March 15, 2013

GUEST ROOM: Collegiate Courting Ritual: The Pixel Habitat

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Nestled in a remote alleyway in the temperate deciduous biome of Collegetown lies the unique habitat of Pixel — a forum where coeds congregate to display and act upon their most primal instincts. At first glance this habitat appears to be an assembly of sweaty highly-educated youth looking to “get some” (to use the accepted parlance), yet upon further investigation there are many fascinating social mechanisms and collegiate mating rituals occurring in this desolate cinder block hut.

The coeds are forced to wait in line while being screened by guards, to be later ushered into the abode through a small door. Acceptance into Pixel is both coveted and highly restricted. One must obtain a very elderly stature of 21 years of age on planet Earth, or merely bare a false plastic chit attesting to this laudable achievement. Clearly this society deems that these fecund creatures should wait until they are 21 to obtain the morality-reducing, sex-inducing drug known as alcohol. Perhaps this delay is necessary due to exponentially increasing population size.

Before ever entering the hut, a hierarchy of social status among the coeds is clearly evident. Those who deem themselves of higher rank feel entitled to finagle their way past the ushered line. In colloquial collegiate terms, these coeds are “assholes.” “Who do they think they are? Can you believe what she is wearing?” are common whispers among the assembled herd.

Once formally accepted into the hut, the display of well-dressed mammals on the prowl would make an anthropologist orgasm. In the center of the dance floor, the single females cluster in tight clothing to reveal their feminine bodies. They dance, and appear to be having a great time with their female counterparts, but their subtle eyeing of the male population makes it clear that they have more reproductive goals in mind. From an evolutionary standpoint, bopping around with friends of the same sex would not support repopulation.

Luckily though, the male species is more overt in their courting rituals. The males can be seen circling the females in a domineering manner. Once identifying a potential mate, either based on attractiveness as a long-term partner or for a more immediate romp, the male swoops in. This act often involves approaching the female from behind, and slowly, yet ever so forcefully rubbing and pushing their pelvic area on the rear of the female. The desperate female will accept this act and continue to partake in this copulative motion. However, the ever-skeptical female — recognizing that her male suitor is as yet unseen — will stare at her female friends, open her eyes widely in a seemingly perplexed manner and demand a reassuring nod from her companions. If they approve of this abrupt courtship, the friends will nod and move on. If not, they will counter-swoop and save the female from this potentially unsuitable mate — thus proving the righteous power of natural selection.

Once a male secures a female, the humping is often coupled with intense groping. Oral to oral facial contact may commence if the two humans are sufficiently attracted to one another and their pheromones spark alignment. The mating ritual may continue until after 1 a.m. when Pixel closes — often a mere seven minutes after this bizarre ritual commences. The humans will then stumble home together united by shared intoxication and mutual love of that band … you know, the one with the song.

Often this courting ritual is unsuccessful — female companions are quick to reject a substandard mate — and both sexes may flee the dance floor, shunning all future encounters. Expect maybe when they run into each other at Trillium and pretend they have never met.

A fascinating display of human socialization and sexuality can be seen from 12:47 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. in the dark hut known as Pixel. These coed mating rituals are perplexing given the subset of humans who participate. The Cornellian courting practices stand in marked contrast to the air of poise and composure they so often assume. This researcher postulates that their high intelligence, nerdiness, and overachieving drive causes a crushing anxiety that interferes with more conventional mating practices.

Annaclaire Brodnick is a senior Human Development major in the College of Human Ecology. Her studies concentrate in Social and Personality Development. Occasional (thankfully) visits to Pixel have provide a more practical opportunity to apply her more scholarly interests. She may be reached at ab699@cornell.edu.

Original Author: Annaclaire Brodnick