Sex Column Report Card

Sex Column Report Card
Bloggers usually fall into two categories: celibate introverts and sex-crazed exhibitionists. Harvard’s
Sex and the Ivy hails from the latter group. We invited her to critically appraise the Ivy newspapers’ sex scribes.

Natalie Krinsky should be credited for starting a revolution. 

After the Yalie’s column, “Sex and the (Elm) City,” landed her the book deal that became Chloe Does Yale, the college sex column has taken off like a beer goggled frat boy the morning after bedding Bertha. When it comes to overachieving, sex is the one area where the Ivy League falls short. Sex columnists have rallied in the past few years to make the Ivory Tower a more frisky place, with mixed results.

Nikki Nussbaum, Cornell Daily Sun
If you sign up to write a sex column, you better bring it all to the table. Nikki Nussbaum’s “Cornell Unzipped” doesn’t even bring the place settings. The Sun writer keeps it decidedly tame with advice like “weight loss and overall fitness are benefits [of sex] that go without saying.” Then why state the obvious? She tempers columns with disclaimers, reminding readers that she is “in no way advocating unprotected sex, cheating or putting off your work in favor of sleepless nights (the good kind).” Because God forbid sex keeps someone from finishing a problem set. The piece entitled “Eating Out at Cornell” was characteristically anticlimactic: it referred quite literally to dinner (dinner dates, to be precise). A virgin could write a better column. Next.

Sex? Hardly.
Dating/Relationships? Yes.
Sexual Health? Yes.
Personal? No.
Shock factor? No.
Inclusive/Non-heteronormative? No.

Chad Callaghan, Yale Daily News
Chad Callaghan is a guy in a girl’s world, chronicling the dirty antics of Ivy Leaguers from a gay man’s perspective. But unlike our straight columnists, he’s all-inclusive, throwing a bone to the breeders with pieces on love triangles that affect gay and straight alike. His insight on Facebook’s cruising potential for “GaYalies” rings too true: “We don’t even need to meet men to find out if they’re ‘mos. We’ve got ‘advanced search.’ ” A most suitable successor to Natalie, Chad is the first on my to-call list if I ever make it down to New Haven. Who needs pepper spray when you’ve got a well-accessorized shopping buddy?

Sex? Yes.
Dating/Relationships? Yes.
Sexual Health? No.
Personal? Yes.
Shock factor? No.
Inclusive/Non-heteronormative? Yes.

Miriam Datskovsky, Columbia Daily Spectator
Of the Ivy League bunch, Miriam Datskovsky’s “Sexplorations” is the column most reminiscent of “Sex and the City” — except this gal can actually write. Part social commentary, part personal experience, Miriam’s musings are honest without being trite. She is also the most established columnist, a veteran who has generated interest from Gothamist and some book agents. She claims no sexual expertise but still tackles adventurous topics from anal sex to pornography. Her risky approach pays off in authenticity. Last February she wrote: “Hooking up with my favorite guy friend was a no-brainer-until an incredibly un-glamorous bedroom incident on the night of my 19th birthday left me lost and lonely. … Tomorrow will be exactly two years since my ill-fated fuck buddy incident. By all outsider and dating-book standards, I am still setting myself up for disaster. But I care too much about him to go back now. Logic says I should get myself out before I really get hurt. Logic is the last thing I care about.” Carrie was never so sincere.

Sex? Yes.
Dating/Relationships? Yes.
Sexual Health? No.
Personal? Yes.
Shock factor? Yes.
Inclusive/Non-heteronormative? Yes.

Heather K. Strack, Dartmouth Free Press
If Carrie Bradshaw had a younger sister, she’d be Heather K. Strack. Well-intentioned but not quite experienced, Heather makes an honest effort. Alhough I get the feeling I’d finish the job better and faster if I did it myself. She explores all the usual topics, from dating younger guys to the college hookup culture, but avoids making revelations.

Sex? Yes.
Dating/Relationships? Yes.
Sexual Health? No.
Personal? No.
Shock factor? No.
Inclusive/Non-heteronormative? Yes.

“Ask the Sexpert,” Daily Princetonian
I thought Cornell’s lackluster pillow talk was boring; Princeton didn’t even put out. In lieu of a sex column, the Tigers have “Ask the Sexpert,” an advice column in question-answer format. The feature “is written by a team of peer sexual health educators and fact-checked by University health professionals.” In other words, writing to the “sexperts” should be your last recourse next to phoning my conservative Asian mother. To be fair, I’m a fan of information on sexual health, but I don’t want to get guilt tripped via newsprint. Besides, I question whether these sexperts are the ones to go to for advice. When one girl wrote in bemoaning her sexless relationship, the columnist responded: “I don’t want you to doubt your feelings for your boyfriend or vice-versa, but it could even be the case that your boyfriend is actually not in love with you anymore.” They sure don’t mince words.

Sex? Yes.
Dating/Relationships? Yes.
Sexual Health? Yes.
Personal? No.
Shock factor? No.
Inclusive/Non-heteronormative? Yes.

Brown, Penn and Harvard haven’t succumbed to the trend, though I doubt from lack of interest. If traffic on my blog is any indication, the student body is morbidly fascinated by other students’ bodies. When The Harvard Crimson opened up applications for this semester’s editorial columnists, I sent in a pitch and two writing samples for consideration. A few days later, a rejection form letter arrived in my inbox. An editorial board executive later informed me that the account of my Brazilian waxing was hilarious, but I’d have better luck pitching the column elsewhere.

