Department of Missing the Point

So I’m reading this story on Yahoo about an abstinence group at Harvard. It pretty much runs the course of most articles of this sort: blahblah students are oversexed, blahblah the university promotes sex, blahblah we formed a group to talk about how much sex we’re not having and how much sex we’re imagining all the other students are having blahblah “hookup culture” blahblah they’re being intolerant of my intolerance of their sex lives blahblah.

Then I got a little surprise. Why, there is something new under the sun in stories about abstinence groups on college campuses!

True Love Revolution members say the problem starts with the university. They say Harvard has implicitly led students to believe that having sex at college is a foregone conclusion by requiring incoming freshman to attend a seminar on date-rape that does not mention abstinence, by placing condoms in freshmen dorms, and by hosting racy lecturers. (Harvard students have also launched H-Bomb, a magazine featuring racy photos of undergraduates.)

Let that sink in for a moment. This group is upset that the university is requiring students to attend a seminar on date rape and not mentioning abstinence during the seminar.

Harvard trying to prevent date rape, and raise awareness that yes, getting someone drunk so you can have sex with them when they can’t really consent is actually rape, and these dipshits in True Love Revolution think that’s promoting the idea that sex is inevitable? I mean, let’s not even get into the fact that by definition, rape is sex without one’s consent. Abstinence ain’t got nothing to do with it.

(Also, a student-run porn mag has to do with the university how, exactly? But that’s just poor reporting.)

I see that magical thinking is alive and well among the young and righteous at Harvard. Because the only reason I can see for getting bent out of shape about the failure to talk about ABSTINENCE at a DATE RAPE SEMINAR is the belief that an abstinence pledge is some kind of magical force field that prevents someone from slipping a roofie in your drink.

Of course, it’s not at all hard to find virgins on college campuses, even among the secular crowd. The idea that everyone’s having wild, hot sex on college campuses — everyone who isn’t actively resisting it via purity pledge, that is — seems to be a popular one among these people, and it’s wrong.

“Sometimes that voice on campus is so overwhelming that students committed to abstinence almost feel compelled to abandon their convictions,” Murray said. He acknowledged he “slipped up” and had sex earlier in college but said he has returned to abstinence with Kinsella.

Dr. David Rosenthal, director of Harvard health services, disputed the notion that the university promotes sex.

He said students mistakenly think everyone on campus is having sex. The National College Health Assessment Survey, which included Harvard and hundreds of other campuses, found that about 29 percent of students reported not having sex in the past school year. For the 71 percent who are having sex, it is crucial to promote safety, Rosenthal said.

“Some students may have a feeling that acknowledgment is condoning,” he said, “and it’s not.”

I know I’ve mentioned before that I was a virgin throughout college, as were a number of my friends, and none of us were virgins for religious reasons, nor were we saving ourselves for anyone. We just hadn’t found anyone we wanted to sleep with. It wasn’t that big a deal. Because we weren’t obsessed about everyone else’s sex life (and nobody seemed to be obsessed with ours, for that matter). Well, other than roommates’, but mostly where that prevented access to the room or a good night’s sleep.

And the fact that my university gave out condoms and put up posters detailing safe and unsafe sexual behaviors, some of which I had to ask the guys on the second floor to explain? I’m rather glad in retrospect that I had that exposure and education. It certainly made it much easier for me, when I eventually did start having sex, to insist on protection. Since I wasn’t actually having sex when I learned all this, it wasn’t something I’d have to introduce to an existing pattern of behavior. Plus, since the university gave me a condom compact, I had one at the ready the first time someone tried to pull the “I don’t have one, but it’ll be okay” gambit.

But then, my university treated me like an adult. Which is something that Harvard does for its students, and something this abstinence group would clearly like to end.


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69 comments for “Department of Missing the Point

  1. March 24, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Well, abstinence is important b/c if the victim of date rape was a virgin, then it would be a crime and the guy would be punished. But if the victim ever had sex at all in her entire life, then she’s obviously a slut and was probably asking for it, dontcha know.

    Kinda like how several years ago, a big deal was made about anyone getting HIV from a blood transfusion. They played that up real hard so we would know that this person truly was an innocent victim, as opposed to all those evil sluts and gays who were just getting what they deserved.

    You know, considering that it’s 2007, I don’t know if we’ll ever get to the point where we don’t think that sex is bad, dirty, or evil. The pendulum never really got to that point before it started swinging back.

  2. Alix
    March 24, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    I don’t know if we’ll ever get to the point where we don’t think that sex is bad, dirty, or evil.

    I’m not so sure. Many, many people, especially younger ones, don’t see what the big deal is with sex, and there are older ones who are doing a reversal on their previous “sex is icky” position. (My sister and I are examples of the former, my mother an example of the latter.)

    I think a lot of this is a small but vocal group, and since the media loves a circus, the crazier/more extreme you are, the more media attention you get. It’s not much different than the fact that there are tons and tons of moderate/liberal Christians, or moderate/liberal Muslims, but only the bigots in either group ever seem to get their views aired, over and over until we think the extreme view is the mainstream view, when it really isn’t.

    The problem is getting the “sex is NOT icky” people to see that they’re not in the minority, though. The problem is in breaking the fanatics’ stranglehold on the media.

    As for the subject of the post – uh, wha? Let me guess, these guys are themselves date-rapists, or sympathizers, who believe that a date=sex one way or the other. You said no? Don’t worry, he brought his pharmacy along; let him slip this in your drink and you won’t care until next morning. Gah.

    If I were a more violent person, or lived closer to Harvard, I’d beat these guys over the head with … anything, really.

    Totally off-topic, really, but this reminded me: I was watching some program on the History Channel the other day, and one brief segment made my brain fizzle out my ear. The narrator said something, in a rather approving voice, about how “sometimes a Spartan man decided to try and take a wife by force, but women in Sparta were strong, and if she didn’t like the man, she could fight him off and have someone else.” The rest of the hour, all I could think was, and if she failed it’d be ok, then? Damn.

    …Ok, I’ll shut up now. Damn, I’m longwinded.

  3. anna
    March 24, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    I think the media (not as part of a conspiracy, just to sell things) promotes the idea that everyone in college is having constant wild sex, and if you’re not, there must be something wrong with you. I know a lot of people gasp when they find out I’m a 23 yr old virgin, astonished this could apply to someone who isn’t a brainwashed fundie or a hideous troll.

