Dear Di

It’s a beautiful day for a neighbour — would you be mine? Illustration: Rame Abdulkader.
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Dear Ty,

I met someone I’m really interested in during frosh week and I want to hook up — the only thing is, they live on my floor in residence. Friends, frosh leaders, and CA’s have all warned against floorcest, but is it really such a bad idea to hook up with someone on your floor? 

— A Friendly Neighbour

Dear FN,

To begin, I think congratulations are in order: you’re in university! You’re an adult now! Welcome to the social minefield that is adult relationships.

I think this is a situation a lot of first-year Gee-Gees have found themselves in this week. Frosh week presents so many great opportunities to mingle and meet someone new — it could be the person you were put in a group with for an icebreaker, a bus-buddy on your way to Camp Fortune, a lab partner, or yes, a floormate in residence.

One thing you should know right off the bat is that there is no explicit rule in the University of Ottawa’s Residence Agreement and Code of Conduct that prohibits sexual relationships with other residents. That being said, floorcest is truly a double-edged sword. So, FN, I’ll just give you the facts and let you make the judgement call.

On the one hand, you really can’t beat the convenience. Having a partner that can be in your bed within minutes of a text, DM or Snapchat is definitely a luxury. Also, don’t forget how long, cold, and brutal Ottawa winters are — sex without leaving the building will become even more enticing after the snow begins to fall. 

Also, if you’re both in residence, the chances are you’re both freshman and you’re going through all of the same things. Even if you’re not, you’ve certainly got some things in common. Common ground isn’t a necessity for a good hookup, but let’s be honest, social compatibility certainly doesn’t hurt.

Furthermore, despite the bad reputation, more people than you might think succumb to floorcestual relationships at one time or another. For example, at MIT, a survey of undergraduate students in 2009 showed that in one dorm, 52 per cent of sexually active residents admitted to having sex with someone on their floor.

There is, however, a flip side to the floorcest coin. All the benefits of close proximity can just as easily be turn-offs if things go south between you and your partner. You’ll have to see them on a regular basis, at floor socials and in passing in general, and you’re likely to bear witness to any of their subsequent conquests. Not to mention, even if things go smoothly, forget privacy — your whole floor will know exactly what’s going on. 

When it comes down to it, floorcestual relationships are just like any other relationship — their success or failure depends a lot on your mindset. If you’re the kind of person who can’t make eye contact with past sexual partners when you pass them on the way to class, floorcest is not for you. If you can keep things casual, regardless of the outcome, then this might be your perfect setup.

Yes, floorcest can be a balancing act. But you’re living on your own — you can make your own decisions! Just remember, with great power comes great responsibility.