When I was first asked to write this column, I felt honored. Sex in the Elm City. Sarah Jessica Parker embodies all which I value — a raging New York City singles romp carried out in a great pair of Manolo Blahniks. Plus she has curly hair. The ultimate sign of perfection (as far as I’m concerned at least). There was no way I was about to turn down being Yale’s one and only Carrie Bradshaw.

With this newfound sense of authority I decided to delve into a personal concern of mine — something that I have wondered about for some time now, something that I would certainly label a severe cause of distress. It is ranked right up there with starvation, poverty and suitable skirt lengths (Is a thigh grazing mini OK in the fall? Is ankle length subtly sexy or just librarian conservative?). Regardless, I inaugurate my column-hood with a dialogue on the hand job.

No one gives hand jobs anymore. I’ve asked around. Athletes, artisans, intellectuals, communists — no one gives hand jobs! I find this highly alarming. I understand that this might seem a little strange; I mean, most girls do not even know how to give hand jobs. Their concerns are grouped into three categories:

The inferiority complex — “They can do it so much better themselves.”

Logistical complaints — “The positioning is all wrong.”

And some girls can just be, well, aggresive: “We just end up tugging at it like it’s a stuck zipper, instead of well, a — ummm — sensitive piece of machinery.”

I got similar (well, sort of) responses from most of my male friends. “Hand job? I haven’t gotten one of those since high school,” said one freshman. Another practical friend said, “your mouth is softer, and if you want, you can just use your vagina.”

How accommodating.

Some guy even asked “What’s a hand job?” He was hot, I am not gonna lie. Only one friend admitted to still partaking in a little manual stimulation every once in a while. Upon hearing this, his roommate snorted and asked, “Who are you hooking up with, eighth graders?” I promised the embarrassed party that he would remain nameless.

So the question remains, why am I so disturbed by this hands free policy? Thanks for asking. I’m worried because the classic hook-up progression becomes distorted. If it’s a one-shot deal, the hand job may be forgone, but what about the sweet innocent dating sequence that takes place in syrupy Brat Pack movies? The one where you make-out in someone’s car after catching a Saturday night flick?

The hook-up progression has several steps, and with the removal of the hand job, we go from kissing one thing, to well, kissing another. By removing this crucial step, we have removed so many options. For example, how do good girls take a walk on the wild side without compromising their decidedly D.J.-from-Full-House status? Before, it used to be through the hand job, now, it is all or nothing.

This is highly stressful.

It’s like playing black jack, hit me or don’t, no in-between, no peaks, no previews, nada. Without the hand job, how am I supposed to know what I am getting myself into?

Of course, let us not forget the beloved OTPHJ. A personal favorite of the senior boys who lived above me last year, and of the Fifth Humor, the OTPHJ (over-the-pants-hand-job), allows for so many options. You can subtly bring the OTPHJ to various public venues while keeping class on your side. Long New York City cab ride? Speed it up with a quick OTPHJ. Halftime at the football game and you’re feeling a little cold? Why spend money on hot cider when the OTPHJ is absolutely free? If you’re particularly adventurous, the OTPHJ is a perfectly viable option on the dance floor. Quite frankly, how am I supposed to compete when Alanis Morrisette is performing fellatio at the movie theater? It’s all in the OTPHJ!

Seriously though, from my extensive research over the past week, I’ve found that the hand job is an art — a dying art. It’s difficult to master, yields controversy, and with the OTPHJ option, it can even turn up in museums. I’ve tried to bring back the hand job, but to no avail. It seems that people aren’t nostalgic for their junior high years, when the hand job was sought after, even coveted. So with misty eyes, I say farewell to the hand job, and look toward next week’s column, where it seems the only remaining question is — spit or swallow?

Natalie Krinsky. She has red hair. And she doesn’t lie.