CANTA issue #8, 2017

The reality of university life means there’s a huge chunk of students who live at home. Sometimes this is a choice. Sometimes it’s not.

There’s a high probability a large portion of these students do this for financial reasons. We get it, life is expensive. You’re piling up student loans just to get ahead in life, so it makes sense to stay at home to alleviate stress and keep the looming Babadook of adulthood at bay.
Home is warm, familiar, consistent. If you’re lucky, you have a family member who does their best to keep the place running like an well oiled machine. A clean bathroom with toiletpaper. Fresh milk. A heatpump with the timers all worked out.

Someone who thinks ahead for dinner, uses a slow cooker, washes your sheets. The rubbish doesn’t wheel itself out. Huh. Crazy. You might find, as cushy as this situation is, it does tend to keep you in a bubble. This extends the caregiver – child relationship past what society calls ‘normal’. I mean, if you were born 150 years ago you’d have been married by now, a few kids and a grandma all in one bed, and your teeth would be varnished wood. Instead, by some cosmic fate, you’re a millenial with touch typing skills, adequate bone density and GHDs. Kudos, you.

So how do you work on that transition to adulthood, without losing the comfort of family life? I͛ve pulled out a hotly contested subject that tends to be one of the minuses of living at home: sex. Nobody, and I really mean NOBODY wants their family knowing / hearing / seeing their sexual activity. Vice versa!

How do we navigate through this sticky (bleurgh) situation? Here’s some tips, from CANTA to you, How To: Live At Home And Still Have Casual Sex.

If a tree falls in the forest…

Once you’re past your mid 20s it’s virtually impossible to do this, so make the most of it now. Most parents/ caregivers will do anything to pretend you arent a sexual being. If you’re under 25, there’s still a grey area here for them. You could be just focussing on study? Maybe you just really love sports. All that higher level learning has you tuckered out. That bloody Net-Flick doesn’t help either.

See? They don’t want the truth. Indulge their fantasty a little bit longer. This is where you take advantage of your sporadic timetable. Thank you, university! While your ’rents are out, working, lunching, getting ingredients for the slowcooker, you can make poundtown can happen. Right? Wednesday at 10.30am? Get to it. Tag and release, and then have your “mate” = slink right out again.

There’s no reason they can’t hang around I guess… but your main objective here is to keep the illusion going.

Honesty is (maybe) the best policy

Now, I’m not advocating a sit down chat here. There’s no need for some explosive intervention, or dramatic PowerPoint presentation. Quite frankly that would a really painfully awkward option. If you do this though, make sure you send us Snapchats to @cantamag. Thanks.

There’s an opportunity here where you can just adapt slowly and introduce language and actions into your daily life. You’re not talking about one nighters, or FWBs. It’s dating. Ask for some opinions on some right swipes on Tinder. “Do you think they’re studying law?” Rather than “Do you think they’ll smash?”. Come on, this is a no brainer.

The more you normalise it, the less left field it will be. No amount of anything will stop it from being cringe, so let’s get that straight.

Switch up your bedroom space

Maybe switching up your space is a good way of getting away with homestyle lovin’. Is there a sleepout you can clear out? Maybe a sunroom with an external door?

Ideally you won’t be in this situation forever, so make sacrifices when it comes to aesthetics or space, if it means you have a little more autonomy. A sneaky door, or space away from the house means you can probably go buckwild. I hate myself for writing the word buckwild.

You can come up with creative ways to show your family you need to move rooms. I can’t be the one you rely on each fortnight for terrible advice, okay?!

The “We Need To Talk About Kevin” angle

Fuck it, you’re reading this magazine for advice, so you’re already a lost cause. Throw in a little bit of Alpha, a little bit of nudity and a lot of Slipknot. Have sex in every room of the house. Do it during Shorty St. Uncle Clive is over for the rugby?

Get to WORK. Invite a few people over, why don’t you? The sooner you desensitise your household to your butt-naked ambition, the better. This attitude will get you kicked out and cost a few years of counselling. It’s not worth it. Consider this tip the absolute opposite of what to do.

Issue Five: Tiny House 6