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VOLUME 46  |  ISSUE 5 |  FEBRUARY 2014




Fernanda DeSouza Editor-in-Chief Dianna Mazzone Hermina Sobhraj Deputy Editors Megan Venere Executive Editor Dara Kenigsberg Christina Macaluso Senior Editors


Dara Kenigsberg Managing Editor Britt Bivens Copy Editor Hermina Sobhraj Treasurer Mollie Yarsike Community Manager

Art Kevin Braine Art Director Kelly Millington Courtney Wall Senior Designers

Alex Lee Alexander Papakonstantinou Niki Phillips Jessica Farkas Photographers Faye Asido Chloe Dewberry Fashion Editors Sara Rabin Illustrations

The idea for the Sex Issue came shortly after conversing with girlfriends about masturbation. I was met with hesitation and a lot of blushing on their part, “Don’t tell me you don’t masturbate because that is total BS.” It’s 2014 and my girlfriends were too shy to talk about their vaginas—why? So here’s my solution: a revamp of the Body Issue. I’m tired of reading about healthy living and juicing (sorry, I’d rather have sex than starve). I’m over it. I want to know new sex positions that will help me achieve a better orgasm and freely ask friends whether or not buying a vibrator is a good investment (anyone? Bueller? Bueller?) without raising eyebrows. My parents never sat me down to have “The Talk” and I’m actually happy

Contributors Yesica Balderrama Rachel Basel Francesca Beltran Sarah Fielding Dana Heyward Cassandra Laper Christina Macaluso Sarah Malmgren Marissa Mule Desiree Perez Daniela Rios Aaron Valentic Zachary Rosenbaum

they didn’t. I was able to absorb information from peers and school. But I knew that I had to actually experience it for myself to truly understand. I’m not encouraging a sex spree here but hope that this issue will allow readers to accept that it’s okay to discuss sex outside of the bedroom and that it’s okay to explore your own sexuality without repression. James Franco mastrubates five times a day—so what? You go Glen Coco! I’m ecstatic that this came to fruition and that this month’s articles cover a spectrum of sex-related issues, both in the boudoir and in the industry, and that there is so much more to it than the act of pleasure. But warning: this issue may induce horniness.

John Simone Editorial Faculty Advisor Albert Romano Advertising Faculty Advisor



ON THE COVER: Photographer Alex Lee captures a slightly seductive and retro interpretation of “Taxi Driver” with the styling of Chloe Dewberry and Faye Asido.




CONTENTS On The Block 4 5 6 8 9

Greene Foundation Future Mode: Hilary Baxter Faculty Spotlight: Virginia Bonofiglio What the Health? Vibrators, Lube and Strap-ons – Oh My!

Dear Industry 10 11 12

Sex Apps Take New Twist on this Taboo Subject Start Making Love, Not Porn Beauty Buzz: Valentine’s Day Beauty Guide

Feature 13 14 16 18 19

The Pull Out Method The Art of Prostitution Fashion Spread The LGBTQQ Community: Progress, Regression, A Continuous Battle To Do It or Not to Do It, That is the Question

Haute Culture 20 22 23 24 25 26 26 27 27 28 28 30

The Beginning is the End is the Beginning Full Frontal Exposure Lena Dunham Says She’s Comfortable With Her Body Tit for Tat: Sex In Popular Culture” Super Bowl XLVIII Advertising Oscars Roundup Tasteless TV Continues With “Sex Sent Me to the ER” Museum of Sex Film Review: Her Book Review: Perv Month In Review OYB : Prospect Heights

FIT Speaks 31 31

A Virgin’s Rite of Passage Beware of the Dark Circles


Style on 27

LETTER FROM THE art director Sex and art have a longstanding relationship. Different media have different restrictions on sex and nudity. Fine art seems to be less suppressed than mass media. Public museums and galleries are full of nude portraits, but a woman cannot be shown topless on network television. Why are people still so uptight about sex? I think it is important that artists create realistic representations about humans and sexuality. If sex is seen so negatively on TV, young people may start to feel negatively about it themselves. No one should be embarrassed about sex. Not everyone is comfortable talking about sex. That’s fine, but other people should not be put down for their sexuality. If this issue of W27 teaches readers anything, it’s that there’s a lot to talk about when it comes to sex- and there should be! Let’s work to make sex less taboo.

W27 is looking for a new treasurer! Responsibilities include attending weekly meetings, managing and submitting budget requests and reimbursement documentations and maintain a clear communication with the FIT Student Association. if interested, Please contact

I encourage our readers to be open and honest with themselves in all aspects of their lives, including sex. Do not be embarrassed by your curiosity. Stay comfortable, but don’t be afraid to try new things. Be honest with your partner about what you want. Keeping stigmas on sex can be dangerous. If no one’s talking about it, people will be lost to their own ideas. We

should all stay educated. If you have questions, find someone who can speak to you honestly. Do not let other people make you feel ashamed about sex. Stay safe and have fun!

Reception Honors Scholarship Winners and Thanks Jerome L. Greene Foundation by Sarah Malmgren

As a school that prepares students for creative careers, FIT has long promoted the innumerable benefits of studying abroad. From Asia to Europe, South America to Africa, options for immersion in a foreign country promise an unparalleled academic and cultural experience. Now, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, a select group of students will have an even greater chance of making the world their campus. On Wednesday Dec. 11 from 5- 6:00 p.m., students, faculty and foundation affiliates gathered in the Living Room of the Feldman Center for the inaugural scholarship winners from the Greene Foundation. Christina McIrney and Spencer Harper, both of the foundation, were present for the occasion to personally meet the five lucky scholarship recipients. The foundation is known for its philanthropy and contributions to such esteemed institutions as the Juilliard School and Columbia University. Members of FIT’s Presidential Scholars were invited to apply for the new scholarship based on high academic achievement and financial need. Each winner was granted $10,000 that would go towards the cost of studying and living internationally.

The chosen winners were: .Julianne Abejar Fashion Design, Milan .Rosemary Paone Fashion Design, Florence .Michael Oliu Fashion Design, Florence .Hayley Reid Fashion Design, Florence .Nkem Chukwumerije Fashion Merchandising Management, Hong Kong FIT President Joyce Brown opened the reception with words of enthusiasm and thanks. Looking around at the students in attendance, she began by pointing out just how lucky they were to be able to meet the people to whom they owe their good fortune. Brown explained why she sees such value in the chance to study abroad, “We share the belief that international experience is a

critical component of a quality education.” She added that as part of the school’s new mission statement and strategic plan, the goal is to increase the number of students who study abroad. Facing McIrney and Harper, she offered a warm, “Thank you on behalf of the whole community.” McIrney stepped to the podium and discussed the value she experienced while studying abroad during her junior year of college in Munich, Germany. Not only did she become fluent in German, but she also formed many professional connections that would help with her career down the road. Describing the Presidential Scholars as an “elite group within the FIT community,” McIrney expressed her belief that these individuals deserved this opportunity. McIrney also mentioned one man in particular to be thanked for this impressive endowment. Richard Anderman, a member of the FIT Board of Trustees, is largely credited for introducing the Greene Foundation to FIT, and for helping to show McIrney just how strong the school’s programs are. When asked why he feels studying abroad is important, Anderman replied that it is an opportunity for “standout students to add to their worldview and meet people who inform their life view for years.” For him, he sees it as an opportunity “to create a platform for launching not only a career but a life experience.” Irene Buchman, Honors Program coordinator, closed the reception with five facts about the distinguished group of students. First, according to Buchman, the Scholars are grateful- both for the potential experience and for the endowment; second, they are the heart and soul of the liberal arts program; third, they are meeting monthly in order to introduce new ideas, art forms and presentations; fourth, they are reaching out to fellow students; and fifth, they are a group of unbelievably creative, talented and driven students. Each winner expressed his or her gratitude for the scholarship, and for many, this award was the ultimate blessing. Recipient Hayley Reid, a born-and-raised New York City resident says she is ready to “immerse herself in another way of life.” This scholarship made a huge difference in her life and without it, she would never have had the opportunity to study abroad.For her, and for the entire college community, the friendship between the Jerome L. Greene Foundation and FIT is warmly received.





Future Mode:


Hilary Baxter by Marissa Mule

Vivienne Westwood once said, “Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.” We agree. And, so does Hilary Baxter, a fashion design major specializing in intimate apparel. In between designing burlesque dancer costumes for her friend’s lounge, and designing neckwear for PVH Corp, a company that owns Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and Kenneth Cole, Hilary is learning to balance the working world with her schoolwork. Without pursuing “traditional” designs, Hilary is also mainly inspired by her love for dogs. “This is going to sound weird, but I’m a huge dog lover. Anything dealing with dogs hits close to home. I love dogs and that’s a huge inspiration for me. For example, in one collection I took the idea that the German Shepherd has two coats, so I wanted to make the whole collection about the layers of lingerie. You have your loungewear layers such as bathrobes and slips and then the layers that are closer to the body like bras, panties & shapewear. So the whole collection turned into this idea of layering lingerie to achieve a certain

Photos courtesy of Hilary Baxter and Niki Phillips

While pursuing passion for her craft and pushing herself to the limit of design, Hilary believes that motivation is the key to success. “My motivation comes from within myself. Its like sculpting the body. Its the passion that gets me through the hard times at the end of day. I love that I’m getting the best possible education that I can be getting for the field I’m in while at FIT and I feel like I’m learning from people who have been down this road before.”

“I always knew I wanted to do design at a young age.” effect & how the body is sculpted by each layer,” Hilary explains. “I’m passionate about what I’m doing. I come into school, I go into work and I love what I do everyday.” Hilary, who is originally from the Finger Lakes area in upstate New York, even created her own tee-shirt line back in high school. Since beginning her design career at a young age, Hilary always knew she wanted to make a difference in the fashion industry. Coming from a small town where fashion didn’t seem like a priority allowed her to branch out amongst her peers. “I live on a lake, so there is not a lot of fashion up there. But, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein started in Elmira which is 45 minutes away,” explains Hilary. “I’ve always loved art and it made sense then

what I wanted to do. I attempted to sew and always knew I wanted to do design at a young age.” Whether having designed tee-shirts or costumes, Hilary’s go-getter personality derives from her passion to “get her name out into the industry.” Also inspired by detail, engineering and technical concepts. “For me, there’s all sorts of ways in which I come up with an idea. I can walk down a street and see a window display and that will spark an idea. I love doing research and when I think of a theme, I get involved. I’ll print out pictures of my inspiration and sketch on top of them. I also get ideas for strap lines and seam lines from that. I’m kind of all over the place, but usually a big process is in my design journal,” Hilary explains.

With creativity and vision to spare, Hilary is nothing short of an inspira tion.. So where might you see her in ten years? “Well, my dream job would have to be becoming the Senior Vice President at Agent Provocateur, a super high end lingerie company started by Vivienne Westwood’s son. I love Calvin Klein as well.”




Faculty Spotlight:

Smell That? It’s The Scent of Knowledge– Virginia Bonofiglio of the Cosmetics and Fragrance Department by Zachary Rosenbaum

down with Professor Bonofiglio to learn a little bit more about the science of smells, and its close association with sexuality. Zach Rosenbaum: Tell us about the Cosmetics & Fragrance Marketing program at FIT. What do students typically learn and what makes it so unique?

Photo courtesy of

Prior to arriving at FIT to become a full time professor, Virginia Bonofiglio worked in the fragrance industry for many years. Her stellar sense of smell and knowledge of scents have landed her the position as chairperson of the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing department, where students come from all over the world to work in the Annette Green Fragrance Foundation Studio. This major is the only program of its kind in the entire country. It blends hands-on learning with academic study, chemistry, liberal arts and marketing courses in order to prepare students for the multifaceted beauty industry. Students are assigned a mentor, who guides them as they learn to create and evaluate fragrances, intern at a top cosmetics or fragrance firm and visit local manufacturers to broaden their industry knowledge. Fragrance is closely tied to emotions, and when we think of scents, we often think of sensuality and attraction to others. I sat

the part of the brain that controls feelings, emotions and memories. Studies have been conducted that suggest specific scents act as sexual arousers, both in lower animals and in the human species. It is through scent that many animals are sexually aroused, informing them when their mates are “in heat” so to speak.

