College Myths Debunked: The Hidden Dangers of Ice Luging

Halloween Ice Luge 2

As college students, we are constantly inundated with new knowledge. It can be useful, thought-provoking, or crammed into our head on a Starbucks-fueled binge several hours before an exam. However, very rarely do we question the validity of all this new knowledge (unless you take philosophy classes, then you’ll question away).

That’s where College Candy comes in. We’re not going to debate whether or not the Theory of Relativity actually exists (a disappointment, I know, but I’m a communications major and stopped taking science classes after Baby Bio fresh year). However, we are here to thoroughly investigate the most widespread college knowledge (no, not rhyming): the myth. Last week we discussed breaking the seal and this week we’ll investigate the ice luge (the non-Olympic variety, of course).

While sliding down frozen mountainsides is somewhat adventurous, nothing compares to the college Ice Luge. 6 feet tall, carved into the shape of your school mascot, fraternity letters, or just a giant wedge, the ice luge will leave you liquored up and slightly frostbitten around your mouth and nose.

A  game day staple, ice luges can most commonly be found at tailgates or other large parties, typically attached to girls in various stages of drunkenness. Also known as vodka slides, these blocks of ice with carved channels for various types of alcohol are a college favorite, as many of my Facebook albums can attest to.

Recently, when mentally preparing my mother for the debauchery she may or may not witness on parents’ weekend, I warned her that tequila in any amount will have me shouting at the top of my lungs that she NEEDS to do an ice luge. To my dismay, she said “no effing way” in so many words and I demanded an explanation for her lack of ice luge enthusiasm. Her excuse? Fox News told her she would get gonorrhea from it.

I experienced a roller coaster of emotions: shock, sadness, betrayal and disbelief. I figured this needed serious investigating, so I consulted several of my sorority sisters—they had all heard variations of the “Don’t do any more vodka slides or you’ll get an STD” story. However, a couple of upside down margaritas with the Sigma Chi boys had them singing a different tune—one that slurs along with Lady Gaga and insists that “ice kills germs, alcohol kills germs, it’s like hand sanitizer for your mouth!” With such conflicting theories on this particular college myth, I decided to do some serious research and visit the good people at

According to, “Herpes is spread by direct skin to skin contact. Unlike a flu virus that you can get through the air, herpes spreads by direct contact, that is, directly from the site of infection to the site of contact.” Therefore, unless you share the mouth-end of the ice luge with some guy (or gal) who has the Herp, it’s nearly impossible to get from an alcoholic ice sculpture.

As for Gonorrhea, it “is spread through contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus.” Nothing on there about contact with the ice luge. In some cases, your ice luge may be shaped like any of the aforementioned body parts, but unless someone has been swabbing the mouth piece of it with a petri dish full of gonorrhea bacterium, you should be fine.

I started to notice a recurring theme, but just to be safe, I checked out how exactly Chlamydia is spread: “by vaginal and anal intercourse,” and occasionally via oral. Guess how it’s not spread? Through casual contact, and what could be more casual than ice luging in cutoffs and flip flops?

After researching the trifecta of college STD’s and their possible relation to ice luges, I have come to the conclusion that catching any kind of sexual disease from drinking (not sex) is highly, highly improbable. However, given the predictions of H1N1 breakouts on campuses across the nation (Florida State predicts that 25% of us will contract the virus), avoiding the ice luge may be in your best interest, even if you can’t catch an STD from it.

So remember, when that wasted girl insists that the cold and alcohol kills all the germs, she is wrong—but it won’t give you gonorrhea.



  1. Casey says:

    Well I'm glad to know I turned down the ice luge at my friends fraternity party at FSU this summer.

    But people actually thought you could catch an STD from a nonsexual act?! Really people!? I thought that theory died with the "you can catch an STD from a toilet seat" scare.

  2. anon says:

    The thing is though, you're not touching their mouth, but if their mouth was just on there and their saliva is on there, and then you immediately put your mouth on there the end result is the same which is that the fluids from their mouth touch your mouth, though your source says Herpes and HPV spreads via direct contact, what you're missing is that your mouth is directly contacting their mouth's saliva.

    I don't know for sure but I would definitely not dismiss it based on the info you have here.

  3. anon says:

    Also, check out this paper from the Journal of Infectious Diseases on saliva and the transmission of human herpes. A few quotes: Spruance et al…isolated herpes simplex virus from 25% of saliva samples during active disease. Previously Douglas and Crouch showed the presence of HSV in 24% of oral secretions collected durng active RHL. AND, the paper goes on to say the rates are three times higher in people who concurrently have the common cold. Etc etc.

