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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Pound 1: The Tell-All Of A Tease

Arianna Allen |
February 25, 2014 | 12:48 p.m. PST


Don't hate the player, but don't hate the game either. (Didi Beck, Neon Tommy)
Don't hate the player, but don't hate the game either. (Didi Beck, Neon Tommy)
A "tease": a female who entices you into thinking you have a chance.

In other words, a girl who flirts with you without the intention of “hooking up.” This has been my label for, well, as long as I can remember. 

I can’t help but wonder which specific instance or characteristic associated me with this “honorable” title. Perhaps my high-pitched voice leads boys on. Perhaps it started with my exploitation of slang terms of endearment. After all, "babe" and "bro" are staples in my vocabulary. Or perhaps my label came about because the only form of rebellion that I’ve ever dabbled with was a high school uniform violation here and there. 

But then I realized that I’ve never intended on falsely leading someone on. Does the fact that I value substance over sex make me a tease? Or does the concept that I’d like to hang out with a guy outside of his bedroom constitute as teasing? The fact that I’ve chosen not to partake in the hookup culture does not justify my classification. 

I don’t go out with the intention of hooking up; I go out to hang out with my friends and make new ones. At the risk of sounding cliché, I go out to make memories, to have stories that I’ll continue to laugh about for years to come. I go out for the college experience. 

Thus, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not a tease; guys are just tools. 

Let’s face it: does the guy who approaches you at the party ready to handshake your a** really want to know you? Did he really admire the way your eyes glimmered in the black light or did he like the way your chest glowed in that fluorescent white tank? This is not a rhetorical question. 

I’m not going to hold a guy’s player mentality against him, though. He’s simply a guy in college. Do I really need to say more? He’s a player, a persona that’s highly encouraged and admired by the collegiate system. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to physically submit to his beer-drenched charm and accompanying six-pack. 

I actually like becoming friends with these guys, instead of hooking up with them.

I’d rather avoid the infamous I-know-you looks in the campus center, the obligatory gaps in communication post drunk hook-up and the awkward trips to collect your forgotten belongings on his nightstand. I’d rather dance until the beat drops, talk about the time he went sky-diving, and make fun of his drunk frat brothers. Admittedly, it is much more meaningful to me for a guy to be able to tell his friend one thing about me, as a person, instead of, “oh yeah, I hooked up with her once.” 

I’d also like to know something about him besides if he sports boxers or briefs. (Granted, any respectable girl would not be hooking up with a guy who wears the latter.) I’d rather have an encounter of substance over sex, share a laugh over saliva. Plus, I secretly like the fact that I don’t need an extra set of hands to count my first semester hook-ups. 

Unless you don’t leave the stale claustrophobic realms of your dorm room, you’ve probably heard of the statement, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” I don’t believe in this statement. The truth is, I like the game. The game embodies so much of what makes college, college. The game creates compelling stories that we will retell years from now. It gives us the mistakes that we will learn from and the triumphs that we will cherish. It creates the obstacles we need to overcome. The game helps provide us with the experiences that we need to grow up.

Plus, who doesn’t enjoy watching the hot guy in a button-down do a keg stand or belting out the words to a Luke Bryan song in Los Angeles? 

After a long week of classes, these players and the game itself keep life interesting and fun. Players have a great sense of humor, unbelievably reckless stories and, deep down, they usually have the remnants of a heart. 

Play the game, but don’t succumb to it. Maintaining a friendship with guys has allowed me to hear the best college stories. I now know all the details of my best friend hooking up with his pledge master’s HOT sister (proud of you, kid). And I know the story of how my hyper-fratty friend spent his eighth birthday. If I had solely been a drunken hook-up, I wouldn’t know about many of my guy friends’ biggest fears, wildest adventures or absurd business ventures. Similarly, they wouldn’t know about mine. 

Don’t fall for the player, but still enjoy the game; relish in the home runs and admire the touchdowns. Don’t love the player, love the game. 

Because in this hook-up crazed culture, oftentimes the only thing we can do is just keep playing on.

Arianna Allen's column "The Freshman 15" explores lessons outside the classroom in freshman college life. Watch your pounds: get more here.
Reach Arianna here.



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