Bad Vibrations: The Lies Universities Tell Their Students about Sex

A narrow aisle in a cluttered bookstore, with ceiling-high shelves filled with books on either side and stacks of books piled along the floor, including an impressive selection on music theory.

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Universities today bombard students with two contradictory messages about sex, effectively encouraging them to carry a dildo in their pocket, while lugging a fainting couch behind them.

On the one hand, universities have returned to a quasi-Victorian concern with the unique fragility and vulnerability of college women in matters of sex. This belief in the frailty of college women flows from a lineage of feminist theory, whose foremost representative is probably Catherine MacKinnon, in which “structures of power” hold down women as inherently unequal partners in sex. These structures, the argument goes, must be reformed to correct historical wrongs, to reward and encourage the right sorts of individuals and activities, while punishing and suppressing the wrong ones.

On the other side of the campus sex ledger is the dildo raffle. At “Sex Week” festivities and other gatherings nationwide, colleges and universities actively promote sexual libertinism. During Sex Weeks, campuses routinely host BDSM demonstrations, and rhapsodise over orgasms, anal sex, sex toys, and more. The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse hosted a teach-in entitled “Clitoral Masturbation and Free Vibrator Giveaway.” It is considered repressed and repressive to criticize this cornucopia of carnal delight.