Unnnnnahhhhhhh! Wait, was that an orgasm?

Let’s talk about sex, the clit, and how to make girls cum

Unnnnnahhhhhhh!  Wait, was that an orgasm?

Personally, the female orgasm has always been an experience that eluded all description. Sex gave me many different sensations, both physical and emotional, but I could not confidently point out which of them — or if it was all of them — was the capital “O” orgasm that people talked about.

At some point, the orgasm started to feel like a myth looming in the misty blue yonder, seemingly reachable but never really so. I did feel something and it was both abstract yet pronounced, carnal and spiritual.

Last March, I gained some new insight that has formed the basis of all my current understanding of the female orgasm. I have not seen anyone give a more apt explanation of the topic than Doris Lessing does through the life of her character Anna Wulf in The Golden Notebook.

Lessing distinguishes a vaginal orgasm from a clitoral one. She says that physically, the clitoral stimulation creates a far more powerful sensation than the vaginal one. Orgasms achieved in this way appear to be the kind that many people harp on about as one the criterion for determining whether sex is ‘good.’

In my sex life, there were only a handful of instances where I have had a clitoral orgasm. The reason is simple. The process it requires is intrusively mechanical, something very unwanted in sex for me. Some keywords that can be associated with it are ‘technique,’ ‘fingering,’ and ‘dexterity.’ Clitoral orgasms can be achieved even if you’re not in love. Heck, they can be achieved without a partner, and might even be more powerful with the use of a toy.

This is why Ella, Anna’s alter ego in The Golden Notebook, feels that a part of her always resents clitoral orgasms, even though they physically excite her. When one individual resorts to external manipulations, it creates a sense that they do not want to wholly and completely commit. And, in my opinion, it does not matter whether they do so consciously or not.

Of all the expressions that can be used to describe intercourse, I like “love-making” the most. It represents exactly what I look for in sex. I believe that love is an active decision. It is a fully intended ‘yes-sayingness’ to the person whom one loves. You say, “Yes, I invite you into my life. Yes, I will take responsibility for you as I do for myself. Yes, I commit to you. Yes, because I want you. Yes, because I need you.” Thus, to make love is to translate such a ‘yes’ into palpable action: to be able to see them, feel them, touch them.

This translation is pivotal in bringing about deep emotional connection between a couple during sex. This precise emotion is what Lessing assigns to the vaginal orgasm. Physically, internal stimulation feels like a dark embrace with a whorling, warm-bodied python. It is rather muted. Softly immersive. What is important, however, is a man’s desperate thrust of his body onto the woman’s body, expressing his need for her.

To re-emphasize Lessing’s words, heterosexual sex “is when a man, from the whole of his need and desire, takes a woman and wants all of her,” and this then allows her to experience a real orgasm. This is the foundation of the female orgasm.

There have been nights when I have had tears flowing down my cheeks as I made love. Overwhelmed and trying to calm both of our confused hearts, I groped at words to explain my tears. I only managed to say that they were coming from a warm and good place, but to say those words weren’t fully representative of what or how I was feeling. Now I know clearly. I have been fortunate to make great love.

Why the rush to check off the ‘sex box’ before 25?

Let’s talk about sex, virginity, and taking your time

Why the rush to check off the ‘sex box’ before 25?

When I graduated from high school and entered university, I thought that I was, more or less, a full-fledged adult. In retrospect, I was wrong in many ways. Although I was 18 and moving away from home for the first time, I was still very inexperienced. I wouldn’t say I was naïve; I was well-read, kept up with the news, and was aware of things happening around me. However, I only understood the complicated nature of the world in a second-hand fashion.

I quickly realized that social media, TV shows, movies, and books did not prepare me for what adult university life was really like. I assumed that I would join clubs, make friends, go to campus parties, brunch on the weekends, get a boyfriend, and generally be a functioning, independent adult.

These expectations were unrealistic — especially the dating part.

Upon reflection, I realize that a lot of my difficulties matching expectations to reality arose as a result of my introverted nature and quiet personality. If I’m being honest with myself, I’d rather be reading a book on a Friday night than going to a club.