ZR: Does scent evoke emotional recollection? Does scent trigger memories? VB: The relationship between scent and memory is well documented. Everyone has their own scent triggers, a smell that will take them back to a place in

Virginia Bonofiglio: The CFM program at FIT offers a Bachelor of Science degree with a focus on the cosmetics, fragrance and toiletries industries. Students are challenged to study marketing, product development, fragrance evaluation, analytics and chemistry. They spend time in the fragrance and cosmetics studio developing products and understanding the chemistry of these products, their stability and the regulations surrounding them. They also learn the business aspects of these industries including, but not limited, to COGs, finance, sales, marketing analytics, effects of social media, public relations, trends and forecasting. Sustainability and corporate responsibility are also part of the curriculum. The objective is to provide real life experiences for students, so they spend time in industry through internships and by having an industry executive as a mentor during their time in the program. From the baccalaureate program we have also developed a Master of Professional Studies degree in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing/ Management and a certificate program in perfumery. ZR: Is there any known relation between the olfactory system and sexual desire? VB: The sense of smell is directly related to the limbic region of the brain. This is Photography by Zachary Rosenbaum



their memory bank. Sometimes it’s a fond memory, like bread baking in their grandmother’s home, while sometimes it is an unpleasant memory such as the stench of garbage, when, as a child they drove past the garbage dump on their way home. As part of a research project which students here at FIT undertook, we found that popular scent triggers for college age students included smells such as freshly cut grass, Chanel No.5 (perhaps worn by their mothers) and brewing coffee. ZR: Who has a better sense of smell— men or women? VB: Studies show that generally women have a better sense of smell than men, but we do not have statistics as to whether this a cultural phenomenon or a physiological one. A woman’s sense of smell is affected during her menstrual cycle, as hormonal changes take place. ZR: Do men and women favor different scents?


VB: Choice of fragrance is very individual. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to fragrance. Looking at statistical data, like launch numbers and sales data, we see that mainly floral fragrances are targeted to women, while fougère (a French term for fern-like notes, coined by Paul Parquet who created Fougère Royale) types of scents top the men’s charts. ZR: Do any scents function as aphrodisiacs? Are there any particularly “sexy” scents? VB: Most information about aphrodisiacs is folkloric when it comes to fragrance. Some studies have shown that men are turned on by the smell of pumpkin pie and/or licorice. We tend to think that scents that women determine as “sexy” are ones that exhibits notes like musk, or “manly” scents. ZR: What are the components (chemical or natural) of the average perfume or cologne? How are they typically created?

“We use scent to encourage specific types of behavior and to create environments in which people will remain. This is true for stores like Abercrombie & Fitch that have a pungent, recognizable smell.” VB: The average fine fragrance oil can have as many as 100 ingredients, while some have as few as 15. The components are usually a mixture of aromatic chemicals and natural essential oils. This blend is then mixed with alcohol and distilled water to create a wearable fragrance. Perfumers are the artists who create fragrances. They study for about seven years before they are considered perfumers. Their training begins at a perfumery school such as ISIPCA in Versaille, France or with a fragrance oil company such as Givaudan or Firmenich. They spend their time developing an olfactive memory and studying how ingredients work together to create specific scent profiles. ZR: Where is the best spot to apply scent on our bodies and why do scents that we wear change with time?

VB: Fragrances should be applied to pulse points on the body. The heat of the body causes the fragrance to evaporate. We are only able to smell things that are in a gaseous state. Evaporation must occur before we can perceive a scent. ZR: How can scent affect behavior, particularly with consumers? VB: Scent marketing is a growing field. We use scent to encourage specific types of behavior and to create environments in which people will remain. This is true for stores like Abercrombie & Fitch that have a pungent, recognizable smell. We hope that the consumer will identify specific products and places with appealing scents, such as men’s shirt store Thomas Pink and their signature scent of fresh linen.




What the Health?

Nutrients of Sex by Desiree Perez

Many couples don’t know the cure for their alienated relationships...or even their colds. Those who have sex frequently have probably figured it out that, yes, sex is the answer to it all. Whether you want to prevent a cold, get rid of a headache or just get that feel-good sensation, sex is there for you. Want to cure insomnia for the night? Look no further. Now I understand why my mom’s doctor told her to have sex. Weird, I know. But after this article I promise, you’ll understand too. IgA



During a study on 111 college students at Wilkes-Barre University in Pennsylvania, it was found that students who have sex frequently are less prone to colds. A survey was distributed asking the number of times participants had sex every week. After that, their saliva was examined for levels of immunoglobulin A, also known as IgA. The higher the levels of IgA, the less prone one is to getting a cold. It turns out that those having sex twice a week had higher levels of IgA.

I'm sure you've all heard the joke about offering sex when your partner has a headache. Well, it's hypothesized that during an orgasm the rush of endorphins is the main factor that kills headaches or at least numbs them. Endorphins are known to be the body's natural response in eliminating headaches. They're compared to the chemical properties of morphine since they have the same effects. They kill headaches and also make you drift off to sleep. You'll know the feeling if you've ever felt sleepy right after sex.

Most of the time, after climaxing most don't want to be bothered with sex again right away. This is due to the chemical the body produces after orgasm, which is prolactin. When this hits the bloodstream, sexual arousal declines and you no longer want to think about sex. So next time your partner wants to go for round two and you don't, explain to them it's not you, it's the prolactin.

Contractions Have you ever wondered why women lose control of their bladder? It has nothing to do with age but rather the amount of strength your pelvic floor muscles have. This can only be strengthened by doing Kegel exercises or having sex. Just like Kegel exercises, your pelvic muscles contract during sex. This eventually makes your pelvic floor stronger. Oh, and it makes giving birth easier.

Oxytocin Ahh, the feel good rush you get when you climax. It’s sometimes related to the euphoric feeling of cocaine or heroin because the drug increases your oxytocin levels. But you can get a glimpse of it too without drugs. After you climax and you get that urge to hug and spoon with your partner, that’s the oxytocin at work.

Serotonin Here is the ultimate anti-depressant. When your serotonin levels go up, you get an emotionally balanced feeling that makes you less inclined to be depressed. On the contrary, you feel prepared, satisfied and joyful. Raising serotonin levels is what pharmaceutical anti-depressants do to the brain when taken.

S&M: Safe or Malignant? When you hear the phrase S&M or sadomasochism, would you say you think of pleasure or pain? Sorry, but “Fifty Shades of Grey” doesn’t count. Some may think of pleasure and some of pain depending on how extreme the acts are. Those who partake in BDSM (Bondage & Discipline, SadoMasochism) feel a sense of pleasure. But is there more than physical pleasure? Is sexual domination related to a negative psychological effect that can later affect them? Contrary to popular thought, S&M enthusiasts appear to be happier and better off than you and me. In a study conducted by psychologist Andreas Wismeijer and statistician Marcel van Assen at Tilburg University in the Netherlands comparing those who are involved in S&M and those who aren’t, the results revealed that the S&M participants were psychologically more stable and happier than the ones who didn’t participate. But how? After all, sado-masochism is considered a sexual disorder according to the International Classification of Diseases. How could those with sexual disorders be psychologically stable? Dr. Wismeijer, claimed that S&M enthusiasts only differ from ordinary people in a favorable manner; the enthusiasts are more open to new experiences and tend to be extroverted. Published in “The Journal of Sexual Medicine,” the study explained that those involved with S&M are “characterized by a set of balanced, autonomous and beneficial personality characteristics.” Rather than being considered a disorder, psychologists are starting to compare it to a recreational leisure. No wonder S&M clubs exist.




Vibrators, Lube and Strap-Ons – Oh My! by Cassandra Laper

Sex stores may be the norm in 2014, but why is it that we rarely discuss the merchandise? As a culture, we don’t talk about sex and its various toys often at all. Lucky for us, there is a store that was conceived in the beloved West Village over 40 years ago, that is looking to change that. Sex IS back, and baby, it’s a beautiful thing. Pleasure Chest is not like other adult stores, it is a sex positive marketplace. The front of the West Village location has a few window displays of handcuffs, lube and vibrators. Inside the store, the atmosphere is comfortable and open. How open you may be wondering? The associate I had the pleasure of speaking with had an “I (heart) fisting!” pin on. The associates are all trained prior to working on the floor to become knowledgeable about all products and there is a

certified sex specialend of the class, we ist within the store had a whole strip at all times. The tease routine down help doesn’t stop which we finished there. Their website with a few booty has how-to videos on shakes and a body most of the prodroll that would have ucts and also offer landed us right on free classes at their Photo courtesy of top of our partners. Upper East Side To add the cherry on location. Some of the classes available top of a sexy night, we got 15% off afterthroughout the month include Pop His wards on any merchandise in the store. Rocket: A Guide to Handling Your Guy, Pleasure Her Perfect and Sleazy Saturday. On the other hand, not all of us are looking for a journey through the wonderful Now you may be wondering how the class- world of sex toys and fetish equipment. es work, the atmosphere and what could The Erotica, located on the east corner of you possibly learn, (it’s just sex, right?) 27th Street and 8th Avenue, has the basics – just don’t go there alone. There just so happened to be a Burlesque Tease 101 class that was attended by (you guessed it) me. It started off slow with The Erotica is a clean and fairly typical introductions and such. However, by the sex shop with men coming out of “Adult

Only” back rooms. If you have questions about the products, you will have to consult Google Translate for more detail, as the associates speak very poor English. However, you can find various pornographic DVDs, such as the classic scandal that was: Farrah Abraham’s “Backdoor Teen Mom.” The realistic dildos had tape over the heads and tobacco bowls were on display near the cashier. In short, if you’re looking for a quick stop to get some lube (not a wonderful selection) or some kinky toys for a low price, The Erotica is great. No one asks questions, no one judges and hey, you may even see a peepshow. By contrast, if you need information, high quality toys and maybe want to learn to seduce your partner – head over to The Pleasure Chest, I know that’s where I’ll be in times of a sex toy crisis.

Photo courtesy of

dear industry Sex Apps Take New Twist On This Taboo Subject by Aaron Valentic

Valentine’s Day: one holiday, countless emotions (depending on your relationship status). A day where couples spend every waking moment with each other, fulfilling their so-called “duties” as lovers. Whether it be through sending bouquets of flowers, paying for extravagant meals to celebrate their love (which may cost half your paycheck these days), or getting down and dirty in the boudoir, it happens on Valentine’s Day. But this antiquated holiday is about to get a major wake-up call from none other than our cell phones. To our continued amazement, every day there are countless phone apps introduced that feature an array of topics, from social media, shopping, to everyday utilities. Apps that focus on the topic of sex are becoming less taboo in this day and age, especially because the topic was hardly even discussed privately 50 years ago. But because sex has become a mainstream subject, companies are beginning to take note that even some of the most taboo and controversial ideas can even become apps. So instead of soaking up time with your significant other this Valentine’s Day, grab your cell phone and surf the web for the next great advancement in sex—who cares about dinner anyway?

Sex With Google Glass As one of the most revolutionizing products of the 21st century, Google Glass is about to take users to the next level. Established by Wearable Tech Hackathon in London, the Sex With Google Glass app allows couples to experience sex from each other’s points-of-view. When users state, “OK Glass, it’s time,” it directs the app to record the couple. Couples can also use the sidebar to help zoom in and out, as well as allow themselves to change perspectives so that they can view each other from different angles. Additionally, the app allows the users to select mood music as well as pick from a list of sex positions. When you’re finished, you just have to say, “OK Glass, pull out” and the video can be played for up to five hours before being deleted permanently.

Photos courtesy of,,,

HappyPlayTime Masturbation: everybody does it, nobody likes to talk about it (especially women). And that is what HappyPlayTime is all about. One of the more controversial apps, it addresses female masturbation, and aims to help women learn to explore themselves through an interactive, instructional game. The app, which features “Happy, the Friendly Neighborhood Vulva,” allows users to track statistical information on how many women worldwide masturbate regularly as well as submit their own habits to a global online community. Happy hopes to help women by liberating them from the stigma surrounding female masturbation while teaching them how to understand their own bodies.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


An unlikely pairing, but Bill and Melinda Gates are in search of the newest and greatest condom technology, to which they are rewarding $100,000 in grants to get this new technology produced and $1 million in rewards if the product is successful. Over 800 designs were presented to the Gates’ foundation in the hopes of improving condom design, including one designed to feel like skin (made from collagen fibers from cows’ Achilles tendons or fish skin), a “one-size-fits-all” condom with memory shapewear and a condom with pull tabs to be applied in a single-motion.

It has only been a few years since Pinterest swept over the social media world and millions of DIY and fashion obsessed users swooned over the chance to organize their personal tastes ranging from books to cooking, decorating to fashion. PinGay is the homosexual counterpart to Pinsex (a porn version of Pinterest), and, like Pinterest, is a social media platform that allows users to upload, share, save and peruse the (NSFW) pictures and gifs. It also allows users to follow one another based on their preferences, to comment on pins and to see what has been repinned.




