All Posts Tagged With: "sex"
The perils of co-ed washrooms
From the 21st Maclean’s University Rankings. Get your copy today!
Some call it “the can,” others, the final frontier of gender equality: It’s the public washroom and it’s gone co-ed. Even though single-sex facilities are still the norm on the majority of Canadian university campuses, you’d be hard-pressed to find a school that doesn’t have at least one co-ed washroom—and it usually includes shower stalls. McGill, York University, the University of Toronto, Dalhousie, Mount Allison and the University of British Columbia are just a few of the “progressive” (or backwards, depending on your lavatorial leanings) co-ed washroom providers, earning the approval of campus feminists who view mixed facilities as a positive step towards full gender equality. Others, however, are not convinced. One 18-year-old Queen’s University psychology major says she was relieved to live in an all-girls dormitory solely because of the same- sex bathroom factor. Co-ed washrooms struck her as “grosser because boys used them,” says Jessica, now in her second year and living off-campus with a washroom of her own. “The girls’ ones were generally very clean.” Jessica would regularly make the five-minute walk back to her all-girls dorm from the co-ed dorm where many of her girlfriends lived, simply to avoid using the washrooms there. “It just smelled so much worse,” she says, before conceding, “maybe I just have bathroom phobia.”
“Arrangements” help women pay off student loans: founder
A dating website offers young women — who it calls Sugar Babies — the opportunity to meet up with wealthy older men —- a.k.a. Sugar Daddies.
SeekingArrangement.com is especially popular with students who have school debt, Brandon Wade, the site’s founder told WCBV Boston.
“Out of brutal honesty, [users of the website] form mutually beneficial relationships,” Wade explained, adding that it’s not a prostiution site.
But on the homepage, young women are told to sign up if they “seek a generous Benefactor to pamper, mentor and take care of you — perhaps to help you financially?” And older men (and women) are told they might find, “someone special to spoil… perhaps a secret lover? student?…”
Mingling of sexes “thwarts scientific achievement”: leader
Iran’s higher education minister is studying the feasibility of separating men and women in university classes, labs and cafeterias, starting as early as September, reports The National, a newspaper from the United Arab Emirates.
Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, men and women have often segregated themselves in universities by sitting in separate rows.
That’s because many religious conservatives believe it’s immoral for men and women to mix in public. Ayatollah Safi Golpaigani, one of the country’s top religious figures, decreed in June that: “mingling of male and female [students] thwarts scientific achievements and causes great corruption.”
Shadi Sadr, a London-based lawyer and expert in Iran, told The National that the move is an attempt by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to rally his socially-conservative voter base ahead of the February 2012 elections.
Some students will surely be opposed. Tehran University students protested the requirement that men and women ride separately to class by boarding buses together in April. The university was also an important gathering place during the failed Green Revolution protests of June 2009.
Honours woman who won freedom to bare all
Women and men should revel in their right to go shirtless, says University of Guelph student Lindsay Webb, aged 22. That’s why she’s organized the second annual Top Freedom Day of Pride in Guelph, Ont. where that freedom was fought for and won fifteen years ago, she told the Guelph Mercury.
In 1991, Gwen Jacob, then a University of Guelph student herself, was convicted of an indecent act after she walked home from campus with her breasts in full view. Her 1996 appeal made it legal for women to go topless in Ontario anytime and anywhere.
The Top Freedom Arts Festival will be held in Riverside Park on Aug. 20 with plenty of music for men and women to bounce around to. Webb told the newspaper that she was surprised by the number of men who merely stood around to watch topless women last year. This year, she said she hopes more of them will take off their own shirts and enjoy the party.
Multiple daily downloads pushed him over the limit
Irish newspapers have picked up a rather odd warning from a student at University College Cork. The student told the Cork Student News that his peers should be careful about downloading pornographic videos onto their smartphones without have reading the fine print of their mobile contracts. The second-year food business student racked up $2,330 in data charges and subsequently dropped out of school, though he has since decided to return.