Literature has really shaped a lot of my opinions on romance, relationships, and love. I focus more on emotional compatibility than on physical compatibility when assessing potential relationships. This is particularly difficult in the age of hook up culture, where friends with benefits, ‘situationships,’ and seeing-how-things-go relationships are easier to attain than an exclusive relationship.

And that’s what we see most often in university life: a prevalence of people seeking one-night stands rather than long-term relationships because we’re young and want to ‘see what’s out there.’ University is a buffer between childhood and adulthood, like a second high school, where you can explore where you see your future relationships.

I’m 21 years old, and I’ve learned that sex is not the be-all and end-all of everything.

I always imagined that during my time at university I would have to do certain things so that I could transition from being a teenager to adult. One of those things was losing my virginity.

There’s a perceived milestone timeline that many rush to check off: going to university right after high school, getting a job right after graduation, settling in a career by the age of 25, being married by 26, and having kids by 30.

Losing your virginity falls on that timeline somewhere before your mid-twenties, and even that’s pushing it. In other words, university is supposedly the time and place to get laid, and sometimes it feels like I’m lagging behind.

I’ve thought about having casual sex just to get it over with and to be able to say that I’ve done it, but I know that I could never go through with it, because that’s not me. And that’s okay. I’m 21 years old,  and I’ve learned that sex is not the be-all and end-all of everything. I mean, I’ve made it this far without it, and I’m doing just fine.

I have wonderful friends, I volunteer, I travel, I read, and I’m fairly happy. Everyone has their own ideas on relationships and sex, and mine just isn’t casual sex. I shouldn’t have to compromise who I am for this arbitrary timeline.

Life is not a checklist of milestones that you need to tick off. Nor is there a rule to when you should hit each milestone. In the end, I’m doing what makes me happy, and what I feel comfortable with, because this is my life.

Getting paid to set up dates I’m never going to go on

Let’s talk about sex, dating profiles, and catfishing

Getting paid to set up dates I’m never going to go on

I started to work as a dating ghostwriter about three months ago after trying and failing to secure a job as a journalist at a major media outlet. I wanted to keep writing, so I settled for anything. For the past few months, I’ve been conjuring Match.com profiles for clients I have never met and chatting to their matches.

Every night, I squeeze wafts of romance from my fingers to my laptop keyboard as I reply to messages, and focus on the commission I’ll receive if I get the two to agree to meet one another — even just once. Three years ago, when I ghostwrote college applications for cash, I thought my bar couldn’t sink any lower. Clearly, I was wrong.

Over time, I’ve started to grasp that all the jobs I’ve taken during my miserable writing career were no different to that of a salesperson. Although what we’ve got in the back of our trunk may vary in appearance, they share the same consecrated destiny of being sold.

While a traditional salesperson sells to their clients, a dating ghostwriter sells their clients. Due to them being downright boring and self-centred, with a breadth of self-contradicting hypocrisy that is too hard to miss, our clients need to be sold, and I should only be glad that there is no return policy. Whether they are to be kept or discarded, it’s no longer my business.

Having set my conscience straight, I still struggled with my sales record. One of my very few successes involved adultery. The match to my client was a married woman who couldn’t decide whether or not to leave her husband.

“Why did you marry him?” I asked. She didn’t reply until a day later, confessing that like many women, she was desperate when she entered her marriage. She was 37, and had been single for three years. While she was single, she had been to weddings where the brides were younger than her sister’s kids. The ticking clock gnawed at the core of her self-esteem, and she was grateful when the husband, who didn’t seem to care much about her baggage, came along.

He liked her for who she was. He tolerated her when she threw a tantrum. He didn’t like to be outdoors and neither did she. They seemed to be a perfect match. But there has never been a day where she could close her eyes with a smile of certainty that the man at the end of the aisle was the right one. She signed the certificate that bonded her to this man without ever being content, and that’s why she kept on looking.

“He is nothing like I have ever imagined for a husband,“ she wrote. “Does that make me a bad person?”

