Student Press Story Ideas: Alien Sex, Slow Sex, SlutWalks

The age of “paranormal erotica” is upon usaccording to The State Press.  In a recent column in the Arizona State University student newspaper, Mary Richardson writes that numerous books, films, and songs are implanting an overt, otherworldly sexuality into popular culture that is upstaging romantic interactions among mere mortals.

Or as the column’s headline states more simply, “Human sex just isn’t trendy anymore.”

From our embrace of the “Twilight” series to certain Kanye West ballads (including “Monster” and the Katy Perry collaboration “E.T.”), Richardson argues society’s collective lust is now aimed squarely at “galactic figures” such as vampires, zombies, goblins, ghouls, and good-ol’ extraterrestrials.

“The creatures that left us terrified as children now contribute to our sexual charge,” Richardson contends.  “How did that happen?  The paranormal fad shows either that people are becoming kinkier or that they are just more open to expressing it now. Kanye West poses, ‘Tell me what’s next, alien sex?’  Apparently so.”

Separately, one fad that has caught on at the human level: slow sex. According to a report late last month in The Daily Texan at the University of Texas at Austin, the slow sex movement is centered on establishing “deeper connection, deeper intimacy or help in communication” among couples.  Daily Texan staff writer Pooneh Momeni writes that its popularity is a pushback against the evermore all-encompassing cyber distractions keeping partners from enjoying their time together without thoughts of texts and tweets.

“In today’s hyper-connected world . . . [m]eaningful sex has taken a backseat to instant gratification,” Momeni confirms.  “Sex has become so time consuming that 17 percent of cell phone users admit to checking their gadgets during sex.”

Yikes.  By comparison, in slow sex workshops, participants are ordered to slow down, engage in deep conversation with their partner face-to-face, and discuss their desires and what they notice about the other person when they are giving them their full attention.

Meanwhile, this past spring, across the border, the attention of many activists shifted to York University in Toronto.  As The Exacalibur student newspaper first reported, a local police officer speaking at an early April campus safety information session advised female students to not “dress like sluts” in order to avoid being sexually assaulted.

The comment prompted worldwide backlash and the birth of a new movement named for its chief activity: the SlutWalk.  The provocatively titled protest march involves women– and men– strolling in public while dressed in a sexually suggestive manner.  It is aimed at eliminating the misperception that clothing choices cause sexual violence.  Among the signs carried by the walkers, according to NextGen Journal‘s Adrienne Edwards: “Don’t tell me what to wear; tell men not to rape.”

As Alex Wagstaff notes in a mid-June Excalibur column, “Studies have found that a woman’s clothing has no bearing on her likelihood of being raped.  Most rapists don’t even remember what their victim was wearing.  The most common outfit for rape victims is jeans and a T-shirt.  Sexual victims aren’t just the women in short skirts. They are our friends, our sisters, our mothers, our daughters.”

Edwards, a University of Pennsylvania student, writes separately that the walks also relate to a larger push for greater respect.  “It is not just about feminism, it is not just about violence; it is about a common concern for our fellow human being,” she argues.  “[T]he marches are begging the question, if we do dress like sluts, what then?  Are we not still entitled to the same respect that any other human walking this Earth does?  It challenges everyone to think about how we relate to other different people.  Is it really OK to disrespect the homeless man you saw on the street today?  Is it really OK to disrespect someone perceived as less powerful than you?  Is it really OK to disrespect a woman because of what she is wearing?

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