“When I signed up, I was misinformed,” the embarrassed student, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the newspaper. “They told me that unlimited internet was part of the deal. I asked the customer service agent repeatedly to make sure that this was the case, and was repeatedly told that it was.” In reality, there was an monthly limit, which he surpassed by downloading “multiple videos” each day during a period when he had no other internet access.
The phone company reduced his charges to $565 as a goodwill gesture.
Teacher took student to opera and plays
A former B.C. high school teacher will go to jail for a year for having sex with a student, reports the Vancouver Sun. Victor Wiens, 64, pleaded guilty to the charge of sleeping with a minor. He taught the victim social studies at Sutherland Secondary in North Vancouver until a janitor caught him having sex with a girl in a utility closet after class in February 2010, at which point he was supspended.
“He made the absolute worst choice over and over again,” judge Carol Baird Allan told the court, explaining why she gave him a year in jail when the law requires a minimum of 45-days.
The relationship started when, during a hug with the student in June 2008, Wiens ran his hands through the student’s hair and put the other on her back in a sexual fashion, according to an agreed statement of facts. Later that summer, Wiens text-messaged the student about his marital problems and the pair would meet to talk in the park. With the permission of her parents, he took her to theatrical performances and the opera. In November 2009, the relationship progressed to nudity and fondling. The victim’s age was not stated.
Women who can get pregnant pay attention to sexual cues
Women who are ovulating are much better at guessing whether a man is gay or straight, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Toronto and Tufts University.
Scientists asked 40 heterosexual female students to judge 80 photos of men’s faces. Half of the men were gay and the rest were straight, but the groups were considered equally attractive. What’s interesting is that women judged the sexual orientation of each man more accurately during ovulation.
“What it really sort of hints at is [that] there are evolutionary reasons why women would pay attention to cues relevant for mating,” Nicholas Rule, a lead researcher, told The Toronto Star. “When women have a higher chance of getting pregnant they’re going to pay more attention to cues in the environment that would attend to that.”
Physicist defends website as “safe place for guys to find prostitutes”
A professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey was arrested on Sunday for an alleged prostitution ring. Police told NorthJersey.com that physicist and astronomer David Flory has been charged with 40 counts of promoting prostitution in connection with his website, SouthwestCompanions.info.
Flory holds a master’s degree from Columbia University, a PhD from Yeshiva University and has served as chairman of the Physics Department and as director of the School of Natural Sciences, according to his website. He has a vacation home in New Mexico. He and his wife Sharon, a phychotherapist, live in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Lieutenant William Roseman of the Albuquerque Police told NewJersey.com that Southwest Companions would only give access to men who were known to be johns. If users became more frequent customers, their status would increase to “trusted,” at which point they would gain access to more women, plus message boards with tips on how to avoid police and lawyers’ advice on what to do if arrested. Roseman said that Flory told police he did not make money off of the website and instead saw it as “a safe place for guys to find female prostitutes.”
President says single-sex residences will reduce binge drinking and sex
The president of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. says his school will return to all-male and all-female dormitories in September. Here’s his reasoning. “The two most serious ethical challenges college students face are binge drinking and the culture of hooking up,” wrote John Garvey in The Wall Street Journal Monday. “Here is one simple step colleges can take to reduce both binge drinking and hooking up: Go back to single-sex residences,” he writes.
His only evidence appears to be a study by Christopher Kaczor of Loyola Marymount University that shows students in co-ed dorms report binge drinking more than twice as often as students in single-sex housing, and that students in co-ed housing are significantly more likely to have had a sexual partner in the past year. What the article doesn’t mention is whether Kaczor’s study controlled for the fact that many students who live in single-sex dorms have chosen to live there precisely because they wish to avoid alcohol and sex.
But what expression makes women attractive to men?
