THE BLOG
06/18/2013 03:48 pm ET Updated Aug 18, 2013

The Sex We Didn't Have

I've been lying about sex before I knew what sex was. I distinctly remember telling Rei Aiba in third grade that I had "touched boob." High school was primetime for sexual make-believe -- all those games of "never have I ever" -- and I continued going strong in college. When someone posted on our school's anonymous gossip board: "Matt Nestor - worst. sex. ever" (also a lie, obvi), all those creative writing classes finally paid off. I quickly retorted with three "anonymous" replies:

- he must not be that into you girl cuz matt nestor the shiznit in bed + good looking lolz
- I am usually not the kind of person to write on this sort of thing, but I have to say that before I met Matthew I never enjoyed romantic intimacy
- ummm... same Matt Nestor?

Of course, now that I've graduated, I'm having oodles of sex. Oodles. There's just something so appealing to women about being young and underemployed... But the fact remains that I was once a pernicious exaggerator. This puts me in good company: College guys love to lie. A recent HuffPost article reports you have to hook them up to a polygraph before they'll cough up an honest number of sex partners. And it's no wonder. That number is probably very low. How low?

- 2.43 overall (according to the federally funded CSA study)
- 1.79 in the past year (says the ACHA)
- One or fewer in the past year (if you go ask alice)

Think about it. In just one small series of anonymous Internet lies, I had already slept with more people than the average college guy. College girls rack up equally modest numbers (though they tend to underreport, not exaggerate, their partner totals). And don't go thinking that the goody-two-shoes religious schools are wrecking the curve. Not getting laid is as pan-collegiate as Greek life. Tulaners live in New Orleans, the most perverse city this side of Bangkok, yet they average just a single sex partner each school year. Yale was ranked by Playboy as one of America's best colleges for sex life -- and most students there have had about two partners total.

So what gives? If nobody's having sex, why bother lying about it? The frat boys might as well admit they spent last night playing Jenga. I wouldn't go betting on a sexual truth-telling revolution, though. The problem is that even if most undergrads aren't getting any, a few of them are -- and how. Blogger GL Piggy points out that a close read of the above-mentioned CSA study reveals that a mere 8 percent of college guys are hogging 40 percent of college boinking. That leaves 92 percent of college guys scratching their heads trying to come up with realistic, but not too specific, accounts of what they did last night: "Yeah, I got lucky too, man. That blonde chick in the red top. Or maybe it was green. Her name? I dunno, man, who even cares, am I right? She's in like Delta Gamma or something..."

The words "college" and "sex" are as firmly intertwined in the American psyche as "bar" and "booze." You can't do the first without the second; if you do you must be seriously lame. Wake up, students of America! It doesn't count as lame if nobody's doing it! For better or for worse, we are all of us much more chaste than we'd like to believe.

Except for me. I used to hook up, like, twice a week.

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