Let's talk about it

Casual Sex

By: Fourth Year UTK Student

A guy just told me the sex we had was the best we have ever had.

That’s what we all want, right? Even if it is secretly. We want to be good in bed. We want to be fantasized about. We want to be on people’s minds and hearts. We want to be like the girls/guys we see in porn or movies or magazines.

Which is what makes hook up culture so emotionally exhausting. We don’t want to admit this either. Colleges are just oozing with casual sex and in some ways it’s awesome - we learn about ourselves, our bodies, our preferences and turn-ons. It’s a great time of self discovery, just like our teachers and parents told us it would be (but they probably meant academically instead of sexually).

But sometimes it’s so damn lonely. It takes me a lot of effort to keep emotions out of sex, it’s a very intimate thing. My trick is to find a trait you don’t like about the guy and just make it more of a deal breaker than it probably is, and sticking to it. It’s worked a handful of times.

But sometimes that itch creeps up, that desire to be held and loved and thought about as more than just a good fuck. That desire to be a person someone genuinely enjoys and loves.

But college isn’t always the place for that, and it’s okay. Some people can handle the casual thing no problem, and for that I envy them. Some people can’t handle the emotional side, and that’s okay.

In the end, we’re all just horny people trying to find other horny people, and sometimes we get attached and our hearts break but that’s life, that’s love. That’s sex.

Have you never seen Spandex before? (an ode to dress codes)

By: UTK Third Year


After recently reading several articles about “walk-outs” in high schools around the country, I have decided to go on a little rant of my own personal experiences with dress codes when I was in high school.

First of all, I went to an all girls private school in Nashville. I repeat: all girls. This means no boys within the student body and maybe 6 or 7 male teachers throughout the upper and lower schools. Every other Friday or so, the teachers and students of my high school got to enjoy what was called a “casual day”. These casual days meant coming to school in a t-shirt and whatever pants you desired. However, yoga pants and leggings were banned from these casual days by the time I was a sophomore, which was 2009 and about the time that yoga pants became a national trend. Students were not allowed to wear these pants because they were too “revealing” and “distasteful”. To the administration and faculty, I’m sorry, but why were my yoga pants considered revealing when I went to school with 300 girls, all of whom own at least one pair of the same pants. If a faculty member was ever asked about the ban of yoga pants and leggings, their response was usually to say that there were always male faculty members and visitors walking around campus.

Hold up. No yoga pants because of male TEACHERS? Looking back on it, this basically means the yoga pants had to be left at home because they might spark the taboo interest of a male teacher, of a man who was supposed to be filling our heads with knowledge, not checking out our asses.

This problem is not eminent solely in the school system. I have seen countless “memes” and pictures on the internet of girls in yoga pants with titles such as “thank god for yoga pant season” or something degrading along those lines. Excuse me gentlemen, we do not wear these pants to show off our butt cheeks for your entertainment. They are comfortable, practical, and jeans just suck sometimes.
would like to wear whatever the hell I want without worrying about walking into a classroom or the library and being self-conscious that my butt is covered in spandex, and some guy might be thinking about how it looks as a I walk by. 

#YesAllWomen

By: Anonymous

Ladies, how old were you the first time you were sexually harassed? about 12
How many times in your life would you say you’ve been harassed?
a hundred, a thousand, more than I can count, every day of my life some years
What were you doing? at the club, biking, running, walking, working in class, riding the bus, riding the subway, minding my own business, trying to be invisible
Who was it? random men in cars, random men on the street, my friends. my so-called friends

Flashback to high school. My so-called friends who faked sex acts on me without my permission, and told me I should be flattered. I’m distracting the boys in my class? The boys in my class are distracting ME, the boys in my class are SCARING me.

I was just a teenager, and running was my stress relief, but then I couldn’t trust it either… not when I might find myself alone on a road and there’s a man I don’t know standing on his porch or leaning out of his car shouting about how he wants to fuck me, and everywhere I go I worry that I might be raped, and I don’t understand sexual assault or harassment, and I have no one to talk to about it.

