Sextion: Sex & the human race: Is there a normal?

Brown students often throw around accusatory labels. Heteronormative, relativist, dogmatic and sexist — the list goes on and on. But perhaps no epithet stings more than the label ethnocentric, an accusation that you evaluate the world based on your own biased cultural values.

As a Brown student, Heather HotPants also reflects on her biases from time to time. And today, Heather has something to admit: she’s been a little ethnocentric.

Writing a sex column can be hard. No two individuals are exactly alike, which is why a lot of us run around for so many years trying to find another mate whose sexual and emotional preferences match our own. With people’s wide range of tastes and desires, it’s tempting for a sex columnist to make the occasional generalization about our species. I’ve tried to avoid making blanket statements like “women are bitches” or “men cheat,” but, nevertheless, the temptation exists.

All I can do is write what I know. Any wisdom I’ve imparted has been shaped by my experiences as a white, privileged, heterosexual female. I’ve talked a lot about being heterosexual and being female, but I haven’t spent much time talking about how the white and privileged parts shape my views of sex and sexuality.

I recently came across a shocking article in Psychology Today, which explains that most of what we know in psychology is based on a very small, special population (hint: you’re a member). This special population, which one review in Cambridge’s Behavior and Brain Sciences calls “WEIRD,” is made up of “Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic” societies. This group makes up a paltry “12% of the world’s population” but can account for “96% of the subjects whose behavior has been reported in top psychological journals,” according to the article. Continue Reading

Sextion: Sex Abroad info sesh, Part 1

Ah, restless Brunonian, your intellectual curiosity knows no geographic limits! Why spend time reading about Joyce when you can truly experience his words for yourself in Dublin? Why study science in a lecture hall when you can visit CERN in Geneva? You have to go and see the world for yourself! So, at least, you told Mom and Dad as you signed your study abroad application last Friday.

But let’s get down to the real reason why you’re going abroad. That’s right, some good ol’ fashioned foreign sex. Brown is wonderful, sure, but it’s no secret that by senior year, you likely will have slept with all of your friends. We live in a small place. A place where your last one-night stand is lurking at every turn of the Rock and the most exciting sex news is a cameo appearance of the John Street masturbator… again. Let’s fly, fly away from Brown, just for a safe semester or two, and let our genitals express themselves globally! Before you go, though, a heads up on what you’ve gotten yourself into. Continue Reading

Sextion: Happy Sex Week!

It’s Sex Week @ Brown.

SHEEC, the Sexual Health Education & Empowerment Center, organizes the 7-day long event comprised of workshops, lectures, screenings, and more. Sex Week is in its fourth year and is in full swing until this Saturday, March 17.

The point of Sex Week? To “bring events to campus about things people may want to know about but might not feel comfortable asking about,” says Jenn Conti ’12, co-chair of SHEEC. “Sex and sexual health are usually spun in a negative way — ‘don’t do this, don’t do that’ — but through Sex Week, we’re talking about things in a sex-positive way.”

Sex-positive? Sounds good to me!

But is Sex Week just another sad example of Brown kids talking about sex without actually having any? Maybe. Sex Week certainly won’t go around knocking on Keeney doors and forcing coitus where it’s not wanted. But talking about sex openly might be the first step in that giant leap from just curious to full-blown sexually active. Plus, some events — like the “Orchestrating Orgasms” workshop with star sex educator Megan Andelloux — prove much less academic and much more utilitarian, hem hem.

Events at Sex Week you should not miss: 

Continue Reading

Sextion: Are you having sex too soon?

Chances are you’ve already heard plenty of reasons to scare you from having sex — particularly if you are a woman or a homosexual male. All over the planet we’ve got rules about what we shouldn’t be doing and whom we shouldn’t be doing.

What are some of the things about sex you’re supposed to fear?

  1. Pregnancy
  2. Rape (apparently, ladies, if you have sex or even flirt with a guy, then you’re probably asking for sex with anyone at anytime)
  3. STIs
  4. AIDS (yeah, I know, similar to #3 but this one has historically been directed towards gay males)
  5. Being labeled a slut or a manwhore (they even have a sort of slut IQ test for it now)
  6. Not being able to have a family  (if you like to have sex with people of your same sex)

At a place like Brown, most of us can shrug off the critics and decide for ourselves which risks we’re comfortable taking. There is, however, one fear voiced quite frequently at Brown and it’s this:

Ruining your chances of establishing a meaningful relationship with someone. Continue Reading

Sextion: Celebrating the Other V-Day

Editorial Disclaimer: This post has been created by college students for college students.  It has been rated NC-17 for its sexual nature and anatomically graphic references. Please proceed at your own risk. Thanks for reading! Love, BlogDH

Valentine’s Day. Couples treat each other to flowers, chocolates and singing Mariachi bands. Your friend opens up her JWW mailbox to discover two tickets to New York from her beau. No fair! What about your box? You glance around Salomon 101 and everyone is passing around Sweetheart candy. Where is your Yum-Yum?

No worries, dear. This Valentine’s Day, Heather Hot Pants is celebrating the other V-Day. No matter if you’re single, hooking up or in something more committed, your little lady spot needs to be pampered, too. Continue Reading

Sextion: Is Casual Sex Possible?

My friend Dave has this theory: you can’t have sex without getting attached. Or, more precisely, only old, divorced ladies can have sex without getting attached. But me, the college student, running around filled with hormones, tripping over my own shoelaces, getting hysterical when I get a new text message, getting hysterical when I don’t get a new text message, me, I can’t really have sex without getting attached, so maybe I should stop kidding myself.

As college students and proud members of the Y Generation, we’ve created an interesting social system. These aren’t the ordered days of the 1950s, where you had sex in the back of a Chevy at a drive-in movie with your going-steady boyfriend. Nor are they the wild days of the ’70s, where orgasms floated around in the air anonymously like dandelions and no one knew about HIV.

It’s 2012, and we’ve constructed something in the middle. We’re too busy for commitment, but we’re also too busy to go around looking for a new mate every night of the weekend. We’re focused on bagging that perfect summer internship, working hard in school, and being independent. So we’ve invented booty calling, sexting, and hooking up. Continue Reading