Imagine coming home from a night on the town. You’re hungry, drunk and totally out of food. Mechanically, you peer in the fridge, hoping to find that the microwavable burrito you ate for dinner magically reappeared during your absence. Instead, you find yourself face to face with your roommate’s leftover pizza. This presents you with a plethora of opportunities: Close the fridge and risk a serious hangover, quickly and appreciatively devour a piece and hope it goes unnoticed, or guzzle the entire thing and offer to replace the pizza when said roommate notices the discarded crusts the next morning. Decisions, decisions. The good thing about this scenario is that pizza is replaceable (unless it’s pineapple, in which case, STEP OFF, BITCH!). Replace pizza with people, however, and the guzzlers get slightly screwed. Trader Joe’s doesn’t carry readymade people in the frozen section, and when you decided to surreptitiously munch on your best friend’s ex-girlfriend, you must decide: Confess or not confess? That is the question.

There are several ingredients to consider before making your final decision. First, there’s the freshness factor. If you’re trying to mack on your bff’s leftovers right as she’s leaving the table, there’s a chance that she was planning to come back for seconds. Trust me, the last thing you want is to get caught with your hand in the cookie jar… especially when the cookie jar is her ex-flame’s still-unbuttoned pants. As any self-respecting college student knows, the longer leftovers are neglected, the greater the chances you’ll be able to snag a piece. While I certainly wouldn’t dare reduce passionate lovers to stale fast food (although they’re both great for breakfast, lunch or dinner), the similarities are striking. When they don’t belong to you, it’s important to make sure the original owner is thoroughly through feasting — literally and, well, literally.

Then there’s the owner to consider. If you’re sneaking nookie sessions with your hairdresser’s nephew’s neighbor, I think we can agree that the term “sloppy seconds” isn’t nearly as accurate as “Oh my god! I have that strain of herpes, too!” Just a few weeks ago, my inquiry as to the girthiness of my friend’s latest squeeze could have been answered by a number of females in the car. There was no awkwardness, however, thanks to the girls’ distant relationships at the time of the nudy sessions. If anything, it’s a handy “titbit” to exploit during 10 fingers! However, if you’re trying to mess with someone a little closer to home, say, your homie’s high school sweetheart he dumped last week, that’s a horse of a different color. If you want to stay friends with this homie, you’re going to have to wait for that tempting, long-legged slice to cool down a bit before you get the sauce in and around your mouth.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, you must consider the toppings. Let’s say you’re famished, and your roommate orders a pizza. As her confidant and perpetual borrower of her clothes, filching a piece with her favorite flavors is a great way to find yourself cut off from her wardrobe… and discarded sexual conquests. If she enjoys her men hung like horses, try to avoid the piece dripping with sausages. Find an alternative — if she’s less than enthusiastic about the ginger she snubbed last week, but has a soft spot for Latinos, snag the slice with sun-dried tomatoes rather than the one with spicy, tanned, muscle-rippling jalapenos.

Isla Vista is a small town, and it gets smaller every year. It’s nearly impossible to find a bedroom door that not one of your friends has tapped, but that certainly doesn’t mean you’re doomed to an everlasting dry spell. Remember, sharing is caring — it sure can be fun!

And if your roommate berates you for feasting on their sloppy seconds without permission, remind them that you only got naked with the cheesy bastard so you wouldn’t get sauce on the shirt you borrowed that night. Now that’s courtesy.