The Humpday Gazette

Archive for March, 2012|Monthly archive page

Book Club: The Sexual History of London

In 12W on March 10, 2012 at 7:38 pm

“The Sexual History of London” 

By Catharine Arnold

Top 4 facts about sex in London through the ages:

The modern sexual massage parlor was born in the bathhouses of Roman Londonium, as skilled prostitutes of both genders offered their clients happy endings in private corners.

In 18th century England, there was an entire subset of pornographic literature dedicated to sexually frustrated women who found relief with hard-working and humble eunchs.

The Victorian age was also the “Golden Age of Prostitution” with over 500,000 prostitutes working the streets in the 1850’s, inspiring social problem novels, legislation attempting to stem the spread of STIs, and wealthy men and women “slumming” in the grimy East End.

During WWI, the London gay scene developed its own language, ‘Polari.’ A sampling from the dictionary: “there’s a sharping omi” means “a policeman is coming to the bar.”

Dartmouth Dating Lingo

In 12W on March 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Biddy: Someone who hooks up with multiple members of a certain social group. Often used in a pejorative and problematic manner.

Flitzing: Though not as common anymore (‘15s, sorry, you missed the old blitz. It was awesome), this is a flirtatious blitz.

Formal/Semi Date: An invitation to a semi formal often is sent out with the perceived expectation that the dates will hook up later, but should not be used as a way to pressure your date. No worries, some people actually take their friends or choose not to hook up with their dates on a creepy bus ride/dance floor.

Hook-Up: This varies! It can mean sex, just making out, or anywhere in between. Anonymous responses from the Sexperts dating survey ranged from “makin’ out” to “EITHER just making out and maybe low key foreplay OR having full on sex” to “sex.”

Hook-Up Buddy: Also known as friends with benefits. You can have one, two, or really, it’s however many you want (or can get). Certain phrases some have used to elicit this type of relationship are: “Study break? My room?” or “Want to watch a movie tonight?”

Pong Date: As The D described in 2008, Pong is “the ultimate driving force on campus” (Gundling, “Point: Pong as a Legitimate Date”). This is a planned date between two people, usually initiated by a “flitz” (see above), and can sometimes lead to a “hook-up buddy,” though this chain of events exists to a greater degree in Dartmouth mythology than reality.

Off Campus Meal: It’s not too far to assume that a flitz suggesting an off campus meal is an invitation for a date. As in “Leslie was disappointed when Kelly brought her best friend along to Canoe Club for their off campus meal.”

Sketch/Sketchy: Any individual or action that makes others uncomfortable. Often used to describe alums that come back on big weekends, but any especially creepy person. You know, the one trying to make out with you when you just met him/her 35 seconds ago.

 

Q: What Is This? A: A Sex Toy!

In 12W on March 10, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Having run a table showcasing sex toys at Vulvapulooza after the Vagina Monologues, I have been able to predict standard reactions: awkward stares from about ten feet away (come on, you’re at an event called Vulvapulooza), “what is this?”, and “where can I get this?” I wanted to answer all these responses once and for all, here, in the Hump-Day Gazette.

First, the awkward stares. I’m a pretty unintimidating person – I was elected most likely to work as a Disney character in high school. While I am slightly embarrassed by my lack of scariness, it is nice to know that people were put off by the sex toys, and not my face. So, to answer all of you who did not want to approach the table, despite the sideways peeks: yes, people use sex toys at Dartmouth. No, they are not all as unnervingly realistic as the vagina mold. However, they do exist, and students do use them. And, I promise, they’re worth taking a further look at. Even if you don’t want one right now, it’s nice to be informed.

Second, “what is this?” Some sex toys – like the life-like vagina or dildo – are pretty self-explanatory. Others – such as the Ben Wa balls, which look like metal marbles and are used for vaginal or anal pleasure and Kegel exercises – are less obvious. In a nutshell, sex toys are to make you feel good. That means, if you want to use your vibrating “back massager” to actually massage your back, feel free. If you want it to vibrate elsewhere, continue to have fun – just make sure it was created by a company that lists its ingredients.

Finally, “Where can I get this?” There are some great websites, such as http://www.smittenkittenonline.com/ (special focus on environmentally-friendly and safe toys) and http://www.babeland. com (well organized, with lots of lists to help you shop). Shipping can be discreet, so you don’t have to deal with judgment at your Hinman Box.  If you want to take a more hands-on approach, head on over to Un Dun in West Leb, which stocks a wide variety of sex toys and other erotic material. The toys are in the back, behind an extensive smoke shop, and you’ll need an ID to prove you’re over 18, so don’t forget your drivers license! And next time you see some Sexpert running a table full of sex toys, come by and give your own two cents.

