A hook up with fries on the side

Utter the word "relationship," and most college guys I know will scream like a little girl, turn their heels and leave in a cloud of dust. The average male specimen approaches sex as if it were a fast-food joint: quick, easy and with a side order of curly fries.

Random hook-ups in college are as common and abused as those overpriced rainbow flip-flops invading Grounds. All too often, random sex is complicated, be it itchy STD episodes, awkward re-meetings, or lost pants.

For instance, my friend "Thomas" recently fell victim to the morning after-shock (and ensuing moral deprivation). Through his hangover-induced blinking, he saw that the goddess he met the night before wasn't Kristy Hume. Rather, she was a real girl: complete with naturally flawed, female characteristics that seem to repel men of the MTV generation: bed-hair, polka dotted granny panties, a shy grin, a personality.

In a desperate flurry, Thomas quickly began to dress -- an attempt to inspire her to do the same. But he noticed that she was just sitting on the end of the bed, unmoving, staring at him.

Little did he know, she was looking back wondering, "Does he wear those Christmas socks year-round?" Yet unlike Thomas, she was curious to know the man behind the red-and-green feet. She even considered asking him to join her for a post-debauchery hangover breakfast. But Thomas was content with his five minutes of drunken pleasure -- his quest to bed Paris Hilton must go on!

This situation needs to be handled in a way that is respectful and courteous, but honest about one's intentions.

Thomas, raised with the solid morals bestowed upon him by Mr. and Mrs. Walsh from Beverly Hills 90210, knew just what to do. He slid on his sunglasses, told her they might get together again soon (a lie), that the night before rocked his world (he couldn't remember it), and he was really glad to know her (when all he looked at were the legs that didn't stretch 10 miles long like those on the cover of Maxim).

In truth, he would have been safe saying, "I hope you don't have the wrong impression about last night. I think you're a neat girl, but I know I'm not ready for a relationship. That cool?" This would have shown her he had enough respect and maturity to address the topic they were both pondering but not speaking of.

Sorry to disappoint you bundles of testosterone out there, but most women won't be all that devastated by your kind words of rejection --but it is cruel to lead a girl on.

Unsurprisingly, Thomas failed to be forthright. So when she finally left, she managed to "forget" her bracelet. Thomas was required to meet her again (*Gasp!*). He suffered from the trauma called "the hook-up hangover," but what is more accurately described as a phobia of sober relationships with the opposite sex, born from a lack of self confidence. (A Google search of "men, fear of relationships," brings up a Web site on the many benefits of penile augmentation.)

Thomas turned and ran, and the girl in question was then left to wonder if he was anything more than a Coors-induced ejaculation machine.

When a woman walks into a room with a bad haircut, a brilliant, quirky mind, and an allure that sinks deeper than a fake tan, boys hit the gas. But men take a second look at that unique spark in the eye, see charm in her bad jokes and curvy hips, and find something more rewarding than cheap beer and the mad, drunken rush to obtain the unobtainable.

Kate Carlisle is a Health & Sexuality Columnist. She can be reached at kate@cavalierdaily.com

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