Princeton. A well-established, reputable institution. A hotbed of intellectual curiosity and homoeroticism. Wait – come again?

Have you ever heard of the Princeton Rub? I hadn’t until last week. Now, I like to think I know as much sexual slang as the next work-oppressed college freshman, but I didn’t know the Rub from the beloved Locomotive. I pictured some sort of secret collegiate handshake, passed down in proud accord with other University traditions, and probably completed, vigorously, just after the awkwardly fascist arm swings in “Old Nassau.” Black and orange t-shirts lying around, un-purchased, at tent sales: “The Princeton Rub – Brisk Since 1746.”

If this is what I, an enlightened 21st-century coed, thought, picture the dismay of young Tigers back in Princeton’s all-male glory days. A second-year lacrosse player, invited to an exclusive Rub party, expects some back-pounds and a few liters of Beast. (Yes, they had it then, too. Improves with time, like bananas.) Imagine this sophomore’s rude surprise when, ten minutes into the party, everybody has his pants off and his manhood between somebody else’s thighs.

I found my extremely official definition of “The Princeton Rub” at HYPERLINK “” The exact wording is unimportant; its synonyms are frottage and swordplay, and it boasts many important references in the Western canon.

The website leaves no clue of the Rub’s actual origin, or if it transpired at Princeton at all. But even if the Rub evolved at – oh, say at Rutgers – the use of our University’s name is telling. In the Rub’s indirect contact lies an inventiveness born of repression.

Urban Dictionary really is the gift that keeps on giving. As I study up the Rub, I learn of several sexual practices that sport the “Princeton” moniker. There’s the Princeton Blumpy, which I won’t even try to describe (except to say that while the unaffiliated Blumpy lets things flow freely, its Princetonian cousin “corks it up” with waspish sexual angst.) There’s also my personal favorite – the Princeton Meat Slap – with a definition so charming that it bares quoting: “The act of slapping one’s member across an unexpecting party’s face.”

What does it say about us that our university’s name has been inextricably linked with phallic outercourse? As far as man-on-man sex goes, the Princeton Rub seems especially suited to uptight Ivy Leaguers: a mere dry dalliance, accorded with very little eye contact, back when Butler College was just a nightmarish post-industrial spark in an architect’s eye.

Do you enjoy reading the Nass?

Please consider donating a small amount to help support independent journalism at Princeton and whitelist our site.