HIV

In 12W on March 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm

HIV is perhaps the most common disease we think of when it comes to STIs. However, people are often more familiar with myths and stereotypes associated with the retrovirus than the facts. Many don’t understand what exactly HIV could do to their bodies and how it is related to AIDS. First of all, HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus; it is a virus that infects and kills a specific type of immune cells –CD4 cells, also known as Helper-T cells, which are responsible for fighting off infection and disease in human bodies.

When first contracting HIV, one can experience several weeks of fever, sore throat, and muscle pain around a month after contracting the virus, due to immediate increased viral load. HIV is often then latent for months or years, depleting Helper-T cells without noticeable symptoms, before developing into AIDS–Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome. At this point, especially if not previously diagnosed and treated, HIV has destroyed one’s immune system, leaving the body highly susceptible to any kind of invasion.

HIV can be passed from person to person if an infected individual has unprotected sex or shares injection needles with another person. Also, babies born to women with HIV can become infected during pregnancy, birth, or breast-feeding. You CANNOT get HIV from simply being around an infected individual or sharing a drink or meal with that person. There is only a very small chance of getting HIV from French-kissing or oral sex (approximately .04% chance per contact), though if you have a sore or lesion in your mouth, there is a possibility for blood contact.

Abstinence is the surest way to avoid contacting HIV sexually, but a monogamous relationship with a tested and uninfected partner could also be a solution. Also, even if your partner is tested, always use protection when engaging in sexual activities. You should never share needles, razors, or toothbrushes with others because there could be some remaining blood on them.

Today, if HIV is discovered through testing, it is no longer the death sentence it formerly was perceived to be, allowing most HIV positive individuals to take medications that allow them to live mostly unchanged lives. However, if undetected or untreated, HIV/AIDS can quickly shave years off one’s life. HIV remains dormant in the body for many years and there are no apparent symptoms during dormancy. The only way to know for sure if you’re infected IS TO GET TESTED. An HIV negative test can be temporary, but, at this point, an HIV positive test is for life. You can expect to have accurate results if you get tested 3 months after exposure.

Schedule an appointment for STI screening at Dick’s House with a provider by calling the Dick’s House appointment office at 603-646-9401. If you are not having any symptoms, STI screening typically involves obtaining a urine sample to check for Chlamydia and doing an oral swab for HIV testing. Please do not urinate one hour prior to the appointment, so you can check for both Chlamydia and HIV with one appointment. You can expect to have accurate Chlamydia results 3 weeks after exposure and accurate HIV results 3 months after exposure.

All information from cdc.gov/hiv

In 12W on March 10, 2012 at 7:25 pm

171 figures placed on the steps of  Dartmouth Hall, to represent 171 known survivors of  sexual assault at Dartmouth. The year “1972,” written in snow, is the year the College became co-ed. From wakeupdartmouth.blogspot.com. 

V-Week 2012 was one of the biggest and most extensively planned blocks of discussing sexual violence and female sexual empowerment in Dartmouth’s memory. Events included comedian Cindy Pierce, a panel on ‘Vagina Monologues Controversies’ and ‘V-Men: Sex, Drugs, Responsibility and Masculinity at Dartmouth and Beyond.’ As always, the ever expanding V-Week culminated in the “Vagina Monologues,” which this year had a cast of 60 and was directed by Mia Jessup ‘12.

Love Match fever raged at Dartmouth, with 1154 students filling out the survey designed to pair them with their perfect mate. The survey was, for many, less than ideal due to questions inconsequential to their love life and the fact it did not take reciprocal interest in sexual behavior into question (i.e. those looking for “same parts” matched with those looking for partners with “different parts”). However, the sheet for many proved to be a nice conversation piece, and a new pick up line.

171 dolls were placed on the steps of Dartmouth Hall on February 28th, by the anonymous ‘Daughters of Dartmouth.’ Each of the figures represented a unique story of sexual assault revealed to the less than two-dozen upperclassmen. Go to wakeupdartmouth.blogspot.com to read more about the group.

Looking foward, we have “Promise and Perils of the Hook-Up Culture” a talk by Lisa Wade, PhD, on Thursday, March 29th, in Rocky 2. In her own words: “I show that the problem on college campuses isn’t too much sex, it’s bad sex: unpleasurable, unwanted, unempowering, and antagonistic. The solution? Not to abandon the casual hook-up (it has some interesting advantages), but to multiply the sexual discourses on campus in ways that give students the cognitive freedom and cultural support to make the sexual choices that are best for each of them.”


