It’s been more than a little sluggish around university senior Eric Wheeler’s apartment these days. Work isn’t getting done. Classes are being skipped. And assignments have piled up. And all for good reason.
For the first time in 16 months, Wheeler is engaging in sexual intercourse. The sudden burst of sexual energy has drained him of his motivation for all other pursuits—not that he’s complaining.
“I’m having a hard time getting interested in anything else these days,” Wheeler says from his couch, wearing nothing but sweatpants and a sweatshirt. “It’s 3 p.m. right now and I haven’t done a thing all day—except of course have sex this morning. That was excellent.”
He has not attended a morning lecture since he and Scrole consummated their physical relationship last month, and is in danger of failing two other classes for which he has neglected to hand in papers. When he does go to class, he doesn’t take notes, nor does he participate in discussion sections.
Says Wheeler: “I’m getting some action.”
While girlfriend Debbie Scrole has seemingly had no trouble adjusting to an active sex life, Wheeler can only sit around, nap on the couch, and occasionally get up to prepare a can of ravioli, which he has taken to eating right out of the can rather than preparing it on the stove.
Wheeler had spent the past year and a half listlessly dating and finding sexual satisfaction only through masturbation—a habit in which he had been indulging in with alarming frequency. His lack of sexual activity did, however, contribute to a marked improvement in his academic perfromance. He earned a 3.4 grade point average during the three semesters he was not engaging in intercourse. Before that, when he was having an on-again off-again relationship with his upstairs neighbor Amy, his GPA was 2.7.
“Eric needs to not let sex be the only determining factor in his academic studies,” says Dr. Patricia Molling, associate dean of academic affairs. “While we have made exceptions in the past for those who have endured lengthy dry spells, there’s usually a two-year minimum before it makes it to my desk.”
At his current pace, Wheeler will earn a 1.9 GPA, an all-time low for a student who was once called “promising” by an undergraduate advisor. Others in the university administration see this radical drop-off in performance as a major strike against graduate school acceptance. Admissions officers across the nation will only acknowledge post-coital lethargy with trepidation.
“Only the most forgiving of admissions officials would look past such a drop-off,” says Lynn Fulton, Emory University’s Dean of Admissions. “But if Mr. Wheeler did apply here, we would of course factor in the reason for the bad grades, like we do with other extraordinary circumstances, like family tragedy and life-threatening sickness.”
Experts anticipate that once the novelty of the sexual activity wears off, Wheeler will regain academic focus—if it isn’t too late. Failing more than two classes would put Wheeler on academic probation—meaning suspension for a semester. Scrole, who claims to be energized, not drained, by the intercourse, doesn’t think it will go that far.
“He has already gone from two to three times a night to one or two,” she says.