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Arguably Poetry

Art or Photography

He Wants It Easy, Vyasar Ganesan 5 Murder, Torchy Blane 6 The Chill, Rachel Panepinto 13 Saturday, Eve Marie Blasinsky 8 Public Indecency, Annie Morino 29 Life Gone Wrong, Emily Sale 18 Champagne Prisons, Chandni-Seema Haruki 10 Headband, Rachel Panepinto 13 Bones, Mary Boleyn 29 His heart works too hard..., Jacqueline Shannon 17 Something profound was here..., Jacqueline Shannon 17 My mind is full of dust balls..., Jacqueline Shannon 14 .45 Caliber Solution, Joe Turner 6 Revision (Plath Knew), Eve Marie Blasinsky 18 Giang Hyunh, Adam Jordan 21 4 a.m., Mary Kate Murphy 23 Missing, Nikki Murray 8 Life Gone Wrong, Emily Sale 18 Forlorn Cigarette, Erin Dakas 14 “Since becoming an atheist…” Coop 7 Used, Katrina Tulloch 24 An Innocent Portrayal of Lust, Erin Dakas 24 Happily Ever After, Dave Valentine 17 Why I Gave Up Sleep, Pete Budzowski 21

Kiros--African refugee in Israel, Liza Cooper 3 Infant „s Tomb, Emily Doherty 8 Father‟s Tomb, Emily Doherty 8 Cover Submission, Shane Downing 16 Sunken Tombstones I and II, Maggie Rich 17 Orphans in Malawi, Africa, Liza Cooper 20 Jeweled Caterpillar, Cynthia Lee 24 An Array of Cheeses in an Israeli market, Liza Cooper 24 Snake Girl, Cynthia Lee 29

GFC Drink of the Week Virgin Milkshake -milkshake -virgin Mix well.

A Special Thank You to Ana Massiello and Maggie Rich for their assistance in the design of this issue.

SUBMIT to We got a Twitter, too. And a Facebook group. If you’re into that sort of thing.

Roughly Nonfiction Homebrew for Overkill 9 Interview Transcript, Sylvester Graham 19 Sex and the City, Miley, and my Internet Breakup, Tinamaria Colaizzi 7 I Lost My Virginity – Twice, Mary Boleyn 27 I Stole This For You, Charles Victor Szasz 25-26 Open Letter to the women of Allegheny, Sparks 8 Independence, or Encounter with a Power Scooter, Dylan McCreary 22

Fiction, per se And now, before you ingest Issue #6: Listen, guys. Listen to Budd Dwyer. He knows what he’s talking about. The man’s been dead for decades, for God’s sake. You think he hasn’t learned anything? Well, he has. He’s learned a lot. He’s learned, (and I agree, personally), that Dave Valentine’s piece, “Good Bye, Genesis, Good Night, God” is a very worthy summation of this issue of Overkill. He’s learned that the pages are worth at least fifty scans apiece, as something new and appalling is sure to invade your retinas each and every time. He’s learned that our editors are really, really, um—well— you’ll have to see for yourself. Enjoy! Pete Budzowski Editor of Fiction

Trace, Penny Lane 2 Silence and the Nations, Shane Downing 4 My Morning-after Halloween Story, Vyasar Ganesan 10 The Funeral, Aaron Weiss 15 My Uncle Al, Bryant Davis 5 The Window, Hope Dickinson 22 Elevator, Erica Belden 12 This Is Wonderland, Cassie Palmer 11 Goodbye Genesis. Goodnight God., Dave Valentine 30

Treats Oh Hi, an advice column by So&So and Whats-Her-Face 20

Congratulations to Nicholena Moon, the grandiose champion of our First Fall Cover Design Contest. She designed both the front and back covers. The winning designs were voted on at our 9/9 meeting. She is now our Director of Design. The views expressed in this publication are that of the contributing students and do not reflect the views of the Allegheny College institution as a whole.

