Did you know there are over 21,000 students enrolled at UCSB? That’s 21,000 chances to meet someone you can converse with, flirt with and sleep with. The series of events along our condom-lined path to pleasure are pretty well mapped out and are strategically designed to lead directly to the Cave of Wonders. Step one: reserve your fun buddy with an early evening text message. Step two: convene at the party or Mexican food joint of your choice. Step three: slip away from your friends after a very public heavy petting session. Step four: naked.

You’d think that given our campus’ average 6.5 ranking on the Sexy Scale, our collective success in the bedroom would be comparably high, right? Right. Except that sometimes the path is a little crooked, sometimes the street signs are a little blurry and sometimes we find ourselves in a place no Gaucho should ever go: The Land of Blue Balls. Granted, it’s more often men than ladies who get to experience the joy of swollen and achy testicles, but take it from me: every gender group greets this blue house with its blue little windows with an “aw, nuts.”

Let’s face it: the Pleasure Path is not always paved with free shots and golden orgasms. Mishaps are out there, my friends, and they are not pretty. What happens, for example, when your bathroom buddy “accidentally” finishes a handle of UV before you get to Step two? You could try and lure in a new conquest, but by that time all the good ones are taken, and your invitation for a threesome might be interpreted as a swoop maneuver. You could purchase a personal fifth and try to catch up with your original reservation, but depending on how many handles are in the freezer, he might not be able to fit you in… or fit in you.

But let’s be fair. We can’t blame alcohol for all our problems. It got me through a rough weekend not too long ago, and I came out very well satisfied (wink). Sometimes the path to the Emerald City is marked by a series of red flags that all the vodka in International Market can’t hide. Yet still we trek along our path, ignoring the suspicious number of times we’re asked to pull his finger or check her pants for leaks throughout the night.

Even the most sober accidental mishap can ruin your sweaty plans for the evening. Trust me, nothing transforms a steamy moment into stinky one like your partner letting out a bacon-scented belch mid-makeout. And even though it didn’t hurt too bad when you hit your head on the bunk bed, it was embarrassing enough to remind you of the other bumps you might accrue that night. I bet you replace blue with a new favorite color when she decides she wants to snuggle without so much as a blow job, especially after she seemed so eager to stroke your, uh, ego, during step three. A friend of mine didn’t need to explain why he lost his mojo after the girl he brought home wee-weed in his bed — I guess some losses are too painful to describe. Word on the street is that the mythological girl who queefed in her partner’s face while celebrating her 69th hookup isn’t so mythological after all. And what happens when your man’s chihuahua joins you for your morning smush session and wants to get in on the action? These things do happen and, if we’re not careful, they can destroy our sex lives.

My suggestion? Stash Febreze near your bed, whack off in the bathroom before you spoon, avoid girls with small bladders and give the furry little bugger a pillow to hump instead. And if a smelly girl with long turquoise hair tries to lure you to her blue tower with seductive “da ba dee da ba di” moans, run for the hills.