Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sex at Dominican

As a part of my job as co-editor-in-chief of the Dominican STAR, I'm responsible for coming up with new story ideas for our staff. One way I figure out these ideas is by using U-Wire, a comprehensive "best-of" if you will of what college journalists around the country have to offer in terms of their work.

One major section of this site, in addition to every other important category such as opinions, news, features, entertainment, and sports is a subject that people at Dominican are extremely reluctant to discuss: SEX.

Sex has its own section on the U-Wire site, with columnists from schools all over the country weighing in their opinions or advice on the deed, much to the pleasure (or displeasure) of their fellow students. A great many of these stories have an almost universal appeal to college students, sex being a high priority (let's face it) on a vast amount of students' agendas.

Many of these stories on U-Wire or printed in college newspapers I've read deal with stories of embarrassing or particularly eventful sexual encounters. Some of them offer advice to fellow students on their different relationship woes, some are particularly raunchy accounts of your typical gratuitous lovemaking sessions. But not all of these stories are what the average reader would typically expect; there are informational pieces dealing with safe and healthy sex, surveys relating interesting statistics, and even commentary on risque women's Halloween costumes.

Some of the topics I've come across while perusing this section include major issues that divide students and even members of the administration here at Dominican. There are occasionally the interesting stories about how condoms aren't offered in First Aid or Wellness clinics on campuses due to "university policy," a concept students at Dominican are all too familiar with, as mentioned in Diana's post here.

So I'm going to ask a question to my fellow journalists on this blog and to the members of the Dominican community at large: why are people here reluctant to write about sex, or even have any sort of forum or discussion of the subject for student benefit?

I'm not criticizing anyone, or trying to provoke anyone, no matter what your beliefs may be. I'm simply asking. I'm well aware of the Catholic tradition (I was raised Catholic, but do not currently practice), but I highly doubt everyone here is Catholic, or that everyone is uptight or otherwise reluctant to talk about the subject for whatever personal reasons. I'm also aware of the community here, with the convent and strong moral and religious tradition of the University. But I personally don't believe that sex is such a bad thing; it is a part of life for college students, for better or for worse, and it's probably something that students here would like to discuss in some way, as it's something people in our age group usually feel they can discuss openly. Perhaps they feel stifled by the obvious stigmas attached to such subject matter, especially in an environment such as Dominican? Such a small campus and community could make for some awkwardness.

With recent events such as the "Drunk Sex or Date Rape?" forum focusing on sex, why not have the students themselves offer their opinions, advice or funny stories in some way? Why not write about or voice your opinions on such matters in publications such as the Dominican Star or even this blog? I'm just curious. I know I wouldn't for my own reasons.

What do you think?


  1. Like John always says, people want to read about drugs, violence AND sex!! We've got the violence and drugs part down (for the most part given Dominican is a relatively safe campus) but we never run, or even come up with ideas, stories circulating around sex for the STAR. I think it may be an option to explore for an up-coming issue if we keep it PG....well, maybe PG-13! Sure, people want to read or hear about sex, but I agree with you on the point about not wanting to really write about it myself. Well, now that I think about it, maybe I would. But then I'd make my published version PG.

  2. I think it's mainly because this is a faith-based institution that the subject of sex is rarely broached. But as you said, not everyone who attends this university is Catholic.

    If people wanted to submit questions a la the "Dear Abby" format, I would totally be a columnist and share my solicited advice. Given my age, I can't claim to be an "expert" on all factors, but granted the vast ridiculous experiences I've had with guys (I mean BOYS), I have a wealth of advice on relationships and would gladly contribute.

    On the flipside, I wouldn't deem it appropriate for me, personally, to write a public sex blog. A friend of mine (not a student here) suggested we co-author one, but I wouldn't want to openly disclose details of my present relationship to others out of respect for my boyfriend.

    Again, as you said, people may have personal reasons for doing (or not doing) such things, but I think tastefully talking about the matter would add some sizzle and spice to some of our publications. ;)