National Contraceptives News Round Up

In 12W on March 10, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Oklahoma State Senator Judy Eason McIntyre at a Pro-Choice Rally, Jezebel.com

Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania created a stir by stocking Plan-B in its health services vending machines for $25 (the university makes no profit on the sales). On our own campus, Plan B is available as a back up to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if your contraceptive fails. It can be found over the counter at the pharmacy  at Dick’s House or from the nurse, available 24 hours in the inpatient department. It is also available at CVS ($45) or through Planned Parenthood (call 603-298-7766 to discuss their sliding scale option of payments).

President Obama ceded to the Council of Catholic Bishops’ demand for exemption of Catholic hospitals and universities from the requirement these employers must provide prescription coverage for contraceptives if receiving federal funds. However, the Senate voted March 1st to kill the Republican effort to allow businesses and health companies to deny coverage for contraceptives and other items on moral grounds. [NYTimes]

Rush Limbaugh apologized for calling Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University Law student who spoke out in favor of the Obama administration’s birth control policy, a “prostitute” who was “having so much sex, it’s amazing she can still walk.” President Obama also reached out to Fluke, calling her to thank her for her support. Sometimes I wonder what Limbaugh would say if he saw the Hump-Day Gazette… [NYTimes]

To Shave or Not To Shave: Female’s Pubic Hair Dilemma

In 12W on March 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm

When you start a journey of sexual adventures with a new partner, you bring carnal desire and passion, but also also a number of expectations. The list varies from person to person, but for many, body hair expectations are at the top of the list.

A 2011 WGST 10 survey on body hair revealed almost every single woman removes her armpit and leg hair. While both leg and armpit hair are on rather revealing parts of the female body, on a hot summer day we don’t need the survey results to see if her armpit or leg hair is shaved. What people really wanted to know – or at least what I really wanted to know – is what’s hidden underneath women’s clothes, what’s being done to their “down there.”

Let the drum roll begin for the grand results….and ta-da! 78 percent! The same 2011 survey results show that among 191 self-identified females of the Class of 2013 who responded, 78% answered that they remove some or all of their pubic hair. Even if we take into account that those who responded might be more into hair removal and that the actual numbers could be lower than 78%, the results still reflect that the vast majority of female students do shave or trim their pubic hair. Whew. So that’s it. Most females do shave or trim their pubic hair. Now one might ask oneself, “so when I pull down a girl’s panties, I guess I should expect a bald pussy.” Not exactly.

The results show that around 35% of females only do minimal or bikini line trimming, around 15% remove some or most of their hair, and the final 30% remove all of their pubic hair. So no, you should only expect a no hair “down there” three out of ten times, and also don’t forget that one out of ten would have a full-on bush. In other words, if you were gambling, Hump-Day Gazette wouldn’t advise putting too much money on any of the options.

Trimmed or bald, it’s safe to establish that most women of Dartmouth take care of their pubic hair in some fashion. Let’s now talk about why they opt to do so: didn’t God give us everything for a reason? Pubic hair indeed protects the area from friction and keeps dust or other particles from entering the vagina. However, there are also aesthetic and practical advantages of removing pubic hair. For example, neatly trimmed pubic hair is seen by many as more pleasant-looking, especially during bikini seasons. Indeed, most women list their top reason for pubic hair removal as to appear more attractive.

“When giving oral sex, it’s nice to not have to worry about hair getting in your face,” commented a male ’14 on the practical advantages of removing pubic hair. He continued, “however, at the end of the day, shaved or bushy, pussy is a pussy. I’m not going to be too picky.”

Many women and men also like the way a clean shaved pubic area feels. Once the coarse hair is removed, the area reveals soft skin that is very sensitive to sensations. One should be careful not to cause too much friction on the bare skin, but with caution, shaved skin can give new pleasures.

Of course, some beg to differ. “I once conformed to pressure and shaved down there, but honestly I don’t understand what is attractive about making it look like a ten-year-old’s. I find it pedophilic,” said a female ’15. She continued, “the worst part is when your shaved hair grows back, and the prickly stub keeps poking you everywhere!”

Her argument is also valid. Pubic hair removal is a high maintenance task that requires both time and money. If you choose to shave it – the most cost-conscious method, you must do so regularly to prevent “prickly stub” from causing irritation on your skin. Waxing may last longer, but it is more expensive and much more painful (price may depend on whether it’s personally or professionally done). There are definite pros and cons to pubic hair removal, and most people express that it is up to their personal choice and what their partners prefer.

One last note: ladies, why not try changing your pubic hair removal patterns to spice things up in your current relationship? You can remove more or less hair or even go back to a full on bush for a more retro look! Do whatever you want – even if it doesn’t meet others’ expectations. In the words of one respondent to the Female Body Hair survey: “I’m beautiful with any amount of hair, and anyone who doesn’t like it can F*CK OFF.”

