligible Spring Break men, let’s take a look at Spring Break hookups from a college guy’s perspective so we know what we are getting ourselves into.

What kinds of advice does a guy hear when wants to have a Spring Break fling?

MiamiBeach411.com, a site providing tourist and travel information for Miami goers, has some pretty, uh… frank advice, to say the least, about achieving Spring Break hookups in the article, “A Guy’s Guide to Sex on Spring Break”. For example, it recommends that guys should hit bars that are less popular because the average girl wants to avoid the clubs that all of the “hot” competition goes to: “They resent all the attention they get and therefore go to other places where the hot girls are not. These girls are generally much more down to earth and therefore more down to sleep with you.” After that backhanded complement to all of the “down to earth” girls out there, who are apparently simultaneously ugly, easy, and insecure, the article continues to inform its male fist-pumping readers about scoping out the typical Spring Break girl.

You might be asking yourself, what level of drunkenness is most appealing to the male Spring Break hookup-seeker? “The best girls to target are the ones who are drinking hard liquor, preferably shots. If you can get to them before they lose consciousness you can keep them from drinking more, ensuring they are uninhibited enough to sleep with you but not so drunk they pass out or throw up.” So essentially, what we have learned is that guys on Spring Break are looking for girls who have achieved that happy medium between unconscious and sloptart.

On the site ItsGuyCode.com, there is an article specifically about hooking up with girls on Spring Break cruises with the appropriate “I’m on a Boat” anthem by The Lonely Island playing in the background. It recommends creepy tips like figuring out what girls to hookup with by staring at their bodies underwater while snorkeling, and cites the completely made-up statistic that “the average chick on a cruise will bang between 1 to 3 different guys depending on how easy she is in the first place.”

On Penn State’s blog OnwardState.com, the article “Bro Call: The Ideal Spring Break Fling,” lists the essentials of a Spring Break hookup: no commitment, the girl must be “down to party hard,” and hot. The bro called Chad finishes off the list quite eloquently: “I can’t really think of anything else to consider in a girl, spring break or not. Personality? I don’t even care about the girl’s name!” Well said Chad, well said.

I know what you are thinking: you have many guy friends who would be very offended to hear these generalizations about men looking for a fling and that these are extreme examples. But then where do these extreme ideas come from?
Spring Break Stereotypes: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

What is the first thing you think of when you think of Spring Break? There are the annual MTV Spring Break specials, with absurd contests that border on pornographic if it weren’t for that thin layer of salt-stained lycra, such as whipped-cream-bikini-licking tournaments.

There are also the countless Girls Gone Wild videos: Wildest Spring Break Moments, Beach Babes & Forbidden Spring Break, Spring Break Orgy, Best of Spring Break, Spring Break Sex Riot – wow, that last one sounds really unique and different from the others.

Let’s state the obvious: these media images of Spring Break are extremely sexualized and exaggerated accounts of what it is like to be a college student on Spring Break, perpetuating the stereotype of the “Spring Break fling” as a noncommittal one-night stand that is almost completely enabled by excessive consumption of alcohol. Spring Break is portrayed by pop culture as an escape from reality, where real world responsibilities, consequences, social norms, and apparently the existence of STDS, seem to be temporarily removed.

However, these snapshots from “reality tv” are not all absurdly over-acted: according to an article on CollegeNews.com, female Spring Breakers in Cancun consume an average of ten drinks a day and around 40-50% of these girls drink until they pass out or vomit.

The article also cites a disconcerting statistic from the American Medical Association: “more than half of college students know friends who were sexually active with more than one partner during spring break and nearly 3 out of 5 women know friends who had unprotected sex.” Moral of the story? College students do engage in promiscuous sex during spring break, though it is safe to say that the girls on MTV’s stage and in the Girls Gone Wild bedrooms are not your “typical” college women.
So what? I like sex, and I want a hook up over Spring Break.

Point taken. Stigmas on college campuses against women who engage in frequent sexual activity are alleviated on Spring Break. Female college students can have a fling without the added stress of campus gossip and also will never have to worry about awkwardly running into their hookup while crossing the quad.

And don’t worry: for the HC reader’s entertainment, MiamiBeach411 also provides an equally shameless article for girls on the prowl. Amongst its ridiculous tips about “guys in striped shirts who drink Jaeger bombs and Vodka-Red Bulls,” it has some valid points, like avoiding any men over a certain age and especially local guys who probably meet new shipments of female college tourists every week.

While a fling does not necessarily entail sex, if it does you should make sure you use protection and are safe. Despite how sincere and special your new friend seems, it is likely that a guy you hookup with on Spring Break is, um, exercising his ability to meet as many bright young women such as yourself as possible. And it may seem like no evil things can possibly exist inside your all-inclusive beach resort, but STDS and creeps do still infiltrate the happy people vacationing amongst the beautiful palm trees, strawberry daiquiris, and perfect tan lines. So if you head off for Spring Break with the intention of finding a Spring Break fling, be safe and responsible, and try not to do anything you will regret too much.






Joanna Buffum is a senior English major and Anthropology minor at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.  She is from Morristown, NJ and in the summer of 2009 she was an advertising intern for OK! Magazine and the editorial blog intern for Zagat Survey in New York City. This past summer she was an editorial intern for MTV World's music website called MTV Iggy, writing fun things like album and concert reviews for bands you have never heard of before. Her favorite books are basically anything involving fantasy fiction, especially the Harry Potter series and “Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell” by Susanna Clarke. In her free time she enjoys snowboarding, playing intramural field hockey, watching House MD, and making paninis. In the spring of 2010 she studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, and she misses the friendly, tall, and unusually attractive Danish people more than she can say. After college, she plans on pursuing a career in writing, but it can be anywhere from television script writing, to magazine journalism, to book publishing. 
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