In case you missed the Titillating Library News Update last week, take a look at this opinion column by a Berkeley student recommending people have sex in the campus library and regaling the world with her sexcapades, or as she puts it, her “classy kissing-and-telling,” unaware of the oxymoron.
She also considered having sex in the library and various classrooms a “classy afternoon.” I don’t think that word means what she thinks it means.
The column has over 200 comments, and of the few I read none seemed to be favorable, probably for good reason. The author seems utterly self-absorbed.
With typical youthful unawareness, she seems to think she’s pushing boundaries. She tells us near the end, “remember that you are definitely not the first person to have had sex on campus, nor will you be the last.” Oh, honey, do you really think people don’t know that? College students have been having sex on campuses since there were college students.
Frankly, given the last 40 years of American sexual history, I have to wonder why college newspapers still have sex columns. Given the reliable sexual information in the library and on the Internet, why would anyone turn to a barely post-adolescent college student for sex tips or advice?
I guess it’s like those studies showing that college students would rather ask library student workers for help than the librarians. They would rather get bad advice from someone like them than good advice from someone not like them.
The comments are notable because a librarian responded, helpfully identifying himself or herself as “Librarian.” The comment was blunt. I’ve replaced a few words because in my world that’s not the way professional librarians talk to students, as much as we’d all like to sometimes:
Please don’t [copulate] 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 [fecal] liberal arts justifications to [copulate] 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 copulating] 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, [feces] 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.
Now that sounds like an annoyed librarian!
And that’s where the author’s self-absorption becomes most apparent. She comes across as a well meaning person who simply doesn’t think about the consequences of her actions for other people, so a typical teenager.
If you’re having sex somewhere, you’re probably going to make a mess, at least if you’re doing it right. Someone has to clean up that mess. When people have sex or throw garbage (or worse) in a public place, the assumption seems to be that other people will be cleaning up that mess, most likely other people so beneath you that you don’t have to acknowledge their basic humanity.
That’s also apparent in this precious tidbit, that with the privacy of a locked classroom, “I had just as much fun banging as I did walking around classrooms in lingerie and writing dirty things on chalkboards.” Classy! And, of course, some poor custodian is going to have to clean all those dirty things off the chalkboards, and probably straighten some furniture.
While an official library response might have been appropriate, it was nice to see a librarian standing up for the people no one notices in the library.