What do you f***ing hate?

“I HATE THIS F*ING SCHOOL!” UTSU bets you’ve thought that at some time or other, and held a town hall Tuesday to get specifics. UTSU got what it asked for: roughly 40 students showed up for a spirited session. The most pervasive complaint, ironically, turned out to be a lack of communication. John, a history student, summed it up: “I never find out about these things. Maybe a lot of these problems would be solved if the UTSU or maybe the university in general were to rethink how information gets to us.”

Students also aired grievances about sustainability, poor representation of international students, the career centre, inadequate desk space at Robarts after hours, and the high price of club space. Bellyaching over food on campus drew applause from the whole room.

One student described “toxic” relationships between students and professors and said that high workloads lead to bad relations and poor learning. Rohan, an electrical engineering student, suggested advocacy for students when dealing with professors.

Discussion also turned to the lack of awareness about the Ombudsperson’s office, which offers advice and assistance with complaints unresolved through regular university channels.

UTSU itself drew some pointed criticisms. Karen Cao had a whole list: “I hate the fact that our student union could not negotiate a UPass; I hate the fact that we can’t opt out of our health care coverage,” she said.

“I hate the fact that our student union was voted in by 13 per cent voter turn out. I hate that the UTSU did not effectively publicize last year’s election, resulting in the fact that every single UTSU exec on right now did not run against a single candidate except for Sandy.”

“There is one thing that dropped this year, and that is club money,” said Mueen, a member of the Muslim Students Association. UTSU’s executive director, Angela Regnier, replied that Mueen’s concerns “have been definitely raised” in discussing the union’s newest budget.

One student called for better communication between students and their government. Antonin Mongeau, president of the French Club, then criticized UTSU’s lack of availability. “We elected them, and we pay for them, but they don’t really represent us,” said Mongeau, who was recently booted from UTSU’s Clubs Committee in a secret vote.

Regnier, the moderator, responded by pointing to Karen’s concerns about the UPASS. When Mongeau asked her to clarify UTSU’s availability, president Sandy Hudson entered the discussion.

But after a few exchanged words, Regnier interrupted with “Sorry, this isn’t a two way discussion […] if you want an opportunity to yell at [Sandy] and tell her everything that she has to feel then maybe you can do that afterward.” She then proposed to have a “show of hands of everybody who wants to see you sit here and yell at Sandy.”

As Adam Awad, VP University Affairs, put it, the purpose of the discussion was to “figure out a way for every member of the union […] to work together on issues to make this a better place for everyone, which is pretty much our mandate.” Here’s wishing UTSU, and students, good luck.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

I’ve been sexually frustrated ever since I can remember. What started as curiosity became abject desperation once I hit puberty: acne prone, brace-faced, and sporting an eye patch thanks to Bell’s Palsy (a disorder that makes half your face freeze up), I was in no position to act on those first unendurable urges. The internet facilitated a couple of awkward first encounters, and for awhile it looked as though I was off to a good start. Then came art (high) school, with a girl to guy ratio of six to one. Virginity remained the monkey on my back for years afterwards, and I learned that masturbation is far from a quick fix: it’s a way of life.

Like a child with no friends, I developed a rich inner sex life, cultivating involved fantasies likely too horrible to realize. As I blossomed into a reasonably attractive young woman, sex became more and more elusive. I had more opportunities, but my inordinate drive was tempered by a neurosis which drove me to get HIV tests every time I got kissed. By the time I lost my virginity, I had dodged more than a few imaginary bullets. From then on, every encounter brought on weeks of sleepless nights as I Google-image-searched the strange STIs I knew I’d caught through condoms that must be defective. My relationships never lasted very long, because I grilled my partners about their sexual health records until what chemistry we had was neutralized. I thought everyone was trying to infect me.

But the stronger the suspicion, the stronger the attraction. I didn’t realize it then, but my sexual proclivities and mental tics had developed synergistically: some part of me wanted to be taken advantage of, while the rest worried incessantly that I would be. The result was a strange contradiction: my desires reached a dead end which eliminated the possibility of satisfaction, but gave rise to the desires themselves.

By a stroke of luck, I found someone with a compatible set of issues. Disease-free sex has been free and easy for over two years now (and I’ve always thought that getting over germaphobia was a matter of finding someone whose germs you don’t mind). It’s been nice, and God knows I’m thankful to have found someone willing to put up with me. But being in a stable relationship has only reinforced the gaping chasm between fantasy and reality. The sex is great, but it’s relationship sex.