Start Making Love, Not Porn by Britt Bivens

As an action-oriented business strategist and disruptor, Cindy Gallop is an agent of change. Her latest project aims to educate and change the way we think and talk about sex and to get it out from behind the shame wall. She’s building a community whose primary mission is to show that not only is sex not a dirty “thing” but that there are many perspectives, as well as preferences, and that it’s all acceptable. Welcome to a judgment-free zone. Gallop is a sexy, authoritative woman in her early 50s. She’s cool, modern and has a penchant for black leather, in which she looks amazing. It’s these qualities that make her appealing to the considerably younger guys she usually dates and it’s those guys who triggered her thinking that something was very wrong about young people’s perception of sex. After several encounters with such men, she noticed that the accompanying weird faces and positions looked familiar and she came to a realization: these guys thought that their porn-like movements were what they were supposed to do while making

Photo courtesy of Alexandros Papakonstantinou

love. This prompted Gallop to think about the difference between sex in the porn world and sex in the real world, leading to the creation of Gallop first garnered attention for at a TED conference in 2009. Back then, it was little more than an idea, based on an assump-

tion she had. Her bold talk (that famously repeated the phrase “cum on my face” six times in less than six minutes to the discomfort of many) soon went viral. She

was unprepared for the response she got, especially because she didn’t expect much of one, besides the potential shock. “What amazes everyone is that I got up on the stage and I talked about and am doing something about, what everyone knows and nobody ever speaks about.” And so, was formally launched. For the past five years, Gallop has received thousands of emails from visitors around the world telling her what a positive impact the site has had on them. She says, “The cumulative impact of those emails arriving, day after day after day… that began making me feel that I had a personal responsibility to take this venture forward to make it more farreaching, helpful and effective.”

more revealing about the anonymous writer than her or her site. When she responds, she signs off with the insult that they’ve slung at her and uses her wicked sense of humor to diffuse the negativity. And sometimes, she befriends them, as was the case with an especially angry naysayer who turned out to be a 28-year-old computer programming virgin. Praise, requests for advice and stories of empowerment land regularly in Gallop’s inbox right alongside the disapprovals. Emails also come from partners of those mimicking porn stars, those who realized that they are doing the mimicking themselves, and horrified parents who have discovered that their kids are watching porn and who need to know how to talk to them about it.

Her bold talk (that famously repeated the “What I have to is that The result? phrase “cum emphasize MakeLoveNotPorn MakeLoveNotPorn. not anti-porn. The tv. While on my face” isissue we’re attacking MakeLoveNotPorn. isn’t porn. We are com speaks to six times in attacking this comthe disconnect plete absence in between porn and less than society of an open,our real world sex, honest, MakeLoveNotPorn. six minutes healthy, truthful discussion tv shows us the around sex in the difference. It is a to the real world.” Outside user-generated, crowd-sourced video- discomfort of of being taught the mechanics of sex by sharing platform parents and/or that celebrates real many) soon our school (if we even world sex; “it’s not that), there is performative,” says went viral. get very little additional Gallop, clarifying the difference. And while MakeLoveNotPorn-stars (as they are known) participate in an income-sharing model, some of them didn’t even know that until after uploading their videos. Gallop says, “The vast majority have never filmed themselves having sex before. It’s the very first time they’ve ever done it and they’re doing it for us because they believe in our social mission.” As an outspoken social media participant, Gallop is often the target of criticism. She’s learned, however, that most of it stems from fear and that it is usually

information given to us and thus porn often becomes the manual from which we learn. This she finds disparaging and says, “A lot of people don’t know what their kids are looking at and it’s horrifying. I don’t even want to tell them (what I’ve heard).” Through research, Gallop discovered that children as young as six have access to porn, and that often they merely stumble upon it. Able to circumnavigate parental controls, they find the Internet is a veritable avalanche of information. With their tech-savvy minds at play, an unknown

word or term becomes an automatic Google search and this becomes dangerous, as they have no understanding, let alone context for their young minds to process the images they’re seeing. Not surprisingly, the majority of subscribers to are from India, Pakistan, China and other countries where sex is usually suppressed. As a life topic that is rarely discussed in public, Gallop feels that the business community is missing out on a huge potential market when they ignore sex and her site. She admits that people are misled if they don’t look any deeper, and that media coverage often defaults to the obvious, “the sex, the salaciousness and the stereotypes,” she says. And it was this that challenged her while getting funded and setting up payment platforms. One of her stories about founding MakeLoveNotPorn. com involves being asked to take her business elsewhere by Chase Bank when they discovered the content. “And yet,” she says, “the manager said that he personally didn’t have a problem with it.” Go figure.

Cindy Gallop is busy. This former advertising executive runs her businesses, consults and is a regular speaker for conferences discussing advertising, business strategy and Changing the Ratio (look it up!). She’ll be hosting an upcoming panel during Social Media Week, entitled “Changing the World Through Sex” at 3 p.m. on Feb. 20 and sponsored by, appropriately enough, leading condom manufacturer Durex.




Your Ultimate Valentine’s Day Beauty Guide by Dianna Mazzone

We get it: Valentine’s Day is all about spending time with that special someone. But who says that special somebody can’t be you? There’s something major to be said about looking and feeling your best for your own sake – and if it catches a certain someone’s eye, it’s just a bonus! That being said, we’ve rounded up our top picks for the best in glitter-y, blush-toned Valentine’s Day-worthy makeup sure to please the number one person in your life: you!

In true Valentine’s Day spirit, the first thing we said when we saw this luxe lipstick was “be mine.” If there’s such a thing as an investment cosmetic, this has to be it — this glam gold tube will never go out of style.

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Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine Lipstick in Pink In Devotion, $35, available at Nordstrom.

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like roses — and we’ll take ours in balm form, please. This cult classic from By Terry is celebrating its tenyear anniversary: Here’s to one long-term relationship that’s stood the test of many V-Days.

It was love at first site when we dusted on Hourglass’ new Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow. We love the subtle dimension (not to mention pretty packaging) of this buildable blush.

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow, $35, available at

Can a fragrance capture the feeling of being swept off your feet? With notes of bergamot, blue violet, lotus blossom and purple passion fruit, Philosophy’s newest scent, Loveswept, comes close.

No matter how antiValentine’s you may be, it’s argue to argue with a classic, fire engine red nail. It’s perfect for a day that’s all about love –- or any day, for that matter!

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

By Terry Rose Balm 10 Year Anniversary Edition, $60, available at Barneys.

Philosophy Loveswept Eau de Toilette, $46, available at Sephora.

Formula X for Sephora in Pyrotechnic, $10.50, available at Sephora.

feature Pulling Out the Method by Desiree Perez

I admit: I’m part of the coitus interruptus generation, otherwise known as the pullout generation. I’m not a 30-something year old woman who’s been through several contraceptive methods to ultimately know which one was right but the pull-out method just felt more comfortable. I have relied on the pull-out method for various reasons. Reason number one: I don’t want to suffer pharmaceutical birth control side

Sense of Control After Ann Friedman wrote the article “No Pill? No Prob. Meet the Pullout Generation,” for New York Magazine, feminist groups and sex educators became appalled by the idea of using withdrawal as a pregnancy prevention method. Feminists claim that it takes away a woman’s control and power. Yet some say it only takes the control away from other methods such as the condom, but overall it gives women more control over their bodies, their health and sexuality. “It gives them a sense of control over their sex lives...By the time you’re in your thirties, a woman is exhausted from the cost of the pill, having to remember and the effect it has on their body,” said psychologist Frances Victory, a psychology professor at FIT. Not only do women want to feel they have control over the side effects they go through, but they also want to lessen the stress they endure by just getting a hold of the pill. That’s where the pull-out method takes the stress away and the partner comes into play.

It Takes Two Another sense of control comes from the woman being relieved that the contraceptive burden is not only placed on her, but her partner as well. The woman isn’t going to suffer from side effects, but for the first time it feels good to divide the responsibility. Shouldn’t feminists be proud?

effects. Reason number two: condoms cause friction and are uncomfortable. Reason number three: I have a partner I trust. Reason number four...okay, I think you get the point. There’s not just one reason why the pull-out method is becoming more popular. Nevertheless, those same reasons are being contradicted and denied by both feminists and gynecologists.

Assuming the woman has chosen a good partner whom she can trust and who can trust himself when ejaculating, pulling out on time shouldn’t be a problem. “Granted, my fiancé pulls out like ten seconds prior to coming, but it doesn’t hurt the mood,” said a 32-year-old woman to The Huffington Post.

It is a Form of Contraceptive When I posted a question on Yahoo Answers about pulling out as a contraceptive; right away I got several negative responses. “Pulling out is so stupid cause it’s not a form of contraceptive...Those are for little girls who are ashamed of getting real birth control... Pulling out doesn’t work…” Well, strangely enough, the same New York Magazine article cited 30-year-olds as prime users of the method. Plus, according to Planned Parenthood, pulling out is a form of contraception; its effectiveness percentage is a few numbers under the efficacy of condoms. If used correctly and during the right stages in your ovulatory cycle, the pull-out method is 97% effective. Not bad, huh? So I must ask again, what’s the big deal?

It Is Effective The reputation of the pull-out method not working may come from when a woman “accidentally” gets pregnant and the doctor asks her what was her form of contraception, if any. And the woman answers the pull-out method. This may

be the cause of the negative connotation with the pull-out method as doctors and gynecologists will mark it as if an unsuccessful and therefore poor contraceptive. But recent studies have shown that, like with every form of contraception, not all women are consistent with the method or don’t get the timing right. The same factors apply to the pill. “Many contraceptives are short-acting and require a lot of action on the part of a woman,” said Dr. Kari Braaten, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Using a condom, having a condom, going to the store or pharmacy to get one. Refilling the pill, taking it every day, getting a prescription refilled. Travel and moving. So many issues make these contraceptive methods difficult to use or to be consistent about.” If the pullout method was used correctly and consistently, four out of 100 couples would get pregnant in a year; that’s two fewer couples than the ones that use condoms. As for the couples that don’t use the pullout method correctly, there would be 18 couples that would get pregnant; that’s one more couple than the ones incorrectly using a condom.

It Is Risky Just like every other contraceptive method, the pull-out method has proven to be effective when used correctly, but there are still risks involved. With the pull-out method there is a bigger likelihood that there will be a slip. It may occur because your partner felt too good, you didn’t

want him to pull out — or maybe the position was to blame. The pull-out method is considered risky because it’s a last minute decision contraceptive. Unlike the condom or pill that’s put into play before intercourse, the pull-out method is decided during intercourse, during those last minutes which are considered the best. At anytime, one’s willpower can break down just to experience those last climatic seconds. Part of the reason why 30-year-olds are the main demographic using this method is because most of them don’t have a problem having a slip. “We found that people tend to use the withdrawal method when they’re not really planning ahead,” explained Dr. Annie Dude, a resident in obstetrics and gynecology at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, to Reuters. com. Not planning ahead and living for the moment doesn’t seem to be a problem for most of these women partaking in the pull-out method. On the contrary, they feel prepared enough to deal with the consequences if the method fails. In an article in The Huffington Post, eight women were interviewed and some of them didn’t have a problem with the risk. One woman shared her thoughts on the possibility of pregnancy, saying,”Both of us are comfortable in our relationship and if something DOES happen, then that’s okay.”




The Art of Prostitution by Daniela Rios

Photos courtesy of,,

Even before Times Square became the nation’s center of the hustle-bustle universe where wide-eyed tourists in parkas gravitated and the headache-provoking illuminated advertisements blared, Times Square was a hotbed of criminal activity. Today, if you were to hear about “The Pimps and Prostitutes of Times Square,” your first reaction would probably be to excitedly ask about when tickets for this new risqué Broadway musical would be available. It’s not your fault if you react this way, since anyone born in the 90s and even 80s may not have the slightest idea of what Times Square and its habitués were like before its commercialization. Most New Yorkers avoid Times Square for everything it is today — a parade of costumed characters and performers looking for some cash in exchange for a picture and tourists asking for directions. But would these have been the same reasons to avoid Times Square throughout most of the last century? In fact, Times Square was made up of blocks upon blocks of sex shops that, as author Samuel L. Delany put it, provided a “harmless, playful way to subvert stuffy bourgeois morality.” Times Square used to have a very inscrutable charm to it, it’s own

feel and many people who were around to witness it during that time tend to reflect on its grimier days with a hint of nostalgia. Rewind to 1972, the year that bartender Sheldon Nadelman started photographing his patrons. The Terminal Bar was located across from the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 41st Street and 8th Avenue, and was coined one of the city’s roughest bar. Nadelman took over 1,500 black-andwhite images of these people, some of which he referred to as “winos and girls who were on something.” There is even a photograph of the “wino wall” located just outside the bar through The Terminal’s side door. He captured hustlers on the street selling marijuana and cocaine and wanderers in and outside the bar. Every portrait that Nadelman took throughout his ten years at the Terminal Bar has a unique story. Despite their business on the street and behind closed doors, most of the pimps Nadelman photographed were dressed in brimmed cloche hats, peacoats and button-down shirts with generously proportioned collars. These pimps, prostitutes and hustlers have disappeared along with The Terminal Bar, which has been replaced with new businesses since.

