Whitman Wire

Schools Shape Sexual Culture

Illustration by Luke Hampton

Spencer Wharton

May 2, 2013

Dear Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association: Earlier this year, the Chicago Board of Education voted to overhaul its public schools' sex education curriculum and begin teaching age-appropriate sexual health lessons in kindergarten. You, in response, criticized the b...

Defanging Jealousy Suggests Alternative Answers

Spencer Wharton

April 18, 2013

It's the classic setup. A and B are dating. Due to some misunderstanding, A becomes incredibly jealous of the relationship B has with C––which is actually nothing more than a platonic friendship. This becomes a serious plot point, leading to arguments, character development and all sorts of juicy...

IUDs Deserve a Second Chance

Spencer Wharton

April 16, 2013

A few weeks ago, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published research confirming that IUDs are safe methods of contraception, not just for adult women, but for teenagers as well. A review of over 90,000 health insurance claims for IUD users found that less than one percent of them, regar...

How to Make a Rapist

Illustration by Julie Peterson

Spencer Wharton

April 4, 2013

(Content warning: This column discusses rape, rape culture and sexual assault.) Several weeks ago, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, the boys from Steubenville, Ohio who raped an unconscious girl, were both found guilty and sentenced. This doesn't mean it's time to stop talking about rape. On the contrary, we need now, just as much as ever, to tal...

Ugly, Awkward Virgins Deserve Sympathy, Not Ridicule

Ugly, Awkward Virgins Deserve Sympathy, Not Ridicule

Spencer Wharton

March 28, 2013

I'm gonna be blunt: We've got to stop virgin-shaming. There's an unfortunate trend in our society to scorn virgins. If word gets out that you made it to voting age without ever touching another person's genitals, you're practically guaranteed a certain amount of derision. "Virgin" is tossed around like a slur, as if there'...

Kinky Sex Demands Caution, Skill

Spencer Wharton

February 27, 2013

I'm no stranger to kink. I've got a bag of crimson hemp rope stashed away in my closet. I've browsed the sex toy selection at Babeland in search of toys to cause a partner just the right amount of (completely consensual) pain. Hell, I've gone to parties at Seattle's Center for Sex Positive Culture, which,...

Keeping Condoms Snug and Sound

Spencer Wharton

February 21, 2013

My boyfriend and I have recently become sexually active (we're both newbies) and we're having some serious issues with the condoms slipping/breaking. So, I guess I have two questions: What are some reasons that condoms slip/break, and do you have any tips for how to avoid those things? -Doesn't Wan...

Uneven Libidos Require Cooperation to Resolve

Spencer Wharton

February 14, 2013

My girlfriend and I are both seniors at Whitman, and I'm worried that our busy schedules are hurting our sex life. On a normal night, we'll curl up on the couch together, and maybe cuddle a little, but even when I try to suggest sex by giving her a massage, she tends to fall asleep. Sometimes, I'll ask if ...

“Consent Is Sexy” Mantra Well-Meaning But Misguided

Credit: Schuh

Spencer Wharton

January 31, 2013

(Content warning: This column discusses rape, rape culture and sexual assault.) "Consent is sexy." It was one of the many taglines branded across the "Pink Loves Consent" site, a webpage that appeared to be promoting a new line of Victoria's Secret underwear. A hoax by Baltimore feminist group F...

Footnote: Choosing Lube

Footnote: Choosing Lube

Spencer Wharton

January 30, 2013

When I interviewed Cynthia Fine, Community Health Educator at Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, a few months ago about painful sex, we had a great, in-depth conversation about not only pain during intercourse, but sexually transmitted infections; the importance of creating a positive, supportive atmosphere if you're having sex; good com...

No Half-Assing It With Multiple Partners

Spencer Wharton

January 24, 2013

I take issue with the way you make open relationships out to be a positive thing. I'm a straight dude who's been in three open relationships, and all I've ever gotten out of them has been misery, regret and nasty breakups. Communication wasn't the problem––we dialogued everything to DEATH. We establishe...

Sexcetera Quickies #1

Spencer Wharton

January 20, 2013

From time to time, I get questions in my box that I can't fit into a whole weekly column, but deserve an answer anyway. Over the course of winter break, I thought I'd blow through some of these. Enjoy! Any tips for keeping the oil burning in a long distance relationship? My significant other (SO) ...

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