  4. Alix
    March 24, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    I know a lot of people gasp when they find out I’m a 23 yr old virgin, astonished this could apply to someone who isn’t a brainwashed fundie or a hideous troll.

    *Snerk* No kidding. Of course, no one I know can leave well enough alone, and they ask why, and then I find myself explaining to a bunch of confused or skeptical people what “asexual” means and why no, thanks, I don’t need therapy.

    Gah. I’m starting to think the real challenge is to get people to stop focusing on sex so damn much in the first place.

  5. Frumious B
    March 24, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    blahblah we formed a group to talk about how much sex we’re not having and how much sex we’re imagining all the other students are having blahblah

    heh

  6. Kim
    March 24, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    The year I lived on campus, I think I was the only one who had sex in the dorm room I shared with two other girls. (Granted, my school is like 75% female and we were all straight, so it made sex hard to come by. Pun not intended.)

    Who needs a GROUP for abstinence anyway? Inaction is a social activity? That’s like starting a club for non-drivers, in which you grumble about tire recalls or something.

  7. Alix
    March 24, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Who needs a GROUP for abstinence anyway? Inaction is a social activity?

    The idea, if I recall correctly, is accountability. Supposedly, having to look your fellow group members in the face and admit to failing to abstain is incentive to abstain.

    Actually, if the group is really committed to abstinence for the members of the group and concentrates on that goal, it works pretty well. But that takes a totally different attitude and focus than these braying asses.

  8. zuzu
    March 24, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    I’m thinking the 80s were charmed in some way. It was post-free love, and it was AIDS-era (hence my school’s pushing of condoms as a public-health thing), but it was also pre-fundie nonsense.

  9. Jess
    March 24, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    I think the media … promotes the idea that everyone in college is having constant wild sex, and if you’re not, there must be something wrong with you.
    Dan Savage’s latest podcast (5/21) didn’t help any: “I didn’t realize there were any virgins left! I must call The Last American Virgin!” and “You’re 20 and still a virgin? Yeah, that should be fixed.”

    *sigh*

    After homosexuality accepted, we need to work on getting asexuality awareness up.

  10. Alix
    March 24, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    After homosexuality accepted, we need to work on getting asexuality awareness up.

    Although if you think about it, it’s kinda sad that a desire to not have sex (or, rather, a lack of sexual attraction to anyone) is considered pathological.

  11. Jess
    March 24, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    it’s kinda sad that a desire to not have sex (or, rather, a lack of sexual attraction to anyone) is considered pathological.
    Repression is better than an actual lack of drive, apparently. It’s all about self-control, after all.

  12. zuzu
    March 24, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    Dan Savage’s latest podcast (5/21) didn’t help any: “I didn’t realize there were any virgins left! I must call The Last American Virgin!” and “You’re 20 and still a virgin? Yeah, that should be fixed.”

    Dan Savage suffers also from Dawn Eden Syndrome: if I experienced it, that means everyone did.

  13. zuzu
    March 24, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Oh, plus: he’s an idiot as far as straight sex is concerned, most times.

  14. Alix
    March 24, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Repression is better than an actual lack of drive, apparently. It’s all about self-control, after all.

    No kidding. The last person (so far) to pull the whole “OMG you need therapy!!!” thing on me was as rabidly pro-abstinence, anti-sex as possible. I asked him why I needed therapy for lack of sexual desire if I wasn’t supposed to have sex anyway. He’s never been able to give me an answer.

  15. March 24, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    A couple of my friends have had people very concerned over the fact that they haven’t had sex, as though it means there’s something wrong with them.

    *sigh*

    But yeah, the magical-virgin-field that keeps you safe from rape is extra special fun. Where do these people get that idea?

  16. Kim
    March 24, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    I asked him why I needed therapy for lack of sexual desire if I wasn’t supposed to have sex anyway. He’s never been able to give me an answer.

    Because, silly, God wants you tortured and miserable: that’s why he created your genitals in the first place. He doesn’t go for that lukewarm, indifferent stuff.

  17. Alix
    March 24, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    But yeah, the magical-virgin-field that keeps you safe from rape is extra special fun. Where do these people get that idea?

    *splutters* Butbutbut… Dontcha know it’s only the BAD girls who get raped? Andandand if you go on a date with someone, you’re consenting to sex! Date rape? What date rape! That’s an oxymoron!!!!!

    (And somewhere, another fundie’s brain melts into a pile of goo…)

  18. zuzu
    March 24, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    But yeah, the magical-virgin-field that keeps you safe from rape is extra special fun. Where do these people get that idea?

    Actually, I do know someone whose virginity saved her from being raped. In a graveyard.

    However, I’m going to guess that that’s not the usual case.

  19. March 24, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    I wrote up a post on this at my livejournal. One part I hadn’t really commented on before was this:

    “Sometimes that voice on campus is so overwhelming that students committed to abstinence almost feel compelled to abandon their convictions,” Murray said. He acknowledged he “slipped up” and had sex earlier in college but said he has returned to abstinence with Kinsella.

    Own it, Man! “I chose to have sex, and now I don’t want to have it.” There’s nothing wrong with that. Sex isn’t shameful – you don’t have to be disappointed in yourself. You had sex. You probably enjoyed it. You’ll probably enjoy it again in the future. Don’t let shame rule your life, and don’t use it to rule over other people.

    K

  20. Tara M
    March 25, 2007 at 6:44 am

    I’m aways surprised when I hear about universities that feel the need to shelter their students. My university also treated me like an adult. I have a friend, though, who got fined for being in a boy’s room (they were studying for a huge physics final with a couple of other people) after a certain time. To me, it seems ridiculous that her university put time restrictions on when people of different sexes could be in one another’s dorm rooms. Another friend lived on a campus where men were not allowed in the women’s dorm pretty much at all. They had to be specially signed in, then signed out by a specific time or they’d get fined and reprimanded. I always wondered if their RAs made them walk in a line to the dining hall or did a head count before bed each night…

  21. March 25, 2007 at 6:57 am

    There seems to be an implication here that everyone in college had time for sex. Some of us were focused on other things.

