Our contributor Kristine deGuzman, a junior at UC Berkeley, has a confession to make:
I’ve shared almost everything about my sex life with my friends — they know, for example, that I discovered masturbation when I was 8 and alone with my parents’ hand-held massager. And that I am prone to squirt during sex. I’m guessing they would tell you that I don’t know how much information constitutes T.M.I.
You say over-sharing, I say, what’s the big deal? I just don’t get why so many of my peers treat their sex lives like their bowel movements — something we all know is going on but don’t feel comfortable enough to discuss with company. I especially don’t see the point of trying to hide your sex life when you’re in college, because if you’re seeing someone in college, it’s almost a given that you’re getting into each other’s pants.
Most people I’ve come across either giggle or act a bit awkward when I cross that T.M.I. line, though I have discovered that with a little push, a good number of people dive right over with me. Let’s take a girl I know from back home. We went through 13 years of private Catholic school together and she’s always been known to be a prude. I saw her over Winter Break, and over coffee, she managed to let slip that she recently started having sex. This is pretty much how our conversation went:
Me: “So you’re having sex now?”
Me: “So who are you having sex with?”
Me: “Is it that guy in all of your MySpace pictures?”
Her: (smiling) “…”
Me: “So, how long have you guys been having sex now?”
Her: (smiling even bigger) “About three weeks…”
Me: “…So do you guys have sex a lot or something?”
Her: “YES. We’ve had sex twelve times! In my car, in a public restroom, and even on the break table at work!”
I suspect everyone, deep down, wants to share their dirty laundry. It’s cathartic, empowering, and educational! We’d all be a little wiser and less judgmental about sex if we were more honest about it. And we’d certainly be a lot more knowledgeable and mature about the harsher realities of sex, like imperfect bodies, reproduction, and STDs.
Unfortunately, my boyfriend doesn’t subscribe to this T.M.I. philosophy. While most guys I’ve encountered have been more than willing to discuss their sex lives, often in grossly explicit detail, my boyfriend is an extremely private person. And since sharing details about my sex life inevitably means sharing details about his sex life, we tend to bump heads a lot. Like when we’re out with friends and I tell them that we left last week’s party early so we could go home and have wild, headboard-shaking sex.
My boyfriend, ever the eloquent one, likes to quote Ludacris when he explains his aversion to T.M.I., stating that he wants, “A lady in the streets, but a freak in the sheets.” While I don’t buy that being tight-lipped about what I do in bed makes me a “lady” (I just think it makes me seem “uptight”), I have tried to dial it back a bit for his sake. But if someone comes right out and asks me what I did last night, my first response will still be, “I boned my boyfriend. Twice.”
— Kristine deGuzman