Yet prostitution was not exclusive to Times Square: pimps and prostitutes (often referred to as “sex workers”) have occupied other boroughs for decades and are still mostly active in the lower-income neighborhoods of New York City to this day. Photographer Chris Arnade, a modern day Nadelman, goes beyond the sidewalks and into the homes (or temporarily living spaces) of these people who only wish for a better life but are unable to break free from their destructive lifestyles. His main goal was to take conventional photos of unconventional people. Arnade photographs addicts who prostitute in order to buy more drugs, cranking the never-ending vicious cycle of addiction. A vast majority of his subjects live in Hunts Point, one of the poorest congressional districts in the United States with an average family income of only $16,000 annually. Many of these people who prostitute for money were sexually abused as children, and their molesters were often family members. These individuals never

received any type of help or counseling, and eventually ended up in the hands of johns, pimps and others who are unable to offer positive help. In areas such as Jackson Heights, Queens, these women (many of whom are transsexuals) are treated with more respect. One of the prostitutes, Isabel, assured that, “Everyone here is respectful of us, except for a few knuckleheads. Even the police, some even hug us and tell us to be safe.” Arnade added a sincere, personal comment under one of Isabel’s photographs, stating that the transsexual, transgender community of prostitutes (most of whom are Black or Hispanic) who work on Roosevelt Avenue are some of the kindest and most welcoming people he has ever encountered. Arnade was amazed by their acceptance of him, a straight white male, wanting a closer look into their lives. But this phenomenon isn’t occurring solely in the US: In the visually poetic documentary “Whore’s Glory,” you can


W27 get a gist of the different ways prostitution is handled in different parts of the world. It has evolved into a profitable business and the modern day “pimps” depend on their girls for survival. The documentary focuses on three countries: Bangladesh, Thailand and Mexico. One prostitute in Bangladesh pointed out, “Outside, they’re disgusted by us. In here, they love us and our bodies. The outside world pushes us out of the way to make room,” referring to most of their clients who show no respect for prostitutes whenever they’re out living their normal lives. A look at Thailand depicted some of the more “upscale” brothels where women sit behind a glass wall with a number tacked onto their shirt, ready to be analyzed and picked by the men in front of the glass who are being guided and advised, one by one, by the brothel’s “salesperson.” Most of these men think of this as a normal recreational activity they engage in while doing business overseas. One of the men argued that he loved his wife, and that he just came here to have a little fun but it didn’t mean anything emotional, that these girls simply provide things that his wife can’t offer. Prostitutes are constantly treated like lesser humans by society and these women struggle to understand why. Young girls in Bangladesh, who should be in school, are sent to live in brothels by their own families who depend on them for financial support. They are exploited, verbally and physically abused in these brothels,


both by customers and by their bosses. An article written in 2013 by Karen Mathews focused on New York’s shift in the way it handles victims of sex trafficking. The court system ought to be changed in order to provide programs to help these victims live a healthier and more productive life, the author advises. It would also change the way it treats prostitutes once under arrest. “We have to think differently about how we prosecute prostitution cases and who we prosecute to combat the exploitation and the demand that fuel human trafficking,” said a Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice. New York State has a new network of 11 statewide Human Trafficking Intervention Courts for those 16 years and older. The new Safe Harbor laws that are

slowly being passed in a growing number of states aim to stop treating these vulnerable youths involved in prostitution

as victims rather than as criminals. Advocates on behalf of youthful sex workers say the sooner the better. But don’t expect the Times Square of the 21st century to revert to its seedier days anytime soon.







Nothing says sex quite like 1970s glamour. But, can this larger than life era translate to modern day? Looking to Jodie Foster’s star turn as teenage prostitute Iris in 1976’s Taxi Driver, we reinterpreted big hats, big sunglasses, & most especially — big hair.

Model: Angelica Berry Hair and makeup: Autumn Marie Look 1 sunglasses:House of Holland fur jacket: Stylists Own bra: American Apparel Look 2 shoes: Opening Ceremony Look 3 fur jacket: stylists own Look 4 fur cuff: Opening Ceremony Look 5 fur jacket: stylists own hat: Arielle de Pinto




The LGBTQQ Community: Progress, Regression, A Continuous Battle by Yesica Balderrama

Tegan Quin from the band Tegan and Sara said, “You are not a bad person because you are gay. You are you because you are you; and you were meant to be you, so be you proudly.” It’s unfortunate but true that discrimination has existed against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQQ) community for as long as we can remember. Even today, in some Islamic nations in Africa, it is a crime punishable by death. This discrimination has produced a torrent of hate, rage and regrettably, physical abuse. The Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Campus Climate for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Survey (Rankin, 2003) found that 36% of LGBT respondents had experienced harassment within the past year, with

89% of this harassment being in the form of derogatory remarks (79% of which came from fellow students). Aiming to abolish this discrimination, FIT, along with 220 colleges/universities, has created “Safe Zones” where departments are trained on LGBTQQ issues, terminology and ways to support those in need. Likewise, many groups continue to combat this harassment. However, the fight for equality is ongoing, and the LGBTQQ community continues to face some victories and more than a few setbacks.

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS In 2000, Vermont became the first state in the country to grant legal recognition to same-sex civil unions, and Boston the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004. Since then, same-sex marriage has been legalized in seventeen states in the US, and civil unions have been legalized

in five states. Conversely, twenty-nine states also passed constitutional bans on same sex-marriage. Laws to protect the safety of the LGBTQQ community have also been signed into action. In 2009 Obama signed the Hate Crimes Protection Act, named after two victims of hate crimes: Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. The latter was a fortynine year old black man dragged to his death in the back of a truck in Texas, and the first was a twenty-one year old gay college student tortured to death by homophobes in Wyoming. In 2013, the Boy Scouts lifted their ban on gay youth, and later that year, Exodus International, a group that claimed to cure same-sex attraction through therapy and prayer, closed its doors after more than three decades. The Supreme Court repealed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which defined marriage as being only between a man and a woman, and declared it unconstitutional in June 2013. The repeal of DOMA grants legally gay married couples federal benefits such as Social Security and family leave. This month the Justice Department announced new federal benefits that will give “lawful same-sex marriages full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the law,” according to Attorney General Eric Holder. These rights will also extend to those who live in states that do not legally recognize same-sex marriage.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS A survey conducted in the spring by the Pew Research Center shows the least tolerant attitudes towards LGBTQQ people are in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa. Compared to a survey from 2007, attitudes towards LGBTQQ individuals are now more positive in the U.S. and Canada while Russia is showing

Photos courtesy of and

the greatest decline in human rights support from 20 to 16 percent. A connection was found between attitudes towards LGBTQQ individuals and economic development: the more tolerant nations have greater levels of entrepreneurship, wellbeing and life satisfaction as well as more freedom, greater gender equality, and less corruption. Seventeen countries have legalized samesex unions, and the United States and Mexico have partially legalized same-sex unions. The Netherlands was the first country to start the wave in 2001 followed by Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, Brazil, France, Uruguay, New Zealand, Britain, and Scotland (which just legalized same sex marriage recently). While same-sex marriage rights have increased in some parts of the globe, there are still 77 countries that outlaw it, classing it as sodomy. In June 2013, Russia’s Duma State passed a controversial law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” by a legislation vote of 436-0, and placed a stop to the adoption of Russian children by gay couples. These laws are efforts to “preserve and promote traditional Russian values.” It fines citizens up to 5,000 rubles ($156) for distributing information to minors about gay-related culture, and up to 200,000 rubles ($6,250) for doing so

on the Internet. Media organizations risk fines of one million rubles and shutdown of their activity for 90 days. Foreigners are exempt from fines but still face arrest for 15 days and deportation. These laws contribute to an already existing anti-gay sentiment left over from the Stalin era. Since then, LGBTQQ Russians face an increased risk of physical threat, and numerous attacks have already made headlines. Moscow’s leading gay clubs have suffered outright assault and the Occupy Pedophilia organization has carried out sting operations where gay men are abducted and humiliated online and protesters risk public beatings and ridicule. LGBTQQs face discrimination elsewhere in Asia and Africa with India, Uganda and Nigeria passing anti-gay laws last year. India, the second-largest nation in the world with 1.2 billion people, reinstated a sodomy law making same-sex relationships illegal. Those found guilty are to be jailed and prosecuted. In Uganda LGBTQQ citizens will be jailed for life. The law also criminalizes the promotion of homosexuality and makes reporting homosexual activities illegal. Nigeria has banned same-sex marriage, made the advocacy of LGBTQQ rights illegal and also threatens to jail same-sex couples for affection in public.



by Rachel Basel

It’s no secret that sex is a huge component of college culture and an ever-present topic discussed on campuses all over the country (as well as in this very issue of W27!). But what if you’re not having it? Some people may think virginity is a tired subject now that we’re no longer in high school and have stopped living in our parent’s homes. But surprise! For many, virginity is still relevant and something that can have multiple reasons behind whether to keep it or not. Thanks to Disney princess movies and cliché romance novels, many of us may have grown up feeling somewhat brainwashed with ideas of finding the “perfect person” with whom to eventually “go all the way” with. But as grown-ups, we have learned that life isn’t that simple and that sex isn’t that black and white.

In the world of clichés, religion may be seen as one of the main reasons people wait to engage in sexual activities. But in reality, we’re all unique individuals who may or may not have lost our virginity for our own personal reasons. Some people may be waiting to marry the person they love, while others simply have yet to meet someone they find trustworthy enough “do it” with. Or not do it at all. Sex is not life-changing for everyone and there shouldn’t be a sense of pressure to have it. We all have our own morals, values and standards, especially when it comes to physical closeness with other people — and that’s perfectly all right. The only thing that’s wrong is the idea that your sex life should define who you are. Below, two students whose names are withheld by request, share why they have either chosen to lose their virginity or not.



People act like being a virgin is so out of the ordinary nowadays. It’s not like I can’t get a nice piece of ass, I choose to wait for the person I will be with forever. I’ve been told I have a different view of sex than most other people. To me, sex is any genital contact. Vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex, hand sex, any part of another individual touching the others genitals is considered sex. Half of those activities have the word “sex” built into the name and to me, the mouth and the hand are the same concept and deliver the same pleasure. I choose not to have sex before marriage for a number of reasons. For one, it should mean more than a few minutes of physical pleasure with your significant other. In my opinion, when people save their virginity for someone truly special it means more in the future. My boyfriend is not a virgin but he is respectful of my morals and decision to wait to have sex until after we are married. Not only is it something special, but it also gives you and your partner something exciting to look forward to. I chose to stabilize my worldview based on the Bible being my axiom. God created sex to exist after marriage to protect us from disease, prevent the birth of children out of wedlock and to lower the chances of being emotionally connected to someone who may be temporary. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy, but it is absolutely possible. When you know why you have a strong opinion about something, it makes it a lot easier not to be swayed in the opposite direction. Knowing why you believe something is important because most likely, you will come into contact with someone who will challenge you. For me, knowing why I choose to wait to have sex and surrounding myself with people who accept and agree with my morals makes life much easier.

There is a saying that if you don’t have sex you’re a prude, but if you do have sex, you’re a slut. People try to make this seem true, but the fact is sex doesn’t define who you are. I remember starting my freshman year of high school and all of a sudden sex seemed to be all anyone was talking about. It seemed that overnight everyone had lost their v-card and it freaked me out. Three years later, I chose to lose my virginity because I believed I was in love with the person I was “doing it” with. The timing just felt right and even though I’m not with that person anymore, I don’t regret it. Honestly, right after that first time the feeling I felt most was confusion. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that nothing had changed about me. Wasn’t sex supposed to be this huge, life-altering event where I was finally a woman? Nope, it was just sex. I think your virginity shouldn’t be taken lightly. There is a right time and person for everyone to lose it with. Some people just want to get it over with and others want to wait until after they’ve walked down the aisle. Like anything else though, it’s only as big a deal as you make of it. As long as you are safe and with someone you can trust, then that’s all that counts. Sex is just one of a zillion events in your life. Having it or not having it isn’t going to alter you. I know I made the right decision to have sex when I did. Besides, I don’t think it’s the first person you had sex with that matters; it’s your last.