Dear readers, I have constructed this collage, cleverly called the MURDER collage, in order to explore the various rhymes, reasons, and contexts that occur naturally within the universe of MURDER. You see here, among others, assassination (rather, you see the arguably more gruesome aftermath); "formal, legitimate" execution; "informal, illegitimate" execution; a misspelled post-kill ranting; a venting of frustrations; a public statement; a makeshift firing squad that became a statement; and just good ol' plain MURDER. Although I tried to produce, within the confines of this page, a collage depicting as diverse a collection of MURDERS as possible, it is obviously infeasible that this one page could say it all. When is MURDER justified? Who decides what type of MURDER is legitimate and what is not? What is MURDER'S purpose? Do we sell a bit of our soul every time we MURDER, or is it simply something we humans do? This may be a project for us all. Tell me what you think. Pete Budzowski

It’s a peculiar drunkenness that comes from homebrew. The element of the unknown always makes the drinking itself become an event. It is possible to sit in a dorm room for an entire Friday night, making mediocre conversation drinking this stuff, and still not feel like that moment of workless grace was wasted, because, hell, you were getting wasted on homebrew! For those of you hellbenders out there unfamiliar with the term, a homebrew is a homemade alcoholic beverage, traditionally brewed by poor college students in the closet or behind the dresser, for the purpose of consumption, intoxication, and making people jealous of the badass-ed-ness of the brewer. Additionally, it may theint cheapest way to get drunk available to anyone on campus but freshmen girls, for whom alcohol will always be free for at the best parties.So Chemistry and Biology majors, put your anticipated degree to the test. Ye Physics and Math majors, drown your sorrows. Answer the call, Philosophy and Religious Studies, find meaning in the dregs of a cup. English, lend lilt and loquacity to every line of your language. Communications Majors, loosen your tongue with this social lubricant. Hark Psychology and Sociology, see what happens when people succumb to the Id. Women’s studies, see men become monsters through drink. Historians-to-be, forget temperance and be the tibbler for the evening. Language folk, speak in tongues. Environmentalists, relish the sustainability of DIY alcohol. Theater, act the fool. Everyone else, drink to the pleasure of being alive. There are a few basic steps to the brewing of delicious ethanol-based merriment, the first which is assembling the supplies.

YOU WILL NEED: Some kind of jug or jar (glass is best but plastic will do in a pinch) Yeast (more on this in a bit) A balloon White Sugar Some kind of fruit juice That’s really it, and it’s even easier and cheaper than it seems. Consider our first recipe, Brooks Cranberry Punch-In-The-Face: Buy your yeast from The Home Brewery, <> The Red Star Premier Cuvee is great yeast to start with, dependable and extremely tolerant of Alcohol. It will cost you 50 cents for enough for 5 gallons. And you don’t need to be 21 to buy it. Seriously. Additionally buy 1 pound of white sugar. It’ll keep you supplied for many an experiment, and it’s cheap, too. Recycle a glass bottle from the recycling bins on trash day. One gallon wine jugs are best, however in a pinch a plastic milk jug will work. Rest assured we will be cleaning it thoroughly before you drink from it. Expropriate one gallon (or more, or less, however much you need to fill your container) of Cranberry Juice from Brooks. Beg, Borrow, or Steal a large (un-inflated) balloon and a tablespoon of bleach. I leave the procurement of these to your fertile imagination. Now, the making of it: Clean your container. It is essential that the container not only look clean, but be sanitized as well. That’s where the blea comes in. Once you’ve cleaned it with soap and water, fill up your jug with water, add thebleach bleach, shake well and rinse until the container doesn’t smell like bleach. Mix your ingredients. First pour your Cranberry Juice into the jug. If you have just stolen the juice, wait to add the juice until it is room temperature, as it comes out of the machine very cold. Add about a cup of sugar, shake well. Add the yeast. One packet, as I said, will do five gallons, so keep that in mind, you may want to use the rest of the package later. Protect. Now comes the only tricky part of the entire process. You must keep dust and paparticles out of the wine-to-be, as the sugar-juice you’ve just made is ideal for lots of other bacteria which probably won’t make you sick but will make your brew smell and taste atrocious. But here’s the trick, the kick, the one thing you must remember: DO NOT HERMICALLY SEAL YOUR HOMEBREW-TO-BE! Yeast, as part of the fermentation process, produces carbon dioxide. This is actually quite useful if later on down the road you would like to make your cranberry wine carbonated, but for the beginner it is just is a bit of a hassle. See, if you simply tighten the cap on your jug all the way, the gas produced will build up, and your jar will explode, making a terrible mess. Instead, we need a way to create a one-way seal that will let air out but keep dust from getting in. Enter balloon. Rinse off the powder they keep on the inside of balloons to keep them from sticking, poke a pinhole in the very top, and stretch the neck of the balloon over the neck of the jug. This creates a barrier that will leak air whenever there is positive pressure, but otherwise act as a seal. Wait. About a day after you put the yeast in, you will see little bubbles rising to the top of the jug, and the balloon will inflate slightly. Enjoy. After about a week and a half, you can drink your homebrew, but it will continue to grow moreEnj alcoholic and tasty the longer you wait. NOTE: If something doesn’t look or smell right, don’t drink it. It should smell like wine, it should look like wine. It will taste better than wine. There will be some sediment in the bottom of the jug; this is dead yeast, which is actually quite good for you but tastes a little yeasty. When drinking your beverage you can best keep the sediment from your cup by pouring slowly and evenly. Drink it with friends, make noble toasts to the future and camaraderie, and relish the fact that you are young and invincible. Repeat this recipe with a variety of other juices and varying amounts of sugar. The yeast recommended will go as high as 18% alcohol by volume as long as there is plenty of sugar, so sweeter means stronger. Note that sugar mixes better when the juice is warmer. As for other juices, Cranberry is the only one that works that is available from Brookes, but if you take a walk into town Limeade from Quality Fresh Markets makes for a mean drink and Apple Cider from the market house makes a hard cider that is a firework of flavor. Just check the container to be sure that your juice of choice has no preservatives, such as “potassium sorbitol” which will either stop the yeast from working or give your final product some very strange flavors. There is a large and very active community of online homebrewers; if you enjoyed this project, take it to the next level and see what’s out there. Brew Mead, brew beer, carbonate your cranberry juice, the possibilities probably end somewhere, but that somewhere is very far indeed from where you are right now.

