Under the Lab Coat

Under the lab coat

The top sex stories of 2011

December 29, 2011

If my mother is right, every year the world gets a little bit more sexually explicit — from movies to advertisements to politics to, well, even sometimes science. And while this perspective may be a combined result of time passing and my dear mother getting, well, older, we can’t deny that some of the top stories of 2011 have been rather sexually entangled. Well, isn’t that what makes the world go round? Here’s a look at some of the top sex-related stories of 2011.

8. Politics, of course, kept us on the edge of our seats with the multitude of sex scandals that disrupted this year’s democratic process. From Anthony Weiner’s sexually explicit use of messaging to Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s supposed hotel escapades to Herman Cain’s long line of alleged relations… John Stewart summed it up best, following Cain’s penchant for Pokemon: “I could use some pants.”

7. While Weiner definitely kept the idea of sexting in the headlines this year, a report released in December 2011 found that the explicit form of texting might not be as popular as we all imagine. It’s just that when it does happen, coverage explodes. Hopefully the new research soothes some concerned parents nerves.

6. But if parents are allowed to relax about one thing, chances are they’ll find something else to ruffle their feathers. An ad for the gay dating and social networking website Manhunt sparked controversy with its depiction of two nude male models closely intertwined. Parents argued that the image was too sexually explicit for children while gay rights activists retaliated that the ad would receive no complaints if it showed a heterosexual couple in such a pose.

5. Regardless of how divided the public is on homosexual PDA, the gay community won a major battle when New York legalized gay marriage in June of this year. Gay couples flocked to the largest state yet to offer such unions this summer.

4. While homosexuals rejoiced at their newfound right to marry, what marriage means today was a major topic of discussion — and no, not just amidst politicians debating whether gay marriage would ruin the sanctity of the union. According to The Atlantic’s Kate Bolick, marriage may already be an obsolete concept. The reason has nothing to do with gay marriage, and instead can be traced to differences between how men and women are handling, well, everything nowadays.

3. And yet our collective faith in marriage was perhaps restored by the over-hyped and over-exposed marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton. The best thing to come out of the affair? Commemorative Royal Wedding Condoms, of course.

2. We hope some of those condoms — or at least another variety — have been in use at one of the most news-worthy sites of 2011, Zuccotti Park. It seems that sex is an inevitable result of any kind of community, including one that is outdoors and in public. And while the protestors have been given a large supply of condoms, it doesn’t seem they’ve been taking great advantage of this free supply. Instead, a few of them have been requesting pregnancy tests.

1. Which brings us to our number one news story of 2011: on October 31st, the 7 billionth human was born. While this is obviously the result of a lot of sex, if we want the population to slow down its exponential growth (which we should, if we want to do things like eat), we’re going to have to either slow down on the sex or increase access to safe and effective birth control. I’d suggest focusing on the latter, as it seems hopefully more feasible.

About the Author

Susan E. Matthews

Susan E. Matthews is trading the hills of New Hampshire for New York City, as she comes to SHERP straight after graduating from Dartmouth College. As an environmental studies major, she worked in a biogeochemistry lab and traveled through southern Africa. She found her true passion, however, in writing for and ultimately being editor-in-chief of Dartmouth’s daily paper. SHERP provides a lovely solution to bridging her two interests, and she can’t wait to get back to the reporting side of journalism. Follow her on Twitter @_susanematthews


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