My sex life and my private thoughts are completely independent of one another. Of course, comfortableness and attraction are markedly different states, and the honeymoon period only lasts so long. But when your fantasies involve an element of abuse, love and desire can be difficult to reconcile. The idea of “lovemaking” has always left me a bit nauseated, and the thought of donning a gimp suit while my boyfriend paddles me on the ass seems good for a gag at best. Ours is a sex life that can’t be mediated by accessories, or hardened through suspension of disbelief. Fantasy is more about intention than anything else. I don’t think my boyfriend could pretend to be a “bad man” if he wanted to, and that’s probably a good thing.

But what’s strange is that my boyfriend and I have fantasy in common: in fact, his porn addiction is part of what united us in the first place (a story for another time). A latecomer to sex, adult films were his only recourse until he lost his virginity at 24. And as everyone knows, reality doesn’t eliminate fantasy: it only pushes it further. So here we are, like two bashful kids at a makeout party, holding hands while our single friends do things we could only fumble towards before collapsing in limp resignation. Sure, we can talk about what we want, but we can’t do it with one another: there’s just too much respect.

This is a common lament. Every relationship requires a compromise where sex is concerned. If it were anything else, we’d get over it: after all, part of being an adult is dealing with disappointments and personal shortcomings. But we’re steeped in a culture of sexual one-upmanship, and everywhere you turn, someone is boasting about the fun that you’ve never had. While everyone’s resigned themselves to the adage “you can’t always get what you want”—the guy who sang it never wanted for sex in his life. The coupled get flak for rubbing their love into single people’s faces. Perhaps this is our best defence.

Now that I’m mostly cured of my hang-ups, a part of me wonders why I’m not doing anything about it. Could I mute my conscience just long enough to satisfy my curiosities? If I finally sold my boyfriend on the idea of an open relationship, could I make the most of it? The guilt would be unbearable—but it would probably feel pretty good, too. Rifling through my sexual to-do list, I’m not sure. Nothing is ever as good as it is in your head. There’s a good chance that I’m as satisfied as I’ll ever be. ❤

Bribery allegations at Concordia

Concordia University’s student union is under fire for questionable changes to its health care plan. Its current provider accuses the union of leaving when its execs didn’t get bribes, and has asked university administration to take over.

Quebec Student Health Alliance (ASEQ) has provided a health and dental insurance plan to the Montreal university since the company’s 1996 inception. ASEQ serves about 400,000 students in over 50 unions. The company negotiates plans with insurance companies by divvying allocated funds and assessing the effectiveness of complex insurance plans.

Concordia Student Union’s health insurance contract, worth $2.9 million, was the first contract entrusted to ASEQ, who now claims CSU has switched insurance providers.

In a January interview, CSU president Keyana Kashfi told student newspaper the Concordian she had renegotiated a health plan.

Elie Chivi, CSU VP communications, told the Concordian in a Tuesday article that the union has not replaced its insurance provider, but has contracted consulting firm Morneau Sobeco “to go out and look for different health plans for us.”

A Dec. 11 document shows the union appointed Morneau Sobeco, in association with a CFS-owned company, as consultants to the student benefit plans for next year. “All commissions will be payable to Morneau Sobeco,” reads the document, written three months before Kashfi was hired as a CFS staffer.

Chivi also said that ASEQ “allowed the CSU’s current health plan provider to earn a surplus profit that is potentially in excess of one million dollars over the past three years.” Lev Bukhman, executive director of ASEQ, said his company’s role involves managing funds allocated to insurance companies.

A letter declaring ASEQ’s loss of confidence in CSU and Kashfi was sent Monday and forwarded to the university president and dean of students.

The letter, written by Bukhman, has been posted on Macleans’ blogger Joey Coleman’s personal blog and cites “extraordinary incidents involving [Kashfi] and members of [her] administration, which are reprehensible”.

Bukhman alleged in a signed affidavit that he was asked last March by Stephen Rosenshein, an election slate campaign manager, to contribute $25,000. The funds would be used to support campaigns of candidates running in last year’s election, including current prez Kashfi. Bukhman said Rosenshein inferred that CSU would consider switching insurance providers if no contribution was made.

Bukhman also said Rosenshein verbally attacked him while doing a presentation on insurance plans to CSU a few days later. Bukham claimed Kashfi, once installed, had been hostile towards ASEQ and leaked confidential documents to competitors.

