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Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alex Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every semester, fraternities host a formal, which consists of a group of guys bringing dates up to the mountains where they can drink, do drugs and maybe have sex. Going to formal is like a college version of prom. I’ve had the pleasure of going to two formals in the past three years at CU. There’s a sense of honor you feel when you are asked. You think, “Wow, I must be fun and pretty enough to get ask to such a function.”
But is formal really all that it’s cracked up to be? Yes, it’s nice to have a free trip to Aspen or Vail for the weekend. Plus, you’re surrounded by loads of free drugs and alcohol. The only thing you have to do is make a colorful cooler with the boy’s and frat’s names on it. Sadly, you didn’t just get asked to formal because of your great personality. These guys are paying between $200 to $500 for the weekend. They’re not just expecting a nice cuddle session.
I’ve heard horror stories of girls passing out in bed and waking up with their date’s friends trying to have sex with them. Girls have walked in on their dates having sex with another girl. They have even created a new sex position just for formal called the Houdini (don’t ask me what that even is).
When I first decided to write this article, I wanted to find out what formal really means to frat guys. I asked members three questions: Why do you bring a girl to formal? Are you trying to have sex with your date? And do you watch how much your date drinks?
The answers I got varied. Some frat guys ridiculed me. They claimed that these types of questions give frats a bad name. One guy even told me that based on my questions, I was taking the low hanging fruit about fraternities.
But almost every single one admitted to me in some way or another that it would be nice if they had sex with their date. They then asked me not put their names in the article or have their frat associated with this subject.
Basically, they explained that everyone knows what formal is really all about. But as fraternity men, they’re not able to admit that. These men like to keep this idea of formal on the down low. They said that telling people what they really do during formal would give them bad PR.
Some said that in order for them to bring a date to formal she needs to be fun, outgoing and the hotter the better. One guy even said that he would only bring a hot girl to formal to make him look good socially. There were also multiple guys who told me that they’re not going to pay $500 for a weekend and not expect something.
When it comes to formal, there’s a social pressure: the only reason you bring a date is to have sex with them. And if your date isn’t down to get laid that weekend, your brothers’ dates are up for grabs.
Sam, age 20, said, “It’s kind of a free for all unless you are actually dating that person. So no one really has dibs on their date or really expects something to happen or not to happen.”
Nevertheless, not all frat men are like this. Some are just looking for a fun weekend with their friends. They look for a date that would be fun to drink with and who can keep up with them during all the shenanigans.
At the end of the day, I’m not saying that formal is a horrific experience. It actually can be one of the best weekends during your college years. Just be aware of who your date is and what fraternity you’re going with. You don’t want to end up being that girl who walks in on their date having sex with someone else.