I haven’t even come close to checking off all the to-dos on my Cornell Fuck-it List. I haven’t been in a library in about three months, much less had sex in the stacks; there’s no man with a pick-up truck bed stepping up to fulfill my fantasies; and I have yet to discover any fellow vampire fetishists at Cornell. With my last year winding down and senior week looming as a not-so-distant sordid send-off, my tenure as a sex columnist comes to a close with a lot of work to be done before I officially hang up my hat.
I decided to apply to be the sex columnist for a couple reasons — namely, the fame. Let’s face it. Except that was kind of null and void when I decided to be anonymous. But before I go on, I have a confession: I’m not actually a preacher’s daughter. Not even close. However, my family has no idea that I write this column, or really that I’ve even had sex. Truth be told, without even a hint of exaggeration, my parents would probably cease to speak to me if my secret was ever discovered. I’m by no means saying that they failed me in their parenting by trying their best to impart strict morals and values— I wouldn’t be here without their never-ending support and guidance. But I was raised in a conservative, relatively religious environment that shrouded sex with a mysterious, terrifying and utterly confusing veil of depravity.
But obviously sex shame expands past the realm of my small town upbringing. Ten percent of young adults surveyed who tested positive for sexually transmitted diseases said that they had not had sex within the past year — half of that group said that they were virgins. The sample size was over fourteen thousand men and women with an average age of 22. Either there’s still a current of carnal concealment that is keeping young adults from accurately reporting, or there are a hell of a lot more pathological liars in our age bracket than we could ever know what to do with.
When I lost my virginity, I felt so thoroughly guilty for years, even though I had sex with my boyfriend for all the right reasons — because I wanted to and I genuinely loved him. It wasn’t until I really began to understand my sexuality and, most importantly, myself that I started to feel healthy about wanting to have sex. Honestly, I don’t even have a lot of sex, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a sex drive. I think so many young adults have been conditioned to believe that sex is something to be ashamed of, or something that is inherently wrong, when in fact it’s one of the most natural desires we have. Despite the unavoidable reputation associated with being a sex columnist, I don’t throw down with any guy who buys me a $3 Long Island Iced Tea at Dunbars (but admitted bonus points if you buy from the cute brunette bartender. Girl makes a mean L.I.T.). The important part isn’t how many people you have sex with, it’s whether you’re having sex because you want to, doing it responsibly and using protection.
Even going into my senior year I still retained some of my built-in sex guilt, so I used this column as my means of exploration. In case you’ve somehow failed to notice, I’m really big on surveys, studies and eye-opening research in the realm of sexual practices. Hopefully I’ve passed along some interesting information here and there that has helped you learn a thing or two along the way. I also genuinely hope that I drove home the message that sex isn’t always perfect and mistakes definitely happen — no matter how many times you’ve made the beast with two backs (shout-out to Billy Shakespeare for that gem of filthy slang). If all you take away from my writing is that I’m kind of bad at sex and I really like T.V. shows, then I guess that’s okay too.
I know my column tends to lack the shock value of Kate C. (I have a belly-button piecing … how does that compare on the bad-ass scale to clit piercing? Still no shock? Damn it.) and has prompted more than a few disdainful comments and e-mails. As much as I would love to write about female ejaculation and pegging, maybe my sex life is a little more vanilla than I’d like to admit. Nonetheless, I hope my columns have proved relatable to all you fellow missionary lovers.
A big thanks to my friends who helped me brainstorm, volunteered their own experiences for material and let me borrow their vibrator how-to videos and occasionally write about their sex lives. Sure, I learned a lot from reading up on statistics and getting a handle on some relatively unfamiliar topics via the internet, but I never felt more comfortable with my own sexuality than when I found out that I wasn’t the only one having orgasms in my sleep instead of during sex. As a side and endnote, I think it’s perfectly fitting that I managed to have my second non-solo orgasm exactly one week before my last column. Mission accomplished.
I hope to God my eventual children never find any sort of record of this column.The Preacher’s Daughter is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Decent Exposure appears alternate Thursdays this semester.