When I first started thinking about writing a sex column for The Bulletin last year, I was torn. Part of me wanted to do it so badly because I have an innate desire to discuss sex at any given opportunity. It fascinates me, puzzles me, and I’d be a liar if I said it didn’t sort of gross me out from time to time.
Each week before the paper goes to press, I get this queasy feeling in my stomach because I know there’s no going back. I wrote and rewrote my first column about BDSM and similar sexual acts several times because I was trying to find a way to delete that first sentence. I wasn’t sure if I wanted the entire campus community to know I like to be spanked. But then I remember why I decided to go through with this column.
As students, as journalists, it’s essential for us to be able to discuss sex candidly, without fear of rejection. One thing that initially made me want to write a sex column is the growing lack of sexual education available in public schools.
But I’m not a professor. I’m not a doctor. I’m not trying to educate anyone about sex. I am simply hoping to provide the spark that gets you talking about it.
I was lucky enough to grow up in a household where sex was a regular topic of discussion at the dinner table. My parents taught me the essentials, everything I needed to know to protect myself and then some. It’s been argued that this is how one’s sexual education should be, that sex ed should not be taught in school. But let’s be frank. Parents like mine, who are open and honest with their children about sex, are not exactly the norm.
And it’s obvious that there is a distinct vein of sexual naivety in today’s America. Exhibit A – Todd Akin.
For those of you who don’t know, Akin, the Republican nominee for Senate from Mo., recently made remarks about instances of what he called “legitimate rape,” where, according to him, women’s bodies are somehow able to reject and prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin said on a St. Louis television station during an interview regarding his views on abortion.
Since the interview, Akin said he “misspoke,” but this doesn’t excuse his blatant disregard of scientific fact. As I’ve stated before, I’m no expert on sex, human anatomy, etc., but I’ve taken a high school biology course. I know how conception works, and I like to think that at least a majority of my fellow Emporia State students do too.
But the reality of the matter is that there are people, possibly even students on this campus, who would hear Akin’s remarks and take them for fact. It’s our responsibility, as a collective whole, to set the record straight when idiots like Akin attempt to perpetuate lies in the name of “morality.”
Need another example? There’s a new law in Arizona called the “Women’s Health and Safety Act” that states pregnancy begins two weeks before conception. And let’s not forget about the debate regarding contraception. Despite “legitimate,” medical needs for birth control, women may be denied coverage if their employer disagrees with their right to regulate their reproductive organs.
With such widespread confusion and just plain ignorance, is it really any wonder why The Bulletin would choose to publish a sex column week to week?
Let me make a few more things clear. Some have raised questions regarding the authenticity of some of the things published in this column.
I will say this one time. I do not take the term “journalist” lightly. It’s a profession that, yes, I sometimes have mixed feelings about, but the mentors I’ve had at ESU have taught me that it is a profession that comes with the utmost responsibility. I would never risk my integrity as a journalist by publishing something in The Bulletin that I know to be untrue.
While I can’t promise readers that the majority of my articles will have a serious tone with need-to-know information, if you give me a chance, you’ll see that I plan to encompass diverse subject matter. I will not discriminate against any sexual orientation, nor will I intentionally favor one over another. I will, however, be unabashed about my own preferences.
I’ve never claimed to be a sex expert. My knowledge of sex is limited to my own experience, the experiences of those around me and the information I’ve gathered from health courses and other reliable sources over the years.
And I’m sure as young adults we are all going to be curious about different aspects of sexuality. I’m just trying to start the conversation. I’m not always going to have an answer for some things, but if you have suggestions, concerns, questions, anything at all, please, by all means, shoot me an email. I’m always curious to know what others are thinking about sex.