  22. W. Kiernan
    March 25, 2007 at 10:23 am

    This crap also comes up with regard to the HPV virus and access to emergency contraception. “If only,” anti-woman morons say, “young ladies would modestly abstain from all pre-marital sexual contact, then there would be no need for Plan B, and no threat from the human papilloma virus!” Right, because even a moron knows that enforcing abstinence on herself will certainly protect any young woman from being a victim of rape. Whoops, I meant “only a moron,” not “even a moron.”

    If you’re an ultra-moron, like that one utterly deranged Senator, you will even argue that a woman who gets raped can’t get pregnant, because “the juices aren’t flowing.” Just think, people like that run your country.

  23. anon
    March 25, 2007 at 10:51 am

    Probably saying “no” sooner makes date rape less likely, so its not completely insane, just very strange…

  24. Chet
    March 25, 2007 at 11:41 am

    There seems to be an implication here that everyone in college had time for sex. Some of us were focused on other things.

    Well, there seems to be an implication here that those of us who did have sex in college were idiot slackers.

    I find it highly doubtful that you couldn’t pencil in ten minutes for sex once in four years. You were really that booked? I don’t see anybody here acting superior by virtue of getting laid in college (which is an accomplishment roughly on par with licking a stamp.) It would be nice to be extended the same courtesy?

  25. prairielily
    March 25, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    I kinda see what Isobel is saying. I know a guy who took something like eight classes a few semesters, was a little shy, and isn’t really into sex that isn’t part of a committed relationship. (Yes, a MAN that doesn’t like wild, hot, anonymous sex with countless women and doesn’t want to use women for sex! He also doesn’t care how many people the women he dates have slept with before him. Watch the fundies’ heads explode!)

    So he really didn’t have time to get to know a woman well enough to want to have sex with her, muster up the courage to ask her out, go out with her a few times, have sex with her, and cuddle with her as much as he wanted.

    I, however, am totally a slacker. I’m working on it. (Step 1: Stop posting on Feministe and work on term paper.)

  26. March 25, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    I’m aways surprised when I hear about universities that feel the need to shelter their students. My university also treated me like an adult. I have a friend, though, who got fined for being in a boy’s room (they were studying for a huge physics final with a couple of other people) after a certain time. To me, it seems ridiculous that her university put time restrictions on when people of different sexes could be in one another’s dorm rooms. Another friend lived on a campus where men were not allowed in the women’s dorm pretty much at all. They had to be specially signed in, then signed out by a specific time or they’d get fined and reprimanded. I always wondered if their RAs made them walk in a line to the dining hall or did a head count before bed each night…

    From my experience, this is most often simply because of parental influence over their kids’ decisions about where to go to college. When I was looking at the dorm to the college I ended up attending, my mother asked a number of questions about access to the dorms, as in who got a key card and how long visitors could stay, et cetera. And of course many private universities do similar things for religious reasons.

    The local university gets this right by having a freshman dorm that has fairly restrictive rules about who is allowed in and how long they are allowed to stay (although has no restrictions on persons already in the dorm — co-eds are allowed to spend the night in other’s rooms), and then having upperclassman housing with no such restrictions. Some students need such “protection” from the outside world, but usually it really is the worried parent who can’t ahndle the thought of little Johnny or Susie being on their own….

  27. March 25, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    That makes sense. But of course, it’s usually little Johnny or Susie who really cuts loose at college, away from their worried and vigilant parents. It doesn’t matter how strict the rules are or how rigorously the RA’s enforce them. It’s still less supervision than they’d get at home, and thus easier to work around.

  28. Mandi
    March 25, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Here are some FAQs from True Love Revolution’s website.

    Can abstinence actually help my relationships?

    Abstaining from premarital sex can help your future relationships by lowering your chances of divorce,1 allowing for better sex in marriage,2 and eliminating the possibility of memories from past sexual partners. Saving sex for marriage can also help your current relationships by fostering better communication with your partner,3 allowing you to avoid worries about STIs or pregnancies, and helping you maintain a sense of emotional freedom.

    Isn’t abstinence boring?

    No! Abstinence is what you make it. Without engaging in sex, a couple can still express love and intimacy. Kissing, hugging, and cuddling can actually be even more meaningful when they are manifestations of love and not just foreplay.

    How might premarital sex affect my mental health?

    Premarital sexual behavior has the potential to negatively affect your emotional and mental health. Engaging in sex before marriage has been connected with higher rates of depression,4 suicide,5 and feelings of self-worthlessness.6

    But with birth control and condoms, aren’t I safe from pregnancy and STIs?

    Even the most effective methods of birth control can fail. Abstinence is therefore the only 100% effective way to avoid pregnancy. Also, with no definitive evidence of condoms’ effectiveness against HPV, chlamydia, genital herpes, and syphilis,7 abstinence is the only way to completely avoid the risks of STI transmission.

    1Tim B. Heaton, “Factors Contributing to Increasing Marital Stability in the United States,” Journal of Family Issues 23 (April 2002): 392-409.
    2The National Marriage Project (2000), note 1.
    3Feminist Women’s Health Center, Birth Control Comparisons, �Abstinence.� Available online here.
    4Denise D. Hallfors, et al., “Which Comes First in Adolescence – Sex and Drugs or Depression?” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 29 (2005) 163-170.
    5R. Rector et al., Sexually Active Teenagers are More Likely to Be Depressed and to Attempt Suicide. A Report from the Heritage Center for Data Analysis, June 2002.
    6J.J. Sabia, “Does Early Adolescent Sex Cause Depressive Symptoms?” Journal of Policy Assessment and Management, 2006 Fall;25(4):803-25.
    7.”Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Prevention,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, July 20, 2001.

    Nice sources; shocking that The Heritage Center, the Journal of Family Issues, and the National Marriage Project would discourage premarital sex. Look for my pro-sex FAQs soon to come, with information gathered from the obviously non-partisan journals, “How Many People Have You Fucked Today?” and “Abortion is So Yay.”

  29. NeilC
    March 25, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    My parents were weird in the fact that they trusted me enough to make decisions on my own and never lectured me on sex and assumed I’d treat women with respect because that’s how I was raised. I attended NYU at the start of the AIDS era, but none of my friends were crazed horndogs, which is why we didn’t have the stereotypical college hookups.