The university has not been involved.

“The CSU is an entity completely independent of the university and this precludes the university taking any action in this matter, be it trusteeship or otherwise,” Christine Mota, director of media relations at Concordia University, told The Varsity in an email.

The Concordian received a copy of Bukhman’s letter but was told not to print any of it.

“Our client considers its content to be extremely defamatory,” wrote Francis P. Donovan, a lawyer representing the Canadian Federation of Students-Quebec, in an email. “To do so would be to render yourselves complicit in acts of defamation, and you may be held liable for any and all damages resulting therefrom.”

With files from André Bovee Begun

College Under the Covers

Dear Wyndham, I just got out of a long, tumultuous relationship and the last thing I want to do is get involved with someone new. That being said, I also really want to get laid. How do I ethically sleep around without sending mixed signals?

—In Need Of A Booty Call

Short of getting membership into Club Wicked, the best way to go about this is through straight-up honesty. At bars, parties, or through friends of friends: there’s a lot of people (yes, girls too) that just want some horizontal mambo, no strings attached, and while meeting them isn’t always easy, it’s not impossible. But when you do meet a foxy lad/lady that you’d like to sex up, you’ve gotta let them know the score.

While that doesn’t mean revealing it during a handshake introduction, it is always helpful to slip in some hints during the chit-chat that follows (for example, dropping in a “Right now, I’m focusing on having fun and meeting as many people as possible” is usually a good clue that you aren’t on the monogamous track).

My rule to let someone know that I don’t want to go further than one night is to come forward post-initial kiss, which allows them to decide if they want do get down, or if they’d rather go home and look at wedding magazines. You’ve got to be brave, and stick to your word: no spending the night, no “I can’t believe I met you,” no promises of calling in a few days. People who give mixed signals are cowards who don’t have the balls to say how they really felt, so they put on a façade of romance. At the beginning of making out, let him/her know what you want out of the evening, and be prepared to accept that your truthfulness might cost you the booty. But getting laid under the false pretence of a possible romantic future is one of the cruellest things you can do to another person.

Dear Wyndham, I have a great boyfriend who thinks our vanilla-style lovemaking isn’t enough. Lately he’s been putting pressure on me to do more and more explicit things—anal sex, dirty talk, and finishing on my face. I’m not quite sure I’m ready, but I love my boyfriend and want to make him happy. How can we find a happy medium?

—Can’t We Just Cuddle?

Oh, sweetheart. We’ve all been there in some way or another, and while I usually stick with Dan Savage’s mantra, (you’ve got to be “good, giving, and game” in bed) acquiescing when you aren’t comfortable is only going to cause trouble.

When you have a partner that wants to try something new, you should first take a moment to think back to your recent fantasies and daydreams. Is this something that you have independently thought would get the juices flowing? If you are both interested in anal sex but worried about discomfort, anal toys (like butt plugs, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes) are a good way to ease you in. So is a finger, which is significantly smaller than a penis. If this play arouses you without any pain, then you can decide if you want to move further.

Same with the others: dirty talk can begin with just saying, “I want you, you turn me on,” and a guy can ejaculate on your thighs or breasts to see if you like the feeling. You (and your partner) shouldn’t expect to move into new territory overnight—that will likely leave you both shaken and confused (and probably sore). But fundamentally, if your boyfriend or girlfriend is suggesting something new that you have never thought of as fun or sexy, proceed with a lot of caution.

It’s okay to say no, and still be an open-minded and generous lover. Most importantly, you both should feel comfortable and hot together, be it through urinating on each other, or just snuggling under the covers.

Dear Wyndham, I’ve been having sex for about two years now with various partners, and well, I can’t get off. Whether it’s fingers, tongues, or penises, it doesn’t seem to matter, and I’ve certainly been with guys who seemed to know what they were doing. I’m sick of lying to myself, and to them. Though I can make it just fine on my own, will there ever come a day when I orgasm with another person in the room with me? What the hell is wrong with me?

—It Was Not That Good For Me

There’s nothing wrong with you, and most of us have faked enough orgasms to put Jenna Jameson to shame. But faking isn’t constructive, it leaves you unsatisfied and your partner with a false sense of accomplishment.

If you can get yourself off through your own hand, then why not do that with your partner? Layers of skin sheath the pleasure receptors in the clitoris, causing many women to only reach orgasm through battery-powered devices. Using a vibrator or your hand to stimulate you during sex (doggy-style is popular for a reason!) is a good way to reach climax, as is mutual masturbation with your partner, which can be one of the most intimate sexual acts.

