Unpopular Opinion: End the Sex Obsession

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At SLC, I feel that there is an excessive amount of sex. In the wake of the horrid straight white male shame finger-pointing that happened on the free speech board on May 2 and the constant flood of sex confessions on the Sarah Lawrence-Confesses page, it is time that we need to recognize how sex crazy we are. Trans*Action calls their Transgender Awareness Week “Genderfuck.” What is Genderfuck? At first look, I thought, ‘Oh, so we rub our genitalia until we no longer have a gender? It wasn’t until last year I realized this was Transgender Awareness Week disguised as a way to express the idea that gender should never define anyone. Only free-spirited liberal hipsters like us will get this. Conservative-minded people will think “What the fuck?”

 

And then, QVC has Sleaze Week, a week to celebrate safe sex with annual events such as a porn marathon and a Sleaze Ball; or, as I like to call it, an excuse to show up in nothing but underwear and get fucked by grinding all night long and having make-out sessions and one-night stands back in the dorms. While it is a great idea to constantly promote safe sex, this is not the way to do it. Instead, Sleaze Week is constantly serving our huge appetite for the lack of sexual activity we get.

 

The Phoenix, this year, started a sex column. Why is it needed? I think a school newspaper having a sex column is embarrassing. It shows that they had nothing else to write on other than the random shenanigans of someone’s sex life. And then there is the regular dorm life. Look, we have all heard stories of being sexiled, but here, I have experienced more instances of beds shaking the floor above my dorm or having a suitemate had sex and I could hear it all night. It is not fun listening to someone else’s pleasure. It makes me feel jealous. I am still a virgin. I have not enjoyed this lifestyle as many other students have on this campus. The constant references to sex on campus makes me think I am never good enough for at least a one-night stand, especially when it appears that this kind of action happens everywhere. Also, it is just downright disgusting. No one else needs to hear your beautiful night under the sheets, on top of the sheets, standing up against the wall, in the shower, or wherever you like to have sex.

On top of that, there was that awkward moment where the Q&A for the annual “Lube It Up?” talk turned to how to find humanitarian porn? Are we that obsessed that we turn to porn and masturbation for gratification? YES! Even I have to confess that I do this. But our openness has led to a little too much information. Sex is supposed to be special, not something you throw out as a wanted need. Our need for sex right now is too much. Because you feel lonely doesn’t give you the right to go straight to sex.

When you agreed to attend SLC, you are committing yourself to this lifestyle. We are expected to spend most of our time on individual work, but our loneliness doesn’t deserve to be spent on things like sex, alcohol, or drugs. Next time you think about having sex, think about what you really need before becoming a member of this schoolwide addiction.

The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not reflect the opinion of SLCSpeaks. If you don’t agree with them, consider submitting to the Unpopular Opinion contest, ideas@slcspeaks.com.

Submitted by: Sam Felmus

17 Comments

  • Reply July 17, 2013

    jake

    I disagree.

  • Reply August 11, 2013

    Ari

    While I appreciate Sam’s concerns about the way sex is presented on campus, and especially the rudeness of others’ sexual activity interfering with studies or daily life, I have to disagree with the pervasive idea that there is something wrong with having sex. I’m not saying that there is *anything* wrong with *not* wanting to have sex, but attacking others for turning to sex is just as wrong as attacking someone for being a virgin!

    Consider your statement: “doesn’t give you the right to go straight to sex.” Who are you to decide my rights? Some of your language choices veer into slut shaming, and I personally believe that’s just as bad as virgin shaming. I would just suggest being careful about how you phrase things. You’re entitled to your opinions, but I don’t want your judgement, and that’s how some of the article comes off…

  • Reply September 19, 2013

    Elane kirbey

    I will have sex with you. I love virgins and I wi be in SLC in a couple weekends. Checkout my OK CUPID profile & get back to me 😉

  • Reply October 3, 2013

    Will

    Well. This is just an embarrassment.

  • Reply October 3, 2013

    Jacqueline

    I think it’s very sad that you want to insult Genderfuck week and Sleaze week because of your own issues with sex.

    These events are meant to be safe spaces for students to explore their gender and sexuality and by publically denouncing them as fuckfests you’re devaluing a special thing this campus has.

    Also, this article sounds super slut shame-y.

  • Reply October 3, 2013

    Katie

    I get enough shame and judgment about desiring and having sex, particularly as a woman, from dominant culture. I don’t need it from SLC Speaks. I don’t have sex because it’s a “schoolwide addiction.” I have it because I want it, because I’m desirous of my partner and want to express it physically, because it feels good. Having sex is a personal choice and it can be an empowering one (particularly for those of us who grew up in a culture which shamed sex or are struggling to reclaim our own bodies). It is 100% fine to not have sex or to not desire sex. But it is not fine to shame others who do have sex and do desire it. I have the right to have as much consensual sex as I like and I still expect other people to treat me with respect, regardless of their views about what sex means to them personally.