  30. NeilC
    March 25, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Or maybe I was just an ugly troll. :P

  31. mustelid
    March 25, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    I have always loved the idea of curfews as preventing teh sex. ‘Cause everyone knows sex only occurs between 11:30p.m. and 3:00 a.m.

  32. LS
    March 25, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    I know people who are at these overprotective colleges, and it just blows my brain. Everything from the curfews to the visiting policies to what they can and can’t access on the school’s network (mySpace, dating sites, even chats of all kinds – apparently they can’t block just the not-godly chatrooms. Pr0n is, obviously, Right. Out.). Where does the school find time to actually educate the students?

    Mine had what other schools called ‘restrictive’ guest policies in the dorms, but it was safety paranoia, not sex, and was instituted (before my time) as a response to thefts that occurred. Guests of either gender, if not in your room, had to be ‘escorted’ (ie, you had to be able to see them). So whether your date or your sister wanted to run down the hall to the bathroom, you had to stand at your door so you could see them in the hall. Other than that, our only rule was a max 72-hour stay… which I think was mostly about mooching free housing.

    But then, my parents trusted me. Things my mother taught me while on campus tours: 1.) Always look at the bathrooms. 2.) Check the ceiling corners and baseboards. (for signs of vermin) 3.) Find out where the parties are usually held. (being able to sleep if you want to, even on a Friday, is a good thing.)

  33. DAS
    March 25, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    I think the media … promotes the idea that everyone in college is having constant wild sex, and if you’re not, there must be something wrong with you.

    Wha?

    Yes. Stupid TeeVee shows about teh hot young kidz having teh hot sex, and overblown “news” stories about the same do seem to promote that idea. But some of us have learned not to believe everything we hear on the TeeVee and have learned to see how things square with our own experience instead.

    And, it does seem as if the people most convinced that ” everyone in college is having constant wild sex” are the people who are abstinant and whining about how college is “shoving sex in their faces” or something to that effect.

    Heck, I was a NiceGuy(TM) who wasn’t getting any in college (and I certainly thought that some of the PDAs by some of the obnoxious couples so keen on shoving their oh-so-cute-it’s-sickening relationships in the faces of the rest of us green-eyed nerds were something, well, obnoxious) — why didn’t I think of simply making the abstenance thrust upon me (because I was, well, a NiceGuy(TM)) into a choice I was making in spite of “all the pressures to have sex”? It woulda done my self-esteem some good, I reckon.

  34. Benji
    March 25, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    I must admit to being fairly surprised at the 29% not having sex result from the survey mentioned. As a 2nd year uni student I can certainly say it seems a bit high.

    As someone already mentioned it does seem to be the ones with the most controlling parents that really cut loose when they get away from them, I have certaily seen people who swing a bit far to the other end of the spectrum just because they never had a chance to explore and find the boundaries they were comforable with.
    I consider myself fairly lucky to have had the parents I got. They always respected my choices and had no problem with girlfriends “staying over” as long as they knew them.

    I personally think that by the time a person is old enough to be at university they should be old enough to make their own decisions about what they do with whom. I do not think it is the place of dorms etc to provide rules covering that sort of thing. Mine last year certainly didn’t and everyone seemed happy and content. Rules and restrictions on this subject are usually fairly ineffective anyway :)

  35. March 25, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Yeah, date rape awareness causing “OHNOES!!!! IT ENCOURAGES SEXXX!!!!” hysteria is just awesome, not.

    However, I sometimes wish that there was some kind of non-Christian-it’s-okay-to-be-a-virgin-or-just-not-want-sex on-campus movement. I have gotten involved in some asexual awareness stuff, but I’m not asexual. I just don’t want to have sex with anyone right now. Is that OK? Am I “anti-sex” because I think that it’s annoying that every other big festival/showcase/seminar series on campus has to do with sex? Am I “anti-sex” because these are the only things that get any high student turn-out? Am I “anti-sex” because I tried to start a feminist group at my college that focused on things like domestic violence and yet all anyone wanted to do was have masturbation workshops and invite porn stars to lead them? Am I “anti-sex” because I took a statistics class where at least two thirds of my classmates did their final analysis projects on things like, “What kind of birth control are students using?” and “How many students have anal sex?”

    I hear y’all when you say things like, “with all that restriction, how can there be time for education?” But sometimes I feel like, with all this sex education, how can there be time for any OTHER kind of education?

  36. Alix
    March 25, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    Edith – that sounds much like my frustration with our culture’s insane focus on sex, sex, sex.

    I AM asexual, and for a while after I realized that, I thought that that’s where all my “no, stop with the sex already!” frustration was coming from. (It probably feeds into that.) That changed when I started watching movies again – every single movie had a sex scene (or more than one). Interestingly, done well, they didn’t bother me at all. But too often they were tacked on and jarring, disrupting the movie for no reason, and I realized that the problem really wasn’t me.

    My God, people are obsessed with sex. Sex, sex, sex, sex, sex. It’s all I ever hear about from some people. It’s in every movie, every book, every TV show, even when it doesn’t fit; it’s in every advertisement. If people had even half as much sex as they talk about, they really WOULDN’T be doing anything else.

    God, people, shut up already. (Erm, this is a general “people”, referring to the culture as a whole, not to anyone here.) Not only is all the sex focus annoying to those of us who, you know, do other things, but it actually means that any serious or important discussions about sex get lost in the general buzz. Honestly? For a long time I avoided feminist sites like the plague because they all seemed to talk about sex, and I didn’t want to hear about it anymore. Fortunately, I got over that, but that’s what I mean about it getting lost in the buzz.

    So no, Edith, you’re not anti-sex. You’re anti-all-sex-all-the-time, and I’m right there with you.

    (I really need to learn to shut up…)

  37. Elinor
    March 25, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Am I “anti-sex” because I tried to start a feminist group at my college that focused on things like domestic violence and yet all anyone wanted to do was have masturbation workshops and invite porn stars to lead them?

    When that’s the definition of “pro-sex” (and it usually is), I wear the “anti-sex” label with pride.

    That said, I’m not sure what I’d make of an “it’s okay to not have sex” group on campus. Of course I’ve never been on a particularly sex-saturated campus.