And if your guy/girl gets uppity because you need assistance? Fuck them. Or more precisely, stop fucking them, and find someone who wants nothing more than to see you come, whatever the method.

Dear Wyndham, Whenever it’s that time of the month, let’s just say I get antsy. I want to try having sex on my period but am concerned about the whole gross-out factor for my partner, not to mention clean up afterwards. Any tips on how to get down when Aunt Flo’s in town?

—My Bloody Valentine

Period sex can be a divisive issue—some people find it awkward, while others have honestly told me that they couldn’t care less if I happened to be surfing the crimson wave.

First of all, you must talk to your partner beforehand, as no one wants that kind of surprise in the midst of coitus. If you’re both comfortable but worried about the uh, mess, the most common route is to do it in the shower, where you can both end up even cleaner than when you started (and water pressure can add to the mix). If you simply want to get off but don’t necessarily crave penetrative sex, you can wear a tampon while fooling around with your partner and orgasm through hand or vibrator contact.

Some guys have felt more comfortable having period sex with a condom on (which you should really be using anyway), and placing a towel beneath you is usually a good bet to save your sheets any stray stains. Since we spend 25 per cent of our time on the rag, it’s important to talk to your partner and find a medium that works for both of you. Besides, nothing else soothes cramps like some time in the sack.

Dear Wyndham, When I masturbate, I fantasize about having sex with guys in the AC shower. All my past relationships have been with women, but this idea really seems to turn me on. Am I gay?

—Probably Into Chicks, Right?

Probably not, though “gay” and “straight” are pretty restrictive labels. Most people have been, at some point or another, attracted to members of both sexes, which is totally normal. Furthermore, you would be hard pressed to find an individual that has never fantasized about a member (or members) of the same gender, or been aroused by the thought of exploring that frontier.

I’ve had boyfriends that have only dated women but admitted to watching gay porn and thinking about men naked—and those guys made the best lovers! If you start being attracted to the men you meet in person, then you should follow your heart (or your cock), but whether you live out your fantasy, or it remains as such, you shouldn’t worry about your sexual identity. You can date a man and still feel heterosexual, and you can certainly fantasize about it and be straight as an arrow. Fantasies are fun, and they should never be impeded by moronic social codes that attempt to place us in arbitrary and restrictive categories.

But the AC, really? All the hot guys shower at Hart House.

Money on my mind: G8

The G8 will likely focus less attention on Africa in the wake of the global financial crisis, announced the G8 live Research Group. On Feb. 11 the group presented its 2009 findings at the Munk Centre. The student-run analyst group is U of T student’s division of the G8 Research Group, which keeps tabs on how well G8 countries measure up to their promises from the previous summit. Founded in 2006, G8RG is run by 150 undergrad and grad students at U of T, who work as volunteer analysts.

The Group of Eight is comprised of the major industrialized countries of the world: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This year’s summit is in Italy from July 8 to 10.

“Most of the states, with the exception of Germany, are making big cuts in official development assistance spending for the 2009 fiscal year,” said lead analyst Nike Adebowale. “Germany has been one of the major pushers to increase aid to Africa. German Chancellor Merkel has always placed it on the top of her G8 agenda.” But overall, the G8 is concerned with financial stability.

The group also found a positive outlook for the G8’s commitment to biofuels initiatives, which could lead to major reform. The G8 also has high compliance to promises of aid for China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa.

The G8RG also archives essays, news briefs, and other information on their website. For more, head to g8live.org.

Isn’t It Bromantic?

It’s Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. But this year, the most commonly whispered word on smitten lips is “bromance,” a portmanteau that defines the love shared between straight men everywhere.

But bromance is not a gay thing (not that there’s anything wrong with that), it’s just the latest development in the world of masculine psychology.

The widespread adoption of the term bromance is a major advancement in the ways men are allowed to behave socially without fear of reprisal. Put simply, it’s about the right to express a meaningful, platonic bond between two male friends, a type of male liberation.

Too long have men been saddled with the challenge of living up to the hyper-macho standard set by 20th-century heroes like Ernest Hemingway and John Wayne. These were larger-than-life personalities who embodied the male ideal: stoic, solitary, emotionless.

