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The good, the bad, and the glitter: a positive review of Rio SSB



The Safer Sex Ball returns to Exeter, and this time it’s armed with glitter. 


A parade of all things fit, flesh and feathers - SSB is back.
A parade of all things fit, flesh and feathers – SSB is back.

When it was announced that there would be two SSBs this year, my housemate and I could barely contain our excitement. After quickly weighing up the pros and cons of Rio vs. Winter Wonderland we opted for the drama of glitter and feathers and promptly bought our tickets. Fast forward four weeks and we realised we had two weeks left to get into shape – first term is never good for the waistline, especially when you’re refusing to put on the heating and need all the extra body fat you can muster. After a quick panic we tried on our outfits, declared ourselves monstrous and vowed to live off kale juice for three days. If Gwyneth Paltrow can do a juice detox, then so can we! Right? Wrong. I lasted until 5pm. In the end we decided to get over it, eat a bit healthier and treated ourselves to a kimono.

The getting ready process was lengthy – and I’m still finding glitter absolutely everywhere. We excitedly poured into the coach, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at everyone’s outfits. Some people really went all out and looked absolutely fantastic… There is a reason as to why half of the students seem to live in sportswear here, and our reputation for being one of the best looking Universities remains intact.

Glitter, everywhere. Image credit: warpaintmag.com
Glitter, everywhere. Image credit: warpaintmag.com

When we first arrived we were welcomed with endless queues. It took us 45 minutes to put our coats into the cloakroom and another 30 minutes to get a drink at the bar. You would have thought that the Enchanted Party Group would have learnt by now that they needed to sort out their queuing systems. By now I felt sober and very aware I was naked, so I decided the best possible course of action would be to down four double vodka cokes in a row on an empty stomach. From here on in the night became significantly better – but also a bit of a blur. I had limited success staying on the rodeo bull, but was better at the surfboard. My friends and I were tempted by the bouncy-castle but reasoned that we weren’t actually wearing much to keep everything in place. And in true carnival style we danced the night away. Apparently there were queues for the coaches’ home… something that I genuinely don’t remember, but with the Enchanted Garden Ball in recent memory and the cloakroom drama – I was expecting queues to get home. In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have downed all those drinks in one go on an empty stomach… and my gosh is hindsight a bitch. Stood in my shower the morning after, one whiff of my Aussie shampoo was enough to cause projectile vomit. The worst part? It was glittery – that stuff really does get everywhere.

So was it worth the kale juice and glitter vomit? Absolutely. With all the sequins, glitter and feathers it was hard not to get swept up in the party atmosphere and join in with everything – and my god was there a lot to do.


Isobel Knight, Publicity Officer

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