  • Reply October 3, 2013

    Anonymous

    Everyone has a right to choose their own level of consensual sexual activity. As fellow students, we need to respect that and withhold judgement towards anyone for the amount of sex they are or are not having. If you don’t like the idea of Sleaze Week, then it is avoidable. Same goes for Lube It Up, and the Phoenix’s sex column. And yes, these are all popular on campus, not because we are “sex addicted” but because the Sarah Lawrence environment favors open discussion and acceptance of sexuality. This is part of what makes our school a great place for people to grow and learn about themselves and others.
    We’re all entitled to our opinions, but when it comes down to it, the decision to have (or not have) sex is an intensely personal one. I don’t believe it is our place to judge our peers for the lifestyle they choose.

  • Reply October 3, 2013

    MP

    As much as I roll my eyes at the 12-hour porn marathon, I think you need to get a handle on your own jealousy and your nose out of other peoples’ sex lives. You may not be having sex; other people are, as is their right, and it’s their right to talk about it as well. Yes, it can be annoying to note the evidence of other peoples’ sex lives, but you live in the exceedingly close quarters of a college dorm; in that type of environment it’s a fact of life, and you don’t really have the right to demand that everyone else stop having sex just so that you don’t have to suffer the enormous hardship of putting in your headphones every once in awhile because the walls are too thin.

    The biggest problem I have with this essay is comments like this: “Sex is supposed to be special, not something you throw out as a wanted need. Our need for sex right now is too much. Because you feel lonely doesn’t give you the right to go straight to sex.” We’re having “too much” sex, sex should be more “special”–and apparently, you, Sam Felmus, ye almighty, have elected yourself the arbiter of sexual morality. Leaving aside the fact that you left the definition of what counts as “special” conveniently vague, you don’t have the right to tell other people what kinds of sex they should (consensually) be having. So long as they’re not asking you to hop in bed with them, it’s none of your business; keep your nose out of it.

    (Also, you’re awfully quick to assume nobody who’s having sex thinks it’s special. I think the sex I have is pretty damn special, not that it’s any of your business.)

    “Because you feel lonely doesn’t give you the right to go straight to sex,” you say–except yes, actually, it does. It may not be healthy, but it’s well within your rights. This may have been a poor choice of words, but you need to provide more evidence than pure assertion that people don’t have the right to do what they want in their own bedrooms with their own bodies.

    Also, as someone who really doesn’t go for the types of sexuality expressed in events like Sleaze Ball and the porn marathon–there’s a pretty simple solution for your quandary. You just don’t go. You laugh about it and maybe make jokes about it with your friends back home, you politely decline hookups, you have sex when you meet that special someone under circumstances you both feel comfortable with.

    You have sex when you want to. You don’t participate in events that involve sexuality that’s not to your taste. Sure, you might find the advertisements a bit weird, but the swingers of this country have been looking at fliers for purity balls for years.

    I’m sure you’ll manage.

  • Reply October 3, 2013

    Liza

    1. Who cares what other people think? This is not their campus, it’s ours. If “genderfuck” offends some yuppie parent touring their kid, good riddance.

    2. What gives you the right to shame people for loosening up? For some people, Sleaze Ball is a seriously liberating experience. How dare you make people feel bad about how they have fun. As long the sex is safe and consensual, it’s none of your fucking business and doesn’t hurt anyone.

    3. I agree with Jacqueline; shaming an entire campus because of YOUR insecurities and issues with sex and sexual expression is not fair. Come on, you even admitted to being jealous.

    4. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to have sex! If you’re not ready, that’s fine! Just DO NOT make other people feel bad about their choices!

    5. “Sex is supposed to be special.” I feel like I’m beating a dead horse. No, sex is not SUPPOSED to be special, it can be if you want, but some people use it to blow off steam. Which is not unhealthy.

    6. This article is incredibly judgmental and self-righteous. Next time you get pissed because you got sexiled, don’t write a slut-shaming, sex-shaming article about it just because you can.

  • Reply October 3, 2013

    Rose

    !¡Team orgasm¡!

  • Reply October 3, 2013

    Travis

    Hey bud. I really enjoy sex. It seems like most of your issues with it have more to do with your negative experiences with the ~sexcapades~ of others. If you aren’t interested in having sex or being inadvertently involved in the sex lives of others or even being included in the sex positivity culture on campus, that’s fine, all of those things are avoidable. I can assure you, there are a number of very strong subcultures at Sarah Lawrence that I avoid partaking in, with success. I would never be so intolerant as to write an editorial on why they should cease to exist. Your claim that I don’t have the RIGHT to have sex (w/ consent) is completely asinine. Keep your shame to yourself please, thank you.

  • Reply October 3, 2013

    Anon

    “Horrid straight white male shame finger-pointing”? How about narrow minded slut and sex shaming? Your own reservations on the matter don’t reflect any real truths beyond the fact that you feel like you can morally police other’s choices.

    No.

