So with Donna Freitas’ recent visit to our Campus Ministry here at Buffalo I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my time at college and about how students today are living out their sexual lives.

Dr. Freitas made the astute point that much of the heightened sexual antics that go on in campus life are all themes from porno movies. The availability of pornography today has widened the “arousal template” meaning that it’s easy to find porn on the internet and more importantly, it’s easy to find exactly what you’d like to see–what turns you on. You don’t have to look at a bunch of pictures in a magazine that you might not be interested in.

But as curiosity widens beyond our first experiments, so does our internet searches. Now people are searching porn sites for things and accidentally finding things that perhaps one wouldn’t think of at first blush.

And perhaps that turns you on. So now what do you do about that?

The next obvious step for some, is to try some of what they’ve seen themselves. The theme parties we talked about in a recent post are just one of many different possibilities.

The hook up culture existed when I was in college, which is now (gasp) about 20 years ago! But by no means, did we have parties that were like porno parties. There was talk of people getting naked at parties (see, Yale) and maybe even people having sex in odd places and certainly alcohol was at the center of most of the heightened sexual activity…but I asked some of my college friends if we held a party called “Golf Pros and Tennis Hos” would they have attended.

Most were simply astounded that I even raised the subject. Others laughed and one woman said sarcastically “Yeah, OK, I’m gonna dress up like that for a night just so men can ogle me. I think not.”

A male friend of mine who attended Harvard once said the following about our college years. “Before college, having sex with a woman was about as foreign to me as winning the lottery! But once we got to college not only was this a possibility, but it was almost a certainty that it at least COULD happen.”

Indeed. I remember being 18 as a college freshman and going to bars and flirting in the hopes that something, ANYTHING would happen. And certainly, many of us experimented sexually during those years. Sexual activity was certainly not off the table–but there also wasn’t an expectation that a full fledged orgy would happen either.

In our even more heightened sexual world, it seems that people Google Porn a lot more than they Google God. However, interestingly enough, “sex” and “God” (and “Jesus” for that matter) are always at the top of the search engine lists.

So what do we make of this? Are today’s college students simply just more sexually liberal? Are women eschewing the sexual revolution for a more submissive role in society sexually? Are students experimenting more because they see more in movies and in pornography on the internet?

What’s been your experience? Was your college a crazy party school where sex was rampant? Or was it more sedate?

0 thoughts on “Are Today’s College Students More Sexually Liberal?”
  1. Found this by overhearing your conversation on the bus.
    The hook up culture tends to be a lot more localized to a certian genre of people that you see making the same mistakes over and over again. At most UB frat parties if you really wanted to, you could probably bring home a pretty wasted girl if you played your cards right. It’s not so much male dominated as a mutual perception of the social norm. They seem to be suited to male needs but i don’t believe it to be entirely male perpetuated. To the same respect, the there are absolutely a pleathora of males that find the “Golf Pros and Tennis Hoes” distasteful and would rather actually connect with someone without using peripheral appendages.

    1. Awesome response. Interesting that some folks are so unaware of the culture and others see it easily and evidently true. I can’t believe some folks are like “I never heard of a theme party in my life!”

    2. I’d also say that the “themes” are pretty clearly Porno fantasies. Don’t ya think?

      I would say part of the problem is the acceptance of these parties by the women which perhaps betrays a lack of self esteem or a unhealthy longing for intimacy.

  2. I would definitely agree with you there about the unfortunate lack of sel esteem, although I wouldn’t really go as far as to say porno fantasies, but I always see them as more of a way to experiment. Not everyone a the party has an intense attraction to slutty tenis garb. It seems like just our human nature of curiosity to try new things.

    1. I hear ya. The studies all show that because porn is more readily available than ever before that means that the themes get developed from those images. But I think you are partially right, for some, it’s just an idea that sounds risqué enough to be intriguing.

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