As part of sex weekend, Yale held a seminar last Saturday on an ever-vexing question– “Sex: Am I normal?” Obvious answer: “Of course you are.” The visiting guarantor of normalcy this year was one Jill McDevitt, billed as “the only person in the world with all three of their degrees–b.a., m.a, ph.d.—- in sex!” (Exclamation point hers.) She runs a sex shop in Pennysylvania (motto: “Get your heart on!”) And she is “a sexologist, sex educator, public speaker, entertainer, blogger, author and sexual rights advocate! “(Those two exclamation points are hers too.)
Like almost all therapists in America, Dr. McDevitt came to say that we are all too hard on ourselves. It just doesn’t matter what we do sexually, whether we have sex with animals, family members, people who like to pay us for our services or people who just stand there and flog us.
Nine percent of the Yalies at the seminar said they had been paid for sex, 3 percent had engaged in bestiality, and 52 percent had participated in “consensual pain” during sex. Though admittedly, some Yalies are sadly slow to appreciate such diversity, Giuliana Berry ’14 said the workshop had been brought to campus to teach students not to be judgmental–(so that’s it! exclamation point mine)– but rather to respond with “understanding” and “compassion.” You can say that again, so she did: “What the goal is, is to increase compassion for people who may engage in activities that are not what you would personally consider normal.” Another triumph for Yale (exclamation point optional).