People who are looking for a date this weekend should pay attention to a new study from the University of British Columbia, which determined which facial expressions are more and less sexually attractive to straight members of the opposite sex. Psychologist Jessica Tracy and graduate student Alec Beall asked 1,000 adults rate the attractiveness of people in photographs who were displaying either pride, happiness, shame or a neutral expression. Women were most likely to rate a guy as attractive when he was displaying pride on his face, rather than a smiled or no expression. In contrast, men were more likely to call a women hot when she had an inviting grin. The study adds weight to a growing the theory that humans shop around for signals of potentially higher reproductive success. “[Pride] could signal high status [in men],” which is important for moms-to-be Tracy told to The Vancouver Sun. Straight males may be attracted to happy women because it signals sexual “receptiveness,” she said. The study will be published in the journal Emotion.
Students turn to prostitution to pay bills: researchers
German researchers asked 3,200 students in three European cities whether they had undertaken sex work and whether they would consider doing so in order to pay bills, reports Reuters. More than a third of students in Berlin, where prostitution is legal, said they would consider sex work. In Paris the figure was 29 percent and in Kiev, Ukraine 19 percent agreed. Overall, four per cent of students said they had undertaken sex work, which includes prostitution, erotic dancing and on-line sex services.
University study found men feel more attractive after the first time while women feel less so
A study of students attending universities in the northeastern United States, shows just how different men and women feel after losing their virginity. Pennsylvania State University researchers surveyed 100 students who had lost their virginity while attending school. They concluded that the first-time caused women to feel negatively about their appearance, while for men, it had the opposite effect. A University of Toronto specialist in adolescent sexuality speculated to Postmedia that the discrepancy in reactions stemmed from societal standards regarding sex. While men might feel they have crossed over into manhood, women might react as though they have done something wrong.
Why Brigham Young University suspended its star basketball player
When Brigham Young University announced that it was suspending sophomore forward Brandon Davies for the closing weeks of a dream season by its men’s basketball team, many sports fans must have had thoughts of a flamboyant 51-year-old Irish Catholic who may be the greatest athlete in the annals of the school. Davies was punished for violating the Utah university’s strict honour code, apparently by having sex out of wedlock with his girlfriend. BYU, in theory, expects all students to live a “chaste and virtuous life” according to the rules of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—but Jim McMahon says it’s not so simple.
McMahon, whose colourful language and dress alone would have been enough to turn the honour code upside down, played at BYU for five years, starting out as the Cougars’ punter and going on to shred the record books as their quarterback. McMahon now recalls how BYU’s administration threw him out of the school with suspiciously convenient timing—the day after his last bowl game. “They said they had ‘just been informed’ that I was doing some things,” McMahon told Miami radio station WQAM last week. “You follow me around, you stake out my apartment. You don’t know what I’m doing? C’mon. They know what’s going on there.” The bon vivant Chicago Bears great, who re-enrolled at BYU last fall to pick up the handful of credits he needs to complete his degree, added that he “saw a lot of hypocrisy” at the university, saying of Davies that “some guys get caught, some guys don’t.”
That was 30 years ago, and McMahon, unlike Davies, was no homegrown star. All BYU undergraduates are bound by the honour code, which (unlike student-behaviour codes at most universities) sets standards for grooming, polite language and avoidance of addictive substances, including caffeinated beverages. The code applies on campus and off. But things are clearly a little different in practice for the few hundred non – Saints scattered among the school’s 34,000 students. Davies, a Mormon, grew up in Provo, home to BYU’s main campus, and led a local high school to two state titles. He is living the college experience under the unblinking gaze of his community, his church, and the administration of his university, all at once.
The loss of Davies represents a serious blow to the basketball Cougars’ chances in the NCAA Division I Championship—the annual orgy of gladiatorship and gambling more commonly known as March Madness, which begins on the 15th. The announcement of the suspension came hours after BYU was named America’s third-best team in weekly polls of reporters and NCAA coaches. The team is led by James “Jimmer” Fredette, a six-foot-two Mormon point guard from upstate New York who is expected to earn national player of the year honours. Fredette’s buffet of moves and devastating long-range shooting have made him one of the most cherished folk heroes in college basketball since the era of “Pistol Pete” Maravich. NBA star Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder called him “the greatest scorer in the world!!” in an admiring January tweet.
