The TLC Tip: Our bodies, ourselves

College is a time of self-discovery, heavy drinking, no sleeping and submarine sandwiches. It’s only natural that we put these big old brains to work to reflect on what we should do with our bodies, and what our bodies want. Also, wanking it.

For next time, send your anonymous questions to lauren.rosenthal@yale.edu to be reviewed and lol-ed over in confidence.

Q: You know, dating here sucks. How do you fight the horny?

A: Let’s take a trip back in time to 2004. It was a great year: The Killers had just burst onto the scene with their wholesome brand of Mormon-inflected dance pop, I was still able to buy my clothes in the kids’ department, and I was taking science with the best public school science teacher that ever was or will be. Mr. Davis always wore a Danny Tanner-esque shirt and jeans combo with a necktie with a rocket or fishes or some shit on it, which was great. He also taught the best sex ed unit of all time.

You Republicans out there might want to cover your ears (not that you would ever open WEEKEND) (but who even does): Washington State was not up on the abstinence-only sex education. We had a nurse come in and show us how to put a condom on a perma-erect wooden dowel in the library one day. It was scary and we giggled a lot. But it was necessary!

With the freedom granted by a progressive Department of Education comes great responsibility, and Mr. Davis honored the shit out of it. We asked weird questions using a super-anonymous “Question Box,” and he answered them without judgment. He gave a boys-only lecture on sexual violence. He sent the girls to self-defense training with a real cop in a puffy red padded suit. (My own encounter with the “Red Man” earned me the nickname “Fists of Fury,” which I wish had stuck so so bad.)

He asked us to think critically, openly, and frankly about sex and love, safety and pleasure. He somehow managed to get 30 13-year-olds to talk some real talk. It’s kind of depressing to reflect on my time at Yale, and realize that relatively few conversations we have about sex here can match the candor of that middle school sex ed unit. (Don’t even get me started on the whole “ban/edit/censor Sex Week” thing, because I will inevitably get so pissed off and crawl so far up my own asshole that I will turn into the Hulk, and you won’t like me when I’m angry.)

A few things I remember from those halcyon days of eighth grade: You have to love yourself before you can fully expect anyone else to love you. Also, you can have an orgasm without another person touching you. Or even being in the room! It’s called masturbation, and it’s been scientifically proven to make life great. We shouldn’t expect our partners to make us feel better than we can make ourselves feel — not physically, and not emotionally, either. It’s not healthy and it’s not going to last.

So if you’re a girl, buy a vibrator! Or use your hands! Find some womyn-friendly porn, or just spend some time alone, with you, finding out what you like.

I don’t expect you to be alone forever. You won’t be. But until you’re sexually and emotionally self-sufficient, you’re probably not going to meet anyone worth writing home about. That’s just how it works.

(And if you, dear writer, are a guy, just keep doin’ what I’m 99.9 percent sure you’re already doin’.)

Q: God and man knows I’ll only do work during the last two days of reading week. Any tips on how to make the most of my lazy days?

A: See above.

Q: I only smoke cigarettes a few times a week. Does that make me a smoker?

The health impact of occasional smoking is a) real and b) scary. But I’m sure you know that. The real question is what it means to be A Smoker.

We all grew up seeing those gross posters in the nurse’s office that showed tar-sticky lungs on an autopsy table, or a breathtakingly beautiful woman smoking a cigarette with corpse makeup all over her face. Sadly, none of those messages really stuck, because I’m noticing a big resurgence in smoking among kids our age. And me?

I used to be A Smoker. I liked the pink Camel No. 9’s because they calmed me down, tasted like candy and made me think of Chanel No. 5. I don’t know if it’s brilliant marketing or if I am just a moron. Also, people are 90 percent more likely to lay down some solid kvetching with a cigarette in hand, and I do love to kvetch.

Once you become A Smoker, cigarettes are a lot less fun. Everything’s a lot less fun when you NEED it. And eventually, I realized I was literally setting my money on fire and inhaling the byproduct directly into my lungs — all so I could go around smelling like Goodwill. I slowed way down after that.

Pace yourself. If you have a big craving for a cigarette, think of the sad corpse lady and your pretty pink lungs and just ride it out.

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