Go to contents

Wanted: College Newspaper Sex Columnists

Posted October. 04, 2005 03:07,   


The U.S. magazine Atlantic’s November issue covered a special story about the recent increasing popularity of sex columns in school papers and reported that the newspapers are desperately seeking sex columnists.

College newspaper sex columns are characterized by boldness and frankness. The stories encompass all aspects of sex, from a sex diary to “somatology classes” and don’t hesitate to discuss so-called “Clinton-style sex” (oral sex), masturbation, exhibitionism, and other topics.

In terms of outspokenness, the school papers of Ivy League and California universities are unequaled.

“I have finally bought a vibrator now.” (Harvard University’s Independent); “Sex is exciting. If you sex in places you shouldn’t, thing is more exciting.” (University of California, Santa Barbara’s Daily Nexus); and “There in no more meaningful event on Valentine Day than oral sex” (Northern Arizona University’s Lumberjack) are just a few examples mentioned in the article.

According to analysis by Atlantic on this trend, the rapid popularity of sexual stories in school papers has led to a convergence tendency in terms of writing styles and contents of stories. For example, most of columnists are female students who prefer to use narration in the first person, and they often imitate narrative styles of famous columnists and are seeking a motif that is new enough to draw the audience’s attention.

“Tuesday Sex,” which was the first sex column published by the school paper of University of California, Berkeley in 1997, shows a stereotype. This column, written by one female student, called Sally Iches, asserts that prudishness is the most serious sin that can’t be forgiven while giving promiscuous advices about sex.

In particular, they often mimic the speaking habits of Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer, who was a famous sex consultant during the 1980s (She often started her programs by saying, “It is shocking that so many people have so little information about sex.”). The writing style of the sex columnist Candace Bushnell in the hit TV series Sex and the City, is, of course, the most popular among school paper columnists. Because of this, most college newspaper sex columns are written in diary form.

However, these amateur experts don’t suggest in-depth debate about real sexual problems. Instead, they dramatize sex as fantastic experience. “In fact, these junior imitators have a few sexual experience and have little information about sex,” the Atlantic article mocked.