The six-foot-eight Davies has been one of the few plus-sized passing targets for Fredette and is the team’s top rebounder. In the first game after his suspension, BYU promptly lost 82-64 at home to unranked New Mexico as he watched glumly, wearing street clothes at the end of the bench. Literally dozens of other tournament-eligible teams will have lost good players to injury in the final weeks before March Madness, but the combination of Fredette’s national following and a slightly prurient media angle has turned Davies’s loss into melodrama. Fredette is in his final year of college eligibility and gives BYU, which last made the Elite Eight stage in 1981, its best ever chance at a Final Four appearance.
The drama emphasizes the unique challenges faced by a private, church-run school with a strong countercultural commitment to old-fashioned conduct. (See also: Notre Dame.) BYU is meant to be, among other things, an advertisement for the worldly excellence of the Latter-day Saints faith, and athletics are an ever-growing part of that enterprise. Davies, unlike Jim McMahon, could not easily be written off or accommodated hypocritically as a “rebel” and outsider. His misstep confronted his school with a tough choice: compromise the fate of a team on the verge of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, or consent to a slight but humiliating erosion of its principles. Thousands, including many who have no particular love for the Mormon faith as such, will be cheering for the Cougars to elude the horns of the dilemma.
Photos: By Bill Waugh/Reuters
Northwestern prof un-apologizes in public apology statement about live sex show
What’s the point of an apology if you don’t really mean it?
Last month, a professor in the United States has become the topic of controversy after he invited students in his psychology class to watch two people engage in a live sex act. The event occurred outside of regular class time and was completely voluntary for both the students that attended and the couple who demonstrated in front of them.
Almost two weeks later, the Northwestern University human sexuality professor, John Michael Bailey, released a statement apologizing for holding the session and to anyone he offended through his actions.
“I regret the effect this has had on Northwestern University’s reputation and I regret upsetting so many people in this particular manner,” Bailey said.
But then, in the same statement, Bailey went on to criticize those same offended people he had just apologized to, as well as the controversy the incident has caused.
“During a time of financial crisis, war, and global warming, this story has been a top news story for more than two days. That this is so reveals a stark difference in opinion between people like me, who see absolutely no moral harm in what happened, and those who believe that it was profoundly wrong,” the statement continues.
Whatever you think about the ethics of staging a live sex show for your psychology class, practically un-apologizing while you’re apologizing doesn’t make much sense to me. If Bailey doesn’t actually think he did anything wrong, which is clear from his statement, then why go through the motions of apologizing? All his statement does is further incense anyone who was offended, as they no doubt feel that Bailey spat in their faces.
His fake apology also undermines any dignity the man maintains in the eyes of his supporters. If I didn’t have a problem with his live sex show, I would want to see him standing by his actions rather than bending to public pressure.
After class lecture on human sexuality featured explicit act
After class on Feb 21, psychology professor John Michael Bailey hosted a guest lecturer for about 100 students in his human sexuality course. The presentation was called “networking for kinky people” and was given by Ken Melvoin-Berg, who is part owner of Weird Chicago Tours, and who discussed sexual fetishes such as bondage and swinging.
At one point, the students were shown a video on the female orgasm, but two other guest speakers, Jim Marcus and fiancé Faith Kroll, believed it wasn’t realistic. After the students, who were attending the optional post-class lecture, were warned, the couple went on stage. After Kroll took offer her clothes, Marcus proceeded to use a sex toy on her. They had initially only intended to show the toy as part of a discussion.
According to the Chicago Tribune the device “looks like a machine-powered saw with a phallic object instead of a blade.”
Upon learning of the exhibition, Northwestern president Morton Schapiro released a statement that the university would be launching an investigation. “Although the incident took place in an after-class session that students were not required to attend, and students were advised in advance, several times, of the explicit nature of the activity, I feel it represented extremely poor judgment on the part of our faculty member. I simply do not believe this was appropriate, necessary or in keeping with Northwestern University’s academic mission.”
