- Contemplating LGBT bullying on a gay-friendly campus (Photo: Associated Press)
Parents, teachers, sex reporters, and other adults looking for a creepy window into the sex lives of our nation's youth! Welcome to TBD's digest of local college sex columns:
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: GAY UTOPIA? In the wake of LGBT youth suicides, American University Eagle sex columnists Ryan Carter and Tara Culp-Ressler assess the climate on AU's campus:
“When it comes to acceptance, I think that comparatively speaking ... American is leaps and bounds above [other schools],” said Carter Gibson, a junior in the Kogod School of Business and the executive vice president of AU’s Inter-Fraternity Council.
. . . “When someone does come out in the greek community, the whole greek community is there to support them,” Gibson said. “Some brothers may feel betrayed — but not because of the fact that they’re gay — more so because of the fact that they didn’t know before. They’re like, ‘we wish you would have told us.’”
But could AU be a little bit too gay-friendly?
"It’s possible that AU’s reputation for being so gay-friendly may hold some people back from feeling fully comfortable embracing their own sexuality," the columnists submit. "Even though AU’s active chapter of Queers and Allies sponsors activities such as National Coming Out Day on the quad, that may not be the right situation for absolutely everyone to express their sexuality." Adds campus Queers and Allies officer Lauren Ramón: "Especially for people questioning their sexuality…they don’t come out because they think…they can’t come over here with the rainbow flag and scream gay things."
REACTIONARY ROMANCE: Georgetown University Hoya sex columnist Stacey Taber tackles "textual healing" and how advances in technology "complicates the already complicated process of wooing":
For example, the text that says, “Hey, what are you up to?” Its meaning varies, depending on what time of day it is sent. During the day, it’s friendly and noncommittal. From nightfall to 10 p.m., it’s a last-minute “Hey, I might like you and if you’re free right now let’s hang out.” If the text arrives after midnight then, yeah, it’s probably a booty call.The meaning also varies between genders. If a guy sends it, he might be interested, or maybe you have his jacket and he wants it back. If a girl sends it, she might like you, but she may also be looking for a party, or wants to hang out as “just friends.” The commonly understood semantic meaning of “Hey, what are you up to?” is “Tell me something interesting so I can come join you or say you’re doing nothing so I can suggest that we hang out.”
"So it seems that technology has complicated courtship, perhaps permanently," Taber concludes. On the other hand, "Maybe technology like the iPhone 4’s two-way video calling will change things."
MEN: SO DIFFERENT: UVA Cavalier dating columnist Jordan Hart marvels at a male acquaintance who cooked food: "I couldn’t believe it. I’m all for breaking down gender roles, and my friend’s boyfriend just about broke down them all," she writes. "He was just so … domestic! Helpful! And let’s not forget that he was adept in navigating his way around cooking in and cleaning a kitchen."
This came as a surprise to Hart, as most of her male friends lack basic feminine qualities, like the ability to discern the differences between plants:
. . . last spring, another friend asked her boyfriend to pick some daffodils from the gardens surrounding their apartment. She was hosting an Easter brunch and wanted some flowers in a vase for decoration. He didn’t know exactly what daffodils were, so she described them: the pretty yellow flowers growing everywhere right in the garden out front. He left and returned a few minutes later with a fistful of dandelions in each hand. He brought dandelions — the fast-growing weed — with the intention of giving them to her to arrange in tall vases for decoration.
Lesson: Men are not ladies, but it is nevertheless adorable when they try. "I just aim to show how that no matter each guy’s level of ability, whether it be cooking or deciphering different types of flowers, the fact that they were trying—regardless of their level of success in each attempt—meant much more than how it was carried out. The phrase may by trite, but it really is the thought that counts … even if it results in a gift of floral weeds.
BRIEFLY: The UVA Cavalier investigates online dating; Campus Progress reflects on college sex columns (full disclosure: Amanda Hess quote included); a University of Mary Washington student respectfully requests classmates not to write about their sex lives.