  38. Jennifer
    March 25, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    I am having a little trouble here understanding why edith and Alix are getting upset about the focus on sex at the college level. After all, sex is a common denominator for people- everyone except the asexuals wants it now, wanted it then, or will want it in the future. Its a shortcut in movies for love, which is not true to life, but a movie generally only has an hour and a half to tell a story, and certainly they take all sorts of other short cuts. Kids in class might prefer to do surveys about sex, because its a more fun topic then most things. What other surveys would people want to answer- “do you like hamburgers?” “What is your major?”- those are boring, and I wouldn’t fill them out. Masturbation workshops are certainly more fun than domestic violence help. Is that fair or good for women as a whole? Probably not, as many will become victims of domestic violence in their life, but on the other hand, the vast majority of women do not know how to masturbate till their teens or even later. Masturbation is good for the body. Also, I am sure the idea that the only big turn-out events have to do with sex is an exageration- I went to a Catholic college, so their were probably few sex related events, but certainly event turn out was much more complex then “Is is about sex?”

  39. March 25, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    In the Boston area you have Hahvud, as seen above, and Boston University which seems to want to be at the opposite end of the spectrum of treating the resident students as children (or alternately, as inmates) in the matter of visitation and such.

    And Chet, one would presume that, if it’s going to be one time during those 4 years, you might want to allocate a little more in your schedule than 10 minutes…..

  40. Alix
    March 25, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Jennifer – you really don’t see how fixated our culture is on sex?

    There’s nothing wrong with a sex scene in a book or movie – as long as there are plenty of other movies (and not kiddie movies, thanks) that don’t stick it in, and as long as it FITS THE DAMN PLOT. There’s nothing wrong with talking about sex, or masturbation workshops, or whatnot.

    Here, let me try this: what if everywhere you went, you heard people talking on and on and on about, oh, eating worms? And every. single. book. you picked up had an obligatory worm-eating scene, and every. single. movie. had to interrupt its plot to show the lead character eating worms, and every other workshop offered everywhere is about worm-eating: its joys, its dangers, how to properly ingest them, whatever. And everywhere you go people are asking you about your worm-eating habits, and oh why AREN’T you eating worms? What the hell is wrong with you? You don’t like the taste? THERAPY FOR YOU! You’re too busy? LIAR! IT DOESN’T TAKE THAT LONG! SCHEDULE IT IN!!! HOW CAN YOU CALL YOURSELF HUMAN IF YOU DON’T EAT WORMS!!!!!

    Would you NOT get sick of that?

    As Edith points out, it’s not just asexuals who think our culture’s oversexed. We have other things in common, like eating, which most of us enjoy; we don’t harp on eating nearly as much as we do about sex.

  41. March 25, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Who needs a GROUP for abstinence anyway? Inaction is a social activity? That’s like starting a club for non-drivers, in which you grumble about tire recalls or something.

    I don’t know, I can see the value of having a group where the common denominator is what you don’t do. The childfree community is another example of that dynamic.

  42. Jennifer
    March 25, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    Alix, I think the problem with your worms is that eating worms is pretty much gross according to our culture. If you changed your example to something socially acceptable, say, driving a car, I think you would make a better point.

    What I was trying to say earlier is that, for 99% of people, sex is a positive thing. We like positive things, they appeal to us, they make us feel good. So I think it is hard to see “obsession” or “fixation” on something that the majority believes is a good thing. So yes, I see that American culture is about sex all the time, but where you and I differ is that I think this a good thing. For most of American history, we have kept sex hidden and shameful. Now, we are taking steps towards celebrating it. Are all sexual representations in the media healthy and positive? No. But even the negetive ones get people talking.

  43. Marie
    March 25, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Alix – I think it comes up so much because, for many of us, it’s a pretty big part of life. So of course many of us like to see our heroes in books and films and television have sex, and of course many of us talk about it frequently. It sucks if you feel like a social leper because you’re not interested, but sometimes you just have to cope, you know?

    It’s like dealing with the U.S. Christmas season if you’re an atheist. I’m sure it gets aggravating for atheists to be surrounded on all sides by plastic Santas and candy canes, but the majority of the U.S. is (culturally, at least) Christian, so it’s going to be out there loud and proud.

  44. Elinor
    March 25, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    So yes, I see that American culture is about sex all the time, but where you and I differ is that I think this a good thing. For most of American history, we have kept sex hidden and shameful. Now, we are taking steps towards celebrating it. Are all sexual representations in the media healthy and positive? No. But even the negetive ones get people talking.

    Eh, I don’t know about that. It’s been years since I read my few chapters of Foucault, but that line about “we keep sex hidden and shameful, we do this so much, so let’s change that, LET’S TALK ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW” is kind of coercive and numerous people from Foucault to Catharine MacKinnon have disputed it.

    We’ve been “casting off the shackles of repression” for decades now — since at least the 1920s — and I don’t think a repression hypothesis works very well these days to describe the way our culture deals with sex. Certain kinds of sex are hidden; certain other kinds of sex are highly visible.

    I don’t care about sex being everywhere as such; it is, indeed, something 99% of people are into in one way or another. (I have a problem with “sex” being defined as “naked women” and being used to promote things that have little or nothing to do with sex, but that’s another topic.)

  45. Alix
    March 25, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    Jennifer – Part of my point was that this obsession isn’t a good thing. It’s one thing to get rid of Victorian prudery; it’s another to make teenagers feel like they have to put out or something’s wrong with them. It’s another thing to keep pushing someone who’s not interested for whatever reason because our culture says that sex is not good, not bad, but required. It’s another thing to ask a complete stranger details about his/her sex life.

    Marie – I agree with your comparison to atheists, and I guess I’m not making myself clear. I don’t want sex to be hidden; I don’t want to regress to Victorian times. I want options. I don’t want to listen to my editor telling me I really need to add a sex scene to my story because “most people don’t share your … inclinations”. I don’t want to live in a society where sex is so shoved down our throats that my little sister comes to me crying at 14 because her boyfriend wants her to have sex, she doesn’t want to, and her friends rag on her for hating sex.

    Again, and perhaps this didn’t come across (I tend to rant…), I have no problem with sex being talked about, or written about, or shown on TV, or whatever. I have a problem when it’s near-impossible to find anything that doesn’t include sex.