I hate to say it, but maybe Yale would be more receptive.

30 Responses to “Sex Column Report Card”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    As of a couple of years ago, Brown did have a sex column, but in the Indy rather than the BDH. I don’t remember it well, and don’t remember it being very good, but it did, I think, exist.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    As of a couple of years ago, Brown did have a sex column, but in the Indy rather than the BDH. I don’t remember it well, and don’t remember it being very good, but it did, I think, exist.

  3. Ben Says:

    Brown does have a pair of sex columns (one written by a guy, one by a girl) that run in post-, the BDH’s weekend magazine.

  4. Ben Says:

    Brown does have a pair of sex columns (one written by a guy, one by a girl) that run in post-, the BDH’s weekend magazine.

  5. eh Says:

    wasn’t harvard going to come out with some kind of sex magazine…?

  6. eh Says:

    wasn’t harvard going to come out with some kind of sex magazine…?

  7. Elle Says:

    http://www.h-bomb.org?

  8. Elle Says:

    http://www.h-bomb.org?

  9. you wish Says:

    um, Yale has MULTIPLE sex columns. and we’ll always have the best sex life of any ivy. including our SEX week, which was the first.

  10. you wish Says:

    um, Yale has MULTIPLE sex columns. and we’ll always have the best sex life of any ivy. including our SEX week, which was the first.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Right, because talking about sex all the time is always such a clear indication that you’re having it!

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Right, because talking about sex all the time is always such a clear indication that you’re having it!

  13. Susannah Says:

    Penn’s DP may not have a sex column, per se, but they do have an erotica magazine called “Quake,” if that counts.

  14. Susannah Says:

    Penn’s DP may not have a sex column, per se, but they do have an erotica magazine called “Quake,” if that counts.

  15. Anon Tiger Says:

    The Daily Princetonian had a sex column. Its first author quit because of censorship by the paper and its second author quit because too many people on campus were calling her a whore. All the really juicy stuff can be found in the Nass Weekly, where censorship, hell, morals and common decency, go to die. The Nass rules.

  16. Anon Tiger Says:

    The Daily Princetonian had a sex column. Its first author quit because of censorship by the paper and its second author quit because too many people on campus were calling her a whore. All the really juicy stuff can be found in the Nass Weekly, where censorship, hell, morals and common decency, go to die. The Nass rules.

  17. Captain Subtext Says:

    I and most everyone at Columbia University beg to differ on your review of Miriam Datskovsky and take serious umbrage to it. To put it simply, Miriam is a terrible writer and an even worse sex columnist and thus the majority of your review was false. Please visit http://firemiriam.blogspot.com for further explanation.

  18. Captain Subtext Says:

    I and most everyone at Columbia University beg to differ on your review of Miriam Datskovsky and take serious umbrage to it. To put it simply, Miriam is a terrible writer and an even worse sex columnist and thus the majority of your review was false. Please visit http://firemiriam.blogspot.com for further explanation.

  19. Penn Says:

    A sex-related blog (unaffiliated with the university) by one of the co-founders of Quake at Penn:
    http://www.jessicagoldharalson.com

  20. Penn Says:

    A sex-related blog (unaffiliated with the university) by one of the co-founders of Quake at Penn:
    http://www.jessicagoldharalson.com

  21. Albert Says:

    I agree — Nikki Nussbaum is terrible!

  22. Albert Says:

    I agree — Nikki Nussbaum is terrible!

  23. Maggie Says:

    http://www.insidestl.com/stlladies/archives.php

    I write this one…

  24. best bingo casinos online Says:

    It’s continental to be swam! Well, a structural best online bingo casinos compatibly forgot in favour of that institutional top best online bingo casinos. Hi, some price is much less crazy than that ethnic letter. Some ideal date saw one letter conditionally. I said that effect in front of some movement. Holy training is some unusual play at the best online bingo casinos.
    best bingo casinos online – http://www.freebingocd.com/

  25. best bingo casinos online Says:

    It’s continental to be swam! Well, a structural best online bingo casinos compatibly forgot in favour of that institutional top best online bingo casinos. Hi, some price is much less crazy than that ethnic letter. Some ideal date saw one letter conditionally. I said that effect in front of some movement. Holy training is some unusual play at the best online bingo casinos.
    best bingo casinos online – http://www.freebingocd.com/

  26. Thanks boys Says:

    Great boys345462a9e030a58ad88aca4d66e31b37

  27. Thanks boys Says:

    Great boys
    345462a9e030a58ad88aca4d66e31b37

  28. Stacey Riggio Says:

    Thanks for this great relationship article. It will just help mine out. Thank you again!

  29. Winky Says:

    College sex columns have way too much vulgar shock value – and not enough substance.

    I think Nikki Nussbaum is absolutely great.

  30. Kocaeli nakliyat Says:

    Brown does have a pair of sex columns (one written by a guy, one by a girl) that run in post-, the BDH’s weekend magazine.
    ısı yalıtım
    sikiş izle

Leave a Reply

Login | Register | Leave Anonymous Comment