Flatcest: Yay or Nay?

The cardinal sin of uni... is it worth the risk?

Marina Snyder
14th February 2023
Image credit: Unsplash
When arriving at university it is most likely you will be told one rule and one rule only: whatever you do, don’t commit flatcest.

For those who don’t know, ‘flatcest’ is the term coined when people who live together, flatmates, get together or hook up. Coming to university and hearing about the horrors of flatcest, I didn’t think it would be that likely to occur, thinking of it as more of a myth than anything else. However, to my surprise, flatcest is an occurrence that happens way more than one would first believe to do so.

Living in close proximity to someone means it's not so surprising that flatcest can be a regular occurrence for many students. In fact, according to a survey by the Guardian, 26% of students say they've had a sexual relationship with someone they live with.

It’s an interesting and strange dynamic because you now live with the person you sleep with

But is it such a good idea? Well, flatcest can go two very different ways. In comparison to other sexual relationships such as one-night stands, the risks are much higher due to the fact you will have to not only see this person every day but live with them. It’s an interesting and strange dynamic because you now live with the person you sleep with, and therefore boundaries must be placed from an early start.

For one thing, there is something that should be noted in the convenience of committing flatcest, in that, it means no walk of shame from someone else’s accommodation (apart from your own flat corridor), no need for awkward pleasantries (You already know each other and your living habits) and it means you can take the time to be comfortable with someone you already know. With that said, It’s not for the weak. If it leads to a relationship, then it can still be complicated; you’re skipping crucial steps and essentially going straight to living together. If it’s just a bit of fun, then you’re potentially jeopardizing your flat dynamic and once again, must live for a whole year knowing the person making breakfast across from you, has seen you naked.

All in all, it depends on the situation, the people, and the dynamic. Essentially, flatcest is not for the faint-hearted, but with that said, I wouldn’t completely take it off the table either; for one thing, if all goes sour, at least you have a story to tell.

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