“Steve, y’know, he was a good kid. A real good kid.” Mark just seemed to mumble off. He had nothing else to say that we didn’t already know. We would hear all this shit when the priest made the speech at the end of the wake anyway. The smoke from the various Marlboros in the circle, along with our heavy breaths from the cold and the thin veil of mist created a thick artificial fog. The man-made haze blurred my vision just enough for me to not see the cars pulling up to the funeral home. Mom would be pissed about the smell of smoke sticking to my nice suit jacket, but I didn’t really care. Frankly I think she’d give me a pass this time, all things considered. In the distance, I can make out a pair of headlights pulling into the parking lot. “Did he leave a note or anything?” Will asked. I don’t know why he did, he knew Steve didn’t write one. I just shook my head. The headlights finally found a space, emptying its contents of two adults, a middle-aged duo. They walked past us through the door, not even taking a quick glance. My cig was near the filter. C.C.’s was long burned out, but he kept fiddling with the orange filter, something to do with his hands while everybody was occupied. I decided to call it quits, and tossed mine in the gutter. I looked up at C.C. “You wanna go in?” He was obviously waiting for such a question. “Yeah, let’s go.” He took off, almost running back inside before I could even pivot my right foot. As I started to leave the circle, I turned back to the group. “We’ll see you inside.” I caught a glimpse of Will looking down. The lobby of Crezanado’s Funeral Home felt like a room in purgatory: ancient smell, one wooden chair, which was quickly occupied by C.C., a tiny reception desk, and a fake plant, which resembled no plant I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t a particularly horrible experience being there, but it wasn’t a pleasure. It came with no emotions. Out of the large double doors that led to the room with the casket came Steve’s uncle, Red. His plump, usually jolly face looked as serious as, well, a funeral. “Hey Dante.” He came towards me with arm extended, looking for a handshake. “Hi Mr. Finnocco. Sorry about your loss.” He looked slightly humored at my apology. “It was as much your loss as it was mine, son.” I shrugged. Red looked around quickly, and leaned in. “You wouldn’t happen to have a lighter on you would you?” I gave a slight nod, and handed over my Spider-Man Zippo. “Thanks, son. I’ll see you in a few.” As I heard him open the doors behind me, I started walking slowly towards the aptly named “display room”. The windows of the wooden double-doors were painted over with white paint, same color of the doors themselves. I was about to turn the knob when I realized something was wrong. I couldn’t go in alone. I wasn’t ready. I looked for another entity in the room. I turned around and saw C.C. sitting in the chair, face buried in his hands. He didn’t make a sound. “C.C.” I said. He didn’t look up. “C.C., you comin’ in with me?” He gave a slight nod of the head, and got up, face still downward. I could see a slight glistening on his nose, as if tears had been freshly wiped from it. Christ. I hate it when people cry. Especially people I would never expect to cry. I opened the door to see a scene straight out of the movies. Every one of the folding chairs in the room