Sex myths: 1. Aphrodisiacs are in your head All those foods, drinks, drugs and activities that you think are boosting your sex drive have no effect. Some of the products marketed as aphrodisiacs, like the Spanish fly, can actually cause you serious harm. In Italy, there was a study on the sexual powers of chocolate. It has none. I guess the placebo effects works just as well though. 2. A girl’s first time is always painful The reason it hurts girls a lot the first time is because they get nervous and tense up about the thought of it hurting. If they just relaxed it would feel much better. Many times, women don’t even realize that the hymen has broken before their first time. 3. You can’t get STDs from oral or anal This could not be more false. Any time there is insert and ejaculation there is a risk. With anal there is even more of a risk of getting an STD than oral or vaginal sex. While oral is definitely the least risky it never hurts to get you and your partner tested. 4. Two condoms are better than one No, just no. When you use two condoms they rub together and it is way more likely that they will rip. One condom at a time is all you need. 5. If he pulls out then it’s fine The pull out method is not an effective way to prevent pregnancy or STDs. This is never something that is going to be done perfectly, so why even try it? Just go buy some condoms. Or go re-read the pull out method article if you’re still curious! 6. Mind blowing sex comes easily Having good chemistry with someone does not always translate to instant, amazing sex. Each new person you have sex with is different and you have to relearn how to connect yourself to a person. It will improve with each time- just be honest about what you want. 7. Men want sex more than women. Men are constantly being portrayed as these intense, sexual creatures while women are shown as rarely wanting sex. The truth is women and men both have times when they want it and times when they don’t. We are all just human and have our horny and non-horny days.

Sex Facts: 1.Women have sex 17 percent more than the average guy. 2. The average female orgasm lasts 20 seconds, while a man’s only lasts an average of 6. 3. By the age of 19, approximately 70 percent of Americans have already had sex. 4. People who are more open about talking about sex have a happier sex life. 5. Around the world, about 65,000 couples are having sex at any given time. 6. Agalmatophillia is an attraction to statues or mannequins. (Be careful you fashion designers!) 7. The record for most female orgasms in an hour is 134. 8. Sperm has anti-wrinkle properties in it. 9. The average speed of a man’s ejaculation is 45 miles per hour. 10. You burn about 108 calories during 30 minutes of sex.

by Sarah Fielding

To Do It, or Not To Do It, That Is The Question


HAUTE CULTURE The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning by Francesca Beltran

I was once told that the way you spend New Years Eve inevitably defines the kind of year you’ll have. Firm believers of this axiom and sad to say farewell to an extraordinary year, my roommate Ady and I decided that the only way to end 2013 properly, and ensure a terrific 2014, was with one more journey on the road. Looking forward to leaving the ennui of everyday life, I booked my flight on, and on December 27 flew out to meet Ads in her hometown of Marburg, Germany. All I’d ever heard about the town where my friend had grown up was that it was really small, and where the Brothers Grimm had collected a number of their fairy tales. I soon understood why; the town unfolds around the Marburger Schloss, an 11th century castle, and is comprised of Gothic churches, cobbled streets and crooked wooden houses. All these, paired with a cold, foggy air, give the place an enchanting atmosphere that truly seems to come out of a fable. And yes, Marburg is small, but it’s also incredibly charming.

We spent a couple of days there in which Ady shared with me all the memories that each corner evoked, and it was then that I realized how little I knew about her life before New York. After giving me my first traditional Bratwurst (German sausage) and Gluehwein (hot wine), she introduced me to her childhood friends, who kindly welcomed me to their hometown and made me happily intoxicated at a local bar.

Thanks to the University of Marburg, the place is packed with young people, who keep the town alive and the party going. On Monday December 30, we picked up Salem, our vehicle, at Europcar and drove eight hours straight to Vienna to meet with a group of friends. We spent the first day downtown, visiting a number of touristic sites like Heldenplatz (Heroes’

Square), Hof burg Palace, and the museums quarter. After walking for a couple of hours around historic buildings, we had lunch at Café Central, a traditional (and overpriced) Viennese café that opened in 1876. Of all the beautiful architecture we saw that day, including the Rathaus (Town Hall) and the Votive Church, were particularly stunning. After a home-cooked meal that night, we joined some friends on a rooftop, where I toasted to a new year with a bunch of friendly strangers, surrounded by an astounding show of fireworks. It was one of the greatest New Year experiences of my life. Hugged and almost moved to tears, Ads and I took in the New Year thankful for our past experiences and ready to make the new ones count. When the sentimental moment passed, and the cold began to take its toll, we all headed to a club for a party, where we spent the first hours of the year dancing to good music in the company of brand new friends. At 1 in the afternoon of January 1st we finally went to bed exhausted but happy. Having slept all day on Wednesday, we woke up early the next day to do some sightseeing. The first stop was the impressive St. Stephen’s Cathedral, one of the tallest (and most beautiful) churches in the world. After walking through the gorgeous inside, we enjoyed the breathtaking view from the top, and then visited the catacombs where we had the pleasure of seeing some human skulls and skeletons. Later, while walking through


the streets of Stephansplatz, we stumbled upon Mozart’s house on Domgass street. On our last day we went to the Schönbrunn Palace, a World Cultural Heritage site, in which we learned about the Habsburg imperial family. As unexciting as this may sound, I was actually fascinated by how interesting our reluctantly-purchased audio guides turned out to be. Feeling cultured and inspired by the beautiful rooms and gardens, we then headed for the Belvedere museum to see the famous paintings of Gustav Klimt. On Saturday, we said goodbye to our friends and headed towards the mythical land of the Czech Republic. The road through Moravia was cold and misty, giving us four hours of calm and peaceful scenery. We arrived in Prague around 3 p.m. and spent the afternoon in the Old Town Square, where we saw some of the most popular sites, including Prague orloj, the oldest functioning astronomical clock in the world, the Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn, Kinský Palace and St. Nicholas Church. After being robbed by some food vendors on the street (we paid the equivalent of $30 in Czech



Museum Island, the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (yes, that’s the actual name). We spent the next morning in Treptower Park and had lunch at a small coffee place in the popular borough of Kreuzberg. After a long stroll among the charming streets, and with the quintessential photo booth strip in hand, we finally went to the Berlin Wall. Once the border to East Berlin, the East Side Gallery is now a 1.3 km long memorial that showcases over 100 paintings by artists from all over the world. That night we followed Resident Advisor’s guidance and went to a party at Chalet. There are two things worth mentioning: one, in Berlin people party until 8 a.m. on a Tuesday, and two, cute guys are friendly. Naturally, Wednesday was a day of rest, and on Thursday, after a lovely breakfast in Friedrichshain, we began the five-hour drive back to Marburg. I spent my last day saying goodbye to the lovely people I’d met, and on January 11 I left Europe ready to embrace whatever 2014 would send my way. After all, the greatest thing I learned from 2013 is that when dreams become goals, you can pursue and attain them, and like Morrissey said, “Tomorrow, after all, will not be just another day.”

Photography by Francesca Beltran

Crowns for a greasy sandwich), we pacified our indignation at a bar next to our questionably sanitary hostel. The following day we went to the Powder Tower and then to the Hradčany district to visit the Prague Castle and the stunning St. Vitus Cathedral. We ended our tour of Prague at the Golden Lane and at 5 p.m. we said farewell to Franz Kaf ka’s motherland and drove towards Berlin, where Ads’ sister, Nina, was waiting for us with another home-cooked meal. We started off our expedition of the city the following day at Alexanderplatz, where I had my first glimpse of the iconic Fernsehturm (TV tower). Walking around we saw some historical monuments like the Rotes Rathaus (Red City Hall),




Full Frontal Exposure

by Sarah Malmgren

Forget the razor. Skip the wax. There’s a new trend in town that goes against the hair-free sensation of recent years. At least, that’s the idea one sportswear retailer is promoting. In typical controversial fashion, American Apparel has unveiled its latest window display. Taking its approach to scantily clad mannequins just a bit further, their most recent display at the East Houston Street location is creating a stir. The lack of clothing isn’t what’s gaining all the attention this time, though; it’s the lack of grooming that everyone’s talking about Donning sheer white panties, bras and teddies, the three featured mannequins reveal full-fledged, unkempt pubic hair. While usually a subject kept taboo, the blatant exposure of a very private area is attracting crowds, analysis and, of course, criticism. After all, the consensus tends to be that American Apparel marketing is not merely praise of the human body like the company’s executives insist it is. Rather, it seems to be controversial for the sake of gaining attention.

According to a company representative, the displays are intended to be a Valentine’s Day celebration of the “natural” female form. “We created it to invite passersby to explore the idea of what is ‘sexy’ and consider their comfort with the natural female form,” explained the representative. “This is the same idea behind our advertisements which avoid many of the Photoshopped and airbrushed standards of the fashion industry.” Indeed, over the past few decades, the ideal arose that women should aim to recreate the smooth, hairless bodies of porn stars and bikini supermodels. Ignoring the function of pubic hair as a barrier from the elements, a large percentage of women have flocked to beauty salons and spas seeking the Brazilian wax to “take it all off.” While some see this bold move as a publicity stunt, others applaud American Apparel’s step in the direction of natural femininity. Females are becoming increasingly vocal about keeping their lower

regions untouched. Everyday women, bloggers and celebrities alike, are declaring their preference towards the look of years past when the very task of shaving “down there” wasn’t a thought at all. Throughout history, pubic hair has often been a sign of a woman’s good health and sexuality. Its presence has served as an indication that a girl has become a woman, and that alone would make it inherently sexy. In 2014 though, the notion of an unshaved woman is frequently perceived as outright unattractive. Is the image of what makes a woman “sexy” changing? Is the natural look coming back? Possibly. But for now, it’s probably safe to say that the window display in question was created in the hopes of raising a few eyebrows. Raise eyebrows it did; people started talking and now another American Apparel advertising scandal goes down in history.




Lena Dunham Says She’s Comfortable With Her Body by Dara Kenigsberg

Body image: Two words capable of evoking a range of emotions. “Do I look fat? Because I feel so fat today!” How many times have you, or someone you know, said those exact words? Unfortunately, we live in a culture where fat really is a feeling. No matter how much common sense tells you it isn’t, we are hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t fall prey to the incessant negative self-talk and body shaming that our generation of women has become conditioned to partake in. Many women become so-called role models (notice one of the key words here is models) because of their arguably skinny characteristics (and if they aren’t, then they have a stylist on staff to make them so). These are the women we see on television, magazine covers and hear about in the press; the ones we are paying attention to. Of course there are the rare celebrities like Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson who defy Hollywood norms and embrace their curvy bodies. They make you forget that they aren’t a size 0 because they are so darn funny. However they are also typecast into the same types of roles repeatedly and their careers, while highly successful, will only go so far because of their size, (like the movies Bridesmaids, Identity Thief, The Heat, Pitch Perfect and What to Expect When You Are Expecting, or the shows “Mike and Molly” and “Super Fun Night”) Enter Lena Dunham. She is probably not the first person that comes to mind when you think of body image, but after watching her naked body ravage a man in almost

every episode of HBO’s hit series “Girls,” (which she created, stars in, writes for, directs, edits and produces) body image is now being thought of in a different way.

amazing, flaws and all. She is telling us that it is okay not to be stick thin with large breasts and never-ending legs. She is telling us that it is okay to be ourselves, whomever we may be, and that no one has the right to tell us otherwise. This

Seeing her bare breasts and behind may be jarring to some, because we are more used to seeing nude women on-screen who have the measurements of a size 0, with 32DD bra and beautiful, long flowing hair. Dunham does not fit into the Hollywood ideal of a size 0 or even a 2, nor does she even come close. Yet, she is completely comfortable in her own skin. In fact, she is proud that she has not conformed to the quintessential media standard. What Dunham is doing for a generation of women by putting her entire self out there is actually Photo courtesy of

message has long gone unsaid, or at least, it wasn’t being heard. For years, the media has been scrutinized for the negative messages it sends to young women regarding body image. Pick up any fashion magazine and you’ll see retouched models wearing haute couture, styled by professionals and photographed in the best lighting. These photos are almost always Photoshopped to make the models thinner, prettier, etc. So why was anyone shocked that Dunham’s photos Photo courtesy of

were Photoshopped for her spread and cover of February’s Vogue? According to an article in The New York Times, Jezebel, a website that made its name protesting artificiality in women’s magazines, announced on Thursday its latest feminist stunt. Jezebel dangled a $10,000 bounty for anyone who could produce raw, untouched versions of photos of Lena Dunham from the new issue of Vogue, aiming to ‘reveal how many pounds Dunham lost on the Vogue diet’ of digital alteration.” Within hours, the site had six of these so-called unretouched photos, which they posted immediately, offering up their ideas on what had been done to them to make Dunham Vogueready. Nearly every model and actress that is on the cover of a fashion magazine ends up being Photoshopped or retouched in one way or another. But having viewed Dunham’s before and after photos, there was hardly any digital alterations done. So why is Jezebel is so interested in the fact that Vogue made changes to her photos? There have been no bounties for the unretouched photos for other cover models like, say, model Cara Delevingne, actress Claire Danes, or singer Beyoncé. Why make such a big deal out of Lena Dunham? If Jezebel claims to be this feminist blog, then aren’t they shooting themselves in the foot by making an example out of her instead of celebrating the fact that she is on the cover along with all the other notable women that have graced the covers of Vogue? Dunham herself responded to the controversy, telling a Slate reporter, “Vogue supported me and wanted to put a depiction of me on the cover. I never felt bullied into anything.” That is the Lena Dunham we have all grown to know and love. With the increasing use of Photoshop, the expectations for a woman’s body image become even more unrealistic and unrelenting. It’s damaging to the selfesteem, and for many, leads to insecurity and eating disorders. It has even changed the expectations of what men want to see in women, thus adding to these growing insecurities. This is what is so spectacular about Dunham, “Girls” and the way it depicts female sexuality. It finally gives viewers something that has long been lacking—reality! Lena Dunham is transforming our assumptions of what women should aspire to look like and making us laugh while doing so. You may judge her for baring it all, but that is a small price to pay if it inspires and encourages young women to feel better about themselves.




