2019 Sex Issue Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor Dear Reader, The staff of The Harvard Independent is proud to present to you the 2019 Sex Issue! As an organization, this issue is one of the most exciting and interesting for us to put together, and we hope that translates to you as well. This issue is a collection of Harvard undergraduate sexual statistics based on the answers you provided while taking our annual Sex Survey. The Sex Issue, one of our most widely read issues, is meant to expand and engage in dialogue concerning sex on Harvard’s campus by way of statistics, personal narratives, …

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Val Elefante: “The One Who Is Writing Her Thesis on Porn”

Val Elefante: “The One Who Is Writing Her Thesis on Porn” An insight into the power of Harvard students who question the current sexual culture By MIMI TARRANT   For the Sex Edition, the Indy connected with Val Elefante, a senior in Leverett House who has spent her four years at Harvard exploring the medium of pornography and its implications regarding sexual culture. In this interview, Val explains why she chose pornography as the basis for her thesis, and how her experience at Harvard has shaped her views on sex as a whole.   Indy: What is your concentration at …

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Sex Survey

Sex Survey Quotes and Highlights   Tell us your most awkward sexual experience I pulled up to the dude’s apartment and he opens the door in just a leather harness. During my first college hookup, my partner came on my shirt (that was still on) after I touched his penis for about 5 seconds. When I returned to my room, my roommate asked me if I had jizz on my shirt. My “dirty talk” was so bad that my partner started laughing and I was so embarrassed that I cried. 2 bottoms don’t make a top A one time hookup …

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On Loving Self-Love

On Loving Self-Love Masturbation and How No One Wants to Talk About It By ALAYA AYALA   Jacking off. Alone time. Wanking. Touching yourself. Whatever you call it, it’s technically known as masturbating. It’s healthy, a lot of people do it. It’s normal, yet no one wants to talk about it. This is really weird given how often people talk about sex in everyday life and how boldly. It’s the subject of jokes, it’s exalted in media, it’s threaded into advertisements for everything from food to house furniture. Centuries-old literature that has been lauded throughout the ages harps on about …

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Securing the Double Legacy

Securing the Double Legacy Insight into Harvard Freshman Dating Culture By JAYCEE YEGHER and GRAHAM WALTER   It’s a pretty safe assumption that most of us are really here to find a match and create a double legacy. I mean all of you have at least said it jokingly and know that there is definitely a little bit of sincere intent behind the words. Coming to Harvard, we all had some expectations. Our prefrosh minds may not have even known about the value of double legacy, but the prospect of being constantly surrounded by thousands of peers is enough to …

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On Polyamory

On Polyamory A word— or, a few words— about polyamory. By AIDAN FITZSIMONS   I think I realized I was polyamorous near the end of last term. It had been a wild term, and I had been having a lot of sex, with a lot of different people. I had been absolutely addicted to Tinder, and I increasingly loved both the thrill of becoming intimate with someone new and the pleasure that comes with cultivating and deepening an existing relationship. For a while, I simply thought of myself as a bit of a slut, something to feel guilty about; I …

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Wearing Your Sexuality on Your Sleeve

Wearing Your Sexuality on Your Sleeve The Seventh Installment of a Weekly Fashion Column By GRACE TWOREK   Sex. People love to talk about it. People hate to talk about it. But what so many people don’t realize is that we wear sex. One may ask, how? Through the clothes we put on our body, we have the ability to express our sense of sexuality in so many ways. No matter how much or how little we choose to express our sexuality through our wardrobe, the most important part is that it is OUR choice. The world, similar to fashion …

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Rêverie

Rêverie For C.   The Athenians enjoyed The strategic luxury of the acropolis. Likely not by chance – But by design they huddled The heart of ancient leadership about One tremendous stone.   Crowned with their temple, The daily penance was Up a mighty slope which I presume Tested the fortitude of the pious, And children’s courage, Among the other things.   As an economist, I worry myself Often with spillovers: The unseen consequence on the other – The unplanned and, The eventuality.   This “other thing” that Athens – In a singular wisdom capable of: Cleisthenes’ birth, And provisions …

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Body Talk

Body Talk Thoughts and Conversations About Hypersexualizing Athletes By ALAYA AYALA   If there’s any group of students on campus that know a lot about bodies and how they work, it is pre-med students and athletes. Pre-med students need to know these things because it will ease them into medical school where they can relearn it all when the time comes. Athletes, on the other hand, need to know about their bodies for more immediate and practical reasons. Their bodies are what allow them to engage in sports, and without knowing how they look, feel, and what they need, they’d …

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#HarvardHearsYou Summit for Gender Equity

#HarvardHearsYou Summit for Gender Equity The First Gender Equity Summit Held in Memorial Church on April 2nd By EVELYN GRAY   On Tuesday, April 2nd the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and Harvard University Title IX Office came together in Memorial Church to host the first #HarvardHearsYou Summit for Gender Equity. The program included talks, a celebrity panel, and candid discussion. On the celebrity panel were actress and activist Laverne Cox, fashion designer Christian Siriano and fashion blogger and body positive activist Nicolette Mason. Discussion topics included gender discrimination on university campuses, due process, and intersectional approaches to equity was …

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Nadia Murad Speaks at Harvard

Nadia Murad Speaks at Harvard By GRAHAM WALTER           Having survived ISIS’ genocide and abductions of the Yazidi community, Nadia Murad has won the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocation of sexual violence. Nadia spoke last Wednesday (04/03/19) as a part of the Weatherhead Center’s Samuel L. and Elizabeth Jodidi Lecture Series in Memorial Church. Her talk reflected her life before her capture and how those events inspire and prompt her to speak out so strongly against sexual violence.         Murad spoke about the atrocities of the terrorist organization and how over 600 men from her community were killed. …

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Hazy Gray and Hints of Haley

Hazy Gray and Hints of Haley Part 2) To the younger version of myself, after experiencing the death of a fellow student and best friend. By ARIANA AKBARI   If there is one thing that I remember from taking SLS20 my freshman spring, it is that every time you recall a memory, you recall it a little less perfectly. In the end, all of your favorite memories – the ones that you have recalled the most – are just blurs, with their details filled in by your imagination. My freshman fall was a really sweet time for me, so I …

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