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Sex and the University

Sex and the University: Celebrity, Controversy, and a Student Journalism Revolution

Daniel Reimold
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Pages: 248
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  • Book Info
    Sex and the University
    Book Description:

    Who would think that Monday morning's page-turning sports scores could be trumped by Sex on Tuesday? But, during the last decade or so, college newspaper sex columns and campus sex magazines have revolutionized student journalism and helped define a new sexual generation. They are the ultimate authorities on student social interaction, relationships, and sex at a time when sexual activity, sexual dangers, and sexual ignorance are prevalent and sex has become the wallpaper of students' lives.Daniel Reimold gives readers of all generations an inside look at this phenomenon. Student sex columnists and sex magazine editors are both celebrities on their home campuses. One columnist, echoing the sentiments of many, said he became an overnightrock star golden child of journalism. But, with celebrity comes controversy. These columns and magazines have sparked contentious and far-reaching legal, religious, and intergenerational debates about sex, the student press, and the place of both within higher education. They are also the most prominent modern student press combatants in the fight for free speech. And they have blurred journalistic boundaries between what is considered public and private, art and pornography, and gossip and news.Sex and the Universityexplores the celebrity status that student sex columnists and magazine editors have received, the controversies they have caused, and the sexual generation and student journalism revolution they represent. Complete with a sexicon of slang, this book also dives into the columns and magazines themselves, sharing for the first time what modern students are saying about their sex and love lives, in their own words.

    eISBN: 978-0-8135-5037-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. 1 Sex, Sex, SEX! The Explosion of Sexual Expression in the Student Press
    (pp. 1-10)

    Sex has “mesmerized, titillated, and amused” Glory Fink since she was a little girl, even before she knew what the word meant. In second grade, she fell in love for the first time, setting her sights on a classmate. “He was sweet but shy,” she recalled. “I wanted him to notice me, but he didn’t. One lunch period in a fit of frustration, I said very loudly to him, ‘Chad, if you don’t pay attention to me, I’m going to sex you up!’”

    Fink describes the subsequent lunchroom scene in cinematic terms—eerily silent, with “sandwiches hung in midair” and...

  5. 2 Sexual, Revolutionary The Pioneering College Newspaper Sex Column
    (pp. 11-32)

    The most well-known sex column in a college newspaper was conceived amid a political uproar that had nothing to do with sex or the column at all. On November 3, 1996, after engaging in “a very heated discussion,” the eleven-member editorial board of theDaily Californian, the independent student newspaper at the University of California, Berkeley, voted six to five in favor of running a staff editorial endorsing Proposition 209. The state initiative called, in part, for the elimination of race, ethnicity, and gender preferences in public university admission decisions. The conservative stance of the editorial, which was published the...

  6. 3 Carrie Bradshaw of the Ivy League The Celebrity of Sex Columnist Natalie Krinsky
    (pp. 33-51)

    Itzhak Krinsky, the managing director of a leading Manhattan investment banking firm, received an e-mail from a younger co-worker in December 2001. The message began with the words, “You should read this—it’s hysterical.” It included the text of a recently published college newspaper sex column detailing the finer points of fellatio (oral sex performed on a man). It was provocatively headlined “Spit or Swallow? It’s All About the Sauce.”¹

    In the column, the writer, a female student, recounted her experience practicing oral sex in her early teens using bananas and carrots, eventually coming to a sarcastic, Shakespearean-level crossroads: “Thus,...

  7. 4 Kate Has Become Sex The Impact of Sex Columns on Students’ Personal Lives
    (pp. 52-80)

    In fall 2003, Kate Prengaman became “Sex.” She earned the nickname on the Ultimate Frisbee field, where participants often receive names based on a defining interest or characteristic. Prengaman’s teammates began calling her “Sex” during her freshman year at the College of William & Mary, not long after the debut of “Behind Closed Doors,” her weekly sex column in theFlat Hatstudent newspaper. “Nicknames are big in Ultimate,” said Prengaman in July 2006. “You never play with your real name. Everyone has some sort of bizarre nickname. So, my nickname is bluntly ‘Sex.’ It’s just ‘Sex.’ … When you want...

  8. 5 Love, Lust, and Every Kink In Between The Columns Tackle Modern Students’ Social and Sexual Lives
    (pp. 81-104)

    In spring 2004, Kaya Anderson Payne became a “new-age hippie,” a “detriment to society,” and, conversely, “a legend in the student press.” She started as the “Sex Geek,” a columnist for theMuse, the campus newspaper at Canada’s Memorial University of Newfoundland. During her tenure, Payne wrote about sexual positions, birth control, and STI prevention. “I didn’t really expect people to notice the columns,” she admitted. “‘It’s only a campus paper,’ I thought. ‘No one really checks out the back pages of the Opinions section.’ But I was wrong.”¹

    In her second semester as sex columnist, Payne became embroiled in...

  9. 6 Clash of Cultures Outside Criticism and Censorship of Student Sex Columns
    (pp. 105-131)

    In fall 2003, theMustang Dailyat California Polytechnic State University launched “Battle of the Sex Columnists.” The feature had the flavor of a miniAmerican Idol, with a sexual twist. Two sex columns were run side by side, along with a prompt from the newspaper asking readers to select their favorite student sex writer and e-mail editors with a vote. One of the columns published in the premiere battle, headlined “Nothing Fresher Than Freshmen,” offered undergraduate males advice on how to attract freshmen women, whom columnist James Whitaker referred to as “prized jewels, like diamonds scattered across campus in...

  10. 7 Playboy for the College Set The Rise and Influence of Campus Sex Magazines
    (pp. 132-159)

    Alecia Oleyourryk sat naked on a barstool. The continual click of a camera sounded around her. A photo shoot focused on her had just begun. She flipped through a copy of the first issue ofBoink, the student sex magazine she started during her senior year in college. She looked into a nearby video camera recording the shoot. “I’m a Boston University student,” she said with a smile. She flashed a thumbs-up sign. “Let me graduate, please.” She laughed and glanced again at the magazine, tousling her wavy blonde hair back with her left hand. She then said more softly,...

  11. 8 My College Paper Was Not Like That! The Journalistic Legacy of the Student Sex Column
    (pp. 160-174)

    McLean Robbins wanted student readers to know one thing during the two years she wrote the “She Said” sex column for theOld Gold & Blackat Wake Forest University: She had no interest in their genital warts, venereal diseases (VD), or erectile dysfunction (ED). “There was this whole vibe out there that I was supposed to be an expert, a sexpert of some sort,” she said. “You know, that I could identify on sight every type of VD in the book and spout out cures for ED from memory or, like, be able to tell students what’s up with their...

  12. A Student Sexicon Sexual Slang in College Newspaper Sex Columns
    (pp. 175-204)

    The media have long held a prominent position in not only defining and normalizing different facets of sex and courtship, but also in creating and challenging the words used to identify them. Since the start of the sexual reform press in the 1870s, the media have been the principal catalysts behind the expansion of the country’s sexual lexicon, or whatHarvard Independentsex columnist Katie Giblin once called the “sexicon” (“The Harvard Sexicon,”Harvard Independent, Apr. 29, 2004).

    Over the past decade, college newspaper sex columns have coined or publicly solidified the largest amount and most varied set of words,...

  13. NOTES
    (pp. 205-228)
    (pp. 229-234)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 235-243)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 244-244)