    Even in the midst of the holiday season, an atheist can find books and movies that don’t deal with Christmas. It’s much harder to find one that doesn’t throw in tacked on, plot-breaking sex.

    Goddamnitall, how many qualifiers do you people want? Talk about sex all you like, folks, but stop expecting everyone else to be as interested as you are.

  46. Alix
    March 25, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    And looking at Elinor’s comment, I think I agree. My problem isn’t that sex is out there in the open – it should be. My problem is how it’s out there. It’s not just out there as one other thing in the whole mess of our culture, that can be talked about or not at will; it’s out there as something that OMG MUST BE SHOUTED FROM THE ROOFTOPS.

    Let me put it like this: there’s nothing wrong with listening to music, or putting music in a movie, say. There’s something really wrong with blasting it at full volume from every speaker in the city and telling those who don’t like it to “suck it up; this was banned last century so we’re BREAKING OUR CHAINS!!”; there’s something wrong with putting it in a movie in such a way that it ruins the rest of the product.

  47. zuzu
    March 25, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    I think we’re getting a little far afield here.

    We’ve been “casting off the shackles of repression” for decades now — since at least the 1920s — and I don’t think a repression hypothesis works very well these days to describe the way our culture deals with sex. Certain kinds of sex are hidden; certain other kinds of sex are highly visible.

    I think we can definitely use a repression hypothesis, precisely because certain kinds of sex are okay (i.e., whatever gets straight men off, unless it’s kinky), and certain kinds aren’t (i.e., anything involving GLBT folks and what’s for the pleasure of women). We can’t even acknowledge that sex is pleasurable, rather than something you get out of someone or as a way of commodifying women.

    It’s everywhere, and it’s annoying as hell that the dominant discourse is the kind of giggling, sneering “I’d hit that” kind of talk that’s clearly for the benefit of straight men. But just because it annoys you, that’s no reason for telling everyone else to shut up about their preferences, which remain shameful.

    Alix, you really need to learn to tell people where to get off when they ask you invasive questions.

  48. Alix
    March 25, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    We ARE getting far afield, so this will be my last comment on this topic.

    First, Zuzu, I pretty much agree with you.

    Second:

    But just because it annoys you, that’s no reason for telling everyone else to shut up about their preferences, which remain shameful.

    That was NOT what I was trying to do, and bluntly, I don’t know how much clearer I can be. Repeating what I said above:

    My problem isn’t that sex is out there in the open – it should be. My problem is how it’s out there. It’s not just out there as one other thing in the whole mess of our culture, that can be talked about or not at will; it’s out there as something that OMG MUST BE SHOUTED FROM THE ROOFTOPS.

    That’s not telling people to “shut up”. That’s asking people to let it be one of many things we can talk about, and write about, instead of making it the ONLY thing.

    And zuzu, I DO “tell people where to get off” when they ask. But the problem isn’t dealing with one person, it’s dealing with every single person who thinks they have a right to ask.

  49. Jennifer
    March 25, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    Alix, I really think you are overestimating how difficult it is to find book and movies without sex. Even in the Romance genre, which occasionally features sex that is so over the top that its laughable rather than sexy, has plenty of books that feature little more than kisses. In that genre, a sex scene is completely expected, so I am sure there are plenty of other books without sex in them. If you want to find them in the romance genre (I don’t know if you find love stories replusive or not) you can go to AllAboutRomance.com and search for books with “kisses” as the sensuality rating. Screenit.com was designed for parents, but it features exhaustive explainations of even the briefest references to sex. I think they have installed a search engine, though I haven’t been on the site in years. If movies have too much sex in them, you could always watch tv, which rarely features nudity, though adult sitcoms will certainly talk about it. Some shows, like Monk, hardly ever mention sex at all.

    Your fourteen year old sister is getting pressured into having sex, and I am sorry about that. Junior high kids can be jerks. My sister is 14, incidently, and she is not getting pressured into sex, though she is determined to have at least two boyfriends at all times. Personally, I am 21 and I have never felt pressure to have sex from my friends. I actually, while not a virgin, have always seemed to make friends with every virgin in a two mile radius. When I find out they have their V-card, I certainly ask why, because they are statistically speaking against the norm, but I haven’t heard of any of them facing serious pressure to get naked. Of course, I know my experience and my friends’ experiences are not data, but I think you may be a little sensitive about this, because I don’t see people pressuring other people as much as my DARE officer wanted me to think they would.

    Elinor- Can you elaborate on why talking about sex doesn’t fix the problem? What books are you speaking of? I can buy the idea, but I want to read up on it myself. Certainly I don’t think that talking about sex in and of itself will solve everything, but I haven’t really researched it, so I would be interested in other prople’s ideas.

  50. Kim
    March 25, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    This is even more off-topic, but… I just wanted to put it out there that I, personally, would be into learning something about Asexuality. Possibly there could be an informative post on Feministe. Possibly someone could direct me to some source of sound information.

    Thanks! Carry on…

  51. Alix
    March 25, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    I think you may be a little sensitive about this

    Maybe. I also have a tendency to come across stronger in all my emotions online/in writing, which probably isn’t helping.

  52. Elinor
    March 25, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    Elinor- Can you elaborate on why talking about sex doesn’t fix the problem? What books are you speaking of? I can buy the idea, but I want to read up on it myself. Certainly I don’t think that talking about sex in and of itself will solve everything, but I haven’t really researched it, so I would be interested in other prople’s ideas.

    Hmm, it’s in Foucault’s The History of Sex, vol. 1, but it’s been a while since I read it and I am no Foucault expert, so my memory may be faulty.

    Basically, my understanding is this: the theory that we are coercively prevented from speaking about sex can be used to mask a coercive demand that we speak about it — the implication is that if we don’t want to, we’re repressed, we’re somehow sick and damaged, etc. The notion that it’s therapeutic and beneficial to talk about our feelings and our problems makes it difficult to refuse to do so. (“Go ahead, let it out, you don’t have to be silent any more, everybody in this room is supportive…”) So basically, power and domination don’t disappear because you replace one norm with another.

    I think perhaps Alix is feeling this at work. The statement that we are all sexual beings (which is true for the vast majority of people) can quickly turn into an imperative: we all must be sexual beings.

    Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin wouldn’t agree with much Foucault has to say (he was a gay male sadomasochist, they are/were anti-porn radical feminists), but she has made similar points about the inadequacy of the notion of repression.

    I think we can definitely use a repression hypothesis, precisely because certain kinds of sex are okay (i.e., whatever gets straight men off, unless it’s kinky), and certain kinds aren’t (i.e., anything involving GLBT folks and what’s for the pleasure of women). We can’t even acknowledge that sex is pleasurable, rather than something you get out of someone or as a way of commodifying women.

    I guess I have a difficulty with the word “repressed” because it implies a binary to me (repressed/not repressed; okay with society/not okay with society) and I think that binary is an oversimplification.

  53. Elizabeth
    March 25, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    But yeah, the magical-virgin-field that keeps you safe from rape is extra special fun. Where do these people get that idea?

    Someone once told me never attribute to malice that which can adequatley be explained by stupidity.

    Is there a chance they meant that if the men were abstinent, then they wouldn’t be raping anyone?

    But then again, that is kind of malicious, because it equates rape with sex.

    Damn.

  54. Kim
    March 25, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    I don’t know, I can see the value of having a group where the common denominator is what you don’t do. The childfree community is another example of that dynamic.

    I don’t think of them as the same thing. Not having sex is a personal sort of non-activity. And it seems like talking about not having sex all the time, in a group, would just get you in the mood to have it. (Or maybe I’m just oversexed.)

    Childfree people groups, I imagine, are set up mainly to help childfree people hook up for romance or to go out and do things that people with kids don’t have the flexibility to.

  55. edith
    March 26, 2007 at 2:29 am

    Sorry to have jumped out so quickly, but I just wanted to give a big high five over to Alix. For a lot of people, sexual repression was/is their reality and they relate to that more. So they then feel like it’s most important to get people talking about sex to counter this old repression. The more sex is talked about, the happier we all are. However, for others, sexual repression issues took a back seat in their lives to sexual inundation. These people might say that “hey, aren’t their OTHER THINGS to life besides sex? Seems like that’s all I hear about!”

    An even more common scenario is those of us who got both messages, both the “sex is sexy and women are sexy and you should be sexy to be a woman and it’s fun and do it or not be a woman or fun” AND the “sex is for sluts and idiots.” Maybe that’s why you get, from time to time, a smug asexual who seems to see all sexuals as whores. But personally, I tend to see a lot more sexuals laughing at asexuals (or hyposexuals) for being prudish, uptight, silly, etc. Maybe that’s because, as stated earlier, even the most pro-abstinence religious type is often more than aghast as the idea of a person deciding NEVER to have sex, EVER. I mean, it’s the sacred bind of marriage!!

    For asexuals, seeing nothing but extreme sexuality in all media is like being a person of color seeing only white people on TV. It’s feels like asexuals don’t belong or exist in the world, or that all people should be wanting to have sex because sex is such a positive thing to all people. For many reasons, many people do not have at all positive feelings towards sexuality. Some are indifferent, others are repulsed, others are frightened, and so forth. Even if you’re indifferent, so that actually seeing sexuality doesn’t bother you per se, it’s still very alienating when so many people put sexual relationships as the most important thing in their lives, and you happen to be a person who knows that sexual relationships is about the last thing you’d be interested in.

  56. Marie
    March 26, 2007 at 5:42 am

    Edith – The problem with your metaphor is that while it’s often fairly obvious what racial group a character on TV belongs to, one can’t tell an asexual on sight. Given that asexuality is, you know, a lack of sexual desire, the only way a TV writer/author/whatever is going to firmly establish “This character is asexual!” is to have it come up in conversation; it can’t be deduced like “This character is kissing a man -> likes men” or “This character is kissing a woman -> likes women”.

    Beyond that . . . We must be either exposed to very different media, or I just don’t notice it anymore, but it seems to me that it would be pretty easy to enjoy many of media’s pleasures without encountering sexual references. By way of example, most of the books I read contain at most maybe two or three sexual relationships, and usually you could safely skip over the sweaty stuff without losing the plot.

  57. March 26, 2007 at 5:43 am

    Thanks, Edith. That comment nails it.

    For anyone who prefers to see my thoughts on this derailment (sorry!) when I’m not hopped up on cold meds (and making bizarre comparisons…), I wrote up something at my livejournal. It’s more of a ramble that barely touches several points, but there you are.

    Again, apologies for the thread derailment, and I hope no one minds the link.

  58. March 26, 2007 at 5:45 am

    Marie – a better metaphor, then, might be religion in the media, but Edith’s point remains the same.

    And that whole “you can safely skip it and not lose plot” is exactly why the Obligatory Sex Scenes annoy the fuck out of me.

  59. Anne Onne
    March 26, 2007 at 5:57 am

    I think that, whils Jennifer is trying to say is true in that for some people, sex isn’t that much of a pressure or a nuisance. It’s true, and I’m not going to tell yuo you shoudl be offended by all the sex in the media. But there is a hell of a lot of it.

    I agree with Alix in that it does get tiresome, and many people do feel under pressure. We have to avoid the mistake of assuming that because we don’t feel pressured by the sex-obsession of popular culture in our own circles, that nobody is feeling it. I’m not asexual, but not in any hurry to be sexually active as a college student, and although my personal friends are supportive, there are people who do try to pressure or categorise me, and consider me a freak for my choice. It is a very real pressure that a lot of women (and men) face.

    I live in the UK, so I can’t talk about America, and I am glad that there are colleges and places that aren’t so saturated with sex, but many places are. Granted, it’s still a sexual ideal forced on heterosexual men (I refuse to believe that all men WANT the things that keep getting shoved in my face), but it is everywhere. I think it extends beyond universities into the media, which is really what it’s about. I think the problem I have with sex in the media is not just that it’s so but that it’s also often degrading to women. That probably has a lot to do with it for me. I can’t help being repulsed by yet another advertisement of my supposed object status.

    Back on topic: It’s awful for people to not treat college students as adults. What they do is their business, and they whould have support and education. If they’re old enough to vote and drive (Why not drink?) can’t they control their own actions?