There’s some light chatter in the background and laughter. It’s definitely real people, meaning he was probably gonna come in late the next day to class. “Listen man,” he pleads, “I just got this idea for a killer spot.” “Skateboarding. You called me at 2 a.m. Tuesday ni- uh, Wednesday morning to tell me about some shit you’re gonna do on a piece of wood.” Steve was the only big skateboarding buff of the boys. Call me a downer, but I never saw the appeal of broken bones. “Yeah, man. What if I fucking crashed this funeral, and as they’re putting the man in the ground, I kickflip over him?” I had to pause. Not to actually consider how it would look, but to consider the most appropriate way to say “Are you out of your fucking mind?” I decided to keep it short and sweet. “No.” “Dude! Back me up!” “Steve,” I began. “Steve, you can’t just go and do that shit. People will be pissed.” “I know, that’s the point! We get them pissed over something that doesn’t mean jack, man.” “Dude, it’s a FUNERAL. Shit kinda means somethin’. It’s just tasteless.” “Well yeah, funerals are tasteless to begin with.” I had a hard time understanding that. You wear a suit and tie, say some nice words about a dead loved one, and pay your last respects, your last words to them. Classy. “I don’t follow you.” “Look, what’s a funeral?” Steve asked rhetorically. “Show off the dead body, say some nice bullshit that’s probably not even true, and dress like some butler to show you’re serious. It’s totally bullshit. Skating all over the thing would prove a point.” I was fully awake now. My second-string debate team skills became fully active. “Well how would you want to be buried?” “Somewhere private. I’d want somebody to just drive me to the desert or something, and bury me. Then everybody I know would have a party someplace else. They could talk freely, wear whatever they want, get drunk as fuck. Anything but that shit with the casket. “That’s a fucking side show.” *** I sat in the car for about 20 minutes. I couldn’t drive away. I was too angry, maybe even too sad, I don’t know. I just didn’t have the control. Fucking Mark. There was a knock at the passenger window. It was Henry. I unlocked the door, and wiped my eyes with my shirt sleeve. Henry slipped onto the seat and pulled out a pack of smokes. “Hey dude,” he said, “You wanna smoke?” I nodded and pulled a square out of the crumpled pack. Henry was always that kind of guy, the kind of guy who always tried to make people happy. His large frame gingerly slipped into the passenger I always had a flair for being a hypocrite. Here I am seat of the Camry. “What was up with that, man?” he sarcastically apologizing for not being emotional, and asked. at the same time delivering snappy one-liners like a“I don’t even know, Hank. Just stupid shit.” Schwarzenegger flick.He nodded. It was a teen boy thing, I suppose. A I decided to just go home. I was only there for aperson even just a few years older would continue little while, but I was so tired of it all. The reminiscing grilling me about all my emotions and feelings, but about those who were dead, digging up all theguys this age understand each other. Certain things memories in the world, waiting in line so you couldaren’t said because they can’t be understood to begin look at the dead body of someone you loved. I wouldwith. never want that. What could that possibly achieve?“Just one of those things?” he asked. It’s a fucking sideshow is what it is.“Yeah. Just one of those things.” had somebody sitting on it. There was a long line of people waiting in line, starting at the doors and ending at the casket with Steve’s body in it. An old lady was on her knees in front of the casket, weeping very loudly. I could see Steve’s dad on one knee next to her, trying comfort her and pull her away. She was holding on to the casket for dear life, as if she let go, Steve would float away forever. I decided to remove myself from the situation, while C.C. decided to just lean up against a wall. When I exited the display room, I saw the rest of the guys coming in. Mark was walking in the front, Henry behind him, and Will bringing up the rear. For some reason, I didn’t want to be anywhere near them. I wanted nothing to do with them. I just wanted to be left alone. But Mark was looking right at me. He walked right up in front of me, flanked by Henry and Will. “You see the body yet, man?” He asked. I shrugged. He looked puzzled. “What the fuck? Did you see it or not?” “I went in, but this old lady, I think his grandma was crying and there was a line. C.C.’s in there.” Mark looked disappointed in me, like he was my dad. He was the oldest of us guys, but I never considered him a superior. We always made the same immature jokes and always made the same stupid comments about some hot chick’s ass. We were equals. Now he looked at me as if I had forsaken him. “You should really go in there. It’d mean a lot to his dad.” “Mark, please, just fucking let me do this on my own.” “Hey man, watch your mouth.” I couldn’t believe I was hearing this BS. Mark was the one who taught me the meaning of the word “cunt” back in fourth grade, now he’s lecturing me on appropriate language in a funeral home? “Cut the dramatics, man,” I snapped back, “Don’t even pretend to be a saint.” “I’m just trying to--” “Trying to what, asshole? Oh, sorry I’m not bawling my eyes out! Sorry I’m not solemnly mourning by his fucking casket! It’s bad enough I gotta be here for this, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna be told how to act!”

