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The Craziest Things We Learned In That Book About Sex At Yale



We finally read a review copy of Sex And God At Yale, the controversial book by conservative commentator Nathan Harden that came out in August.

As many critics have said, the book gets pretty sanctimonious. But if you're just reading for the salacious anecdotes, well, there are a lot of those.

Here are some things we learned:

  • Yale spends $30,000 every two years on a thing called "Sex Week," which is supposed to educate students on safe sex and good sex.

  • Free porn is given out at Yale during Sex Week. Harden writes, "Most Yale parents don't realize that $50,000 a year includes free porn as a bonus. .. Moreover, it is ironic that porn is handed out at Yale's safe-sex seminars, since nearly all American porn is filmed 'bareback.'  Yale's peer health educators spent an hour telling us how important it is to practice safe sex 'every time' and then they offered us glamorized portrayals of condom-free sex on our way out the door. As I leave, I can still hear the girl shouting. 'Porn! Free porn! For anyone who wants it!'"

  • Ambitious women at Yale use the hookup culture to help delay love and focus on their careers. But it's not actually working, according to Harden: 

    The conflict many young women feel between their hearts and their careers is at the heart of sexual dysfunction on college campuses today. This leads us to a surprising conclusion: While the hookup, with its commitment-free sex and zero emotional attachment, seems to be skewed toward the desires of men, the hookup culture, is, arguably, largely controlled by women. The hookup culture endures, largely, because ambitious young women face a tremendous amount of social pressure to delay love. If real love is not an option, a hookup might seem better than nothing at all.

    Casual sex has been around forever. But the sexual culture at our colleges has changed in dramatic ways over the last few decades. Men used to have to work much harder to get sex. There used to be lots of dating and wooing and pleading going on. Now, it's just so easy.

    Sex can be casual, but it's never really trivial. It isn't possible to completely remove the emotional realities of sex from the equation. Scientists now tell us that the act of having sex actually alters our neurological makeup through the release of hormones that strengthen the emotional attachment by way of a chemical reaction in the brain. ... Sex with no strings attached often produces confusion, especially for girls, who tend to be more tuned into the emotional side of life.

  • Sex week features nude lectures. Writes Harden, "I was about to witness the very first naked lecture in the history of Yale University ...Then the teacher decides she needs to 'get more comfortable,' so she slips off her tights, and before you know it she is standing bare-chest in front of the entire class. ... The teacher, in this case, was a redheaded porn star form San Francisco who goes by the name Madison Young. ... Miss Young's second lecture was moved to a frat house one block away. A crowd of students gathered in the yard, along with a few curious bystanders, to watch. Young's partner tied her up and suspended her over the front porch, and she hung there, dangling in her underwear. Across the street an alarmed passerby shouted 'Why are you doing that?!' The pendulous Ms. Young shouted back, 'Because I liiiiiiike it!'"

  • During the "Babeland's Lip Tricks" seminar, one of 17 Sex Week seminars, an instructor named Darlinda gave a lecture on the "Pleasure Bill Of Rights" to a standing-room-only audience. Here's the "Bill" with quotes from Darlinda:

  1. You're sexy already. Every part of your body is sexy. And you can use your whole body to have sex: your mouth, your feet, your toes, your ears, your nose, everything.

  2. Loving yourself; it's a big, big, big important thing. "I really encourage masturbation, it's so important," Darlinda tells the class.

  3. Enjoy the journey. It's not all about having that orgasm.

  4. Own your own orgasm. ("Masturbate, masturbate, masturbate.")

  5. Ask for what you want.

  6. Take charge of safe sex. ("It's 2010. Guess What? We should all be having safe sex. You, know, there are diseases out there ... If you need to use dental dams you can use Saran Wrap. You can get Saran Wrap anywhere. Okay?")

  7. Use lubrication.

  8. Laugh.

  9. Don't be afraid to make a mess.

  10. Keep growing. ("Every day I learn new things. I learn them from you. And you can learn them from me. And we can learn them together.")

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