The 6 Rules to Dormcest

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Your dorm is home base. It's your safe spot meant for sleep, studying and friend time. The close proximity of everyone creates fast bonds, establishing a sense of family. However, even closer relationships are bound to evolve into the infamous “dormcest” scenario.

Originating from the familial analogy, “dormcest” is categorized as an “incestuous” action. Don’t be turned off by the idea, however. “Dormcest” is totally legal and much less guilt ridden.

Despite the convenience of “dormcest” there are many factors you need to consider before attempting to make a move on the hottie you’ve been eyeing since day one. “Dormcest” is a delicate matter that can quickly turn your awesome dorm into the last place you want to be.


1. Be careful whom you choose.

She's fit, smart and available, but is the hook-up really worth the risk? Matthew Mason* a junior at Chapman University, says, “Be smart [about] who the person is…do not just pick anyone that is willing.”

Just like any hook-up, maturity is key. Being with an older classmate allows for a mature relationship. John Banuelos, a sophomore at CSU Fullerton, states, “Go with sophomores or upperclassmen. They’re much better than the new freshman who just learned about latent sexual desires.”


2. Be mindful of the people that know.

If you want to keep your relationship hidden its always best to have an ally. Samantha Thompson*, a junior at the University of Oregon says, “Get your roommates on board with the situation so hiding it becomes a much easier task.”

With the help of your roommates it will be easier to explain why there’s another person in your room. Plus it makes coordinating alone time a less painful chore.


3. Be up front with the ground rules.

Before you jump into bed, make sure you lay down some ground rules. David Dakota* a junior at UC Santa Cruz says, “Be upfront about rules and whatnot right away, [and] don’t leave any question unanswered.”
Without rules things can quickly become complicated. You and your partner in crime should discuss whether you’re just hooking up or settling down, if you’re going to keep it a secret and if you’ll be exclusive. For Thompson, one rule she established in her “dormcest” fling was, “PDA was never allowed.” This kept the number of people who knew about their fling down to a minimum.

4. Keep the noise down.

One thing that could easily give away your fling is sound. Therefore if you’re planning on keeping your fling on the down low you better turn it down. All your hard work will be worthless if the entire hall can hear you screaming your partner’s name. John B says, “The worst part is knowing that people outside the room can either hear creaking or moaning.”

Always assume that the walls of your room are paper-thin. Try setting up some alone time when the majority of your hall is in class or, in places that people don’t usually go to (just make sure you don’t get caught).


5. If you don’t care, neither will your hall mates.

If after all your hard work people still find out about your relationship, don’t freak out about it. Dakota says, “We felt like if people found [out] we just wouldn’t make a big deal out of it, then neither would they. It worked.” Similar to second grade mockery if you don’t react to it, no one will care about your “dormcest” and eventually it’ll be old news.

Another approach is to just tell people about the relationship yourself. If you’re sneaking around people are going to be more interested in what you’re doing whereas if you tell people upfront, they might be surprised at first but they’ll move on. Claire Everson* says, “It was hard to keep it [a] secret and then we got over it by letting people know that we were in this relationship.”


6. Don’t take everything so seriously.

You’re young and in college so take this fling lightly and have fun! Even if things end badly and there’s awkward tension, it’ll pass. Besides isn’t it better to have hooked up and lost than to never have hooked up at all?

Dakota says, “Just 'do your thing,' otherwise the chances of growing feelings are pretty high.” With classes, exams and studying it’s best to keep everything very playful and stress free. College is your time to experiment and try new things. If you want to do that with the girl/boy next door, go for it.

*Names have been changed

Junior > English > University of California Riverside

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