I looked down at my phone and wondered how much a therapist makes an hour. Probably more than me. Tilting my head as I glimpsed over at my boyfriend snoring next to me, I thought about the great loves I had and then lost, the possibilities I squandered, and the secrets buried by the passing of time. But no matter how many layers have been laid over the top, the lament that our past hums still sends shockwaves that get us every time. 

So I made something up. I told her: “You know how people always try their clothes on in the fitting room before they decide whether they should bleed cash on them? Well, we believe that what’s fitting must be the best — sound reasoning. But I know a woman who always buys clothes that fit her ideal, hangs them in the bedroom where she can see them every day, and reminds herself that’s the body she will work for. Your husband fits you now, but you aren’t the person you want to be when you’re with him. That’s why you keep looking. It doesn’t make you a bad person.”

She asked me if the woman who bought unfit clothes was my ex. I shrugged and planted the fictional character on my mother.

I have no idea what happened on their first date, or to their marriage, but I did get my commission.

In most cases, I chat to charm. I fish for the weakness in my matches and pamper it. Sometimes it works, a lot of times it doesn’t, and I keep telling myself that most writers make ends meet by ghostwriting these days. Either ghosting someone’s profile or memoir, we sell our authorship, and we often sell it cheap. But what isn’t to be sold in the world that we know anyway? And wherever there is a need, there is a market, right?

I remember the big dream I had for myself when I was a kid to be some writing hotshot and laugh. I laugh so hard that I nearly choke on the last sip of my latest bottle of gin. 

It’s no wonder writers drink.

Cosmo is cringe — but then again, so is sex

Let’s talk about sex, exploring female sexuality, and Cosmo’s best sex tips

<em>Cosmo</em> is cringe — but then again, so is sex

As a teenager, I was desperately fascinated with the Cosmopolitan magazine. I would hide my copies in my dresser, away from my mother. She didn’t approve of her 15-year-old daughter reading it for the same reason I was so fascinated by it — the sex columns.

As a variety of online listicles don’t hesitate to point out, Cosmo’s sex columns are, admittedly, cringeworthy. On Cosmopolitan’s website, between “17 Cauliflower Dishes You’re Going to Love” and “Please Watch This Video of Taylor Swift Eating a Banana,” is “Behold: Cosmo’s 65 Best Sex Tips Ever.” I took the liberty of reviewing this wide spectrum of Cosmo’s suggestions.

Some of its tips are legitimately good advice. Tip four, “Use lube,” is great advice, as tip 24, which is to “Lube up!” It’s on there twice, so you know it’s the most important one to remember.

There are also tips about how to communicate with your partner, which will make sex better for everyone involved.

Other tips are questionable, but not necessarily bad. Tip 11, “Zone in on the upper left-hand quadrant of your clitoris” is a little specific, but it won’t make you wince in second-hand embarrassment.

Tip 18 is to “Get him to skip the in-and-out thrusts and, uh, stir with his penis instead.” I slept with a guy who did this and I can’t say I personally recommend it, but if it gets you off, go for it.

Still, some of the magazine’s sex tips are simply bad advice. In another round up of its top sex tips, Cosmo recommends having “a romantic dinner without utensils so you can feed each other.” The author especially recommended readers serve “stuff that’s not supposed to be eaten with your hands, like salads or pasta.” Eating a salad with no utensils is not sexy. Chocolate covered strawberries? Sure. Spaghetti bolognese? Pass, thanks.

There’s also the infamous doughnut trick: “gently stick his penis through the [doughnut] hole, then nibble around it, stopping to suck on him once and awhile.” Mmmm icing, pubes, and semen, what more could you ask for? Probably a yeast infection, too!

Despite some of the questionable sex advice, Cosmopolitan’s sex guides are a force for good, not evil. There are places they could improve — the advice is very heteronormative, though they do throw in the occasional lesbian sex tip. But when you’re a young woman, there aren’t many good places to learn about or discuss sex. The internet at-large is definitely to be avoided at all costs, so Cosmo really is the best alternative.

