Executive privilege

Sex issue makes sex a non-issue

In the words of early 20th century femme fatale Marlene Dietrich, “Sex. In America, an obsession. In other parts of the world, a fact.”

Sex has become a ubiquitous part of U.S. culture, even to the point where mentioning so is now cliché. But it’s not necessarily true that everyone is sexually active, or comfortable with current sexual conventions.

Every culture has its outliers, and it’s a common misconception that at left-brained universities like Carnegie Mellon, students are too busy with their faces buried in a book to find themselves buried in their partner’s embrace.

This notion has only been compounded by the negative publicity Carnegie Mellon received in 2005 for showing a pornographic movie, an event which was aired to the public in a report conducted by KDKA. The public image was embarrassingly clear — Carnegie Mellon is full of sexually frustrated single men and women.

Hopefully this week’s issue of Pillbox will put that belief to rest. When you take a look at the content of the issue, you will see that every piece of content is united by a common theme — it’s all sexed up.

The annual sex issue is a time for The Tartan to strike up a conversation with the Carnegie Mellon community that is rarely conducted on campus. Hopefully, your curiosity will be aroused by the paper’s content. I hope the sex issue helps to answer any questions you’ve always been wondering about the opposite sex, or same sex, even.

But the issue isn’t just about teaching the dating-challenged how to get their groove on. It’s also not an avant-garde rag chocked full of raunchy material (though, if you’re into that, Dossier Design Editor Kristen Lukiewski was able to procure an interview with celebrity porn star Ron Jeremy, and it goes down on page B13).

Hopefully the sex issue serves a greater purpose as a cultural thermometer. I like to think that the issue acknowledges that students (and faculty? we don’t like to pry) have a healthy appetite for romantic activities, including sex.

The sex issue contains a valuable collection of tips for dating, breaking up, talking to your partner once you’re in a relationship, and even “engineering” the occasional hookup for those who choose to stay single.

The issue also contains valuable kernels of secret information regarding how boys and girls typically think.

And what better source for that information than your own college newspaper, which is teeming with college-aged writers and editors who have all experienced some of the sticky situations and pure thrills associated with dating during college?

The sex issue aims to get sex out in the open. I am not advocating the sudden onslaught of public intercourse on campus (It’s very cold outside, and I don’t want to be liable for any frostbite.)

What I mean to say is, this campus should not be afraid to have a lengthy dialogue about subjects that are often regarded as taboo.

Perhaps I am overstepping my bounds by saying so, but if we finally reach a point where sex is discussed comfortably, then perhaps next time a pornographic movie is shown on campus, people will be too busy getting busy to show up.

As for the sex issue, maybe it will become obsolete. I’m not saying that the issue is the panacea for all sexual problems, but hopefully it will answer some of your questions.

Have a happy, healthy Valentine’s Day.