*** Three months earlier… My cell rings at 2 am. It’s Steve. “Dude, are you shitting me right now?” I answer.

INTERVIEW Transcript SYLVESTER GRAHAM I was born homeless in a cardboard box in Brooklyn. The transient population took care of me until I was about aged one, at which point a professor from NYU, Lucian, found me assembling poetry from letters torn off receipts from a pawn shop. He tells me those poems were in iambic pentameter, but to this day I still plainly recall using iambic heptameter. He and his gay partner, Stephen, took me in, nursed me, both with their love and with their extensive collection of modernist literature, to a civilized state. I was homeschooled of course. They anointed me with the ability to self learn, an ability I’ve retained to this day and a skill I preach so passionately to my own students. In fact, I don’t remember either of my adopted parents speaking a single word to me for the first four years I spent in their home. I only remember the translucent words of Joyce, Elliot, Woolf, amongst so many others, spilling over me like a watering can filled to the brim with epiphany.

When I was eleven we took a two year sabbatical to Tel Aviv University. It was during this time that I mastered Iranian, Hebrew, and an elementary understanding of Farsi. What a relief it was to be free of Germanic based tongues for a time! But, alas, it wouldn’t last. At thirteen, thinking myself superior, I got into an argument with Lucian about something-- Britain’s entitlement to the Isle of Hong Kong, I believe. We simply couldn’t come to terms, so I moved out at my friend’s suggestion to an anarchist colony in the Ukraine, then still the U.S.S.R. For two years, I ate only vegetables grown in a garden overlooking the countryside, and occasionally whole wheat pasta smuggled across the Polish border. It was at this colony, that I finally found the time to devote myself more completely to criticism. I wrote a piece pioneering the now obvious connections between String Theory and Marxism. I submitted it to a Russian journal. It was published and somehow Harvard got their hands on it. They offered me a full scholarship at the age of fifteen. I accepted on the provision that I be able to take a quadruple overload of classes and graduate in one year. They were apparently unaccustomed to such academic enthusiasm and withdrew their offer. This experience led me to pursue my more humble roots.

I returned to Brooklyn and enrolled at City College, hoping to settle in for four years of typical life. Unfortunately, I tested out of every level class in every department. I worked for a few months in the admissions office and then went straight to graduate school at Oxford in pursuit of my first P.H.D. Within a week the faculty came to the understanding that bequeathing a doctorate to a mind of my caliber would be nothing less than a disgrace, and so promoted me to chair of the classics department instead. I found this job to be less than fulfilling. I couldn’t bring myself to actually teach my 300 students, only expose them, as Lucian and Stephen had exposed me. Instead, I assigned my students one paper every week, and corrected those papers every Friday evening before supper. I never gave anything over a C-.

