University Sex Columns, Reviewed: The Sex Issue! Edition
The battle for ideological dominance in our nation’s capital’s collegiate sex columns continues. Are our local campus columnists on the forefront of radical sex writing, or are they bringing back the good old days of automatically capitulating to the boner pressing against your back?
This week in college sex columns, it's all about George Washington University student newspaper The Hatchet's sex issue. Weeee! In this edition of University Sex Columns, find out why "GW is the total opposite of Afghanistan"; how college kids can delay sex by "looking at the stars"; what to do when your number one hook-up falls for an Ed Hardy guy.
Sex Tip: We don't have to take our clothes off: "When she is out on dates, senior Ogechi Ajaegbu is bubbly and enthusiastic, admired for her eager personality and kind attitude. Some of her favorite activities with prospective boyfriends, she says, include chatting, going to dinner, walking around, and looking at the stars . . . But when the evening comes to an end, she and her date say goodnight and part ways—without a kiss and without spending the night."
Life Lesson: "Sex has a procreative function, it's the greatest form of love that two people can experience," Junior Andrew Buonopane told the paper. "In our society, sex has been used to express either lesser love, temporary affectionate feelings or a means to an end, a way to just feel good."
Progressive Meter: I'm glad the Hatchet is giving some face time to students who think about and experience sex and relationship differently than many of their peers. It would have been nice, however, to hear a bit from an opposing viewpoint, particularly when the students interviewed explicitly claim that their peers are having bad sexual experiences: "[Leticia] Tientcheu said she chose not to have sex at a younger age when her peers were getting pregnant or contracting sexually transmitted diseases—even when they attempted to protect themselves. She said she is happy not to be in the positions some of her friends have found themselves in."
* On bad sex, from a female perspective:
Sex Tip: Veteran G.W. sex columnist Layla talks about making lemonade out of midnight boners. "I couldn't help but internally groan when I woke up to [my pseudonymous sex partner] the Energizer Bunny's erection pressed against my back," she writes. "Deciding against my better judgment, I gave him a second go-around. After all, practice does make perfect, right?"
Life Lesson: Never listen to Cosmo. "The Energizer Bunny killed the mood from the start, excitedly pouring so much lube out of the bottle that I felt like I had just gone swimming in a bed of oil, wax and sweat. And if you've never tried such ridiculous positions featured in the magazine Cosmopolitan—such as the 'Passion Pretzel' or the 'Torrid Triangle'—then keep it that way," she writes. "I didn't think people actually took the magazine seriously, but the Energizer Bunny did, wanting to show off his knowledge of every move possible, a few of which had to be fictional."
Progressive Meter: I'm sad that someone who seems as sex-positive as Layla would feel the obligation to satisfy that boner. So when talking about really terrible sex, it can also be helpful to discuss some exit strategies. Layla, who writes that she's no longer hooking up with the Bunny, almost gets there. "[E]ven though I consider myself a professional when it comes to escaping awkward situations, I struggled to make up an excuse to leave in the middle of the disastrous sex I was experiencing," she writes. "Especially before sunrise."
* On bad sex, from a male perspective:
Sex Tip: In its Sex Issue, the Hatchet debuted a new male sex columnist who goes by the pseudonym "Mr. Jones." Jones' idea of terrible sex isn't navigating a surfeit of lube in the boudoir. Nope, Jones is more concerned about how terrible it is when one of his many casual hook-ups decides to hook up with someone else. "Last semester I was fortunate enough to be presented with a number of sexual opportunities," he writes. "Throughout my escapades it never occurred to me that the girls on my booty call list could be using me as well, that the girl I call Number One might have a list of her own."
Life Lesson: Girls you have sex with have inner lives! "I had been thinking of girls like On-Demand television—there when I wanted them and otherwise just waiting around for me to call," he says. "But that is simply not the case, as I found out all too well."
Progressive Meter: In Mr. Jones' conclusion, he writes: "In the end, when it comes to potential hook-up situations, girls have just as much control as boys. They are not sitting at home waiting for a call. . . . So do yourself a favor and talk to your potential partner. You don't have to put a ring on her finger, but you do have to communicate." I'm all about communication, but I'm not sure that just talking this out would have solved Jonesey's underlying problem here. How is that conversation going to go: "I'm having sex with tons of women, all of whom I expect to be waiting around to exclusively service my dick. I hope you understand"?
* On G.W.'s on-campus sex resources:
Sex Tip: This item is chock-full of tips on how to take advantage of G.W.'s official resources for sexual health, sexual assault, and student counseling services. Hot tip: "[Student Health Services] annually offers testing for sexually transmitted infections in the Marvin Center and also provides testing at its offices by appointment."
Life Lesson: The more you know.
Progressive Meter: It's wonderful to make students aware of the resources available to them on campus, but I wish the Hatchet would be clearer on how students can contact these resources. I also wish the paper would take a critical eye to how G.W. could make its services better, or speak to students who have attempted to navigate these systems; this reads like a love letter to a school that could actually use a lot of work in supporting its LGBT communities and sexual assault survivors.
* On the sex politics culture shock experienced by some of G.W.'s foreign students:
Sex Tip: Different strokes: "With scantily clad men and women on television and couples engaging in public displays of affection in plain sight, the sex culture at Western colleges and universities can challenge the beliefs of international students."
Life Lesson: "GW is the total opposite of Afghanistan," GW student Faisal Rahimi told the paper.
Progressive Meter: I love that the Hatchet is looking at sex and sexuality on campus through different cultural lenses; I just wish there were even more lenses presented here. It would have been interesting to get the perspective of some foreign students who found the sexual culture in the United Sex to actually be more repressive than what they're accustomed to, for example.
Photo via State Library and Archives of Florida.