Tit for Tat: Sex in Pop Culture No Longer a Man's Game by Zachary Rosenbaum

They prance across the stage roaring and waving their booties in our faces giving their voices to the anthem of our time: sex. Audiences love it and clamor for more. Rihanna is an ambassador for sodomy and masochism, and Nicki Minaj is selling records about her “million dollar hoo-ha.” Selena Gomez wants you to “come and get it.” Lady Gaga dares you to do whatever you want with her body. Female pop stars have arrived at the realization that there are practically no boundaries, and are as willing to blazon and mime their sexual freedom as loudly as any male performer. No apologies. No regrets. Sex has manifested in today’s culture as a raving naked beast let off its leash at long last. Fifty years ago, back when sin was the main reason women covered up, leaving much room for imagination, the expression of sexual desire was all insinuation and innuendo. It crept up on a man quietly. Even celebrity stripper Gypsy Rose Lee never really gave it up entirely. I think of stars like Audrey Hepburn, Joan Crawford and Judy Garland who wowed men with their subtle femininity and womanly charisma; even when dressed seductively, there was still a minimum of bare skin and just a touch of makeup. That was then. Gone are the days of clingy turtleneck sweaters worn over curve-caressing tight skirts, now we get nipple pasties made with duct-tape worn under mesh crop-tops. Try opening up a magazine today and NOT finding a celebrity in her birthday suit, drowning in makeup and airbrush, straddling an article about how to “reach

your climax in bed.” Turn on TV and maybe you’ll catch an episode of HBO’s “Girls;” where Lena Dunham is casually nude, going about her everyday business. Switch over to MTV and witness Miley Cyrus’ newest music video, in which she’s touching herself in bed as she catches it all on a video camera. Anyway, just who popularized the term ‘twerking’ for the masses of viewers with the most vivid demonstration possible on network programming? These goings-on are neither a good thing nor a bad thing. Biologically, humans are designed so that we can “do it,” procreate, and continue our progeny. But what does this say about our society? Media makes sex so casual, which projects an unrealistic image of sex to the masses. Children are the first to pick up on it, which leads

to kids having sex at younger ages and feeling pressured to do so. In many high schools, you’re not cool unless you’re sexually active. I made out with somebody for the first time during a game of Truth or Dare at summer camp and felt obligated to play it cool and make it look like I had done it before. I would much rather have liked it to be with someone I cared about, in a prettier—or at least less tawdry scene. I also stumbled upon pornography at too young an age, and that has provided me with a perception of sex that is downright dirty. The upheaval of female-driven sex appeal has hit a new high in the rap industry. While it was once male-dominated, it’s now plentiful with sassy chicks and a whole lot of sexiness. Lil Kim was the Madonna of rap, paving the way for

female emcees like Azealia Banks and Kreayshawn. Brooke Candy (real name), who’s otherwise known as the “Freaky Princess,” brings sexually-charged rap music to a new level with lyrics like “Slut is now a compliment, a sexy-ass female who’s running shit and confident,” and “my clit leaves em’ in stitches, they be twitchin’ on the floor.” Most importantly, we must talk about Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. She slayed all other female pop stars by surprising the world with a self-titled album release on the eve of Dec. 13, 2013. Nobody knew it was coming, and nobody was ready for this revolution of sexiness. Beyoncé is a married woman and a recent mother, but that doesn’t stop her from baring it all and leaving us speechless with lyrics like “Can you taste the skittle, it’s the sweetest in the middle…pink is the flavor, solve the riddle.” She is asserting a feminine stance when it comes to sexuality by being confident, assertive and boss-like. Sex seems to have become, well… appropriated or colonized by mass media. It’s just not a big deal anymore. Female pop stars have no problem filling us in on their freaky endeavors. I’d like to see how sex-obsessed our country will be in another 50 years, but I suppose we’ll have to wait that one out. Maybe by then the seductive OS-like voice in the current movie “Her” will be more the norm than the exception.





If you’re an F train rider, you may have seen your trains blanketed with “teaser” ads for Jaguar telling you to watch their commercials on the Super Bowl. That cost them a cool $5 million. And that was on top of the $8 million the company spent for airtime on the Super Bowl. Whatever happened to using sex to sell products? Sex still sells. The old triedand-true formula traces all the way back to 1885 when tobacco companies inserted pictures of scantily clad women on trading cards in their cigarette packs. By the time TV made its entrance in the late 1940s, sexual imagery received a big push thanks to the added sound and motion, exciting the viewing masses even more. One of the most prestigious and best known platforms for advertisers is the Super Bowl, where companies fork over big money to advertise and now, to advertise the advertising.

“It depends on the advertiser,” Wheaton continues. “Beer brands and body spray brands can get away with using sexual innuendo a lot more because the target market is young men. A brand like GoDaddy, on the other hand, had to grow out of its sex-sells approach. It was growing old. People now see their claims of ‘being banned’ from the Super Bowl for the publicity stunt that it is. And, more importantly, it was losing women customers and not picking up new women customers. If women make up a significant chunk of the small business population and work-fromhome population—the sort of people in the market for web-hosting services—dressing up Danica Patrick or Jillian Michaels and suggesting they shower together is probably not the best approach,” he adds.

“The Oikos ad in the Super Bowl basically had the insinuation of a yogurt– related blow job, and in the Butterfinger Cups ad, we had the insinuation of a threesome,” he explains.”

Strangely, for those who watched Super Bowl XLVIII commercials expecting to be teased and titillated instead found themselves out of luck. Advertisers focused instead on “warm and fuzzy” ads, shying away from the risqué. “The difference between “sex sells” and “sexy” is in the eye of the beholder,” explains Ken Wheaton, Managing Editor of Advertising Age magazine. “The same year that GoDaddy cleans up its act, H&M had female viewers vote to see if Beckham would appear with or without underwear in its Super Bowl ad.” This year, it seems not every advertiser is willing to place their bets on sexual sell.

So why are advertisers scaling back the use of sex in ads? “You can definitely get away with more innuendo,” says Wheaton. “The Oikos ad in the Super Bowl basically had the insinuation of a yogurt–related blow job, and in the Butterfinger Cups ad, we had the insinuation of a threesome,” he explains. “But advertisers who dare to step over the line with their ads tend to receive immediate backlash via social media. Users who are outraged and disgusted by advertisers will air

Photo courtesy of

With the cost of 30 second Super Bowl commercials escalating to $4 million per commercial during this year’s big game on Feb. 2, and with more than 50 spots competing for the eyeballs of 115 million viewers, advertisers have some new and costly tricks to make sure we see their ads, like advertising their advertising.

their grievances on a multitude of sites, which in turn can look negative on the part of the advertiser. This could be why GoDaddy decided to tone down their ads. Advertisers who continually use sex to promote may start to see a drop in customers. Sure, you may have an expensive ad that’s oozing with sex, but if it doesn’t grab the audience’s attention, it’s worthless.” With the current trend of advertisers using ads to promote ads and focusing on emotional ads, what does this mean for the future of sex in advertisements? Sex will always sell, even though customers may be opposed to it. From the marketing perspective working in the ad biz, Ken Wheaton believes “it comes and goes. And ads that run on cable, you can get away with a little bit more.” Prime time shows are more inclined to advertise sex. “Shows like ‘Two and a Half Men’ and ‘Two Broke Girls,’ they’re really full of over-the-top sexual humor,” and are just two among many shows appealing to an older audience who throw around innuendos and insinuations without a second thought. Even if advertisers do completely pull back on ads relating to sex, we will always have prime time shows as another way of discussing sex. It will never go away. Professor and ad industry veteran John Fraser of the Advertising and Marketing

Communications department, says that we’ve grown accustomed to sexual advertising. “It’s only natural that adults 18 to 34 who grew up exposed to all these messages can easily accept some product placement on a star’s crotch as a permissible way to sell yogurt.” Fraser also identifies our obsession with pop culture as a key influence on advertisers. “Not surprisingly popular culture and current mores inspire copywriters and art directors when they are looking for inspiration in the creation of advertising. Look at how situations from Judd Apatow’s films have been creeping into 30 second spots.” Judd Apatow’s films are not necessarily considered “family-friendly;” he helped to create the cult phenomenon “Girls,” which some consider borderline porn. Advertisers need all the inspiration they can get, and taking a page out of an explicit director’s book may be the best way to sell their product. Sex will always be a part of American culture whether it’s showcased in movies, books, television shows or advertisements. It may ebb and flow at times like these, but if sex didn’t sell product, advertisers would never rely on it to advertise. Sex in advertising, like humor will be around for the foreseeable future.




Unpredictable Oscar Race Heats Up by Chloe Dewberry

The competition for the 86th Annual Academy Awards is proving to be just as close as Amy Adams was to a nip-slip during her Academy Award-nominated film “American Hustle.” 2013 proved to be an epic year in the world of cinema with a variety of films making the Academy Awards cut. This past awards season featured critically-acclaimed cinematic experiences and star-making performances. Thanks to the wide range of groundbreaking achievements from filmmakers this past year, cinephiles were able to visit residents of the Midwest in director Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” and experience love with a computer operating system in Spike Jonze’s “Her.” Late releases, such as “The Wolf of Wall Street,” are anticipated to give early season critic’s favorites, such as “Captain Phillips,” a run for their money. For the third year in a row, nine films earned enough first-place votes from Academy members to receive Best Picture nominations. Director David O. Russell’s 70s con artist dramedy “American Hustle” and Alfonso Cuarón’s National Geographic-worthy space epic “Gravity” led the awards categories with a total of ten nominations each. Director Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave”, a heartbreaking portrayal of slavery that had critics and audiences weeping in their seats, follows the competition with a total of nine nominations. That’s not to say that

each category won’t be a close-run for the win. With unexpected wins during the preceding Screen Actors Guild Awards and Golden Globes, no nominee is necessarily guaranteed a win despite critic’s predic-

could forget DiCaprio’s role in “Wolf of Wall Street” as a quaalude-popping stockbroker? Ejiofor’s powerful performance as a free man who is sold into slavery in “12 Years a Slave” is also one that Academy members will surely not forget.

performance in “Gravity” as Bullock managed to hold the audiences’ attention with scene-stealer George Clooney and the entire galaxy as her co-stars. The Best Actor in a Supporting Role category is less uncertain with critics and audiences favoring Jared Leto’s turn as a transgender woman in “Dallas Buyers Club.” Audience favorites Jennifer Lawrence (who won her first Academy Award last year for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook”) and Lupita Nyong’o are critic’s top predictions for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category. Lawrence received a Golden Globe for her riveting performance as a sexually frustrated phone-taping, scene-stealing housewife-hottie hungry for attention in “American Hustle,” but Lupita’s acting debut as a slave who is subject to her master’s abuse and affections in “12 Years a Slave” wowed critics and solidified her place in Hollywood. It will surely be a dramatic fight to the finish for all acting categories.

Photo Courtesy of

tions. The winner of the award for Best Actor may be the most unpredictable with nominees Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Bruce Dern all in the running. McConaughey gave the performance of his career as a drug-smuggling cowboy in “Dallas Buyers Club,” but who

The Best Actress category is equally harrowing. Amy Adams is going for gold with her uncharacteristic performance as a sultry con artist in “American Hustle” as is Cate Blanchett for her understated role in “Blue Jasmine.” Sandra Bullock should also be commended for her physically and emotionally demanding

The Olympics are entertaining, but the real competition heats up on March 2 when the 86th Annual Academy Awards premiere on ABC. Tune in to see if your film favorites beat out the stiff competition.

