I did it for me, the points were secondary
About a year ago, I got naked, knelt down on the floor of Patty Boland’s, and formed the base of a human pyramid. I woke up the next morning with a bruise on my back from my teammate’s sloppily placed knee. At some point during the time it took to form that pyramid, someone had stolen the bra that I left lying on the floor. The bra was returned a few weeks later.
That was Vet’s Tour—I consented to every moment of it.
I had recently come out of a long-term relationship. I wanted to explore by budding bisexuality. I wanted to throw caution to the wind and engage in a night of pure debauchery. I wanted to make out with more people than I could remember, and be naked, and do shots, and embrace my body and other people’s bodies. I wanted the thrill, and yeah, I wanted the points.
I had heard whispers of Vet’s Tour the year before, but I had been in the aforementioned relationship. Participating in Vet’s Tour while in a monogamous relationship just doesn’t work. Once I was single, it felt right.
I joined a team and the stories rolled in. Laughing hysterically, people recounted their experiences and other stories they had heard.
When I went to the office to sign the waiver, I heard more stories. There was more laughter, more excitement and anticipation.
While I was getting ready with my team and walking over to the first bar, we speculated about what challenges might be on the list. More laughter. More excitement. More stories.
I am incapable of speaking for the other people’s experiences, so I can’t refute that some people may not have known what they were getting into, but I think it is important to consider that a lot of people genuinely enjoy Vet’s Tour. I also have to wonder, for the people who thought that it was an innocent night of beer pong: weren’t they curious about the intensity of the waiver?
I think it is incorrect to paint Vet’s Tour entirely with the rape culture brush. Everyone that I interacted with at Vet’s Tour wanted to be there. And when a challenge came along that went too far, I saw people take a step back, and I saw their teammates respect that.
For me, Vet’s Tour is similar to a No Pants Party. You go because you want to be in a sex positive environment and you want to feel comfortable about your body. Because usually you feel ashamed but for this one night you know that everyone is going to accept you. But everyone knows that you can’t wear pants to a No Pants Party. So, some people show up in a thong, and some people show up in a skirt. Both items of clothing embrace the theme of the party, but the participant decides how far they want to go.
Same thing with Vet’s Tour. I got naked. I formed a pyramid. I kissed and touched a whole lot of people. I drank some God-awful shots. But I didn’t have sex with anyone, and I didn’t get a piercing because that was beyond my personal limit.
I did things “for the points” but they were all things that I already wanted to do. Vets Tour just gave me the excuse to throw a grenade at my entrenched Catholic guilt and have a silly, sexy time.
—U of O student, participant in 2015 Vet’s Tour (Anonymous submission to the Fulcrum)