May 5, 2010

OMG Are You The Sex Columnist?

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It happens at frats, in class, at Brewfest. Inevitably, someone recognizes my face as the picture next to the Girl on Top moniker, and has something to say to me. I’ve had a year to deal with my sudden campus celebrity-status, but sadly my fame has to come to an end. I’m moving on, where my google-anonymity (read: no last name attached to my column) cannot follow me to my future legal career (unlike a certain spring break booze cruise DVD). Soon Jess H. the sex columnist will be a thing of the past. So as my time as a sex columnist draws to a close, I would like to correct, once and for all, certain perceptions about who I am.

I am not a slut. Being the sex columnist necessarily comes with the stereotype that I sleep around and have a wealth of experience that I use to write my bi-weekly 800 words. The thing is: I think about sex more than most people I know. By this I don’t mean that I spend hours at a time playing out fantasies in my head; I think about sex academically, socially and culturally. I believe that anyone who gives this much and this type of thought to sex clearly highly values it. And since I think sex is important and meaningful — I don’t just do it with anyone. No, I don’t care how far you got in the NCAA tournament, if I don’t like you, I’m not going to sleep with you. Even as the sex columnist, I have the right to not sleep with whomever I want.

I am not a sex therapist. If I don’t know you, I can’t tell you why that guy kicks you out right after you have sex or why that girl won’t let you go down on her, especially if I just met you in the Level B bathroom.

I am a feminist. I know this claim has angered many people from the hate emails I’ve received every other Thursday. However, the fact still remains that I believe women should be empowered by their gender. It’s important to realize that feminism means many different things to many different people. There are cultural feminists who celebrate their womanhood through craft fairs and bake sales. There are radical feminists, liberal feminists, even socialist feminists.  The most fascinating and wonderful part is that the ideals of one of these groups sometimes directly contradicts another’s. It’s easy for one group of feminists to point fingers at another group and tell them they are wrong, and this is what I have experienced throughout the year. Simply put, I believe that a woman should feel empowered in the bedroom to do or not do whatever she chooses. I believe in equality between male and female sexual demands and expression. I write for the women on Cornell’s campus who have never given thought to their own vaginas or orgasms, and for the woman who know exactly what they want. I write for the women who are fine having missionary style please-your-man sex for the rest of their life, and the woman who like it rough and kinky, as long as it satisfies both partner’s desires.

What it all comes down to though, is this: I don’t care if you agree with me. As long as I’ve had my readers thinking about and forming their own opinions about sex, I feel as though I have accomplished my goal as the sex columnist.

Clearly, I could not have accomplished anything without the help of my editors: Sammy Perlmutter for taking on two sex columnists (and not knowing that there would be a third in Red Letter Daze), and Tony Manfred for having the same mannerisms as Sammy, thus making my editor transition that much easier. To Morgan, Echo, Lisa, Tory, Zoe and Juliana for early morning debriefings after our weekend antics. To Alina and Lauren for proof reading my application, getting me here in the first place. To all the men who have directly or indirectly given me subject matter (you know who you are…or at least you think you do). To all the wonderful women whom I am honored to call my friends for giving me more topics than I could ever hope to write about.

To my parents for always reading my column, and my dad for sending me texts that made me as uncomfortable as my column probably made him (“Tried that out with mom last night!”) And last but not least, to Jeff K. I couldn’t have done this without you baby. Thanks for ghost writing and quick consulting when I had writer’s block. Thanks for the year of texts like “Anal this week?” that were not booty calls. And for never giving up the idea that we would have sex for this last column. Like I said, just because I’m the sex columnist does not mean I’ll have sex with you.

Jess H. recently graduated from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She may be reached at jessh@cornellsun.com. Girl On Top appeared alternate Thursdays this semester.

Original Author: Jess H.