Tasteless Television Continues With “Sex Sent Me to the ER” by Chloe Dewberry

day television could get any more tasteless. Enter TLC Network.

photo courtesy of

In an age where “Bad Girls Club” rules the Oxygen network ratings and pop star Ke$ha can drink her own urine on MTV specials, one might doubt that modern

From the network that brought viewers gems such as “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and “Extreme Cheapskates” comes a new form of, dare I say it, entertainment: “Sex Sent Me to the ER.” The show features interviews with real-life couples as they discuss their own accounts of sexual exploration gone wrong while hired actors reenact each gruesome and embarrassing sexual injury. The series is produced by the same production company that introduced television viewers to “Untold Stories of the ER,” so viewers should

know what they’re getting themselves into. If plot-lines that feature a re-enactment of a woman with a stiletto heel jammed into her cheek on “Untold Stories of the ER” doesn’t tickle your fancy, maybe some of the episodes from “Sex Sent Me to the ER” will. “Sex Sent Me to the ER” features such unpleasant sexual encounters that viewers will wonder if they’re even real. Did you feel that your “first time” was a little awkward? One episode features a 400-pound 24-year-old virgin who sent his girlfriend to the hospital with a concussion thanks to his weight. Awkward.

Another episode focuses on a woman who went to the hospital thanks to a three hour orgasm that wouldn’t end. Whatever happened to the days when Snooki was the most sexually explicit reality character on television? “Sex Sent Me to the ER” certainly has its share of entertaining stories and laughable moments as the couples retell their tales, but the degrading reenactments and cringe-worthy sexual injuries will make viewers wonder if they want to give up bad television, or sex in general.




Film Review:

Her by Sarah Fielding Photo courtesy of

Sex is arguably the most basic and powerful of our human drives. What happens, though, when sex as we know it is not possible with the one you love? The new movie “Her”, written, directed and produced by the great Spike Jonze, explores this question and others. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Theodore Twombly, a personal love letter writer who is in the process of being divorced by the wife he is still madly in love with. He has become introverted, cancelling plans with his friends and staying in his apartment alone. One of his only sources

of interaction is cyber-sex with others he meets online at night. Theodore lives in a futuristic Los Angeles, where owning a supercomputer is normal (to give you an idea of a supercomputer in our day, China’s Tianhe-2 can perform 33,860 trillion calculations per second). In Theodore’s world, everyone walks around seemingly speaking only to him or herself, not even acknowledging anyone else. Soon an operating system with exceptional artificial intelligence is released, meant to mimic exact human characteristics. Theodore chooses the female version and

this is how Scarlett Johansson’s Samantha is born. Johansson does an exceptional job using only her voice to convey these human characteristics. She speaks to Phoenix’s character about her yearning for more human experience and her astonishment behind understanding feelings like love, jealousy and betrayal. Samantha gives Theodore a way to escape from his problems and make him the person he used to be again. Amazingly effective, Jonze’s directional skills coupled with the

actors’ talent makes you really believe that they love each other. The “couple’s” first sexual attempt may make you slightly uncomfortable. But it’s all part of the journey that is “Her.” The ensemble cast including Amy Adams and Rooney Mara along with the retro clothing choices also added to the movie. “Her” is a new type of romantic movie for our generation, forcing us to ask ourselves what it really means to be in love. And does falling in love happen just at the physical level or does it happen primarily in the mind?

Museum of Sex by Zachary Rosenbaum

The first thing you’ll notice as you approach the Museum of Sex on 27th Street and 5th Avenue is the broad assortment of sex toys in the window—dildos and vibrators of every size, shape and color imaginable, looking like a retail display. Innocent passersby ogle at the merchandise in the windows like kids in a candy store. Most people giggle and walk away. Mothers shield the eyes of their children. I smile, and take a moment of gratitude to be living in a city where such a museum is a fact of life. The team at the Museum of Sex is great at turning sex (a subject normally deemed taboo or inappropriate) into something that most of us love: art. The two are enjoyed in completely different ways, but

both certainly pleasure our senses and our imaginations, putting more more glam and glitz in our workaday lives. The gift shop on the ground floor is nothing short of mesmerizing. It’s an entire retail space dedicated to all things sex. Some objects speak louder for themselves than others. I found myself staring at certain things in confusion until it clicked— “Oh! It’s a spanking paddle!” Here, all things have a sexy significance, and there is an incredible selection of Valentine’s Day gifts. Other merchandise include novelty condoms, sex-themed home décor, coffee table books and “sex coupons.”

The first floor of exhibition space is dedicated to sex in the context of the world’s rapidly growing technology and media industries. Sex has been significantly changed due to film, pornography and cellular phones, and this is illustrated with perfection at the Museum of Sex. 50 years ago, who’d have thought that sexting would be a thing? Walls are filled with TV screens, flashing with scenes of sex. There’s an arcade game that lets you create a one of a kind digital art piece using cute Japanese clip art (kawaii, anyone?). In a corner, red old school telephones Photo courtesy of Zachary Rosenbaum hang on the wall,

tempting you to pick one up and listen for the erotic recordings on the other line. Perpendicular to that installment is another—keyholes are illuminated; the closer you get, the easier it is to see the screens that are behind them, playing footage of couples unknowingly being taped in the act. A whole wall of this floor serves as an image database, spelling out and illustrating every sex category you can imagine—sort of like a porn archive. Tranny, ametuer, bondage, lesbian, fetish and “fat sex” are just a few of them. Every piece of art is accompanied by an artist’s name, caption and thorough description of the work. According to the museum’s brochure, “MoSex engages the world’s premiere scholars, artists and visionaries to bring the public the best in current scholarship on social, cultural, scientific and artistic aspects of human sexuality. ” The issues that the museum touches upon are a mixture of hilarity and sadness. There’s mostly joy and jaw-dropping facts, but there’s a dark side to sex that can be frightening, like sex addiction and rape. Sex comes with many emotional ties, and it’s strongly linked with perhaps the most powerful human emotion—love. The Museum of Sex offers visitors coverage on the topic of sex that is both broad and fairly thorough. The third floor showcases a carefully curated exhibition telling the story of Linda Lovelace, the infamous porn star and actress who, after years of scrutiny and scandal, denounced pornography and refused to be involved with it anymore. Lovelace, born Linda Boreman in the Bronx, became immensely famous after her role in the X-rated film “Deep Throat.” The exhibition showcases her rise to fame, her abusive and destructive relationship with husband and manager Chuck Traynor and her eventual retirement from

the sex industry. She turned to the antipornography movement and, along with feminists of the time, shot down porn and nudity in media. Images of Lovelace line the walls in metal frames. In some, she wears nothing but a cellophane wrapping— clothed in hardly any of the photographs. A massive screen shows a projection of her performing Fellatio; it demands your attention as you enter the room. Of her performance in “Deep Throat,” Lovelace later said: “When you see the movie… you are watching me being raped. It is a crime that movie is still showing; there was a gun to my head the entire time.” The last room in the museum brings you back down to earth. This exhibit is entitled “The Sex Life of Animals,” and it shows visitors “the tremendous complexity of animal sexual behavior.” It’s humbling to be reminded that sex is part of our nature as organisms. My eyes widened as I learned the sexual anatomy of a Bonobo Monkey, or that sexual cannibalism indeed exists. This exhibit spells out the science of sex in the animal kingdom, and it’s sure to clarify a few things that you may have been wondering. The Museum of Sex is just a couple of blocks from the FIT campus. It houses a permanent collection of over 15,000 sexual artifacts and they have procured more than 15 exhibitions in their 10-year tenure. It’s equipped with a coat check (where visitors are encouraged to “take it off”) and a bar/cafe (think sensuously crafted cocktails and aphrodisiacs). If you’re looking for a fun Valentine’s Day date this February, take your babe to the Museum of Sex and get your self sex-educated—you won’t regret it!




Book Review:

“Perv” by Jesse Bering by Yesica Balderrama

The book sat on the shelf ostentatiously with the word “Perv:” in large thick salmon letters. All else on the cover becomes indiscernible except for the title, including a lone hesitant sheep standing on a grassy hillside. The second line reads, “The sexual deviant in all of us.” A part of me begins to blush, though I’m probably no stranger to what I’m about to read. The inquisitive part of me reaches for it. Jesse Bering starts “Perv” by stating we all are perverts, whether we would like to admit it or not. He shares an account of the anxiety he felt as a ten-year old child thinking he would automatically have AIDS as a punishment for being gay. Bering then questions homophobia and the reactions of people to atypical sexual behavior. He determines the origin of hate stems from disgust, and disgust stems from learned behavior of what is perceived as socially “correct.” According to Bering’s research, the word “pervert” did not acquire its definition

until the Victorian period. That was an era when human beings were encouraged to suppress sexual desire not intended for procreation. But it predates the Victorian. For example, in 17th century France, women were recommended bland meats and baths with cold lettuce heads to cure

with a large age difference, dead people, medical conditions, disabled persons and objects sexually arouse human beings. These are the general categories for paraphilia, a term referring to sexual obsessions and also deemed a mental disorder. Bering covers these

photo courtesy of photo courtesy of

their “Nymphomania.” Their male counterparts diagnosed as having excessive sexual behavior were said to have “Satyriasis.” What other sexual taboos are there? Animals, body parts, pain, persons

sexual taboos with quirky stories, such as the woman who is sexually attracted to the Berlin wall, a man tried against a donkey for rape and

the preciousness of semen in Papa New Guinea. The morality and consequences of child sexual abuse are also discussed. Bering tackles sexuality in a frank and open manner, the way one would discuss news at breakfast, or weather with a colleague. He interlaces factual information with his own humorous personal experiences. We are not merely reading another research book about human sexuality, but the evolution of Bering’s, an advocate of sexual openness, tolerance and acceptance in a rapidly changing culture, where people have access to sexual content more than ever before via the Internet. Statistics show an average of forty million Americans watch porn online, and ninety percent of children ages nine to 16 have watched it. Porn can be accessed at any time. How is this easy accessibility affecting human sexuality? Is it changing attitudes towards sexuality and will the word “perv” become antiquated?

Month In Review by Dara Kenigsberg

Recreational Marijuana Finally Legal in Colorado On January 1, 2014, Colorado became the first state to be able to sell marijuana recreationally to anyone over the age of 21, and Washington is on track to become the second sometime this year. This may seem a bit confusing being that it is a federal crime to sell marijuana recreationally; however, in August, the Obama administration allowed Colorado to pass a state law that regulates marijuana from seed to sale and to open recreational pot stores. One thing to keep in mind is that this Colorado state law is separate from medical marijuana dispensaries. According to CNN, “Medicinal weed in Colorado still requires a physician's recommendation, and the dispensaries will be separate outlets from the recreational pot retailers.” With a Colorado ID showing you are over the age of 21, purchases of up to an ounce (approximately $200 worth) of marijuana at a licensed store is allowed and if visiting from out-of-state, up to a quarter ounce. However, this does not mean it may be “lit up” anywhere and many people don’t know this. Colorado’s Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits people from smoking in places that are governed by the policy, such as the establishments selling the

marijuana. Smoking in public places is illegal as well, confining those who choose to light up to their place of residence or other establishments not overseen by the Clean Indoor Air Act and other private properties. According to, “This campaign was the culmination of an eight-year effort to build support for marijuana policy reform in the state.” The very first customer to buy weed legally in the U.S. was Sean Azzariti, a 32-year-old Iraq war veteran who, according to The Denver Post, “campaigned for marijuana legalization and said he uses cannabis to alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Under a canopy of cameras, Azzariti bought an eighth of an ounce of the marijuana strain Bubba Kush and a package of marijuana-infused candy truffles. ‘We did it!’ a beaming Azzariti said at the end of the purchase. The cost was $59.74, including $10.46 in state tax. At the bottom of the receipt was the message ‘Thank you for your purchase!’" Azzariti may have been the first, but he is just one of the thousands who eagerly wait for those doors to open. 34-year-old Chrissy Robinson arrived at the Evergreen Apothecary at 2 a.m. to wait in line for the doors to open at 8 a.m. and had told The Denver Post, “I have

been waiting 34 years for this moment, I’ve been smoking since I was 14. No more sneaking around.” At the start of 2014, at least 37 stores were fully licensed and opened to sell marijuana. When added together, owners of these stores reported their total sales to be around $5 million. The Huffington Post stated that Colorado, “has projected nearly $600 million in combined wholesale and retail marijuana sales annually. The state, which expects to collect nearly $70 million in tax revenue from pot sales this year, won't have its first official glimpse at sales figures until Feb. 20, when businesses are required to file January tax reports, according to Julie Postlethwait of the state Marijuana Enforcement Division.” Denver’s 9News reported that sales exceeded over $1 million on the first day alone. Initially, one would think that business is booming for these store owners; however, the fact is that because of the federal laws, banks won’t give these businesses regular bank accounts nor can they utilize customary tax write-offs. Banks are afraid that they could be implicated as money launderers if they offer the same services they provide to other traditional businesses. Also, because marijuana

retailers cannot take credit cards, everything must be done in cash which business owners say is not only a safety risk, but also a “burden for taxes and payroll” according to The Huffington Post. While this has been a victory for many, there are still kinks that need to be worked out. Rolling Stone calls it “The Great Marijuana Experiment” and in a way, it is. Colorado and soon-to-be legal in Washington, are like guinea pigs- they are being used as test subjects to see if our country could legalize marijuana on a broad federal level. In New York, Gov. Cuomo announced in January that he would legalize medical marijuana. Through an executive fiat, 20 hospitals would be permitted to dispense marijuana for illnesses meeting criteria set by the state Department of Health. Not only has this specific type of legislation not been used since 1980, but also New York is also one of the many states that cannot legally grow marijuana. This makes it is almost impossible for these hospitals to procure it lawfully and for New York to catch up with Colorado and Washington state’s progressive legislation.




