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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Sexcapades: Too much of a good thing

Published: January 28, 2011
Section: Opinions

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by sexual images and fascinating tales of intrigue. From childhood we have access to things that horrify our grandparents and scare our parents. No question is too personal and no content is too salacious. But how much is too much? Have we lost our internal filter?

I’ll admit, I’m majorly guilty of all of this (shocker!). My own family is very liberal about sexual content, which is perhaps why I am. Talking about sex and my past encounters doesn’t bring any feelings of embarrassment or exposure but, rather, I’m happy to share, as you may have noticed. Since high school, I’ve been a sort of sexual encyclopedia for my friends, who come and ask about everything from facts to techniques and this is something I’ve always embraced.

But as I’ve looked around in the past few months and begun to monitor the language I use publicly—my dad keeps reminding me that anyone over 30 finds “sucks” very offensive—it has occurred to me that it may not be better that we are so open, as a society, to share what should be so personal. Don’t get me wrong, I think there’s nothing wrong with having a sex talk or two with your friends and sexual education is a priority in my opinion, but should we really be sharing so much with so many people?

As single college students, it is hard to see how our decisions create repercussions down the line. Hopefully, you’ve never done anything you regret, but that doesn’t mean you should be sharing everything. I know that this seems a little hypocritical, since part of my job is to over-share, but it’s something to seriously think about. I can tell you from experience that talking about sex is definitely a way to get a guy’s interest but talking about it too much can definitely be a turn off.

No guy wants to hear about how amazing your ex was or the crazy stuff you’ve done but won’t do with him. This is especially true in relationships, no matter what the basis for it is. If you were friends for a few years before you got together and you know what seems like everything about each other’s pasts, it is not an allowance to continue to over-share, but rather a sign that you are forgetting about all those people and positions of the past. But old habits die hard and, when you are used to talking about anything and everything, it can be hard to put a stop to it.

So in our hyper-sexualized world, where should we draw the line on sex talk? What is reserved for friends and what for boyfriends? Should we think about reevaluating context and language to make sure we are not being offensive?

Or is it a lot to ask of college students that they don’t over-talk and over-sex? If sex is private, then why are we so loathe to keep it that way? This is all hypothetical, in the sense that I’m going to continue writing this column and you’ll continue reading it, so, at a minimum, there’s going to be some continuing sex talk. The questions are all fair, however, and with the pressure of employers and grad schools invading our private lives, maybe this is something we should think a little harder about.