Tuesday, April 03, 2012

On this week's titillating Dear Prudence

Yet another reason why college room-sharing is a terrible idea. Prudie's advice - "Just think of this as one of those 'out of classroom' learning experiences admissions officers are always touting." - doesn't really add up, because under what other circumstances later in life might this happen and not constitute massively inappropriate - criminal, even - behavior? Yes, it's a life lesson to pretend not to hear what's going on behind closed doors (including, as Prudie notes came up in an earlier column, behind bathroom doors), but a within a room is a different story. Even aside from anything explicitly intimate, it's natural as well as socially expected to have an on-off switch when it comes to what's public and what's private. How is it supposed to be a good thing to transcend that impulse/expectation?

5 comments:

Kayla said...

What is the roommate supposed to do, though? She can either masturbate at night with her roommate there, or do it during the day when the roommate might come in at any time. I guess the polite thing is to do it when you know for sure your roommate won't be home for a while, but college students have such irregular schedules...

Phoebe said...

But that's precisely the issue. Both roommates have legitimate grievances here. Both want something 100% reasonable. There ought to be a right to both a room void of unwanted sexual activity and a room in which one can engage in sexual activity, solo included. By all accounts most college freshman would desire both of these things - it's not that there are on the one hand exhibitionists, and on the other the ranks of the too-uptight-for-that-sort-of-thing.

Jacob T. Levy said...

Another question: what 18-year-old thinks that a useful strategy for tackling this problem is to *write to Dear Prudie*???

Phoebe said...

I think this is a case where you have to assume Prudie's writing these herself, perhaps so as to hold onto an audience that would otherwise be lost to Dan Savage.

Kayla said...

Agreed.