  60. Elinor
    March 26, 2007 at 6:54 am

    I remember an article in The Walrus (Canadian magazine) a couple of years ago describing what happens to novels in translation. One author described receiving a copy of his or her book translated into Japanese, and finding that the translator had randomly inserted sex scenes into the story — because the original text didn’t have any sex scenes, and the Japanese publisher felt that books without sex scenes didn’t sell.

    As a secular person, I’m seriously annoyed when political candidates have to talk about their religious beliefs, although that doesn’t generally happen in Canada — but in the States, holy shit, it’s constant. Another thing I think might be similar is alcohol — at many universities, the number of social events and conversations that revolve around binge-drinking is pretty substantial, and those of us who don’t drink or don’t drink a lot can get pretty sick of it.

    An even more common scenario is those of us who got both messages, both the “sex is sexy and women are sexy and you should be sexy to be a woman and it’s fun and do it or not be a woman or fun” AND the “sex is for sluts and idiots.”

    Hell, sexual people get that message a lot, which is probably why we have this “raunch culture” where being a sexy woman is defined as embracing your inner prostitute and/or idiot.

    I guess I’m inclined to shrug it off in the case of undergraduates because a lot of them are pretty new to sex, so it makes sense to me that they’re fascinated by it. But I can see how it’s annoying.

  61. exangelena
    March 26, 2007 at 9:33 am

    Alix at #40 – “Here, let me try this: what if everywhere you went, you heard people talking on and on and on about, oh, eating worms? And every. single. book. you picked up had an obligatory worm-eating scene, and every. single. movie. had to interrupt its plot to show the lead character eating worms, and every other workshop offered everywhere is about worm-eating: its joys, its dangers, how to properly ingest them, whatever. And everywhere you go people are asking you about your worm-eating habits, and oh why AREN’T you eating worms? What the hell is wrong with you? You don’t like the taste? THERAPY FOR YOU! You’re too busy? LIAR! IT DOESN’T TAKE THAT LONG! SCHEDULE IT IN!!! HOW CAN YOU CALL YOURSELF HUMAN IF YOU DON’T EAT WORMS!!!!!”
    I laughed so hard I almost cried, because it is so true. I think I love you :)
    And actually, a Non-Driver’s club wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Since everyone where I live assumes that if you didn’t get your driver’s license and a car on your 16th birthday, then you’re a socially inept dork, and basically all of life is constructed around the premise that you have a car, that might be a nice thing. (I do have a driver’s license, but I don’t drive very often and I can’t afford my own car. I think it must be even worse for people who don’t know how to drive at all.)
    Driving, or having sex, should not be some sort of characteristic that makes you “normal”. I mean, if we set a default like that for everything, then why have the Young Democrats – who would want a club that’s for “Non-Republicans” – or why have an association for atheists, aren’t they “Non-believers”.

  62. exangelena
    March 26, 2007 at 9:44 am

    And ya know, you could just call it the “Ugly Trolls club” and not the non-having sex club.
    Edith – I think I love you too :)
    Whenever I express distaste about being expected to look and act like a stripper or porn star, then people (including self-professed feminists and liberals) are always like, “ewwwwwww you’re anti-sex!” It’s unfortunate that looking/acting like a stripper or porn star is the only way acceptable for women to express their sexuality. Elinor at #59 talked about drinking, too – I’m apparently part of the anti-saloon league, uptight and holier than thou because I don’t guzzle beer at frat house keg parties, although I do drink, but apparently not in the quantities/venues/liquors acceptable for someone my age.
    I also think that the anti-virgin hysteria, which is rather common among feminists/progressives, is pretty rooted in misogyny. For men who are virgins (or even don’t have sex as much/in ways as they’re *supposed* to, whatever that means), then they are still seen as not living up to our model of male sexuality … the regressive concept of men being sexually ravenous monsters. For women who are virgins, that means they must be ugly, which is unacceptable for a member of the “sex class” (as Twisty puts it so succinctly.)

  63. firefalluk
    March 26, 2007 at 10:31 am

    you know, I slip up and have sex every week, more or less, but I always returnt to abstinence.

  64. March 26, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Ugh. Okay, I went to school across the Charles at Boston College. A Catholic university. Yes, sure, a Jesuit Catholic university, but also right across the street from the Archdiocese. Well, before they had to sell their land to us to cover some debts of some sort. Predictably enough, there is no student sex magazine at BC. Condomns weren’t passed out in the dorms. Heck, sex was actually formally against the rules on campus. Yeah, it was realistically uninforcable, but you weren’t supposed to have sex in your dorm room. And at this very sex hostile academic environment, guess what?

    They still had date rape seminars for incoming freshman that don’t mention abstinance because the seminar isn’t about sex. Its about rape.

    Look, I’m all for people waiting to have sex. And I’m all for some acknowledgement that not everyone in college (or high school) is having sex. What I’m not for is self-righteous tut-tutting of people for being “immoral” for having made different choices for themselves. This isn’t a pro-abstinance group. Its an anti-sex group.

  65. anna
    March 26, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    I don’t want to spoil things for people who do enjoy sex. But I think it might be nice to have a non-judgemental students club for asexuals, just to talk about being asexual in a sexual world, the way LGBT student clubs talk about their realities in a straight world. And I think it would be nice to see some media representation of older virgins as normal people instead of repressed, ugly freaks.

    But why should anyone listen to me? I’m just a virgin who can’t drive. :)

  66. March 26, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    High fives, again, to all of us in the “Ugly Trolls” Club. I think we should have a party, where none of us hooks up with each other, and we don’t drink. Does anyone like Scrabble?

    anna, could you please insert a Cluless reference in every comment? OOOO, classic!

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  68. bmc90
    March 27, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    Oh I wish these people would grow up or try to. As an adult, do you think you are going to have a life long support group for your sexual choices? Do you think the average person cares whether you are saving it for someone or not. They. don’t. If some Harvard students need someone to validate their decisions at this stage of their lives, I just feel sorry for them. As for those colleges that try to referee this conduct, how do they think their graduates are going to handle living in an apartment on their own in a strange city with roomates? I’m all for having housing choices for students who don’t want to see their roomates’ tie on the door all the time or deal with a kegger in the hall, but that should be because the student wants it, not mommy and daddy. And it is SO true that those from the most repressive high school enviroments are the WORST partiers.

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