In the United States prom (short for promenade) is a semi-formal (black tie) dance or gathering of high-school students. It is typically held near the end of the senior year (i.e., the last year of high school). It is notable for being preceded by expensive restaurants and whining and being followed by crying, sex, drugs, children, and, well, sex. So, in short, it is an excuse for teenagers to have sex.
Boys usually dress in black tie (a dinner jacket and bow tie), sometimes with brightly colored cummerbunds or vests, though any sort of formal wear can be worn. Traditionally, girls gave boys matching boutonnières to be worn on the tuxedos. Girls traditionally wear formal gowns or dresses adorned with a corsage given them by their date. All of these clothes are, of course, removed during the five or so hours of sex usually following prom.
Common prom activities include dining, dancing, the crowning of a prom King and Queen, socializing, and passing on STD's. In some cases, high school students accumulate funds for their class prom through fund raisers over the four years they attend their high school. High schools in or near large cities may rent ballrooms at expensive hotels or, to be unusual, venues such as a pleasure cruise boat. Many students group together to take limousines to their proms. Rock music and hip hop are commonly played. All of this expense is paid for by the boys, eager to impress their dates, thus increasing the chance of sexual activity.
In Britain, Canada and Australia the terms formal and grad are most commonly used for occasions equivalent to the American "prom", and the event is usually held for those graduating high, secondary or middle school. Typically, Australian high school girls feel that prom is the most romantic night of their lives. They may go in a group that includes a person they have known for years; other times, students just try to find a date that they like. Most high school boys feel that prom has the best sex in their lives. They go with whomever they feel will provide the most interesting sex.
Pre-Prom is a term used to describe the months leading up to a large school dance such as Prom, Formal or the like. Pre-Prom is important because of the planning aspects. This is the time when dates are found, limos are reserved, lies are equipped, dresses and tuxedos are rented (or made if you're poor as shit) and schools deliver rousing presentations on why the consumption of alcohol leads to instantaneous death.
Pre-Prom is different for different people.
Sweaty Men on Sweaty girls, Girls crying over men, Men crying over not getting any, and Teachers crying over losing students...what's not to love?
Post-Prom is a roughly ten hour period where awkward sex (for virgins), awkward sex (for non-virgins), drinking, drug-consumption and more gangster rap occur. Post-Prom can result in either death, loss of brain cells, a girlfriend, a child, AIDS/HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, (Genital) Herpes, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, Genital Warts, Crabs, Herpe-gono-syphil-AIDS, or Gono-Herpe-Syphil-itis, an addiction (to sex), or a blank memory. It is recommended that all photograph machines used during prom are broken just prior to the start of post-prom, and an STD test is taken post-post-prom.
To say to your mother, "I'm going to the school dance" usually implies that the following actions will occur:
- You will go to Ross and buy a crappily made by sweatshop child labour dress/dress suit which smells vaguely of cows and glue sticks.
- You will decide that said costume of merriment looks terrible on you. Even if it doesn't. It's a rite of passage into having no self-esteem.
- You will draw a picture of your date, if you have acquired one and that isn't bloody likely, and give it to them, paying special attention to the shading of the lipline.
- You will drive to the local pharmacy and consult your local whore/man whore as to which condom is best, both for contraception and economic value.
- You will get your older brother Darren to buy you cheap alcohol.
- You will make it to dance, stand by the sides, and not get asked to dance by anyone except for the creepy creepy guy who doesn't even have classes with you and follows you into the girls bathroom.
- You will give up on dancing during slow dances and instead dance in a passionate manner with your friends in a circle just left of the bleachers, hence consumating the orgy part.
- You will decide that school dances really suck, and will chronicle them as seen here.