Pious readers will know of the Stations of the Cross, a series of representations, sculptural or pictorial, depicting fourteen important moments during the last earthly hours of Our Saviour. I'm sorry to say that the student body had sacrilegiously appropriated the terminology of the Stations into the euphemisms of its erotic slang. 'The First Station' meant holding hands while French-kissing. Arrival at the Fifth involved manual stimulation through underwear (preferably someone else's). Six was unzipping or de-knickering. Seven I don't wish to go into. Gaining the Eighth meant you'd persuaded your co-conspirator of the time-honored biblical injunction that it was better to give than to receive. Fortunate to progress beyond Nine, your gratitude to the heavens was deep. Not that I myself had ever forged so far along the road. On this pilgrimage, I was a Four, if that. The only person I'd ever gone to bed with was myself. I suspected that myself and I would be better just as friends. But we were finding it hard to split up.
Joseph O'Connor, The Thrill Of It All (2014)