Needless to say, I had quite the amount of free time on my hands. I found relief in the female voices of the 19th century. Dickinson, Austen, the rest. It was an area that had been endlessly pawed over, yes, but I did love the words of these women. I dedicated myself, in addition to my duties at Oxford, to the evolving realm of post-modern feminist theory, and it is in this realm where I remain.

I Lost My Virginity – Twice

Mary Boleyn

Hello Ladies and Gents, I'm here today to help you navigate through the ins and outs of good sex (in the most humanitarian and feminist way possible). Now, some of you may be thinking that you don't need the help, you are a connoisseur of sex. Well, you might be- and if you are, wanna go out sometime? I jest, I regress. Some of you may be thinking that you don't need to know about sex, you're a virgin and you are staying so until you get married. For the second group, I beg you to reconsider. Not reconsider your decision to remain a virgin, but your decisions to turn the page and skip this article. Bear with me, please. It may be useful information in the future. Ok, the rules are simple. As Dan Savage would say, you've got to, you didn't think it would be that easy, did you? No, no, no. Before we get to the sex part, we've got to lay some ground work. Firstly, why are you having sex? Is it what you really want? I trust your judgment, even if the white male controlled government doesn't (these sexophobes in Congress are paying $178 million each year to scare you out of sex. They want you to think you can't make these decisions for yourself, and to do so, they are telling you that condoms do not work. If you have sex even once you will get pregnant. Or die. And if you get pregnant, damn straight you better keep that baby). Ok, so, now that you have evaluated your motives for having sex, or not having it, I suppose, are you protected? Have you done research as to what forms of birth control work for you? A good rule of thumb, always use two forms of protection. You choose one, and I will force you to use condoms as your second, as it is the only form that will prevent the spread of STDs. I don't care what your high school sex-ed teacher said, condoms work. Women, I suggest looking into the pill, and don't listen to your doctor when they say all pills are the same. Every woman reacts differently to different forms, and there are hundreds of variations and types of the pill. Planned Parenthood can help you in your hormonal birth control research, and help you find others that are non-hormonal. Maybe I'll write an article on birth control at a later date. Now you are protected. Sex time, now? Well, if your roommate’s in the room, probably not. What is sex? Have you ever thought about that? And for the virgins, what makes you a virgin, at what point do you stop being a virgin? Simple, right? When the penis penetrates the vagina, you are having sex and are no longer a virgin. Well, how about anal sex? I know a lot of people who had anal sex with their significant others and said, "Look, not having sex, still a virgin!" How about oral sex? You go down on a guy or gal, they go down on you (more on this later) and it's safe, it's not really sex, so you're a virgin! There must be a lot of girls taking it up the ass, then, who are saving their virginity for their future husbands while pleasing their current boyfriends. I can see it now, "Oh hey, you're her ex-boyfriend, you didn't damage her in any way, did you? She's still a virgin right?" "Yeah, she's still a virgin, have fun with her tonight, and don't worry about her ass, I pre-widened it for you." You know, women are commodities, after all. This narrow-minded view of what sex is, penetration, only after marriage, and only for procreation, is a little outdated, doncha think? What about all the LGBT people out there? Because a dick is never involved, lesbians are virgins for life. Lesbians have one purpose: to be extremely hot, kiss each other in front of men, and at the end of the night to decide that they like dick after all. Gay men are ignored, they're icky. And they never have sex either. They shouldn't be having sex anyways, 'cause gays can't get married, and you can't have sex until you’re married. Unless, of course, they are fucking someone of the opposite sex to prove that they aren't really gay. Now imagine that. Straight men are fucking girls in the ass to preserve the purity of the girl, and gay men are fucking those same girls in the vagina to prove they aren't gay. Gay men having vaginal sex and straight men having anal sex – if you didn't think this society had screwed up views on sex already, this should open your eyes. Well, we all know how that idea goes down with most people. So, here's an idea. You're a virgin until you orgasm. If you don't orgasm, it's not sex. Lesbians and gays for sure orgasm, and you can orgasm from oral sex, anal sex, mutual masturbation, etc. So, if you can orgasm, it's a sex act. So girls, you tell your men that oral sex is not a cop out; it's the real, honest-to-god sex. Stop complaining. So, we know what sex is now, we know how to protect ourselves, now what? Well, be, as Dan Savage says, "Good, Giving, and Game." Also, another favorite Savage quote is, "Oral should come standard, all other models should be