In March 2011 on April 4, 2011 at 4:42 am
I think smart is sexy. I like smart people. People that are comfortable with themselves I think is very sexy. My cat is really sexy.
– Gina Gershon
There are definitely a few of you out there who are reading the above quote and thinking there is nothing sexy about a cat. But let’s face it: whatever the human equivalent of purring and twining around somebody’s ankles is, it would certainly make us all hot and bothered. Across the animal kingdom, there are as many definitions of “sexy” as there are species of animals. Some species, like the peacock, appeal to their mates on a purely physical level. Others, like the European house wren, attract their mates through intelligence and potential parental skill, in this case shown through the construction of a nest. Some animals may choose their mates based on scent (studies show that individuals whose immune systems are complimentary to a potential mate’s will have a more appealing smell). Others may simply mate with whoever is available.
Not to self call homo sapiens, but we do all of these things. Physical attraction, intelligence, a sense of humor, horniness, unexplainable chemistry (that has a bit to do with scent), and thousands of other factors all affect how we form relationships, especially sexual relationships, with. While these are all important, this issue we will be dealing with the physical aspects of the body. Many people feel they must be physically attractive for others to be sexually or romantically interested in them. Men and women who are considered physically “attractive” become sex symbols who all others must strive to be. The set of physical parameters that are considered attractive may not lead only to self image and esteem issues, but also reduces us to our most superficial elements: physical appearance. With this mindset, even the most self-assured of us deal with issues regarding appearance: am I too fat? Too thin? Too hairy? Through open discussion, we believe that we can attempt to address the issues of one’s body in sexuality, with the reminder that being sexy is much more than purely physical.
Have fun and be safe,
Michelle and Kate
In February 2011 on February 2, 2011 at 4:51 am
Let’s face it: hearing our parents talk about sex is about as comfortable as being on the receiving end of an atomic wedgie. A recent episode of Modern Family where the kids walked in on their parents “celebrating their anniversary” was just a snapshot of how awkward it can be to acknowledge that our parents are sexual beings.
Phil on talking to the kids after they walked in on him and Claire having sex: “What if I was all knock knock and they were like ‘Who’s there?’ and I was all ‘Someone who doesn’t want to see their parents doing it that’s why we knocked!’”
It gets weirder still to realize that yes, in most of our cases, our birth happened due to that fact. At some point, though, it becomes essential for our parents to at least mention sex. That being said, few people we talked to while putting this issue together said they were lucky/unlucky enough to have never received “the talk.” Some parents may take a hard-line abstinence approach, some may take the be-safe-I-just-don’t-want-to-know road, and others may be way, way too interested in imparting us with a well-rounded sexual education. While most of us try to find a happy place inside where we can shut out the ‘birds and the bees talk,’ if we actually opened our ears and listened to our parents we could learn a lot. Even if parents aren’t always the most comfortable people to discuss sex with, talking to someone who has more experience, both in the bedroom and generally in life, can help make healthy decisions. Let’s be real: we at Hump-day Gazette have done a lot of research, but we’re 19 years old. While we are able to compile some great resources and try to give good advice, we thought that in this issue we should focus on people who have “been there, done that.” So, look forward to reading some input from our “elders,” memories and reflections on what we’d be taught on sex, and some things that we wish our parents had taught us.
Have fun and be safe,
Kate and Michelle
In November 2010 on December 16, 2010 at 5:10 pm
In this issue, we wanted to address something that the newsletter and Sexperts as a whole has always been dedicated to – the importance of discussing sex and sexuality. We will admit that this is partially in response to the surprising amount of facetime we’ve been getting in The D Opinions section (if you want to read about opposing an open discussion of sex and sexuality, check out “Explicit Signals,” on October 28). We do not, however, want this issue to be seen as a bunch of anonymous writers ganging up on someone who disagreed with our views. We understand that some people may not choose to embrace the goals of the Hump-day Gazette. However, we felt this newsletter was a good medium for exploring why open and frank discussion of sex and sexuality is important at Dartmouth. Sex and sexuality are present in all of our lives, no matter how we chose to deal with them. The newsletter could be structured to only deal with the health related aspect of sex, which is obviously incredibly important. However, mental and emotional sexual health are, we believe, tied to being able to explore sexual pleasure and discover the wide variety in sexuality that exists at Dartmouth. The one thing we do not want to do is try to tell you all to express your sexuality in a certain way. In this newsletter, a number of columnists discuss what it means to them to openly and frankly talk about sex and sexuality. If you want to get involved in the discussion, please blitz “Humpday.” The best way for us to be able to express a wide variety of experiences and opinions is with your help.
Have fun and stay safe!
-Kate and Michelle
P.S. We’ve also been getting some feedback about the name “Humpday Gazette,” but surprisingly it’s been more about how non-classy the phrase is as opposed to what a witty pun it is for a Sexperts newsletter that comes out on Wednesday (…self call).
In September 2010 on December 15, 2010 at 4:09 pm
“Imagine if losing your virginity meant learning how to do all that: absorbing all those egalitarian lessons, learning how to regard your sexual life as a holistic enterprise that encompassed pleasure, introspection, and caring mutuality.”
— Hanne Blank, ‘The Process-Oriented Virgin’
The two of us both followed a pretty standard storyline when it came to losing our virginities: girl meets boy, girl dates boy, one girl has intercourse for the first time in the back seat of a car and the other swiped her V-card on Valentine’s Day without much of a to-do. If we had another co-writer who lost their virginity on prom night, we’d have the stereotypical teenage trifecta. However, as our first campus wide Sexperts newsletter will show you, there is no formula for losing your virginity. No two people view virginity in quite the same light; some cultures value virginity above all else; others urge youth to engage in premarital sex; and then there are places like America that send so many mixed messages nobody knows how to feel about virginity anymore. I mean, how does one even define virginity? Do you lose your virginity during your first kiss? First time engaging in oral? First time having anal sex? Intercourse? Outercourse? Do you lose it more than once if you have sex with partners of different genders? Or is it the moment, for girls, that your hymen is broken, in which case you can “lose your virginity” while horseback riding. Do you only lose your virginity if the encounter is consensual? If the encounter is enjoyable? If one or both parties orgasm? Does it even “count” if you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender?
The concept of virginity is so fluid that there is no precise way to define how you should feel or approach losing your virginity.
Even the term “losing your virginity” has a negative connotation, as if you’ve misplaced one of the few valuable things you’ve been given as a human. While your virginity is valuable in the sense that it is yours to do with what you will, “losing it” should not be viewed in a negative light. We hope that this issue will allow you to see that losing your virginity should not have any negative connotation, but rather as the opening of a door to allow yourself explore your sexuality in new and fun ways. Please do not misinterpret this newsletter as urging you to lose your virginity. Instead, we hope to explore all the different aspects of your first time, whether you have already had it, want to have it here at Dartmouth, are saving it for a future partner or haven’t thought about it yet. May our virgin issue issue give voice to different perspectives on your first time, and information to allow you to make the best and healthiest decision for yourself.
Be safe and have fun!
Michelle and Kate