So, you think the guy you hook up with every other Thursday in the corner of Tonic is going to be your Valentine? Think again.

No place in the country can compete with Isla Vista when it comes to celebrating the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, St. Patrick’s Day and pretty much every weekend of Spring Quarter. Somehow, though, the excitement level on Valentine’s Day seems to be about on par with that on Groundhog Day or the chancellor’s birthday in our little collegiate community. In a town where Keystone Light trumps Champagne, people prefer Freebirds to filet mignon, and even the girls would rather give quick blow jobs on Del Playa Drive park benches than lie down on a heart-shaped bed and partake in passionate lovemaking – I’d have to say romance is pretty much dead.

Granted, I’m sure there are a few couples out there, lost in the drunken abyss, making the effort to have a traditional American day of smooching their sweetheart. They’re the same couples who choose to live together instead of sharing a bathroom with eleven of their closest friends, and drive to L.A. on Saturday nights to go to art openings rather than attend the double-keg rager on Trigo. These couples are Isla Vista urban legends. We don’t know where they are, and we’ve never met any of them firsthand, but we know they’re out there. Probably somewhere on Sueño.

If you’re like the majority of UCSB kids, you would rather watch your roommate do a keg stand than stare deeply into your lover’s eyes. Even those of you in relationships know how to keep your priorities straight. Why cuddle up in front of the boob tube on a Friday night when you can walk into almost any house on the block and cuddle up in front of real boobs? We all know at least one girl who throws back 10 shots of Captain, only to throw the shirt off her back 10 minutes later. There’s nothing like real-life porn to put you two in the mood, and there’s no place like Isla Vista to experience nudity in the street. And if it’s one of those rare weekends when all the freshmen remain fully clothed back at FT, take the proverbial bull by the horns – prance into the party at 66-whatever, bare boobies first. Everyone will think you’re a slut… but hey, at least you’ll give your boyfriend a boner.

So why should Valentine’s Day be any different? In Isla Vista, the couple that parties together stays together, and the friends that party together become couples. Unlike in the real world, where extreme inebriation could be considered – gasp! – unattractive, throwing up over a balcony is a surefire way to score in Isla Vista. My point: Whether you’re single, in a relationship or experiencing some sort of “complicated” situation, make sure you drink too much on February 14. On such a high-pressure holiday, it’s the only way to guarantee good sex.

If you’re single, nothing says “Fuck Valentine’s Day” like having a stranger go down on you. Live it up. Laugh at all your coupled-up friends who have to suck the same dick every day. If you’re in a relationship, your partner will expect wonders from you just because of the date on the calendar, and liquid courage will be the only way to get the balls you need to try that move you saw in Maxim. Even if you’re horrible at it, you’ll be good – when has drunken sex ever been bad?

And if, for some reason, you consider your relationship status to be somewhere in between the two extremes, you have an excuse to buy your complication a sex toy – I’ve heard vibrating cock-rings are big sellers this time of year – and put all uncertainty aside for one night. Even if you have reservations about how the other person feels, give in to the temptation between your legs. You can have sex with anyone on Valentine’s Day. Cupid said so.

If all else fails, at least Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year. Maybe that guy at Tonic will buy you a shot at love.