Buffalo's own 'Carrie Bradshaw'

Sex and the Queen City: Welcome The Spectrum's newest sex columnist


I sit down at my computer with overwhelming excitement, as I’ve recently been confronted with one of the most fun and exhilarating opportunities of my college career.

Everybody: say hello to UB’s newest female sex columnist.

Anyone who has seen HBO’s Sex and the City can probably guess my immediate reaction to hearing the news – I am [finally] Buffalo’s own Carrie Bradshaw. The very notion made me want to rush all of my fur to the dry cleaner and spend my entire savings account on a pair or two of Jimmy Choo shoes. I also briefly considered Carrie’s cigarette addiction, but decided that might be taking it too far.

When the initial awe subsided – right after actually checking my bank account and realizing that I can barely afford one pair of shoes from Aldo - I began to reflect on the impending responsibilities that would come with regularly writing about such a hot button topic.

I thought it was interesting that I immediately associated a sex column with fashion and glamour, but decided this was a result of classical conditioning. I’ve worked within the fashion industry since high school, including a year during which Victoria’s Secret employed me as a Certified Lingerie Specialist. If I’ve learned one thing, it is this – sex sells.

This, I’m sure, is evident to everyone. We see it in our day-to-day lives. It controls the media. We wouldn’t be able to escape it if we wanted to.

Frankly, I am not in any position to critique this fact. While I agree that there is no one specific definition of “sexy” nor one definitive formula to create sex appeal, I can’t deny how empowering it is to genuinely feel sexy, and thus have no problem consuming goods that will help me achieve this feeling.

Do I believe that wearing designer bras will make me look like Adriana Lima? Of course not. Could the media do a better job including all body types and versions of sexuality? Absolutely. Do I celebrate my personal aesthetics and individual sexuality even though they are vastly different than that of a Victoria’s Secret model? Heck yes.

There have been sex columnists at UB before me, all of whom seemed to approach the situation with the same bold mentality as I. The task comes with a certain level of criticism. Keren Baruch, a UB alumna who wrote sex columns for The Spectrum in 2011 and 2012, wrote a piece entitled “True Life: I’m a Sex Columnist” about the various types of backlash she received from the student body.

She notes how readers would post “deliberately hurtful comments” on her articles, calling her “classless” and “gross” and how even some people thought that the school needed “someone more physically appealing” to write about sex.

Obviously, we’re dealing with a touchy subject.

My overarching responsibility, then, is to make a committed effort to be all-inclusive in terms of diverse sexualities and to be sensitive to my readers’ varying comfort levels with their own sexuality. I realize that not everyone hears “sex” and thinks “glamour,” and I realize that neither sex nor glamour seem like a noble pursuit for a young academic.

After all, this very same publication frequently includes impressively intellectual pieces about worldwide violations of human rights, the academic and professional pursuits of our university’s leaders and student winners of prestigious contests and scholarships.

Yet, here I am writing about sex. You may be wondering how I can take myself seriously. You may jump immediately to the assumption that I am innately promiscuous. In fact, upon notifying my Twitter followers of my impending column, a good friend promptly replied, “you’re a sex addict.”

How flattering.

Admittedly, even I wondered if this was something I could include on a resume and contemplated how to handle the topic without coming off as sophomoric, vapid or sounding like an aspiring Cosmopolitan writer. Should I be informing you all about the latest trends of pubic hair maintenance? Or formulating lists with titles like “Ten Positions for Backseat Lovemaking?”

To be honest, I’d rather not.

Experimenting with sex is incredibly fun, so I’ll leave it up to you and your partner to determine the best position for having sex in the shotgun seat. I’d much rather bring your attention to everything else.

Sex is such a broad subject and there are so many facets of it. Sex can be a physical issue, a biological issue, an emotional issue, a societal issue and even a moral issue. From the very moment we become aware of our sexualities, even before we become sexually active, we invite a whole world of issues into our bedrooms.

Am I sexy? How do I put on a condom? What if I get pregnant? What will my friends think? Should I wait until I’m in love? Should I wait until marriage? Am I a slut? What turns me on? Are my turn-ons natural?

I’m certainly no “sexpert” and won’t be able to provide everyone with all the answers. What I can attempt to do, however, is allow for sex to become less taboo of a topic among our readers. Not everything about college has to be academic in nature, and sex is something that 21st century 20-somethings don’t have to be ashamed of.

Truthfully, I believe all of us can embrace and even personify sex simply by realizing it is just as big a part of us as our health, education, career and everything else. Does this have to mean the same thing for everyone?

Of course not. Carrie Bradshaw personifies the glamorous genre of sex, both in her column and her fictional life. Do I personify sex? I’m aware of and in love with my sexuality and enthusiastic about discussing the concept so, I’d like to think so. Even if I lack the Jimmy Choo shoes.

email: jacqulyn@buffalo.edu