The magazine, though it has its faults, is like the slightly older sister I never had. Some of her advice is good, some of it bad, but talking about it gives you the confidence to at least discuss your sexuality. The more comfortable young women feel about their own sexuality, the better sex they’ll have.

Sure, Cosmopolitan is cringe, but when you’re figuring out your sexuality, the entire experience is cringe. Might as well embrace it.

What’s it like having an IUD?

Let’s talk about sex, birth control, and how to become a work of art

What’s it like having an IUD?

I love having my copper Intrauterine device (IUD).

As an individual who does not like the idea of having hormones added to their body, but does want the highest level of protection during sex — it was the perfect option.

If you don’t know, an IUD is a small, T-shaped device with two hanging strings, that you can get inserted into your uterus. Yup, sounds terrifying. At least, that’s what was running through my brain while I sat fidgeting in the waiting room for 40 minutes.

When I was considering getting the copper IUD, there was a major downside. It increases period cramps and flow, and is typically recommended for people who have lighter menstruation cycles.

But hey, I already had a painkiller prescription for my cramps: you know, the type of pain where you have to imagine you’re a Viking warrior with a stab wound — those menstrual cramps. Fun.

My doctor’s response to my IUD request was something along the lines of, “Are you sure? Let me give you another prescription too, just in case.” This naturally made me more apprehensive of the procedure, but I knew that any hormonal option would impact me more than extra cramps.

I also knew that I could get my IUD taken out anytime after its insertion — the myth that you’re trapped with it for the next five years is not true. It is, of course, better to wait two months and see how your body adjusts, but after that, do whatever you want! Now, having had my IUD for a year, my cramps have remained exactly the same.

People often hold on to what’s conventional and I’m grateful to have access to any method of birth control around me at all, but I also know that I should have the final choice over what goes into my body.

What works for one person might not be what’s right for someone else. That is to say, my experience is just one story. When I was growing up, no one taught me about any options beyond abstinence and the pill. That’s why I think it’s important to talk about other forms of contraception, like the IUD.

When I finally got into the insertion room, my doctor was nowhere in sight. After 20 minutes of staring at the harsh fluorescent lights, eyes roving over cheap ceiling tiles with my back pressed into the operation table, I heard a knock at the door. She came in to tell me that they were waiting for the instruments to cool down from their time in the dishwasher, which gave me a whole host of visuals that I didn’t ask for.

When she returned, she placed a little plastic tool inside of me that held the area open, sprayed an antiseptic down there, then talked me through the insertion cramps. I’m endeavouring to be nothing but honest and informative — and maybe, just maybe, slightly entertaining.

Afterward, I rated the pain of having the IUD placed inside of me as a seven out of 10. This may seem like an arbitrary detail, but I want it out there for any person trying to decide what they want to do to have a fun, safe sex life. I’ve had enough friends ask me about it and then decide to get one themselves, that I wanted to share with a bigger audience.

I didn’t have any cramps after the operation was done. I even went to a party that night.

However, some people have reported experiencing pain afterward, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility. You don’t feel the IUD itself inside of you at all. You don’t beep going through airport security or anything like that either. Although, I do like to think that the fact that it’s up there makes me a cyborg.

I made the customary second appointment to have my thread checked a few months later. The threads allow the doctor to ensure that the IUD is sitting correctly in your reproductive system. My IUD is soft and high enough in your cervix that it shouldn’t be noticeable. It also curls up with time into a practically non-existent little ball.

Like birth control pills, for a reason that I don’t understand, the copper IUD has a name. Only instead of sounding like something a kid would name their Barbie doll, it’s called the Mona Lisa.

So, if you do decide to go ahead and get one, keep in mind that you are officially a work of art.

When ‘friends with benefits’ no longer benefits you

Let’s talk about sex, second tries, and no strings attached

When ‘friends with benefits’ no longer benefits you

A couple of months ago, I decided to get involved in a friends-with-benefits relationship. Do I regret it? No. Does it suck? Yes. Am I surprised that it sucks? No. After all, these situations rarely work out, but I also knew that I didn’t want to shelter myself anymore or cower away from new experiences, even if that entailed making myself vulnerable to getting hurt.