  • Reply October 3, 2013

    Anon

    hey sam,

    while i don’t agree with many of the things you’ve said, i really appreciate you opening up a dialogue that you know would be controversial, hence posting in the ‘unpopular opinion’ column. i also appreciate that while you’re stating your opinion you’re not attempting to force a removal of genderfuck, sleazeweek or the new sex column. i admire you for taking this risk considering the responses i’m sure you knew you were going to get.

    keep your head up.

  • Reply October 4, 2013

    Anon

    I agree with anon. You’re brave for posting an unfavorable opinion. We shouldn’t be responding with too much rage.
    That said – I love sex. I love the way I have sex but I may not love the way someone else has sex. But it just doesn’t matter. People are free to fuck or to love or to love fucking OR to love not-fucking. There was a time when I was super intent on not fucking until marriage (it changed when I realized only *I* should be in charge of my sexuality, not some event or age or anything).
    I understand jealousy when a room is rocking RIGHT next to your’s and you yourself are curious but not yet ready to rock your own room. Sex is special to everyone. Whether it’s to blow off steam or to show your partner (or friend!) you dig them, it’s just what makes us human (and that’s pretty fucking special). It’s also pretty incredible that at SLC you can be free to sex. Some people might come from very strict backgrounds and this is literally their first chance to breathe and just BE.
    I can understand a certain culture can be frustrating when you don’t participate and it’s ALL you hear. That’s fair and it can suck. I’ve never participated in Sleazeweek because EVEN THOUGH I’m a sexual creature, I am totally and entirely not comfortable in my own body. I stand in front of mirrors and think “Fuck that part of me. And that. And that.” So it takes a lot of guts to be a “slut” during sleazeweek. =) Transgender or not, this is a time that let’s people express themselves in a way that post-college probably won’t. And to be honest, it’s pretty easy to stay away from the “sex-lovin” kids on campus like me. I actually never know when it’s Sleazeweek because I tend to get very invested in my own private issues…. therefore… you can safely avoid it if you don’t agree with it.
    Reality is right around the corner. Real life has a lot more fucked up and heart-breaking matters than too-much-campus-sex… we’re growing up and we’re going to land on our faces pretty hard if the issue of a sexy campus is this vital. ((This goes for myself as well)).
    My final statement… just be happy for people who aren’t afraid of sex and their bodies. Jealousy isn’t far from admiration. -I’m jealous of people with awesome bods that they show off… but I also know I’m just admiring the fuck out of how awesome they are for loving themselves.
    I don’t know if I addressed the actual article. I really just wanted to add my two cents.

  • Reply October 4, 2013

    ANON

    This article is just way too easy to criticize, y’all.
    I think we all agree that everything stated here is mildly atrocious, and will never make any actual impact in how we go about expressing our sexuality. End of story.

  • Reply October 4, 2013

    SA

    Hey, I think it’s really brave to post this and I applaud you for it. I think the fascination of sex and the existence of silly things like the sleazeball are a symptom of college life, not necessarily unique to Sarah Lawrence. I know big universities do things like undie runs and what not, so we’re not really that different in this sense. I too am a heterosexual virgin, and it does feel a little weird to be faced to with all this sexual stuff when your school is 70% girls and maybe you just have high standards when it comes to dating! But, like all other things that annoy me on this campus, it’s incredibly easy to ignore. So don’t feel like you have to “keep your shame to yourself”, we should be able to have a campus where people can feel comfortable in their skin, no matter what their sexual history is.

  • Reply October 9, 2013

    Elijah Zane

    Wow, truly Sarah Lawrence is a bastion of reasonable discourse, how mature and reasonable people one of the finest educational institutions in the country produces. Look, I disagree with the article, I think its prudish and rather simplistic, but seriously does anybody understand what reasonable argument is? Personal attacks like saying “This person doesn’t like sex” or “oh you just got sexiled” it reminds me of when people say to feminist “Oh you just don’t have a boyfriend” or “your on your period”. Seriously, just argue the actual points. People, Sams’ sex life is utterly irrelevant to the subject he has presented, for all we know he could be having three ways every single hour and he could still feel the way he does, the argument he is making isn’t people having sex is bad, its people being blatant about it. I disagree, but can we be adults here and focus on his actual points? On that subject, while I think humanitarian porn is a contradiction in terms, and Sleeze week is extremely trashy frankly I don’t care if people are having sex in the rooms around me, power to them. I like sex and I don’t think there is any real deny sex to anybody else if its consensual. If people want to have sex that is entirely in their right, if you don’t like it fine but nobody is forcing it on you….I hope…..seriously nobody is right? Now I don’t think sex is disgusting and I don’t think people should feel embarrassed or ashamed of something they enjoy as long as it doesn’t hurt others (unless its the movie 300…you should feel ashamed) and this is rather puritanical, which I don’t think really makes sense. Yeah, SLC does have a problem where they like to pretend that sex is more meaningful than it is and that we are totally rebelling when we have a 12 hour porn marathon, look how much this hurts THE MAN, but thats just a problem in self-indulgence, not sexuality in itself
    P.S. Kudos to the people who disagreed without personal attacks.

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