Sex talk cosmopolitan? Most certainly

One ignorant staffer’s boorish remark shows need for more sex talk

 

Last week, as we at The Gamecock worked not-so-diligently to produce Wednesday’s edition, and with the newsroom slightly more full of women than on the typical production night, a discussion started about orgasms. And while everyone joined in about the logistics of faking them and so on, we came across a — let’s call it – “double standard” for journalistic writing.

After a comment was made about faking orgasms (in case you were wondering, some of us here at The Gamecock consider the practice to be dishonest and believe that you should confront your partner immediately about his/her inadequacies in bed), the participants in this conversation were told that sex-writing in this instance is more “cosmopolitan” than other forms of writing, and should not be employed.

One of the copy editors made an astute observation: Why is sex talk less or more “cosmopolitan” than other topics?

Let’s not forget that Cosmo, Glamour and even Playboy sell millions of magazines each year, and I don’t think that number will be dropping anytime soon.

And, according to the journalist’s best-buddy dictionary, “cosmopolitan” is defined as “so sophisticated as to be at home in all parts of the world or conversant with many spheres of interest.” I ask, is that not what sex is?

And what is so wrong with that? Do students of international studies and foreign languages not strive to become more cosmopolitan?

What is it about the open discussion of sex that can instantaneously make people cringe or squirm? Is it morality? Religion?

Not all sex is promiscuous. A lot of times it takes place between two people in love. Other times it takes place between people who think they are in love. The rest is just lust. I’m no fool, even if I look like one. I know I can’t assume the percentage of sexually active students who are in love with their partner(s).

If sex is — well, I’ll dare to say it — pleasurable, what makes it so different from that orgasmic double-chocolate brownie or that winning touchdown against Florida?

Sex talk may sound “trashy” and it might even sound a little shallow, but what is the big deal? (I apologize for my teeny-bopper whine).

We live in a more sexualized America. From the movies we watch, the music we listen to and the things we read. Even Nabokov’s classic “Lolita” was about sex and sex with a minor, at that!

D.H. Lawrence. Flaubert. Dostoyevsky. Shakespeare. The British Romantics. Tennessee Williams. More recently, New York Times bestsellers and major motion pictures such as “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Brokeback Mountain.”

I’m not talking about erotica or pornography, just simple, everyday sex talk between friends and lovers. Is it taking it to too far to ask between reader and writer?

We can’t delete sex talk from our lives or our world. Let’s not stifle it.

And as journalists – you know all that babble about messages for the people – we should be able to discuss anything without squirming.

This is a sexual America. It’s not immoral, just more in touch with another side of nature and art. It might be controversial; it probably does make people squirm and cringe, but sex talk isn’t trashy. It is just modern, like technology. Think about it like you would an iPod. So, yes, it is cosmopolitan.

But why is that such a bad thing? 

(Originally written 2.1.2006)

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