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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sex in the Library: Kids Have Fun, Librarians Gripe, and the Internet Explodes

Posted By on Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 5:55 AM

click to enlarge Huh. The library can be an interesting place.
  • Huh. The library can be an interesting place.

We're late to the party, admittedly. But it has come to our attention that the sex columnist for U.C. Berekley's Daily Californian wrote an autobiographical column about coitus in the library -- and the Internet has reacted.

Per the column, the writer argues in favor of sex in the library. A commenter claiming to be a U.C. Berkeley librarian argues against it (we'll reprint that comment, which may be the most entertaining thing you read all day, below).

On a personal note, however, I found this deeply entertaining for reasons that have little to do with reading a young woman's account of public sex.


Your humble narrator is an alum of both U.C. Berkeley and the Daily Cal.

I am deeply familiar with the lascivious interest in library sex that editors of "grown-up" publications make clear to undergraduate

freelancers, having written several (non-autobiographical) pieces about

it myself. And I was a staffer at the university paper when we brought

in our first "Sex on Tuesday" columnist. Had I been more perceptive, I

could have gleaned from this experience how this Internet thing was

gonna change everything.

For those who haven't spelunked through the bowels of Berkeley's interconnected library system, it is completely plausible that one could find a secluded place to have sex. The library is a vast, subterranean complex lacking only a minotaur (at Berkeley they might insist on calling it a Minotaur American).

Not only could one pull off loud sex, you could conceivably rehearse a student production of Measure for Measure or open up a small-scale factory in a remote corner of the library without anyone noticing.

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Well, they'd notice eventually. As promised earlier, here's the librarian's comment:

Please don't fuck in the library. I work here. My staff works here. I told my staff I'd do what I can to make sure theirs is a safe and happy workplace. Now, in addition to pedophiles, thieves, and people with poor bowel function, I've got kids using shitty liberal arts justifications to fuck in the library.

I don't want to rain on your liberating parade or interfere with your bucket list, but you don't have to deal with the complaints. I know you would like your sex life to be more exciting, but do you know what is also exciting? Getting to work and thinking, "there won't be people fucking in the library today" Now that is liberating.

Incidentally, thank you for advising people not to ejaculate in the library. After cleaning up garbage, graffiti, shit that is apparently dropped from 10 feet above the toilet, and a variety of bodily fluids, I hesitate to ask cleaning staff to add ejaculate to that list.

Twice in the late 1990s, your humble undergraduate narrator was contacted by the editors of another weekly newspaper in San Francisco. For a story about life on campus I was, specifically, told to include sections about where students had illicit, public sex, especially in the library. This, apparently, is something people really wanted to know about. I didn't know about this, however, so I facetiously wrote that folks fooling around in the U.C. Berkeley library chose to do so in the presence of the works of German scholar Johann Fück. I'm not sure the humorous nature of this assertion was grasped by the publication in question, but I am sure they published it.

Finally, I remember when the Daily Cal brought in its first sex columnist, who may well have been the first sex columnist at any college newspaper (she says so). This was, if memory serves, explained to the staff as an informational column for students. Perhaps -- but it soon became clear that the titillation factor was responsible for a great deal of readership by non-students. Somehow, one of our paper's columns became the preeminent destination for users of the AOL search engine querying about "fisting." The paper was flooded with tens of thousands of hits -- which we thought was a lot back then.

Any arguments staffers had about how a sex column was merely a pandering ploy for readership couldn't stand up to this kind of "success" (On the other hand, the Daily Cal was now attracting -- and attempting to retain -- readers who would otherwise never pick up a college paper). The writing was on the virtual wall -- for years professional writers and editors had, rather high-handedly, chosen what the people should read. But now things were changing. Now the script was being flipped. At least personally, the transformation of how the news business was to how it is began with "fisting."

Perhaps that's as apropos as anything.
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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more

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