Rego: The trickle down effect of the sexual food chain

Shay Rego

Editor’s note: This is a satire piece from The Collegian’s opinion section. Real names may be used in fictitious/semi-fictitious ways. Those who do not read editor’s notes are subject to being offended.

There’s an unspoken system set in place that exists in the world of sex, hookups and dating. The sexual food chain was created by individuals with very high self-esteem paired with high physical attractiveness to rate the attainability of a partner.


In college, it’s important to recognize the sexual food chain and where you stand on it to avoid any potential emotional damage. You are already unknowingly participating in it every time you swipe right on Tinder.

This article will dissect the verified rating system of attractiveness, as per the high school kids talking in the bathroom in between classes. 

The major unwritten rule of dating is being with someone of equal attractiveness and who is in the same league as you. The unwritten rule of hooking up is to aim lower but aim for a person who is somewhat attractive. Let’s break this down.

First, one must understand the rating system — on a scale of one to 10. For example, an extremely attractive person is usually rated between eight and 10, while an average bodied individual might only land on the scale at a six. This is how society ranks attractiveness on the sexual food chain.

Some attributes of a 10 may include being very fit, being kind and good-humored, having great hair that looks fresh straight out of bed and having perfect teeth. Some attributes of someone in the five range may include having a little extra body cushion, not being the sharpest tool in the shed, having malicious or unkind tendencies and not showering regularly.

For dating, it’s pretty straightforward. Most likely, people usually date people in their league. Sixes date other sixes or sevens and eight to 10 people date eight to 10 people. You date someone you think is sexy and that you are proud to show off, like a trophy of captured attractiveness that is now yours.

You and your partner’s attractiveness coincide on the sexual food chain as equals.”

In regards to sex and hookups, it’s a little different. You’re sitting there on Tinder, desperate for sex, so you just swipe right and right and basically keep swiping right until someone finally matches with you. You don’t care what they look like, so with that mentality, chances are you are going to end up hooking up with someone below your league out of desperation.

Ding ding, you have a match. You are a seven and they are maybe a five, but it doesn’t matter. Why? Because this is just someone you’re going to have sex with to release hormonal tension, not someone you’re bringing home to meet your parents and plan the wedding.

This whole sexual food chain of having sex with people out of our league or below our league can shatter confidence both ways. Someone who is a six and consistently bangs eights has the unrealistic expectation that they can date eights because they have sex with them. Vice versa, that person who is an eight and bangs sixes might lose their game for their own league.

The trickle-down effect is what happens when it finally ends at sloppy seconds. The Online Slang Dictionary defines sloppy seconds as basically getting with someone after someone has already been with them. Theoretically, that would make almost everyone someone’s sloppy seconds — but there’s a difference.


Getting true sloppy seconds usually occurs when the sloppy second is feeling low on their self-esteem. They may even trickle further down the food chain to someone below their league in order to be assured of not getting turned down.

Clearly, this is exactly how the world works. Try not to get too offended because obviously all of this information is true and accurate, and not at all subjective in its nature.

This is not to try and dissuade anyone from dating above or below them. Plenty of people get lucky and date other people out of their league. This is just a precautionary tale of how most of the food system functions. 

Shay Rego can be reached at or on Twitter @shay_rego.