All data were taken from a 2011 WGST 10 Body Hair Survey. A total of  191 self-identified females of  the Class of  2013 participated in the survey. For more of  their results and a wider discussion of  the politics, history, and biology of  body hair, read their magazine, ‘Hirsute Suits Her’ at http://issuu.com/unuscornu/docs/hirsute_suits_her.

Freshmen and Seniors Talk About Dating at Dartmouth

In 12W on March 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm

How do students feel about dating at Dartmouth? Do their perspectives change over the course of four years?

‘12 Female: …I was shocked by the hook- up culture at Dartmouth at first, and I never imagined that I would ever participate in it, but now it seems almost as natural as breathing… It’s easy to start measuring your worth by who you hook up with. So my advice to you, ‘15s, is to stay true to what you’re trying to get out of a relationship (serious or casual) and don’t compromise on it. Also be able to respect yourself regardless of what others might think.

‘15 Female: I think I got swept away during the fall by the fun and excitement of it all, and as the ‘12 above said, I started measuring my self-worth by how many brothers at a frat I knew or had hooked up with… I realized, though, that this wasn’t really fulfilling for me. It may be fun every once in  a while, sure, but it is not what makes or breaks my happiness.

‘12 Male: …You don’t have to be gay, straight, polyamorous, cis-gendered or whatever. Sleep with who you like however many times you like, don’t be afraid if your tastes change and be open to new ideas! (Of course, be safe and always use protection.) The world would be a lot happier if people did what they liked and followed Kate Bornstein’s simple maxim of “Don’t be mean!”

‘15  Male: I don’t think dating here is looked down upon. But I have heard some upper-classman guys say they “wasted last year in a relationship,” as if they would rather hook up with a different girl every week- end. Personally I would have no problem settling into a relationship with someone whose company I would really enjoy, but that view may change over the years.

Morning After Lolz

In 12W on March 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with the morning after blitz. I’m just saying it’s a pretty hilarious concept. Let’s look at the stock form:

Subject: [Insert first 1-2 words of the sentence]

Body: [Continuation from subject, summing up in 2 sentences that you hope the person got home alright and that you had a good time. If you enjoyed yourself or will be forced to see this person in everyday life, say that you should grab a meal “sometime.” If you actually want to get a meal, offer potential days of the week.]

And you’re done.

The process of sending the blitz is similarly ridiculous. If you don’t know/remember your hook-up buddy’s last name, the combination of blitz directory and Facebook stalking to correctly identify the person who was in your bed last night is comedic gold. Once, one of my friends received a stock morning after blitz from someone she had never met. Apparently, he confused her with a sorority sister whose first name was one letter off. Post-morning after blitz over analysis is one of the wonders of Saturday morning roomie sessions. However, if you’re going to invest your sense of self in these blitzes, you may be in for a future of disappointments. And if you’re sending one – just say what you mean!

Bring the Blitz Back

In 12W on March 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm

I wasn’t supposed to write this piece. I also didn’t think that an article about the “Morning After Blitz” would have a serious tone. I mean, it’s just a measly little blitz. The “morning after blitz” is the blitz you send after you’ve hooked up with someone. Usually it is sent from the initiator, with added pressure on the guy in heterosexual hook-ups. From what I understand, it’s just a common courtesy to say you had a fun time. Apparently, however, it is a “dying art form.” Every ’15 asked said they’ve never received one. Some hadn’t even heard of it. My ’14 guy friends admitted to never sending them because they “didn’t feel it necessary.” But, at Dear Ol’ Dartmouth we love traditions, so we thought we’d bring it back from the ashes.

Now, let me tell you this before I keep going: I have never gotten a morning after blitz, nor have I ever sent one. I don’t hook up with people on Dartmouth’s campus (significant other from home), so I know I may not be the most credible source. But in looking for an author for this column, I’ve developed my own thoughts.

Like I said, I wasn’t supposed to be writing this article. I had many people saying that they would love to write it… and then back out on me, which is fine. My last friend to back out blitzed me: “Hey—I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do the article anymore. It got kind of real when I started to write it.” Finally, the significance of a morning after blitz dawned on me. What if you hooked up with a person and then never spoke about it, never acknowledged the hook-up, or never even talked to that person again? Some people I’ve talked to go out of their way to try to never see their hook-ups again. How is that okay? How is it ever alright to ignore someone you did, in fact, meet and spend time with? Even if you didn’t have “the greatest” experience, I say that the morning after blitz is a necessary component of post-hook-up protocol. I wouldn’t hold someone to this standard post-Tri-Kap dance floor make-out, but if you go back to someone’s room or bring someone to yours, then a morning after blitz is sure as hell called for.