They defined the type of hard-drinking bull-fighter that gave birth to countless redundant phrases like “manly man” and “guy’s guy.” Hemingway wrote volumes about his youthful, carefree days with friends in Paris, but it’s hard to imagine him grabbing F. Scott Fitzgerald in a bear hug and crying out, “Scottie, you’re my bro, and I love you!”

In recent times, new masculine idols have emerged, like the original metrosexual himself, David Beckham. But back when Becks was the brightest star of the metro movement about four or five years ago, the most men were allowed to do was moisturize and exfoliate. It seemed liberating at the time, but in hindsight, metrosexuality was a mere aesthetic movement designed to improve grooming patterns. A whirlwind bromance comprises far more complex emotional terrain.

That’s why a bromance is a significant alteration to social norms, because it’s an indication that machismo is on its way out the door. Consequently, it’s become permissible for men to embody what was once a cardinal feminine virtue: being in touch with one’s emotions.

Nowadays, it’s acceptable for guys to love their friends just as women do, with similar levels of expression and trust. Before bromance, the best term we had for this kind of relationship was a “man-crush,” which always seemed to imply a hidden insecurity, as if dudes who enjoyed each other’s company had to feel as sheepish about it as a 13-year-old girl fawning over the captain of the football team.

The earliest recorded usage of the term bromance was in the late 1990s, when Dave Carnie of skateboard magazine Big Brother used it to describe the close relationship between skaters who practiced together, partied together, and shared rooms when travelling.

Since then, it’s been used to describe countless friendships between grown men. In 2007, Canadian indie rockers Joel Plaskett and Peter Elkas were profiled together on the cover of Exclaim with the tagline “A Fine Bromance.” (For further evidence, check out the YouTube video where they sit down for a heart-to-heart to “examine their relationship.”)

Other famous bromances include the almost co-dependent bond between Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, or the four main characters on HBO’s Entourage, who are quite obviously involved in a tightly-knit four-way of bromosexuality.

But the television show to thrust the concept to the fore of pop culture is Brody Jenner’s recent six-episode reality series in which the former Hills love interest lined up a group of suitors eager to score the most precious commodity of all: friendship (a luxury condo was also part of the winning package…but nothing could be as valuable as friendship, right?)

As Jenner induldged his candidates in a variety of amusing pursuits (schmoozing with supermodels, trying on new jeans, hanging out in a hot tub), it became clear that Bromance had been given the perfect tagline: “Brody needs a bro-friend.” Don’t we all?

It’s hardly intellectual fare, but a deeper look reveals the show to be an earnest search for a new best friend and close confidant. After all, Brody lost his best bud Spencer Pratt forever once he shacked up with the talentless demon goddess Heidi Montag. Spencer is now married, taking him out of commission for all bachelor-related activities, thereby making him extremely lame.

After a rigorous selection process, Jenner chose Luke Verge to be his new best friend. His declaration that he’d found his bromance was an oddly touching moment, as if anything was possible for two straight men in their early 20s who love each other and aren’t afraid to admit it.

The concept of bromance has led me to consider the ways I value my own best friends. I’ve since determined that ours is not an overly complicated relationship. We hang out as often as we can, drink pints, and discuss life’s most pressing issues: sports, girl problems, and insurance payments on cars we’ve yet to buy.

At our parties, it’s as perfectly natural for the guys to hug hello and goodbye as it is for the girls. The phrase “I love you!” gets kicked around as frequently as “More beer!” I used to think our abundance of emotion could be chalked up to a European spirit, but now I know better—it’s just one harmonious bromance, and it’s a blessing.

I know exactly what Jenner is going through. At this point in my life, friends matter most, and I’m not ashamed to say that I love them. I’d still prefer to spend Valentine’s Day with a girl, but that’s another matter entirely. ❤

CFS, SFSS lock horns over federation membership

The Simon Fraser Student Society and the British Columbia branch of the Canadian Federation of Students have been battling it out before the Supreme Court of British Columbia for the last two weeks to determine whether the SFSS is still a part of the CFS-BC.

SFSS members voted to leave the CFS-BC last spring. The federation, however, has refused to recognize the referendum, insisting that the union owes them $430,000 in membership fees for the academic year.

“It should have been over by now,” said SFSS president Joe Paling. “We had a vote last May and 69 per cent of students took part in that referendum. It should have been resolved that day, but [the CFS-BC] said that they wouldn’t recognize the referendum results.”

