The Maastricht Syndrome

by: in Maastricht Students

The Maastricht Syndrome describes a lasting, location-dependent sexual low which is supposedly caused by external factors such as stress, work overload, lack of potential sex buddies or other turn-off forces linked to the environment. The Maastricht Syndrome is named after a town in Limburg in the Netherlands where it has been experienced by generations of students. Sexual frustration is generally associated with the Maastricht Syndrome. ( )

While I was out and about one of my dearest friends introduced me to the concept of Maastricht Syndrome. Apparently, the virtual community was already acquainted with the situation. Imagine my surprise: somebody actually documented the phenomenon.

It is a standing paradox that a town so populated by students is so dull and non-exciting. You would expect that business people would go out of their way to organize distractions every week, while feeding on the finances of the students. You would expect students to rebel against this situation and to organize parties that would make proud the producers of Project X. Not so long ago, Project X Haren caused riots, while Maastricht peacefully floated on oblivious. While I do not encourage such extreme manifestations of fun, this town really needs some life. I can already smell the indignation, but if you look at the facts, it is what it is. German students take off every Friday, either to go home or to visit friends. Dutch people from other cities take off as well for the same purposes. Other nationalities: those who can afford it, travel, and those who can’t, travel closer to Maastricht. In the end, everybody leaves, agreeing unanimously that Maastricht doesn’t quench our thirst and doesn’t satisfy our needs.

Talking of needs let’s address the most unbearable, most primitive and most poignant one at our age: sex. The definition of the Maastricht Syndrome best describes what happens in this city. You have in the same place at the same time a load of handsome guys and beautiful girls but no sparks. I rarely hear people bragging about their last conquest and both guys and girls seem more brave on facebook (Spotted: Maastricht University) than in real life. As for gay people, they complain even more about the size of the pond where they have to fish. I don’t even want to talk about the couples. What is wrong with young people? Does Western Europe have a low tolerance for PDA (Public Display of Affection)? Nobody holds hands, nobody kisses on the street, no signs of affection shown. From time to time I see a cute couple holding hands and smiling at each other and then I hear them talk and I figure that they’re not from around here. All jokes and indignation aside, I think it’s pretty sad. How long until we start having sex like Sandra Bullock and Sylvester Stallone in Demolition Man? (I know, stupid reference, but it’s the one that got stuck into my mind when I was ten.)

However grim the situation, Maastricht might be heaven to another category that we utterly ignore: the not-so-attractive guys. According to Urban Dictionary the Maastricht Syndrome has a Maastricht Effect. According to the website, the Maastricht Effect is

"a  phenomenon which affects attractive women who go to live/study in the small Dutch city of Maastricht. Out of desperation due to the complete shortage of men, they begin to pay attention to unattractive/odd men and give said men undeserved attention. Symptoms include : hitting laptops, freaking out over text messages, and screaming F***k you Bob at Vrijthof in the small hours of the morning."

A place that is an utter bore to most, might prove to be the perfect spot for others. I am curious if this information ‘leaks’, then Maastricht is going to face a surplus of unattractive guys?! So far nothing to be scared of. All in all, life’s sweet. These are the best years, according to everybody. Till next time!

About the author

Alexandra Bogos studied Law at Maastricht University. She was a contributor to the Maastricht Students blog from February 2013 to June 2013.