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Picture this: You’re walking up a secluded staircase in the library stacks, hunting down a book for your research paper, when you come across a corner of the library you’ve never been to before. More than a little freaked out, desperately trying to locate your book on the dusty shelves, you suddenly hear moaning and thumping.

Disgusted, and secretly a bit curious, you quickly locate the source of the sounds and stumble upon two people getting it on — right where your book is.

Believe it or not, this scenario is quite common at colleges and universities. For example, on Cornell University’s Big Red Ambition List, the bucket list for Cornell students, the number one entry is to have sex in the stacks.

The Harvard Crimson published an entire article dedicated to the art of making love in the library with step-by-step instructions and helpful tips like “modulate your moans.” There are even posts on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Craigslist page for students looking for someone to “help me relieve some stress.”

So what is the big deal about boinking among books?

“It’s about the risk,” junior Arthur Dashan explained. “Not to mention, the libraries are iconic parts of [UR] so it’s more exciting.”

Junior Mary Juergens agreed.

“[It’s] definitely the thrill of potentially being caught,” she said, adding that another draw is convenience.

For some students, the answers are not always so clear.

“I have no clue [why],” senior David Mertz said.

However, when asked whether sex in the library is satisfying rather than just purely exciting, the answer was a resounding no for UR undergraduates.

“You do it just to say you did it,” Dashan said. “It’s definitely not the best.”

Clearly, risk over comfort is preferred here, as well as expediency over complete satisfaction. Maybe there should be some kind of sign that sex is going on in the stacks, kind of like a sock on the doorknob mechanism, but that takes away some of the risk.

The real questions is, are we so nerdy a school that we get turned on by books? Who knows.

For those who choose to partake in the pleasure, good for you.  For those whose study is interrupted by said pleasure? Instead of running away immediately, try yelling, “I hope there’s a condom in that book behind you!”

Gao is a member of
the class of 2014.

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