The phrase, "the meaning of life" has different connotations for just about everyone. But though the meaning may not be clear, the means are: vaginal insemination. College is meant to be a time for exploration, to discover who you want to become and what life means to you (clearly I understate and generalize, but you get the picture.) We explore our academic and cultural interests, our social structures, our fancied futures. And sex.
We explore sex - our sexualities, preferred partner characteristics, favorite positions - outside of any university channels. Frat basement, D-level, apartment, the football field 50 yard line . . . wherever your urge may point. But what happens when you get out there, on the 50 yard line, and can't get it up? Or can't get wet? What do you do?
I grew up in a household where sex was not only a non-taboo, but was a common, and perhaps overly so, topic. Sex here refers to the full range of experiences relating to the physical and emotional processes involved in growing up as a sexual individual, both personally and publically. My mother worked for Planned Parenthood and taught sex-ed curriculums to teachers across the United States, and she was not hesitant to bring questions and lessons home to her squeamish children. Condoms were commonly used as water balloons (if you've never filled one, try it, you're mind will be blown). Though I was highly skeptical and embarrassed as late as 8th grade, her persistence and casual attitude has paid off big time. After multiple years of extracurricular sex education, I feel comfortable in my own skin and in navigating the complex sexual relations of life in a university environment.
But what of those of us that come to Hopkins as sex-ed virgins? Or worse, with embedded misinformation? To my knowledge, there is no human sexuality course offered, and no established, public channel for students with questions about sex. A few weeks back, The News-Letter published, "The Underground: Hopkins Exposed," a special section that accepted anonymous submissions from students. Almost half of the submissions related to sex, and most expressed some frustration with how sex was viewed and carried out at Hopkins. The administration and curriculum committee should take note. Students are looking for a venue to discuss sexuality, and the school should provide it.
Sexual insecurities can be utterly crippling, filtering into every part of a person's life. For students without organized sex education, the images and scenarios provided by entertainment media, porn and friend's giggling whispers are the only guide. If this applies to you, take note: movies and pornos are NOT A DEPICTION OF REALITY. Not at all. They are faking it. The administration needs to look out for the well-being of the student body, as such misinformation can be highly dangerous. Students need to know how to protect themselves from disease and unwanted pregnancy, how to accept their bodies and personal images, and how to pleasure each other!
Our academic lives are highly stressful, and good sex would go a long way toward improving a weak and apathetic student spirit. If any of you have ever been faced with a choice between a night of soft, warm lovin' and an MSE marathon, you know which one won (I hope you do). And I'm not talking about some post-date party, half-asleep sex; sure, maybe you got off, bro, but she didn't enjoy it and neither one of you felt good about it in the morning. Like everything else in life, sex takes practice and prior knowledge. You don't just rush in and get 100 percent out of it.
It is honestly a bit surprising that the administration has remained so mum on this issue, as many of its members were young adults during the sexual revolutions of the late 60s and early 70s. I get that it's awkward (yet another sad result of our prude American society) to talk about sex. Get over it! See that guy walking past you right now? He may have enjoyed some heavy bondage last night. See that woman to your right, working on the engineering problem set? She was in D.C. at an orgy on Saturday. Everyone's doing it, whatever it may mean to them. It's time for the school to wake up and embrace this part of our lives, one that perhaps dominates the rest. Academics only go so far. High intermediate pillow talk anyone?