This paper reflects the research and thoughts of a student at the time the paper was written for a course at Bryn Mawr College. Like other materials on Serendip, it is not intended to be "authoritative" but rather to help others further develop their own explorations. Web links were active as of the time the paper was posted but are not updated.

Contribute Thoughts | Search Serendip for Other Papers | Serendip Home Page

English 212
2002 First Paper
On Serendip

Thinking Sex-Sexual Subgroup


I am writing an addendum here...that describes what my thought process was in tackling this assignment. I had this conversation with this assignment in mind but felt unsatisfied with the idea and the ultimate concretization of the idea. I spent the weekend in NYC and was struck by another idea on my way there. I was on the NJ Transit, pretending to get some reading done but really engaging in my favorite activity - people watching. A man came onto the train and for some reason particularly caught my eye. He fit the visual stereotype of a „closeted flaming gay man‰ and I was so intrigued by his character that I began to imagine his secret night life style. I created an imagined narrative for him and thought that I would use car #1412 on the NE Corridor Line to NYC on Friday, September 20, 2002 around 3 in the afternoon as my sexual subgroup. I would have enjoyed using this scene to imagine narratives for a handful of individuals on the train: the aforementioned man, a young South-East Asian man, two posh Polish women, and myself - the observer. I just thought I‚d mention this because I thought it might inspire others as well to take a creative twist with this assignment. So much for imagining other peoples‚ sex lives!

My sexual subgroup is: women, Bryn Mawr students, Denbigh residents, Denbigh sophomore residents on Wednesday, September 17, 2002. Here I pause to note that choosing a sexual subgroup and conversation to represent is a horrible experience - I love the assignment but, as is usual on our campus, am afraid of limiting compartmentalization. Three women are discussing sex at my request. The conversation is tainted with artificiality due to the unnatural way in which sex, the topic, was introduced: forcefully, persistently. My mistake. Despite the uncomfortable tone and the lack of fluidity in our story telling, we are comfortable with one another. A: So, let‚s talk about sex!
B: Okay so here‚s the story about M___ the Man-Whore. A: Yeah, what is this I keep hearing about? Who is this guy? B: You know him.
A: I do?
B: Yeah you remember at . . .
. . .
B: So he and I slept together. Just once and it was terrible! A: Why?
B: Because he was so dominant and controlling over the way it had to be. He was really into the just-sex thing. (C knows this story already and isn‚t adding much) A: What do you mean? That he wanted casual sex? And you didn‚t? Because sex for sex is not necessarily bad. B: Sex means a lot to me and I need it to be emotional and meaningful. A: So he didn‚t give you what you wanted. I am not surprised. He is definitely unappealing. What was he like? Was he big? B: Uuum, average.
A: Is he pudgy? Does he have a nice body? Because I saw him a week ago and he doesn‚t look too good. B & C in unison: He is a scrawny white boy. We continued chatting for a good hour and two other ladies joined us, but they were junior Denbigh residents. I find this very tedious to type and sanitize on a computer screen and the experience of this conversation is not being transcribed successfully; so I will stop and fill in the rest with narration. We shared our first times - one of us lost it to a fling. That‚s what she wanted - someone she wouldn‚t see again. It was painful and not particularly pleasurable - but it was what she wanted. Another of us was very inebriated and she doesn‚t remember much, but she has a positive attitude towards the experience - she doesn‚t remember if she was pleased or not. The last one of us was sober with her boyfriend at the time but doesn‚t remember for some inexplicable and troubling reason. All of us lost it to „men‰ despite diverse sexual preferences. Pain and pleasure were the words that reoccurred the most in the conversation. „Did it hurt?‰ „Did you bleed?‰ „Was it good?‰ Answers: „Not really.‰ „No.‰ „No.‰ Or „I don‚t really remember.‰ The conversation was empty, fruitless, artificial, yet comfortable. We all felt alright with being so blunt and straightforward. And that made up for the unfortunate tone with which we spoke. I think it is safe to say that none of us felt adequately nor accurately represented. But the mutual assumption that none would judge eased this qualm. In defining this sexual subgroup and in trying to understand its language, the relationship between us three women must be touched upon. B and C have known each other since last semester and seem to have shared moments like this before. I would not say they are „good friends,‰ but B is certainly comfortable with C and vice versa. A was acquainted with B and C last semester; although, she never had a real conversation with either B and C. She is just getting to know them now as hall mates and women. She prefers C‚s company to B‚s. These women know each other and have spoken about sex on other, more casual, more natural occasions. In those occasions sex was introduced spontaneously to the conversation and the tension and „pressure‰ felt in the aforementioned conversation was not there. Sex was a topic that was mutually desired as topic of the conversation. I do not mean to say that A, B, or C did not want to talk about sex during our conversation, and I am sure that if one had felt truly uncomfortable she would have spoken up. In fact we had been broaching the subject lightly when A pushed further and more deliberately to continue on that subject. This may have been the source for the plasticity of the conversation. What is striking is that the artificiality of the setting was not felt or perceived through a change in vocabulary or way of speaking. A, B, and C used the same words to describe their experiences that they would have used had they been speaking more intimately. What made the discomfort so apparent was the inflection and tone, and even speed, with which A, B, and C spoke. There seemed to be a huge disinterest in sharing a story. This is peculiar because I suspect that sharing stories like these, for all three women, was a desired experience. I think A, B, and C wanted to share their stories. So, the apparent disinterest with the stories - is it due to the setting of the discussion or is it due to the specific sex topic. Were we uncomfortable because we spoke of „our first times?‰ This was felt due to the monotone way in which these stories were revealed and with the little attention to detail. These stories took less than 3 minutes for each one of us to tell! I exclamate this point because it surprises me. Perhaps this surprise is wrong? Perhaps this particular sexual subgroup speaks quickly on such matters (for whatever reasons)? In exclamating the speed with which these stories were divulged I do not mean to subconsciously impose a value on the nature of the experiences we were sharing. It is not because we speak of losing our virginity, instead of last night‚s fling, that we should spend more time and care on detail. Perhaps this is my own personal preference in comparison with these two other women. I would prefer to spend an entire evening talking about sex, slowly and without the frenzied rush. In hindsight, this conversation was not a pleasant one. It was not rewarding in and of itself. The dissection of this conversation was formidable to me as I did not want to limit and box up these women labeling them with a certain type of language. So, what I conclude, is that this sexual subgroup was: three women, Mawrtyrs, sophomores, Denbigh residents, somewhat familiar with one another, on Wednesday, September 17, 2002, on their way to A-Plus to buy cigarettes, walking back from Erdman to Denbigh. This sexual subgroup is specific to these events and to the way in which sex was introduced into the conversation. This sexual subgroup will never again exist. If these three women are to speak of sex together again, the situation will be entirely different and thus the vocabulary as well.

| Forums | Serendip Home |

Send us your comments at Serendip

© by Serendip 1994- - Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-May-2018 10:51:33 CDT