This was the second time I chose to get involved with this guy because I thought the feelings I once had for him were gone. Logically, I understood that we wouldn’t work out together, not only because he had expressed to me before that he didn’t see me ‘that way’ — ouch — but also because I genuinely could not see us in any type of relationship beyond this weird hookup or friends-with-benefits thing.

We don’t share many similar interests, we don’t really have the same sense of humour, and we just aren’t compatible. I figured that my judgment could override my emotions; naturally, this did not work out.

At the time, I didn’t even want a relationship, but tasting intimacy was simultaneously comforting and unsettling. I enjoyed it in the moment, but retrospectively, I felt fake because he didn’t actually want me and he just wanted to have sex with me. I began to crave something genuine.

I realized that my feelings had not disappeared and that I subconsciously thought that if he spent more time with me, he would like me. I eventually had to accept that I was the rule, not the exception, and that if a guy is acting like he doesn’t care, it’s because he doesn’t care. He was doing everything he should be doing for the type of relationship I agreed to: nothing more and nothing less. Could I really blame him?

I rarely dabbled in the dating scene, so I was disturbed when I began to doubt myself because a boy denied me affection. I began to question my emotional and mental depth. I overthought whether I was interesting enough to deserve romantic attention. I have always been strong-willed and self-assured, so I disregarded myself when I began to crumble over a guy who wasn’t worth crumbling over.

I hate to turn this oh-so-sexy article into a Chicken Soup for the Soul narration, but after I ended things with him, I realized how much love was in my life that I had been oblivious to while I was sleeping with him. Was part of this romantic longing a sick need to prove to myself my own worth by trying to win his validation? That’s when I knew it was time to end it.

After it was over, I continued to wonder if casual sex was ever sustainable, or if getting hurt and developing feelings for your partner is inevitable. A friend of mine said that her experience with casual sex worked out well. However, she only recommends it if you don’t see them often because otherwise “you’ll probably get attached, catch feelings, and start freaking out.”

I don’t regret my decision. I still care about him, and he still cares about me. I broke it off because hoping for anything stronger than platonic care is a waste of my time and energy. In a weird way, friends with benefits did work out. I learned from it. I sustained the friendship. I walked away.

If anyone relates to my experience or is in a similar situation, my main advice is to end it when it’s not fun anymore. If you want more from the relationship but can’t get it, or if you find yourself feeling generally dissatisfied or frustrated, you should probably move on.

Stop beating your dead horse. The horse is already dead and the punching and kicking will only make you winded. We all have too much to do to be winded.

Things that go bump in the night

A playlist for wandering bodies

Things that go bump in the night

While sex is often dramatized as something similar to the glorious union of two silkily muscular dolphins, reality isn’t usually as kind. I, for one, am not a grey tube with flippers. Though I am extremely intelligent for my kind — blonde woman — so go figure.

Our bodies make sounds and produce fluids. Smushing them together often gets a little messy and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, especially if you have roommates with particularly sonic voyeuristic tendencies, a bit of ambient sound can be useful. As I’m sure you know, this is where music comes in handy.

But in the heat of the moment, making a musical selection can be stressful. Music can make or break a mood! So here I am with this generic and universally applicable playlist for you, embedded in an article that will pop up whenever anyone googles my name.

Please, enjoy. Embrace pleasure with an open fist and a tight glove.

1.  “Pink Beetle” by Rejjie Snow, 2016

As a recovering Catholic, I can assure you that all good things follow a resounding chorus of “Our Father.”

2. “Couch” by Triathalon, 2018

Okay, so we started out with some heavy religious motifs. Am I the only one who finds that hot? Surely not on this campus — cough, cough, St. Mike’s. Now let’s move into some lo-fi innuendos.

3. “Got Friends feat. Miguel” by Goldlink, 2018

Is this song about an orgy? I don’t know, I’m not Ilan Zechory. But it could be. In conclusion, mystery is hot and so is this song.

