Nothing good can come out of Christmas break. Sure, you may get that Wii you’ve been wishing for, or a pair of the elusive chocolate brown UGG boots, and although those items come as close as material items possibly can to inducing orgasms, they just don’t quite finish the job. Nothing gets a guy hard like that hot lookin’ cartoon on first base in Wii baseball, but unfortunately, his girlfriend is probably getting turned on by her new UGGs in some other part of the country.

Although Christmas break can be sex heaven for that tiny portion of the college population who are still together with their high school sweethearts, the rest of us are suffering through the hell of sex withdrawal – and not even the real, burn-for-all-of-eternity hell could be worse than the feeling between your legs when you know you won’t get laid until January.

That type of desperation only leads to negative behavior. Freshman year, I drove myself to my ex-boyfriend’s house. Sophomore year, I drove myself to masturbation. This year, I simply drove myself crazy.

It always seems like a good idea to go back to the ex over breaks from school. When you run into each other at a mutual friend’s house party, the only reasonable thing to do is have sex, right? Over my first college winter break three years ago, I conveniently forgot my ex from high school was a drug dealer with a new girlfriend.

But, nonetheless, I couldn’t hold out for three weeks of baking cookies with grandma and giving myself paper cuts with wrapping paper without the promise of a little nookie at the end of the day.

In the end, I learned break sex is just as painful as break-up sex – it’s almost impossible to resist the temptation of a familiar body that knows how to please you, but it only ends up hurting you in the end. On that final Sunday morning, you remember why you broke up in the first place, and you have to do it all over again.

By Christmas break the following year, I felt older and wiser. I deleted my ex’s number and bought a vibrator. Now, I’m not one to knock masturbation. In fact, under normal circumstances, I’m one of its biggest fans. But Christmas break masturbation is different for a few reasons. First and foremost, if you’re a girl, you just can’t masturbate when your parents are home. I know you boys do it all the time, and if your parents walk in on you, it’s a funny story to tell over the Christmas ham. If my parents walked in on me, my mom would never stop crying and I’d never be able to look my dad in the eye again. Boys will be boys, but girls better be ladies.

Aside from the potential embarrassment – and disownment – of using a vibrator under your parents’ roof, the act is downright depressing. If I’m masturbating in Santa Barbara, it’s because I’m in between classes and don’t have the patience to wait for my boyfriend to get home from rugby practice, but if I’m doing it in my hometown, it’s out of sheer boredom. There’s nothing more pathetic than lying in your childhood bed with Mr. Lavender the evening after Christmas simply because your friends won’t call you back.

With a few Christmas break guidelines under the tree, I headed home this year feeling strong, stubborn, smart… and completely sexually frustrated. You can take the ex-boyfriend off the speed-dial and the vibrator out of the suitcase, but you certainly can’t take the sex drive out of the college kid. I may not have made bad decisions this year, but let me tell you, virtue does not a good time make – if there is a female equivalent to blue balls, mine were nearing purple by the time the clock struck 2008.

The idea of winter break is to give students a break from studying, but apparently the committee that came up with the idea did not consider the negative side effects of a break from the Isla Vistan cesspool – you really don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.