returned to the lot." What some people take this to mean is that girls need to give their guys head. No, it works both ways. Men should be willing to eat their girlfriends out. And like it. Men and women should be willing to do something for their partner. If you are uncomfortable with something your partner asks of you, have a conversation about it, discuss it. Express yourself. Part of having sex is to discuss it. It's sexy to talk while having sex. Sexily ask your partner to do something, touch something, not do something. If they are a good partner, they will listen. Likewise, if your partner asks you to do something, touch something, within reason, you should listen. If you want to change positions, tell the person you are going to change positions, tell them you are changing positions while changing position, after you change position, tell them you just changed position. Communicate. And play with the damn clit. Guys, your dick is never going to get her off. I'm sorry, but it is a rare, rare woman who can get off on vaginal stimulation alone. So, if every woman you've ever fucked says she orgasmed from your dick being thrust inside of her, chances are she's lying. You're not amazing, and not every woman you've met is one of those rare species. You must deign to touch her clit. Or, women, touch your clit yourself. You know, you're allowed to touch yourself while having sex. You can't leave the other party completely in charge of your orgasm. But you'd better make sure your partner gets off before you roll over, give the good night kiss and get some shut eye (or realize what time it is and run to class). Although, I don't think the professors will accept the "Sorry I'm late, I had to make sure my partner got off before I scampered out of their dorm room with my shoes on the wrong feet” excuse. And this is why I consider myself to have lost my virginity twice. Not because I am some born-again virgin who slipped up. But because the first penetration I experienced was lousy. He pulled off my pants, no foreplay, thrust it in, and ten seconds later (I kid you not) it was done. He put his pants on, told me to get mine on, and went back to playing some unnamed massive multi-player online role-playing game. There was no "good, giving, game" attitude here. So, technically, according to a church stance, I lost my virginity in those ten seconds. The second man was more giving. And good. My first non-masturbatory orgasm came from one of my encounters with this second man. He was willing to eat me out, he was willing to touch my clit, and in return I was willing to suck his dick, and other things. This is when I lost my virginity according to my terms, because, to me, it's not sex unless you orgasm (and, by extension, your partner should, too). (I highly doubt either of these partners are reading this, but I also highly doubt that they'd be able to discern who they are, who I am, or any other personal information, if you do then, to the first: I didn't feel you deserved to be asked first if I could use this story for an article, and for the second: sorry I didn't ask first, maybe a little playing around later will make up for it?) The short of the long is, have fun. Sex isn't just for procreation. It's for pleasure. And there is nothing shameful about it. The only shameful part of is that "abstinence until marriage education" exists and that people believe it. Sexually active women are not "used goods." Huge double standard: men are hot players if they sleep around and are collecting trophies so they can be experienced. Women are sluts, whores, and dirty. I ask you all to combat this double standard by having lots of fun, safe sex and speak up when you hear these double standards cited. And masturbate, of course – it's the safest sex there is, and when is the last time you broke your own heart?

Artist statements are vulgar. So, instead, let me tell you what I was thinking about when I made this collage: I thought about the instability and insecurity of femininity and masculinity in a post- feminist world and how it’s created a sexual environment that fundamentally demands equality and yet denies that equality. I thought about the dehumanization of sex. I thought about the necessity of misogyny and misandry as shields against the violence and demand for submission inherent in every touch. I thought about the brutality with which sexuality is inextricably linked. I thought about the banality of our current sexual politics. I thought about how Microsoft word acknowledges misogyny as a word but not misandry. I thought about the way I intentionally disappoint my lover in order to preserve my human dignity. I thought about the transcendent beauty of art and the moments when life manages to live up to art. I thought about the ugliness of the human body. I thought about the slivers of beauty shining through that body. I thought about the way in which Pasolini made young boys and girls eat human shit just to prove a point. I thought about how sexual freedom is no less oppressive than sexual repression. I thought about Mishima’s Patriotism and the love in the officer’s wife’s eyes as she watches her husband cut open his belly. –Bryant Davis


The 6th issue of Overkill, published October 2009.

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