Le Big Mack

How to Hook up at Harvard

It is a well-known and much-lamented truism that relationships are difficult in this pressure-cooker known as Harvard. Valentine's Day has passed, but the fact remains that most Harvard students are chronically single. Flying solo need not mean a lack of physical companionship, however. While in search of Mr. Right, or even Mr. Right Now, don't neglect the more immediate appeal of Mr. Tonight Only. At the next party when your libido silences your good judgment, try out these time-honored hints on how to hook up at Harvard.


Dress to impress; somebody does care what comes between you and your Calvins. Yes, that nasty old underwear and ripped t-shirt will see you through the end of the laundry cycle, but they will not win you any bonus points in the romance department.

Don't stink. Although this may seem self-evident, taking that extra thirty seconds to dig out the CK One or to spritz on some of that air freshener from your bathroom shelf can only help to get you closer to the goal.

Clean your room. This applies as a general rule before going out, as you never know who will come home with you, or in what capacity. The five-CD changer should be loaded with appropriate mood music: a select sampling of jazz is apt, while Nine Inch Nails is not.


Cruise the party. Although alcohol is optional in the hunt for nooky, it certainly facilitates consensual interactions. Potential targets should be identified early, taking into account the fact that the pool may grow or shrink as the evening progresses. Proper identification of candidates depends upon such attributes as availability (did they come alone?), appropriate species characteristics (open to debate) and size (height differentials can be damaging in dance situations). Good scoping spots include raised areas (backs of couches, edges of platforms) from which the room can be fully surveyed, as well as locations near the beverages.


Make eye contact. A long gaze is enticing, flattering and plain old intriguing. Self-aware, yet not self-conscious gestures are appropriate at this point; run your fingers through your hair, light a cigarette or freestyle. Once your target knows there's something up, act casual. Although you may be impatient, it is crucial to appear disinterested for a period of time. Let them wonder, but never let them wander.

Initial contact

Initial contact is tricky. Casual introductions from friends work well, but overlapping social circles may lead to embarrassing questions the morning after or unwanted future meetings.

A simple route is the physical one: dance with your target. Do not, however, engage in risky dance moves. Few things are more mortifying than flailing about wildly, and few are more off-putting than being flailed at. God forbid you should hit the target of your affections! Be sure to dance extra close, letting your target catch a whiff of your well-planned deodorizing efforts. Engage in the vertical version of the Horizontal Mambo.

When making an independent move on a relative stranger, remember that pickup lines don't work. Nobody really says things like, "Was your father a thief? I'd like to know just who stole the stars and put them in your eyes."

The Touch Game

You know...the Touch Game. Hello, I want you, and I will not-so-subtly indicate my intentions by putting my hand on your arm, leg, shoulder, thigh, etc. while we talk, and I will leave it there just a little tooooo long. Everyone is aware of the principle of collegiate physical interaction, whereby libido disguises itself as "friendly affection." Admit it-there's a subtext to every "innocent goodnight hug." Play the Touch Game with abandon in this case; thoroughly invade the personal space of your target.

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