Sex Issue 5

All photos are from the 2023 Sex Issue, Jan. 26, 2023.

When you stick a bunch of 18 and 19-year-olds in a tight living space, hookups are bound to happen. 

The question is, why do people care so much about it?

At Western University, the act of hooking up with someone on your floor — colloquially known as “floorcest” — has become a staple of residence culture. 

For many, living in residence is the first time they have their own freedom to experiment and explore who they are as people — including their sexuality. That’s a process that’s both natural and part of developing into the next stage of life, and should not be discouraged and stigmatized. 

There’s a reason why Western has such a stigma around floorcest — it’s something that’s been handed down from generation to generation. It’s not uncommon for residence sophs to bring it up right at the start of Orientation Week. Once its reputation for controversy grows, it becomes an excuse for first-years to gossip.

Even the word “floorcest” — in part derived from the word incest — is problematic. It implies that floorcest is gross, shameful and a crime against your university “family” — your floormates. 

The “punishment” for engaging in floorcest — a candlelit dinner in the residence cafeteria — only adds to the drama. 

In practice, sophs only set up that event for floormates they believe will see it as fun, games and a funny story to tell their friends back home. In most cases, if sophs believed it would seriously embarrass a student, they’d use their judgement to give the floormates an out.

But even with leaders using their best judgement, the existence of the dinner itself can create anxiety for students and add to the notoriety that floorcest has. These candlelit dinners are a practice that shouldn’t continue.

Engaging in Floorcest is certainly riskier than other relationships. If the involved people handle their relationship immaturely, it’s not like they can simply avoid each other — especially in traditional and hybrid residences. Not only will the people in the relationship have to see each other all the time, but their floormates can and often do get caught in the middle. 

Sometimes, the floor vibes are never the same.

But the stigma surrounding floorcest punishes and shames the people who partake in it, and can place additional pressure on first-years during a time where they are just starting to mold into the university version of themselves.

Whether you partake in floorcest, avoid it at all costs or believe something in between, don’t judge others for their actions.

Live and let live. Your floor will thank you later.


Editorials are opinions representing the whole Gazette staff and are written by a member of the editorial board but are not necessarily the expressed opinion of each editorial board member.

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