True intimacy as easy as holding hands

ReAnne Utemark

So, you’ve been reading all about doing it in this Sex Issue of the Argo, huh?

I suppose I can’t blame you, but I must say I do hope this issue doesn’t get sent to my mother. I don’t know if I could handle that possibly awkward conversation around the dinner table on Thanksgiving about what I was working on at the newspaper. Anyway, I am here to be like your dad walking into the basement when you’re trying to get some under-the-sweater action.

Stop the sex!

No, not entirely, but it seems to me there is a big difference between intimacy and sex, and it’s important to understand the difference before making any rash decisions or coming to a conclusion that just isn’t there.

Stories of drunken hook-ups are widespread on college campuses. One or both parties get completely hammered and decide that the other party looks particularly attractive with that lampshade on his or her head doing that awesome booty dance to “Hot in Herre.” Oh yeah, that’s super-hot. This leads to some choices they otherwise wouldn’t have made…yadda, yadda, yadda…you have yourself a drunken hook-up. They are usually regretted (after the aspirin) and then forgotten about later that day. That is, of course, until you see the hook-up on campus and then it’s just plain awkward. However, nowhere in that process is a shred of intimacy – especially if the two aren’t even Facebook friends.

Even without booze, people pay for sex. Also, sex is something people use for a variety of reasons, including revenge. One of the most private acts humans can participate in being used for something as negative as revenge? But you never hear about people paying for a fantastic conversation during a drive, handholding or an inside joke that only two people in a room understand and then smile at each other.

I can’t pass judgment on what you do with the notion of sex – that would be judgmental and kind of misplaced in this Argo. But I can say this with confidence that sex has become an interesting tool in the media, in our entertainment and in our personal lives. Or in the recent cases of Rep. Mark Foley and former president Bill Clinton, in our public lives. But I do think sex is sometimes misused and misunderstood.

I recently went on a binge of 80s movies, including “St. Elmo’s Fire.” In it, Ally Sheedy’s character says, “Sex isn’t love.” She’s right, and it’s also not necessarily intimate because it has taken on this glamorous façade through college, through entertainment.

Does sex need more respect and reverence for what it is? Perhaps. Is Carrie Bradshaw out of line? Probably not. These are questions that can’t really be answered in a column, but they are questions that can be posed as food for thought while I finish my 80s movie marathon, next up: The Breakfast Club.