Abuse of Power in New Jersey Casts a Shadow Over Governor Christie There is nothing worse then getting stuck in traffic on the George Washington Bridge- except when it’s the first day of school and you are stuck there for hours on end. The Fort Lee lane closure scandal, also known as Bridgegate, occurred between Sept. 9 and 12, 2013, when two toll lanes for the entryway were closed to local traffic from Fort Lee and neighboring areas. The lanes were used instead for traffic from state and interstate expressways, before the morning rush hour. This resulted in major backups in the city of Fort Lee. The orders were handed down directly by David Wildenstein and Bill Baroni, both of whom told the New Jersey Assembly Transportation Committee that the closures had been for a traffic study. Safety issues aside, the reason this has become such a huge scandal is because no one can seem to figure out if Gov. Christie knew about it or not. Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Anne Kelley, who was eventually fired, had emailed Wildenstein saying that it was time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee. The motive behind this email and the lane closures is purportedly political retribution against Christie’s political opponents, specifically, Fort Lee Mayor, Mark Sokolich, who did not support Christie in the 2013 New Jersey gubernatorial election. Various internal communications including emails and text messages use ethnic slurs when referring to the Mayor, who is Croatian-American. On Sept. 13, Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority ordered the lanes re-opened in a strongly worded email to Senior Port Authority staff, saying that the closure was not only a policy violation, but it also violated Federal law and the laws of both New York and New Jersey.

According to The New York Daily News, Gov. Christie said, “‘The most important issue is, did I know anything about the plan to close these lanes, did I authorize it, did I know about it, did I approve it, did I have any knowledge of it before-

hand. And the answer is still the same: It’s unequivocally no.” He continues by keeping with his original statement that he was told that the Port Authority was engaged in a traffic study. Pages and pages of communications and internal documents are still being turned over and combed through, and despite some evidence that Christie may have been privy to Bridegate, he categorically denies it. Only time will tell.

Unfortunately, this was not the only scandal to rock the state of New Jersey and its Governor. In another major abuse of power, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, claimed that Gov. Christie withheld Hurricane Sandy relief funds in an attempt to persuade her to approve a development plan that clearly favored one property developer. According to The Huffington Post, Gov. Christie is also “facing a federal probe into whether he misused federal relief funds after Hurricane Sandy.” The investigation is looking into whether or not Gov. Christie misappropriated $25 million of Sandy relief money to boost tourism with ads starring he and his family after the horrific storm devastated coastal New Jersey. According to CNN, “Christie's office said the ‘Stronger than the Storm’ campaign was part of an ‘action plan’ approved by the Obama administration and developed with the goal of showing that the New Jersey shore was open for business just several months after the storm.” Gov. Christie is still being investigated in all three incidents, and though he may be able to point the finger of blame at others, his name will be forever tarnished. If nothing else, the scandal has diminished his chances of being chosen to run for president as the Republican candidate in the next federal election cycle come 2016.




OYB Prospect Heights

Brooklyn by Dana Heyward

Photo courtesy of

With a long row of monumental structures, apartment buildings named after presidents and streets lined with row houses, Prospect Heights in Brooklyn can feel a bit like Washington D.C. and even a native New Yorker can feel a bit like a tourist. So grab your friends or the family (seriously), a camera and the will to walk long distances, and go for an outing to this Brooklyn neighborhood.

Walk up the street and you’ll pass by the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. While this unpredictable winter weather we’ve been having isn’t exactly ideal for viewing cherry blossoms and herbs, come spring the garden is definitely a perennial mustsee. In the meantime, check out “Light in Winter,” the Botanical Garden’s winter concept for the garden that includes activities like tai chi, walks and a festival.

Once you hop off the 2 train you are met with the monument that is the Brooklyn Museum. Similar to the MET, the Brooklyn Museum carries a variety of collections from among other things, African art and American Classical and it also has a pretty awesome visible storage room. Additionally, the museum is home to Judy Chicago’s famous feminist banquet piece, “The Dinner Party.” Another exhibit to check out (if you haven’t already) is the “Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.” The exhibit is a beautiful retrospective of the French designer’s work from Gaultier’s childhood teddy bear to a variety of his cone bras. The exhibit runs through Feb. 24.

A bit further up the same street is the Brooklyn Public Library. With it’s massive and imposing entrance appearing like another museum or some kind of landmark, you probably would mistake this building for something other than a library. But once inside (believe it or not) people actually visit here to read, study and even unwind.

photos by Dana Heyward

Just across from the library is the Grand Army Plaza, considered the main entrance to Prospect Park. This national landmark was built in the early 1800s and is a unique designation of this Brooklyn neighborhood. The plaza includes Bailey Fountain, the John F. Kennedy

Monument and the triumphal Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch. After all this strolling you’ll probably want something to eat and preferably something warm. Head over to Chuko right on Vanderbilt Ave. This Japanese spot has pork buns good enough to rival Momofuku and ramen that will make you feel like you’re cheating on your regular Cup ‘O Noodles. And while this place is pretty popular and crowded during peak hours, the wait is definitely worth it. With the rise in popularity of neighborhoods like Greenpoint and Bushwick, it’s almost rare to find a Brooklyn neighborhood that’s so comfortable in its Sesame Street-like friendly atmosphere. While you don’t have to check out everything, nearby Prospect Heights is a definite must see. Whether you're looking for extraordinary buildings, massive gardens or simply just a stroll in a classic Brooklyn neighborhood tucked away with pretty streets and row houses, Prospect Heights has something worth seeing!

FIT SPEAKS A Virgin’s Rite of Passage by Fernanda DeSouza

Here’s the man I lost my virginity to. Or at least some of him. And I’ll admit that it didn’t happen all that long ago. Although my v-card could have been swiped in high school, I chose to wait because what the hell did my 16-year-old self know about sex? Plenty, but not enough to actually have it. My perception of sex, perhaps too romantic and old fashioned, was that it was an intimate moment shared with someone you loved (or thought you loved). I failed to mention that I was a virgin to this man. Instead, I let myself go and trusted my body, and his. “This is it,” I thought And just like that, after some huffing and puffing, it was over.

I was unsatisfied to discover that upon losing my virginity, nothing about me changed and I didn’t feel a connection I so longed for with this man. So why did I make such a big deal about it? For a long time, I was fed up with friends who teased me for being a virgin but others commended me for waiting so long. There was a growing gap between my childhood and adulthood and I used sex as a measurement. The longer I remained a virgin, the longer I took to blossom into adulthood. Because adulthood in my mind meant birth control and having my gynecologist on speed dial.

Beware Of the Dark Circles by Daniela Rios

Wait! Before you start making alien mind control protection caps out of aluminum foil (don’t pretend we all haven’t been scared by that alien movie “Signs”), let it be known that there are no aliens (besides maybe in our hallucinations) in this article. I’m not talking science fiction here, folks, I’m talking about our very own whacked-out sleeping schedules, the kind of schedules which are only called a “schedule” for lack of a better word -- now say it aloud: “schedule.” HA! Who are we fooling, right? It is a universal fact that college students don’t get enough sleep. We might have just found the reason why people wear sunglasses indoors and in the cloudiest of days, and I may or may not be sorry that this has ruined the mysterious vibe these club-master creatures give off. We know what you’re hiding under there: designer bags. I can almost hear the distant rustling of millions of dollars that makeup companies are rolling in, selling fancyshmancy eye creams to feed our constant efforts in covering the dark circles under our eyes (and this is not exclusive to girls.) Hiding these babies is no easy task, it can take layers upon layers before we reach a color that matches our normal skin tone. But if you’re like me, I just let them do their “thang.” I wear them like a glittering medal earned for all the nights I stayed up perfecting a project, learning a new trade, practicing my French, learning how to pronounce onomatopoeia, or (I admit) catching up on “Mad Men” (which I consider taking notes, being an AMC major and all). Even if I get called a raccoon once in a while for my natural look or asked about my “bar fight” last night, I will take the raccoon remark as a compliment because these mammals are

known for their intelligence and ability to adapt as well as their dark eyes. Studies have shown that their incredible memory allows them to remember the solution to tasks for up to three years! Humph, and they thought they were insulting me. The reason why “BEWARE OF THE DARK CIRCLES” could be read as a warning sign is because people who usually stay up all night (for the right reasons) are extremely hard workers. Just walk into the Feldman Center basement computer lab late at night to see who is getting ahead while their classmates are in the midst of entering their REM sleep or out partying on rooftops (if they’re hip).. Sitting down with friends I’ll hear things like “I shut my alarm clock off this morning while I was getting ready to go to school. Why? Oh yeah, because I didn’t sleep!” People who are guilty of staying up all night also tend to be very hard on themselves, striving for nothing but the best (in their eyes, at least.) These people are extremely dedicated to their work and that’s something I deeply admire. A very talented person I once met pulled all-nighters to redo projects from LAST SEMESTER, just for their own peace of mind, and here I was thinking I was insane in the membrane. I am in no shape to romanticize dark circles under our eyes caused by lack of sleep. If anything, getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for our success (I’m still trying to remember this.) I know we are all trying to live up to our own high standards, but please, for the love of raccoons everywhere, try and take it easy on yourself. Get out your four inch thick agenda and plan a date for just you and your bed, candles and wine optional.

I decided to take a long look in the mirror. The before picture: purity, innocence and chastity gushing from my pores. A sexually deprived young woman waiting to be deflowered. The after picture: triumphal acceptance into this “club” of humanity who were “doing it.” I shrugged and said, “Ok, now give me more.” I’m not going to sit here and discuss my sexual escapades or desires. But I will say that since losing my virginity, something within me did in fact change and I wasn’t privy to it at first. It took me a solid month to realize this veil of expectations and assumptions had lifted and whatI finally understood what sex about to me at that given moment. I wasn’t in love with him, I wasn’t oozing affection for him, it was simply just an act of sexual drive. A basic human need, nothing more. I enjoyed the experience for what it was and thought nothing more of it. What I gained from it the most was confidence. There, another human being had seen me unclothed, with all the flaws of my body bare, nothing to hide. And since then, I’ve come to accept my body for what it is. It took 22 years but I finally did and the feeling, of being comfortable in my skin, is euphoric. I’ve also taken more risk with men. Yes, I handed my number to the bartender that one drunken night, Star Wars themed, because after much Instagram stalking, realized he was a big Star Wars aficionado. “This is not a Jedi mind trick,” it said. I was even considerate enough to illustrate Darth Vader to add to the charm. Did he ever text? No. Does he give me free drinks every weekend and discuss comic books and Wookiees with me? Yes! In my mind, I still won. The man in the photograph and I are not, and never were, “together” (whatever that means these days). We remain friends and share artistic visions but despite knowing we will never be an entity, I cherish having shared that moment with him. In fact, I’m grateful because he’s helped me come to terms with my sexuality, my womanhood and let’s not be coy here, unleashed a sexual side of me I was completely unaware of. Plus, we have an adorable photobooth together! Looks like I’ve picked out my Halloween costume: Princess Leia in her risque slave clothes. Perky nipples galore!

Lydia Martin| AMC | got a surprise gift from her ex on her birthday as an apology after not hearing from him for months

Hannah Gaid | FMM | received chocolates

Kelly Higgins | FMM | got jewelry and flowers

style on 27 Photography by Jessica Farkas

Quinton Mulvey | AMC | woke up to a bagel and roses

Marie Tanaka | technical design | her boyfriend took her to Disney land

It’s that time of year again: Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and love is most definitely in the air. But, unfortunately for us, the frigid temps are too. So, to combat the cold, we asked students to recall the most heartwarming, romantic gestures they’ve ever received. Go ahead, cut out this page and sneak it to your sweetie — we promise your V-Day plans will benefit.

Alberto Frederic-Cipmy| Fashion Design | taken to a concert and had custom art made to his favorite song

Blair Conner| Photography | received pre-written letters to open weekly while she was away from her significant other

Louvenia Pierce | AMC | her boyfriend ran 3 miles and back just to buy her favorite book

February 2014: The Sex Issue  
February 2014: The Sex Issue