Sex: Am I Normal?

This article isn’t necessarily about sexual education. Rather, the title refers to a workshop that Yale university recently hosted – urging students to be more sensitive towards subjects such as bestiality, prostitution, and even incest. The workshop enabled students to ask questions to a sexologist, Doctor Jill McDevitt via text message – all were private in polls.

What defines normal in sex? (photo by

What defines normal in sex? (photo by

When given surveys, according to Yale Daily News, the results were as listed below:

  • nine percent of surveyors have previously been paid for sex.
  • three percent of surveyors have engaged in bestiality.
  • fifty-two percent of surveyors have participated in “consentual pain.”

Of course there were several more surveys taken. These, however, seem to be shocking.

The workshop urged students to, instead of shunning the people who have committed such acts, to instead be compassionate and understanding towards them. To make them feel somehow less odd and different – perhaps even less secretive about it. Perhaps the thoughts are considerably synonymous with Sigmund Freud’s, who, although was on drugs majority of the time before realizing the effects of them, believed that sons were in competition with their fathers for their mother’s attention, as well as daughters were in competition with their mothers for their father’s attentions. Freud theorized that these competitions would often err to the point of murder, however, it would not be realized outside of the unconscious. You can see his thoughts prominent in the unconscious study, as well as literature such as Oedipus Rex.

Many disagree and think that the “sensitivity” you allow enables the person to continue committing such acts, though some were illegal. Of course, everyone’s perspectives are different. Some may think some sexual acts are reasonable and others are not. For example, the prospect of bestiality seems cruel and unfair to the animal, while consenting to pain during sex can’t really be monitored and is up to the person in their sexual endeavors. The fact that something may be more “normal” than previously thought does not make it necessarily “correct” or “acceptable.” Now, one can not speak of equality and a lack of judgement without being completely void of judgement. It is a hard place to be at – especially if your beliefs do not correspond with the subject at hand. Even the person who believes in equality judges the person who does not.

Doctor Jill McDevitt’s ideas are not exactly far-fetched. She aims to spread the idea of equality and not judging others, stating we all have something to be embarrassed for. Of course, you have to be careful in how you respect other’s perspectives because there is a fine line between right and wrong – between lawful and unlawful. Between hurtful and helpful.

The whole prospect behind the workshop was something entitled, “Sex Week(end) 2013.” From topics such as slut-shaming, virginity, body image, sexual health, and topics that are becoming “hot” in our culture, such as BDSM, as popularized by stories like Fifty Shades of Gray, were discussed. From February 28th through March 3rd, several workshops were held demystifying the acts that often remain unspoken.

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