“Never kiss and tell.”

If your upbringing was anything like mine, your grandmother ensured a place for this advice in the back of your mind, right next to “always wash behind your ears.” You’ve never been the sort to dismiss Grandma’s wisdom… until the moment you’ve stumbled through your front door at noon, wearing last night’s stilettos and a smile. Your roommates’ expectant silence implores an alibi, and you’re instantly conflicted. But a wave of after-sex enlightenment assures you that if Granny were reincarnated into a young Isla Vistan, her monday night bingo crowd would be getting an earful of a little more than meatloaf recipes. All this considered, you spill — and you spill it all.

For me, kissing and telling has blossomed from an unhealthy habit into a full-time paid gig, much due to the fact that I have exhausted my immediate circle of listeners. One more story about a disappearing glow-in-the-dark cock ring, and they would have me committed to a convent. Lucky for them, I’ve got 20,000 new pairs of ears; lucky for me, I’ve got a whole year’s worth of kinkier-than-life wisdom to conjure up. Research has never been so much fun.

Though my years of practice in the field have proved fruitful, I still find myself perplexed by our infatuation with the kiss-and-tell culture we’ve created. Isla Vista proudly functions as the “who’s who in getting laid,” swapping and assessing sexual exploits like a sixth grader’s Pokemon cards. However, us chatty little Gauchos can’t take all the credit — studies have shown that almost 70 percent of the general population, men and women alike, admits to talking. What exactly inspires our need to divulge such intimate details? Here’s where the gender gap divides us.

I’ve found that there is one thing that a man holds dear, even more than a fantastic blowjob: his ego. When the ego has been fed, nothing more is needed, which is why his kiss-and-tell rarely elaborates past, “Yep, I did her.” The explicit details are only his to marvel, filed away in a place where they can be tapped into only if the sacred ego is questioned. Women, on the other hand, take comfort in camaraderie. Guys, it’s not that we mean to put your personal life on blast, but sometimes our very being relies upon whether that thing you did is normal, and whether it’s normal for us to have enjoyed it. Besides, it’s common courtesy: If a friend-in-need bares her soul, it’s only polite we throw in a few of our own nasties to balance it out.

Of course, nothing makes observing gender difference more exciting than the occasional train wreck. Ladies, you may have experienced this as early as your freshman year. You find yourself caught up in the traditional initiation into UCSB, which follows an obligatory order of events: move-in, convocation, regretful hookup. Before long, fate brings you to the bed of Good & Plenty (nicknamed for his bountiful array of sex partners). For a straight week, you repeat the same ritual: Each morning, he walks you out the door, and with a sly wink to his buddies across the hall, he presses you against the wall and kisses you goodbye. Faster than his door can slam, you hightail it back to your room where your roommates await and pour out the details. You leave nothing to the imagination, from his ski-slope penis to the dying walrus sound he makes right before he comes.

Meanwhile, Good & Plenty keeps considerably mum on the issue, content with the silent understanding that he is getting laid regularly. However, the inevitable consequences of dorm living catches up, and when word of your less-than-discrete recounting gets back to Good & Plenty, he is livid. Needing to compensate for the ego blow, he unleashes his arsenal of sordid details, revealing a particular biting blunder that ensures you won’t be giving head on that floor anymore.

Kiss-and-tellers, I offer you this advice: Preserve your sex life by playing nice. If you simply can’t, come and find me. Your secret’s safe with my readers — I mean, me.