“CFS happily recognized the referendum while it was happening because they had 30 people or more, including some people from the University of Toronto, flown over the country to campaign on the CFS side of the referendum,” said Paling. “Even though they said they weren’t going to recognize the vote, they still actively campaigned hoping that they would get a result that was favourable to them.”

CFS claims that its own procedures were not properly followed in the referendum. The Referendum Oversight Committee, consisting of two representatives each from the CFS-BC and the SFSS, fell apart during the referendum. According to Paling, the group was ill-prepared and “basically broke down” despite lengthy notice given by the SFSS some six months in advance of the referendum date.

Paling is optimistic about the forthcoming proceedings. “We feel that this can be a summary trial without a jury because we think it’s fairly clear-cut. There’s no reason for it to go to trial when the students overwhelmingly voted to leave.”

“Since the Simon Fraser Student Society filed suit against the CFS-BC the legal process initiated by the SFSS has followed its normal course and it is my understanding that it has not been a lengthier process than a similar suit of this nature,” CFS-BC chair Shamus Reid told The Varsity. “The CFS-BC continues to vigorously represent the interests of Simon Fraser students.”

If the case does to go trial, it may remain unresolved until 2011.

Red Alert

Recently I realized that I feel a strange sense of nostalgia for the weeks following 9/11. My sophomore year of college had just begun, and I had freshly lost my virginity over the summer. I can obviously only comment on my own experience, but the days and weeks following the attacks were unbelievably surreal. I was living in a dorm on Fifth Avenue and 10th Street, just north of Washington Square Park, so I used to be able to see the World Trade Center towering over the Washington Square arch from the front door of my building (this location made it sort of weird the morning of; I have no idea what it says about my psychological profile, but I was standing on the street and watched the second plane make contact, but rather than panic or try to do something, I went back inside to the dining hall to eat pancakes before I went to class).

NYU cancelled classes for the rest of that week and lower Manhattan was shut down south of 14th Street for at least two weeks, so for awhile it felt like we were living in an alternate dimension. Keep in mind that there were bomb scares at Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, Madison Square Garden, and the New York Times’ offices in the weeks following the first attack, so there was the constant suggestion that it wasn’t over and that we could die at any time. I think I slept about three hours a night—not necessarily out of fear but because my adrenal glands were pumping all the time. I think other people had the same sort of experience—it seems like everybody I knew (myself included) drank less during those weeks because we felt high all the time. I did smoke a ton of American Spirits, but that’s only because I needed something to do.

But here’s the thing that I miss the most, and the thing that stirs up strong feelings of crippling nostalgia and guilt: terror sex. A lot was written about the fact that there were a shitload of babies conceived in the weeks following 9/11, and many have also suggested that the Sex and the City-style one-night-stand lifestyle was heartily boosted by the fact that people thought they could die tomorrow (I suppose people were having babies for the same reason; it all depends on your tax bracket). But terror sex was something different. A lot of people I talked to hooked up during that time because they had essentially gone numb to everything else, and sex was the only way to feel anything (like that scene in High Fidelity where they fuck in the car during the funeral). That was part of it, but there was also a certain rawness that everybody seemed to feel in the wake of brushing up so close to mass murder. I think that’s the only time in my life where I really knew what it was to be human in a purely animal, anatomical sense. Even though we only made love a handful of times, I remember every detail about Libby, who was from San Francisco and had taken a year off after high school to work before coming east; I later found out that the reason she did that was because she got pregnant and was going to keep the baby, only to miscarry. She had no ass, kept her pubic hair trimmed in a very peculiar and asymmetrical way and always smelled like mangoes even though she chain-smoked Marlboro Lights. My other partner from that era was a girl I went to high school with. She was a year behind me and I didn’t know her that well, but she ended up at NYU and we ended up hooking up a few times. Her name was Sarah and she was allergic to gluten. I have no idea what happened to either of these women; it seems like when the fear wore off and we got back to the business of going to college in New York, everybody drifted back to their lives.

I feel guilty about this whole scenario for a number of reasons. I feel horrible that I have admitted to myself that Libby was the best sex I’ve ever had, even though I adore my current girlfriend and know that we’ll marry and have kids someday. Somehow, it feels like cheating retroactively. I feel extremely guilty that I feel nostalgic for an event that resulted in the deaths of thousands of people. But there was something about that rush of fear that I know I’ll never capture again, and that makes me feel sad and relieved at the same time. ❤

Kyle Anderson is the author of Accidental Revolution: The Story of Grunge (St. Martin’s Griffin). He lives in Brooklyn.