Professor Bailey defended the demonstration as educational. “The students find the events to be quite valuable, typically, because engaging real people in conversation provides useful examples and extensions of concepts students learn about in traditional academic ways,” he said in a Wednesday statement.
Kroll and Marcus also defended their explicit display. “What we did was not designed to titillate people, but to educate people,” Marcus told the Tribune. “I’m an exhibitionist. I enjoy the attention, being seen by other people. It was entertaining because there were a lot of curious minds, so that was cool,” Kroll added.
One student who witnessed the incident told the Tribune that it was certainly memorable: “It is probably something I will remember for the rest of my life. I can’t say that about my Econ 202 class and the material that I learned there.”
University’s health services program hopes to fight misinformation by reaching students where they are
The health promotion co-ordinator for the university’s student health services, Amanda Unruh, told the McGill Reporter (the administration newsletter) that “most students get their sexual health information from their peers… and that isn’t always a good thing.”
According to Unruh, when it comes to sexual health misinformation is a major problem. The website hopes to provide students with an easy way to get accurate information.
“Youth spend the majority of their time online. It’s how they get their information,” Unruh told the Reporter. “It made sense to impart messages and information this way – particularly with sexual health. People can go online in the comfort of their own homes and get solid information from health professionals on subjects that aren’t always easy to talk about.”
Answers to common questions, including some general health questions, have been posted on the site.
It wouldn’t surprise me if there are other universities with similar sites, but those that don’t could definitely do well to emulate this model of reaching students where they are, especially when it comes to potentially awkward and embarrassing subjects like sexual health.
With more women at most schools, young men have never had so many dates
“If you strike out everywhere else, just come to the Mount,” says Cody Brown, a congenial second-year student at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. The reason is simple: the Mount’s student body is 79 per cent women. “It’s a great ratio,” says the 19-year-old enthusiastically. “A phenomenal ratio.”
Though the Mount is an extreme example, female-dominated campuses are an increasing reality at universities across the country. According to Statistics Canada, 57 per cent of the student body in universities is female. Of the 69 schools Maclean’s surveyed in its 2010 university guide, 24 institutions have a student body that’s over 60 per cent female. And it’s not just Mount Saint Vincent where the females make up more than 70 per cent of the population. It’s the same at NSCAD University and Université Sainte-Anne.
The trend is welcome news for women who want to focus on homework instead of being incessantly courted, and men who like all the attention. But as the female-to-male ratio skews, dating must adapt.
Brown, a clean-cut guy wearing a nondescript outfit of jeans, a white T-shirt and runners, notices “the Mount’s” ratio most on pub nights. “You’re treated like a VIP,” he says, adding that he hasn’t had to buy a drink yet. But the ratio isn’t always as rosy at it seems. The attention has its downsides. Namely, of the Mean Girls high school drama variety. “It’s crazy,” he says, “girls are at each other’s throats.”
For some girls at the Mount, the ratio is actually a blessing. Just ask the students at Birch 1*, the girls-only residence on campus. “It’s more studious,” says residence adviser Melanie Brister, 19, the result of its female-only environment, she explains. Brister says her roommates—many of them religious—think “guys are a distraction.”
Even students from one of the few remaining male-dominated schools, the University of Waterloo, are taking advantage of the growing female presence. Although men still outnumber women 57 to 43, students are turning lemons into lemonade. Matthew Cam, 20, a software engineering student at Waterloo, says one way to overcome the female drought is to choose parties strategically. For example, chemical engineering parties have more girls than software engineering parties. Who knew?
Cam’s software friends say an even better option is to walk over to Wilfrid Laurier University, just a kilometre away, which has plenty of coed revelries. At WLU, the male-female ratio is much more male-friendly, at 61 per cent women.
If there’s a campus where the skewed ratio appears to be overcome, it’s the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ont. (which, at 58 per cent female, is pretty typical). Nevertheless, it has a reputation for parties and the attendant hook-ups. The high-density residences, like the notoriously raunchy 1,250-person Saugeen-Maitland Hall, may be to blame. (There also happen to be four richly furnished bars on campus and at least seven major clubs on nearby Richmond Street.)