Eventually I went to college and found feminism, and you can think what you want about feminism but it might be the only thing that’s saved me. But still there are moments that just being a person who happens to have a woman’s body makes me feel vulnerable. This summer at UC-Santa Barbara a man who hated women drove to sorority row and opened fire. I’m in a sorority, and it felt like it could easily have been me shot that day, or one of my best friends.

In the wake of UCSB #YesAllWomen began trending on Twitter, women documenting their experiences harassment and assault, of living in a culture where we are taught to be afraid. I read it, and I cried. I cried for all these women who have to live such horrible things. I cried for my friends and every woman I know, knowing that they have lived these horrible things.

I cried for 12-year-old me, who didn’t understand and still doesn’t understand why I had to be born into a body that makes strangers think they have the right to scream at me or the right to grab me. But it is MY body, and I will claim it. It is nobody’s to touch or comment on, except me and those to whom I give my consent. Anybody who shouts at me, I will shout right back at him, and I will feel damn good about it. Hell, I’ll shout at anyone who shouts at another woman in my presence. I will hold my head high, and I will continue to run, bike, walk, go to class, live.

Tennessee Sex Ed

By: UTK Fourth Year

Growing up in Tennessee has provided me with consistently negative messages about sex. Whenever it was mentioned, it was in a horrifying context that drove two main ideas home:

1. Sex is scary and bad (…..except for married people)
2. Guys are only looking to take advantage of girls

Clearly neither are very healthy notions and don’t promote positive sexual growth. I experienced abstinence-only sex ed at the public school I attended. This was an uncomfortable and uninformative experience with highly religious undertones. Consent, orgasms, or any relevant information were never covered. My teacher just bombarded us with scare tactics and insisted that sex was only for married people, but then we lightened the mood by listening to Billy Idol’s “White Wedding.” So hey, there’s that.

My mother also felt obligated to try and give me some sort of information about sex, but she decided it would be best to take me to a Catholic sexual education class. Here, some charismatic woman in her 40’s told us how sexual relations led to a slew of STIs (with graphic picture accompaniment). Of course, if we didn’t get STIs, we would inevitably get pregnant, get a botched abortion next, and then be pissing out of a bag for the rest of our lives (there was a testimonial from a woman who was in a wheelchair pissing out of a bag to really help drive this point home). Next, she pulled out a wrapped present and laid this degrading analogy on us: “When you have sex before marriage, it’s like unwrapping a present and then giving it to someone. No one likes unwrapped presents. They’re basically trash.” Seriously who the hell says this to thirteen-year-olds??

The only adult that ever directly talked about sex to me was my friend’s bipolar, crazy mother. She was the daughter of a preacher and only got married so she could have sex, but she later discovered that her husband and father of her 3 children was into child pornography. Needless to say, she divorced him and was remarried, but she shared her warped opinions of sex with us. She told us that all guys wanted to do was have sex with us to gain experience and that there was nothing positive about it for women. The picture she helped paint was that sex was a terrifying thing for women, and that is was, above all else, an obligatory act in relationships.

These messages just made me seriously uncomfortable with my body and sexuality. It’s taken me years to become comfortable enough to talk about sex and come to enjoy it. But the messages of fear were all I ever received about sex for most of my life and I can personally testify to how harmful they can be to your sexual health. I had never even heard of consent until junior year of college and it completely changed the way I had thought about sex. This is why Sex Week is so incredibly important; its time for Tennessee to start talking about it. When we are silent, the wrong people become sexual educators. 

Red Zone, 2009

BY: THIRD-YEAR UTK STUDENT

Thinking of status
you receive the invitation
to dream. To blink
away today and yesterday.
You carried me.

While gazing away
I drink your Roses
and play. The game
where I see you.
I hated me.

Falling asleep—
at least trying—
you carry me
into that room
where I consume
the worst of you
some abuse
and darkness too.
You carried me
where I had no voice
could make no noise
and lost my choice.

When I awoke
my thoughts were rogue
I wasn’t clothed
and
I hated me.