One week ago, UC Berkley sex columnist Nadia Cho made international headlines for a tell-all article in The Daily Californian describing how she had sex all over campus the day before Thanksgiving break. On Friday she responded to the public reaction (and, in some circles, outcry) with a column for the Huffington Post. Here's an exerpt:
My sexual adventures on campus were great, don't get me wrong, but they definitely weren't internationally newsworthy. The fact that I had consensual sex with a partner who was close to my age doesn't affect the quality of life of anyone else on the planet. Al Qaeda has been taking over Mali this week, and people are concerned that I talked about a rendezvous in the library? It really shouldn't come as a shock that college students have sex, albeit in public places.
The "controversy" of this column probably doesn't stem from the fact that college students were having sex. The controversy is that I candidly publicized having sex, and the fact that I happen to be a woman of color might have something to do with it.
The extent to which people are intrigued, shocked and offended by this column shows how unusual it is to openly talk about sexual experiences. The world needs to be more comfortable with talking about sex and openly acknowledging that it happens.
Sex is the one of the few things that are constant and universal, and human beings aren't going to stop banging anytime soon, if ever. It would benefit everyone to view sex as something more natural in a positive light, rather than a super-scandalous forbidden phenomenon.
People feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about having sex because they feel like they shouldn't have been doing it in the first place. This is why when something really bad happens, like sexual assault, harassment or rape, the guilt falls on the victim for putting themselves in a potentially precarious situation. The unwillingness to accept and talk about it is what creates the heavy silence around sexual violence.
Being sex-negative only creates bad feelings and sentiments, whether it's shame from having sex, guilt from wanting to have sex or anger at other people for having sex. Everyone should feel free to talk about their sex lives without being invalidated and shamed for their experiences and accept that it's okay for people to have sex for no other reason than that they like to. There needs to be constructive discussion and dialogue about sex, both the good and the bad aspects of it, because it happens -- regardless of how the general public feels about it.
Seriously, go read the rest over at the Huffington Post. She's 100% right and good for her for writing a column defending her original Daily Cal column: What's the point of being sex-negative or avoiding it all together? Is anyone in the public at large really, truly shocked that college students are having sex? People have been having sex for, well, forever, so what's the point in not having a healthy national dialogue about it? Did Cho's column or descriptions of her sexcapades negatively effect another person's life at all? Exactly: Not at all.
Keep doing your thing, Nadia.