The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

85° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Pillow Talk

    How many of you are guilty of playing that round table game during a particularly dull lecture, hopping from person to person, scrutinizing them and pondering exactly how many people they’ve had sex with? If you haven’t, and you look up from reading to make awkward eye contact with the person across from you, you’ve just been on the receiving end of this shallow inquisition.

    Congratulations — did you pass?

    When I came to college and took my first steps on campus, I was convinced everyone was getting laid, and I was clearly behind on my game. It was the second week of school and I needed to slow my roll.

    What is it about college that requires us to categorize each other by “experience?” It’s a bell curve that’s equal parts narcissism and naivete that prompts us to bust out our measuring sticks, setting unspoken standards for each other and helping cement the notion that college really is the new high school.

    Put the sticks away people, you’re embarrassing yourselves. I can’t judge too much though, because freshman year I was the epitome of overestimation. One particular conversation comes to mind, when some friends and I were sitting around, delaying productivity to discuss, the dubious virginal status of the guys on our floor.

    They insisted most of them hadn’t had sex. I objected. There was no way more than a few of the boys, let alone most, had yet to lose it at prom or at the very least, convinced their previous girlfriend to give it up the week before leaving for college.

    It occurred to me that maybe I was being cynical, but there were two things I should have considered before lauding my absolute confidence on accurate sex-life analysis. First, I lived in an honors dorm and that speaks for itself. Second, a quick Google search would show that college virgins make up a surprisingly present minority that on some campuses is transitioning to the majority.

    This demographic shift is waiting even longer to have sex. A survey conducted by Duke University at their Durham, N.C., campus of 1,500 freshman and seniors in 2007, revealed that 53 percent of women and 40 percent of men identified as virgins. The reasons behind these statistics are unclear and I’ve learned my lacking psychology can’t adequately fill in the blanks. But on a college campus brimming with roughly 30,000 undergrads, an issue as complex as sexuality is influenced by incredibly diverse attitudes, belief systems and life experiences that are tailored directly to that individual.

    When we attempt to claim an understanding of someone’s motives behind whether or not they want to have sex, we subvert the notion that sexuality shouldn’t be a community forum, but a philosophy that originates within and is then projected free of judgement toward the people you and only you choose.

    I don’t know if any of us really know what “experienced” means. We’re all “experienced” in something, and those experiences might make us a far better life partner than your obnoxious roommate’s ability to take home a new girl after every party. Or that girl in your Spanish group that claims her freshman year she dated four different guys. Those people only see in black and white and unlike virgins, they’re a rather insignificant minority.

    Kate Newton is a journalism junior. She can be reached at or on Twitter via @katenewton18.

    Follow us on Twitter @wildcatarts.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search