The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Thought You Knew: Keep Sex Secrets Locked Tight Behind Closed Doors

3 min read

Unless you’re one of my closest friends (you probably aren’t), I don’t want to know about your sex life.

There are tons of other aspects of your life that also don’t matter to me, but I especially don’t care about your sex life.

Call me uptight, conservative, prudish or any other adjective you think might sound condescending—since I’m sure you’re much more progressive and open than I am, but hearing about a strangers’ or an acquaintances’ sex life is one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve had to endure since starting college.

Given the recent Duke University graduate’s “F— List,” a satiracle senior thesis slide show that’s been floating around online for a couple of weeks, I thought now would be a good time to complain about this particular issue.

None of what she did actually offends me. She’s an autonomous being free to live her life and do whatever (and whomever) she pleases. Beyond that, I admire the time and effort it took to pull this joke together. If nothing else, this is a great joke.

Owen didn’t mean for the list to go viral—she only sent it to three people. One of them, however, forwarded it to someone else, who forwarded to someone else and, well, we’ve all been around the internet enough to know that public humiliation was the only way a story like this could end.

My issue lies with the friend who passed it on without considering the consequences. Regardless of how the information was presented, it’s still highly personal, especially to those 13 guys who never consented to being featured in this “study.”

It’s so cliché to blame “Social Media” for this and, somehow, I’ve morphed into, like, my grandparents (Kids today, always on those new computers using the Twitter and the Facebooks. I just don’t get it. Am I right?), but it’s totally the Internet’s fault.

We grew up watching people air all of their dirty laundry on reality TV and profit from divulging the gritty details of their lives online. Of course we’re going to imitate something so ingrained in us.

Strangers blogging about their sex lives, the popularity of celebrity sex tapes, and the influence of TV shows that relied on one-dimensional characters and shock value disguised as innovation (think “Sex and the City”) all contribute to the disappearing distinction between public and private lives.

I’m not saying openness and honesty among friends should be discouraged. Keeping this stuff to yourself isn’t healthy. In college especially, sex and drama are often connected, and a third party’s perspective is helpful. However, make sure that third party is someone who actually cares about you and is going to respect your privacy.

Your sex life is exciting (at least to you) and you should feel comfortable sharing exciting news with the people you trust.

You should not, however, feel comfortable sharing the details of your personal life with everyone you know. Just because we are in a few of the same classes or we got drunk together once, doesn’t mean I have any desire to hear about your recent one-night stand or that your boyfriend wants to try anal.

No one is impressed by the fact that you have sex, okay? Surprised, maybe, by your desire to talk about it, but it’s hardly a unique experience. I mean, this isn’t high school.

What’s worse, though, than unwillingly being on the receiving end of these types of stories is accidentally overhearing them because I had the nerve to come to campus, where no one seems to have a problem talking about hooking up. All. The. Time.

I’m not over here trying to oppress everyone or encourage them to stop having sex, so please don’t send the feminists after me. Be promiscuous, get blackout drunk  use handcuffs and choke each other or whatever.

I don’t care what you do.

Because I don’t care what you do, I’d rather not be aware of it unless I’m directly involved.