The Thrill of “Never Have I Ever”
It might be a juvenile game you play in college, but “Never Have I Ever” exposes a very real and adult desire to share our dirtiest secrets with friends.
In college, whenever we would play “Kings,” a drinking game played with cards and a large group of people, everyone would complain when the “Never Have I Ever” round came up, as if we just dreaded this part in the game. But secretly, we all loved it.
For those unfamiliar with “Never Have I Ever,” it’s a revealing guessing game where your dirtiest deeds are revealed to everyone in the room – just by lowering your finger.
Here’s how it works: Everyone playing holds up three fingers. One person begins by saying, “Never have I ever…” and finishes the phrase with something they’ve never done (usually sexual) but they suspect or are curious whether other people in the room have. For instance, a good phrase would be:
“Never have I ever had sex in a hot tub.”
All those who have had sex in a hot tub are required to put one of their fingers down. Then, the next person says their “Never Have I Ever” phrase, and so on. The player who puts down all three fingers first, loses.
What I found so intriguing about this game was the energy it created – all of a sudden, the room would buzz with excitement as everyone’s eyes would dart back and forth to see whose finger went down on what phrase. We would all find out so much about each other with so little effort. When a finger went down after “Never have I ever had a threesome,” we would instantly know: “Wow, Jim definitely had a threesome.”
Because the game was so revealing, my heart used to beat incredibly fast with nervous anticipation whenever we’d play. I’d wiggle around uncomfortably in my seat, wondering what questions people would ask and if there was a chance all three of my fingers were going down (or, if they would prudishly remain up). I would be racked with nerves, but every time a phrase came up that I would have to put my finger down for, I’d revel in the tingling sensation that came with revealing my secrets to my friends.
Nine times out of ten, I would giggle as I slowly lowered my finger. If this was making me so nervous, then why was I having so much fun?