October 5, 2011

Filming With MTV, Dan Savage Speaks at Cornell

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Sex columnist Dan Savage concluded his three-day visit to campus with a live filming of a question-and-answer session with students in the Schwartz Center Wednesday night. Savage discussed topics ranging from amusing sexual acts to relationships with an HIV-positive partner.MTV approved a pilot for “Savage University,” based on the outspoken and blunt columnist’s college tour, in January. Cornell students were recruited by the show to ask Savage questions in person earlier in the week.During the forum, Savage said that most men lose their virginity at 17. He turned to the audience, noting that a few males raised their hands in agreement. “I think that must be a Cornell thing … We spoke at a more conservative university where [people remained virgins] on purpose, as compared to here where it’s more, ‘I wish I weren’t’,” Savage joked.Savage made a number of Cornell references, referring to questions as “another question from the engineering department” and “this is an Ivy League question above my pay grade.”Savage touched upon topics for which he is well known, including open-relationships and female sexuality.Some members of the audience said they appreciated Savage’s advice.“I felt like I actually came out of there with some good advice,” Ben Dreier ’15 said.The film crew and MTV production was a notable part of the event, with the crew re-filming reactions and directing the audience.Savage was also at Cornell this spring to promote his youth outreach program, the “It Gets Better Project,” which offers support to LGBTQ teens who face bullying.The format of the talk was different this time, with Savage accompanied not only by a production team, but also an assistant, Lauren, who fact checked on an iPad.“Apparently, pulling facts out your butt is not good enough for television,” Savage said.

Original Author: Tajwar Mazhar