One thing is certain, they don’t shy away from sex. Just look at the residence cheers drilled into new students, says Devon Johnson. When the Western alumnus arrived in 2004, she learned the residence cheer that matches their mascot—a rooster. “The guys would go, ‘Who loves the cock?’ and the girls would call back, ‘We love the cock,’ ” says Johnson.
Krystle Ficker, 18, says the residence cheer is still alive. In fact, Western’s reputation precedes it so much that visitors ask her and her friends, “Are your dorms really ‘STI-ridden’?” and, “Do you get laid every night?”
If she gets too tired of all the attention, perhaps she should consider transferring to a place like Mount Saint Vincent, where the boys are few and far between. She may even want to consider living in Birch 5.
*The all-girls residence at Mount Saint Vincent University was incorrectly identified as Birch 5 in a previous version of this article.
Newspaper questions UWO’s campus police motives
One of Canada’s most recognizable publications for gay and lesbian news has raised the question of whether new motion detectors at the University of Western Ontario have been installed to clamp down on gay sex.
Xtra! released a story last week probing the motive behind installing motion sensors in washrooms at Western’s Thames Hall. According to the article, Western’s campus police, who wouldn’t respond to Xtra!’s interview requests, had the motion detectors installed in Thames Hall washrooms, allegedly to curb gay sex. The article cites anecdotal evidence from an anonymous source at the university, who says he was questioned by campus police about gay sex happening in mens washrooms. “The man said he told officers there was plenty of sex happening in public spaces among the heterosexual students as well,” the article reads, but “the police did not seem interested in this fact.”
A case of bigoted campus police trying to snuff homosexual ongoings in public places on campus? It’s not entirely impossible. But other than our mystery UWO worker’s account of police prejudice, there’s little to suggest that police are trying to single out homosexual sex in public places on campus. As any university student can (unfortunately) attest, public washrooms are, for some reason, a curious hotspot for campus diddling. So, unless Thames Hall motion detectors are equipped with some sort of wicked-revolutionary ‘gaydar,’ these extra security measures are likely to curtail anyone and everyone thinking of getting naughty in the public stalls.
Perhaps cracking down on sex in public places could be conceived as a deliberate attempt to curb gay sex on campus if you consider the idea that a public washroom can be a relatively “safe space” for a closeted student. Since it’s hard to engage in any sort of dorm room romp without your floormates or roommate noticing, a public bathroom, therefore, can offer a discreet alternative. The option may be all the more appealing when considering the type of bullying to which gay students may be subject on campus, a problem which has gained media attention recently due to the string of suicides by gay youth in the U.S. The tragic case of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, who was recorded having sex with a man by his roommate in the dorm they shared, is just one example. Why risk public ridicule in the dorm, some students may think, when you can opt for the relative privacy of a public bathroom?
Of course, it’s all but mere speculation, but the idea that UWO campus police are deliberately trying to curb gay sex in public places is still a far-fetched one. The bottom line is that the new security measures in Thames Hall washrooms effect everyone equally, regardless of police motives. Without any evidence, fishing for proof of a culture of intolerance only serves to create one.
University committee to make recommendation on whether condoms can be handed out during orientation week
Condoms might be available everywhere at St. Thomas University, in Fredericton, but a plan to hand them out to first-year students during orientation initially caused confusion over whether the university had a policy that prevented it. To clear up the misunderstanding, university president Dennis Cochrane struck a committee on student health that is expected to make a recommendation within days.
Update: Condom fiasco at an end
In July, the St. Thomas Students’ Union (STUSU) was told by Residence Life that they couldn’t include condoms in Welcome Week kits, alongside t-shirts, clip boards, and information about the campus. When STUSU sought clarification from the administration, it was discovered that no such policy existed, only a long standing convention, although condoms had been handed out in some previous years. It was also suggested to STUSU and reported elsewhere that the decision stemmed from the university’s roots as a Catholic institution, but the university denies that. Although the university originated as a religious institution, it is now a secular university.
