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Friday, February 23, 2024 — Houston, TX

Less horny all the time, please

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Photo courtesy Colton Alstatt

By Colton Alstatt (they/them)     9/28/21 10:20pm

Editor’s Note: This is a guest opinion that has been submitted by a member of the Rice community. The views expressed in this opinion are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the Thresher or its editorial board. All guest opinions are fact-checked and edited for clarity and conciseness by Thresher editors.

Rice Missed Encounters were once synonymous with a public Facebook group after the same name. This group was invented for students to reach out to cuties seen around campus when in-person contact was either faux pas, as in the middle of an event, or impossible without some loud and embarrassing pursuit. Through it, friends of mine found relationships, and I received a shoutout myself for my “very sincere and lovely” smile.

Though many pioneers pushed at its boundaries with concupiscent calls to action like “I want you in my bed”, the question remained: what if the page were horny? Like, frighteningly, debilitatingly horny.



On January 15, 2021, RiceMissedConnections cropped up on Instagram. The same day, they posted the anonymous submission, “To the blond rock climber from Lovett, you can climb on me any day;)”. It was a game-changer. The casual nature of Instagram, the hormonal anomie of lockdown… Soon any apparel, activity or blemish would warrant some loose association to naked, sweaty bodies. There’s a voice in your head ceaselessly wondering how his chain would feel rhythmically tapping your forehead, or what their blue hair would look like pulled back and pushed between your legs, and this was its chance. If she wore a swimsuit, and you knew that swimsuits were used in pools and that pool water is wet, then, QED, you should tell her that you would like to get her wet. Hip thrusts or hickies, take it as an invitation, because everything you see is looking back at you with bedroom eyes.

The internet has fried our goddamn brains. What is this? How did two separate people see a girl with a hickie and submit posts reading, respectively, “let me make that hickey a little darker” and “you look like you had a fun night… but I can guarantee you a better one”? As if evidence of sexual activity turns the body into a sexual object. As if the Male Gaze. What I’m saying is, if we allow campus to become a site of prurient ogling and delayed catcalling, then have fun squeezing between 200 half-naked male bodies this October at a Wiess College sausage fest.

The problem is not RiceMissedConnections (though they could maybe vet their posts a little bit, or at all), hookup culture, or wanting to respectfully straddle a stranger’s face.  It’s the awooga-ing, the wolf’s slack jaw and salivating tongue. It’s the aphasic sexual aggression that missed connections often voice, which is, I don’t think it’s crazy to say, a little weird, and kind of a campus problem. If you’re someone that frequents parties, then you know that Rice has a lot of handsy, pushy creeps. Keeping them off myself and my friends is far more annoying than the cringe they put on my Instagram feed, and it doesn’t make sense that we should suffer their anonymous leering in the daytime, too.

There is a better way to orient a community around sex. To start the conversation, I would like to pitch a perfectly attractive, alternate model centered on the virtue of being non-intimidating. Whatever we like to think about how our partners would like to be dominated or ravaged, no one believes these are desirable things outside of a safe environment. People like to trust the people they sleep with. That’s why my favorite line when in person is “Hi, I don’t know your name” paired with a smile and a handshake, followed by a lot of active listening gestures. Online, maybe a post like “you’re so cute and I want to get to know you” is better. We don’t have to understand the seduction game as a game at all, all high stakes and one-liners and emotional chicanery. It can be simpler. Nothing more than you and them, two bodies controlled by the same endlessly bandying inner voice, at times suppressing it, and, at other times, giving in.



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