4. “Move Slow feat. Olukara” by Maxwell Young, 2016

Whew, okay, things started to heat up with that orgy-no-orgy debate, so let’s smooth things out a little bit. Here’s another skinny European.

5. “Yeah, I Said It” by Rihanna, 2016

Do I need to explain this? Nope.

6. “Why” by Roy Woods, 2016

Let’s get some Canadian nationalism in this strange line-up, shall we? Roy Woods is a trifecta of sexual energy: his name is gorgeous, he says “thighssss” with about a million s’, and he mumbles enough for me to project whatever I need to hear onto his vocal sounds.

7. “Redbone” by Childish Gambino, 2016

It has the word bone in the title! Hahahah.

Also, all the scenes in Atlanta of Donald Glover in tightie-whities has ensured that I will never not be attracted to him. So yeah, it’s a hot song. Aren’t you glad I dodged the obvious stay woke joke here? Comedy gold!

8. “Carmen” by Jay Squared, 2017

Honestly, this popped up on my explore feed last year and I got super into it. Could this be because I was alone at the time, and the singer — whoops — crooned “you ain’t alone no more!” in the first line? Who knows, psychology is a nerd’s game.

9. “Call Me Up” by Homeshake, 2017

Alright, we’re winding down. Soft trumpets. Yes. Lovely. Ooh, a soft voice talking about the future. Lovely. Don’t tense up, don’t tense up. The future. Pass the rash cream, please.

10. “Glory Box” by Portishead, 1994

Conclusion! Bing, bang, boom. “Just want to be a woman.” Or whatever you wanna be. It’s a post-orgasm world, “A thousand flowers could bloom. Move over, and give us some room.”


“thank u, next” — contributors talk about relationships they’re leaving behind this year

Introducing The Varsity’s newest column: Let’s talk about sex

“thank u, next” — contributors talk about relationships they’re leaving behind this year

The lady on the screen above the dated stainless steel washer said it was going to start snowing at 2:00 pm — and start snowing it did.

Everywhere I look, I see you.

As the snow falls, I am transported to the Brooklyn bar under the highway where I held your hand and asked you to follow me. Reaching for your beer, you say, “You’re going to move here.”

You look down at your beer rolling it between your palms. “But I can’t come with you, I just can’t.” I look past you at the snow lit red by the neon light. My throat tightens.

I wake up in a cold sweat in a tiny Bushwick apartment. In my dream, a tiny blonde slipped out of your bedroom, while I, a stranger, slipped on my shoes down the hall.

I don’t think of you anymore. Except when it snows. Or a certain song comes on. Or when someone says, “It’s a toss-up.”

I wanted you to feel pain when it ended, but that would have required you to first feel passion.

You felt nothing and I felt everything. I told you nothing and you told me everything. I became the kind of woman I thought you might love. You became the kind of man people would call a ‘good boyfriend.’

You never knew me. I never fell in love with you.

So allow me to send my love letter from New York. I’ll keep it simple. I am happy you left me. I am happy I left town. I am happy that you are finding yourself.

I hope you find the passion too. I know you’ll find love. I hope she knows how precious you are. As for me? I did it babe, and I am so happy.

— Chantel Ouellet


If you’re reading this, I don’t care.

What is typically gleaned from years of therapy can be told with three simple words: thank you, next. Pop sensation Ariana Grande tells her listeners to dump the douche and love yourself. 2019 is a year of possibility, devoid of that I’m-trying-to-figure-myself-out love, followed by a don’t-worry-I’ll-only-spend-weeks-neglecting-you-because-of-it love.

Yet 10 missed calls and a “I wish I could kiss you at midnight” voicemail does not scream ‘thank you’ nor ‘next.’ Not everybody can be grateful for a cheating, manipulative “I’ve just been really busy” type of ex. But you can start a new page. The next chapter doesn’t have to be ripped from the spine of a Nicholas Sparks novel, nor does it have to come from the ambitious pages of The Alchemist. You don’t need to be bursting with love or dripping with inspiration to be important.

