University students don’t talk about their sexuality much.
I bet that sounds crazy to you, and I bet it’s even more ironic that I’m writing it. But, it’s true. I’ve noticed it happens a lot.
For example, last term, when people found out I was the sexuality columnist, they said they’d read my article later. I normally carry newspapers around on me, especially the Aquinian, so I was able to give them a copy to read. When I did this to one of my classmates, she realized from the title that it was on masturbation, and – flustered – she handed it back to me, saying “Oh, I can’t read this in public.”
I began a social experiment, giving papers to my friends, and seeing who would read them on the spot, who would deny reading them, and who would say it wasn’t appropriate to read at the time.
When I spoke to other people about this, they disagreed, saying women tend to go more into detail about sex, while men keep it strictly locker room style, where they give the nod if they’ve had sex with someone, or not. (Really? The nod? What is the nod?)
I disagree with that. I don’t think gender has anything to do with it. I think it’s all about how our culture encourages us not to speak about our sexuality. These magazines people read like Cosmopolitan and so on help break the mold a little bit, but not much. It sometimes makes it worse. Really, who needs a six pack of abs to have sex with someone? It’s not THAT strenuous of an exercise!
I think it all goes back to how comfortable you feel in your body, and whether or not that encourages you to share yourself and your body with others. Let’s face it, if you’re having one of those days where you’re not feeling so hot, you’re less likely to want to get jiggy with it. (À la Will Smith-style.)
Sexuality plays into self-esteem, as I’ve continuously noted in past articles, and if you’re not feeling up there – heh, up there – then why would you acknowledge your sexuality? It’s not just going to some party, drinking, and taking someone home. It’s whether or not you could make the first move, or if you’re secure enough in your confidence to not care if someone sees you reading a sexuality column in a student newspaper.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, sexuality isn’t just all about sex. And even if it was, it’s not something to get flustered about. Buy those condoms in that drug store! Go to the sex shop to pick up toys! If you want to go into detail about sex with your friends – you should probably ask your partner if it’s okay first. (That could backfire without your partner’s consent.) And yes, even read that student newspaper, where that strange woman rambles about sex.
Because where else can you get your jiggy with it?
Stephanie Sirois’s sexuality column will appear biweekly.