Jeffrey Carleton, STU’s director of media relations, said the request to hand out condoms during Welcome Week was denied because condoms are available elsewhere on campus, including from a residence adviser, and because students have “more important” things to worry about during their first week. “Any student who wants [a condom] can just go ask for one . . . the feeling was that [Welcome Week] just wasn’t the appropriate time,” he said.
Student president Ella Henry says while condoms are indeed readily available, students might “feel embarrassed” about approaching a residence adviser for a condom. “It was about establishing a culture where safe sex is normal,” she said. “We have to recognize that students are going to have sex . . . They aren’t going to necessarily put that off.”
Although not all student unions distribute condoms during orientation week, it is widely practiced across Canada, including at the University of New Brunswick which has a Fredericton campus that is shared with St. Thomas.
The committee advising the president is composed of ten members representing various campus constituencies including four students. The committee will also make other recommendations regarding student health and wellness.
“Sexiled?” Really? University students should grow up
While perusing GoogleReader, my daily procrastination destination, I found this Globe and Mail piece. Here’s an excerpt:
Rachel Fahlman was puzzled when she stumbled upon students camping out on a battered couch in the TV lounge of her Carleton University dorm. They had, after all, paid thousands of dollars to rent a room for the year.
It turned out they’d been sexiled: forced to find another place to spend the night while their roommates had sex in their shared room.
Oh the joys of having a roommate. Who can forget that special person you were forced to live with – oops – enjoyed sharing a room with during first year? No matter how many times you hear the whole shpiel about the rewards, the friendships, the late-night girl chats, it doesn’t change the fact that sharing a room is a tricky skill – but it’s definitely a life lesson worth learning.
At King’s, the residence matching system involves the usual lifestyle habits (Do you go to bed early or late? Do you listen to music while you study?) and a paragraph to personalize your application. When they matched my roommate and me, somehow they managed to put two people so incredibly alike together, it was ridiculous. We had similar figures of speech and mannerisms. My friends found the match remarkable.
Despite all of this, my roommate experience was far from perfect. My main issue? There was always another person in my space.
It’s awkward to suddenly have to share your space. With so many of us coming from homes where we had our own room, it’s a skill we just don’t have. It sticks us outside our comfort space – and that’s why it’s so great. I learned to communicate. I learned to compromise. I learned my own personal limits. For example: I need my space. But sometimes you don’t always get what you want, and if you do, it’s because you work for it.
Here is my disclaimer, however; I love my ex-roommate. She’s a lovely person, really fun and funny, caring and loyal, exactly the kind of person you want on your side. I only wish we’d been in the same classes and not in the same dorm room. I know for sure I wasn’t always easy to get along with.
But despite my issues, my roommate and I, from the start, negotiated what each of us needed. We were understanding when hearing requests and reasonable when making them. It is perfectly reasonable to ask a roommate for some time alone in the room – for any reason, not just sexile – but it is not reasonable to take it by force. Sorry. Also unreasonable? Sex while your roommate is IN THE ROOM. I hope everyone reading that is cringing and saying “What?” and “Who would DO that?” out loud.
Ms. Fahlman, the floor’s residence fellow, said the lucky ones had been given the heads-up by their roommates that they’d be kicked out. The less fortunate had been subjected to the moans, groans and twin-mattress squeaks while they lay in horror a few metres away.
EW. EW. Once more – EW.
Who does that? Who thinks that it is reasonable to do that? Thank you Roommate, for never doing that to me. Thank your for having respect for me and some common sense.
According to the G&M article, in the U.S. there has been actual administrative moves toward dealing with roommates and sex. Roommate contracts and residence guidelines include rules against sex while a roommate is present. Rules like this are frankly, upsetting. If my university spelled that out for me, I would feel patronised – this is a stupid kind of common sense and reason rule that we can figure out ourselves, as adults.
Make your own reasonable, respectful rules, or you’ll have them imposed on you by residence administrators. They are not your parents, and they don’t want to be. Don’t act like a child. That’s what it comes down to. You’re in university – grow up.