    1. Blah says:

      That would require the poster of this article to do actual research outside of Google. Kari is simply not capable of that since she is still recovering from he luge trials in Florida last night. BTW- She placed 2nd and earned the prize of being taken home by Bubba and two of his closest friends. Luckily, the cold sores wont appear for 30-180 days, so by that time she will have no recollection of which event she contracted the disease from.

      On the lighter side of things, 50 to 80% of Americans are estimated to have HSV1, so it is more likely that the OP has already contracted and is not yet showing symptoms. After all, the "blooms" of HSV1 always occur on the bows of ones lips right? Never in ones nasal cavities or inside ones mouth. And of course, it can only be transmitted if you come into direct contact with someone's sore…right?

      I think the OP has some serious growing up to do. While Hepes is considered an STD, it is above all else a virus. It goes through stages known as viral shedding, and a specific process known as budding (the same process as smallpox). HSV in particular can and does get transmitted through casual contact, and once its progeny are expelled through budding, they can survive outside of a host for several hours, maybe longer given the right conditions.

  4. Anon: Sure, if such a situation were to happen and the person before you were to have herpes (the oral variety), then you might get it. What is mouth herpes? A cold sore.. and really not that big of a deal.

    I've never heard of ice luging, but I can't imagine it comes with any more risk than funneling or any other kind of activity shared amongst many people.

  5. Danielle says:

    …ice luging? Is this real? I've been in college for a year and never heard of it. Wow, I must be missing out.

  6. Star says:

    While I like the ideas of these College Myths Debunked articles, I don't think they belong on this website. First off, they are written as a blog, not a question and answer with a professional like some of the other articles are. Secondly, a simple Google search or Internet search, even from websites you trust, can give you completely wrong information. I'm a freelance writer and you would be surprised at the type of information that's written by people who have no experience in the field, yet it passes for "expert" advice. Just a friendly tip :)

  7. […] Hidden Dangers of Ice Luging [CollegeCandy] […]

  8. […] That’s where College Candy comes in. We’re not going to debate whether or not the Theory of Relativity actually exists (a disappointment, I know, but I’m a communications major and stopped taking science classes after Baby Bio fresh year). However, we are here to thoroughly investigate the most widespread college knowledge (no, not rhyming): the myth. […]

  9. says:

    (MDT): For those of you who turn into prolific and inappropriate texters after a few drinks, be warned: your SMS ramblings may end up as someone else’s entertainment online.

    ——>>> ( )

  10. Luke says:

    Natural and safe therapies for Gonorrhea

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  11. Eww says:

    Herpes is an incurable disease and causes many hardships for many people. It causes red sores all over your mouth and anywhere else it pleases. I would NOT want to risk getting herpes just for a night of "fun". Those college kids are seriously brain dead if they think they won't catch anything from those ice luges.

  12. Ice Luge - NY says:

    Frozen decorations for your event

    Whether you’re throwing a big fancy wedding or a no-holds-barred frat party, you will need an ice sculpture. These classy, yet fun and whimsical sculptures range from cupids and hearts to sports teams and ice luges. Luges are a fun way to cool down your shot or drink immediately without having to shake it with ice or stick it in the fridge. ice sculptures can be made for any occasion, with any shape. Naturally, you’ll need to take care of your sculpture and keep it in a cool place until it’s time to display it.

    Then, of course, it’s important to have a sanitary and out-of-the-way place for the sculpture to melt. It’s going to melt unless you keep it in the freezer, and it’s unlikely that’s where you want your guests to have the party. Ice sculptures are a really fun way to add a touch of class and a cool centerpiece for your guests to enjoy. Ice luges are another fun way to cool your drinks, and you can either let the beverage flow into a glass or drink straight from the luge design by

    Whether you choose a sculpture or an ice luge really depends on the kind of party you want to have. Ice sculptures are almost a staple item for weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, anniversary parties, and other special events. They add an extra bit of class and elegance to an already beautiful party, and are a great centerpiece and point of interest. Some sculptors will even make ice punch bowls to keep drinks cool, or large hollow ice cubes that can hold shots, drinks, or even snacks like ice cream, cold desserts, and cold hors d’oeuvres.

    Whatever you choose for your wedding, party, or other special event, it’s important to keep it tasteful and in keeping with your personal style and with the theme of the party itself. If you let someone else order your sculpture for you, be sure they have your tastes in mind and have good taste themselves. Many times, a party planner and the guest of honor are not on the same page, so be sure you’re getting what you want.

  13. Ice luge expert. says:

    Commenters that believe they're going to contract an STD/sickness from an ice luge are morons! Have you ever taken a shot off an ice luge? Probably not. If you had, you'd know that the ice is constantly melting. When you use it after someone else, the ice they sat their lips on is already gone & fresh ice takes its place. Quit being whiney babies!

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