Real treasure doesn’t need to be sought out, and a man is not what’s glowing in your gold-encrusted chest. If I could do it all over, I’d stop guessing why he hadn’t texted back and instead simply say, “Thank you, next.” His vacant words will not draw you any closer to your goals.

They won’t tie you to a storyline or secure the future you doodled into the pages of your childhood diary. Choosing a person who always puts themselves first will only force you to put yourself last each time. It’s important to know how to accept love, but also to know when to admit Ariana is right. If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re drafting an escape route for your toxic relationship.

My advice: this year, skip the bull. Tell the flighty dude, “Thank you, next,” even though 2019 is the year when we’re so grateful for ourselves. Don’t waste your time with greentext paragraphs or old Instagram photos. Simply put down the phone and make 2019 noteworthy.

— Grace Meany


I guess it’s kinda sad that we broke up. The time and money that neither of us had in the first place but used on each other essentially went down the drain as the long distance coupled with our growing irritability toward one another resulted in the inevitable demise of our relationship.

But I’m glad that we did when we did, because if one thing was made painfully clear to me as frosh week turned into reading week and then exams, it’s that the difficulty of the academic transition between high school and university, along with the availability needed to build new social relationships and my own attempts at keeping a part-time job, would have only erupted into a disastrous mess, had I also set aside the time and energy needed to keep our relationship going.

I can’t lie though, there are times when I — and my entire body writhes as I say this — miss you. For one, I’m no longer part of the elite Spotify premium class and am instead an ad-listening pleb. I see posts from people I didn’t like in high school and have no one to readily trash talk to, and no one else will willingly listen to me rant about how the MLB is committing corporate suicide in the face of younger generations.

However, I know you’re still present in my life in many really crucial and meaningful ways, including your HBO account that I still use to watch The Sopranos, the comfy rag & bone sweater I stole from you and doubt that you’ve missed, and finally your contribution to my oral health with that electric toothbrush you gifted me last Christmas.

And with that, it’s time for me to pursue my 2019 dream boyfriend — that sexy sexy 4.0. I can’t wait for him to stop playing hard to get.

— Angie Luo


One of the most basic new year’s resolutions, other than getting fit, is finally cutting out that ex you know is no good and I, unfortunately, am one of the countless girls who brought in the new year to “thank u, next,” promising to cut out the toxic ex. Here’s hoping I stick to it this semester.

I’ve been back in Toronto for a little over a week and I’m already so deep into my university routine I can barely remember lying in a queen-sized bed and not having to do laundry or eat cereal for dinner. In first year, going home for winter break brings up a wide range of emotions, some which make you question your sanity, one of them being nostalgia. Maybe it’s something about going back to places with so many memories, but somehow there is always some sort of communication with your ex, and I know I’m not the only one who got the “Hey how’s uni?” text.

I was in a long, confusing relationship for most of high school and I was just about done with it, and university was the perfect exit point, a point where we both decided that we had a good run in each other’s lives. But it was time to move on and go separate ways. So my question is why was it necessary for me to get a reply to my Snapchat story of my airplane window, asking me when I was reaching home.

Unfortunately, I am not completely innocent, having replied and indulged polite conversation until the point the conversation escalated from “How are your classes?”  to ”Do you want to hang out?” too quickly.

Thinking back, I realized that it’s always the one ex who hasn’t really met anyone or who has had a bad experience in university who texts first. If you’re the one who hits your ex up, shame on you. If my friend can meet a guy, and 20 minutes into the conversation be asked if she’s going to have an arranged marriage just because she’s brown, and still not hit up her ex, I’m pretty sure you can do the same.

— Krisha Mansukhani


One day, my then-girlfriend suggested those four dreadful, short-circuiting English words: “We need to talk.” Naturally, this came as a surprise, so I asked, “What’s wrong?”

She explained that she loves me, that her family and friends like me a lot, and she assured me that, she hopes, the issue is something I’m totally unaware of. She claimed, when we’re out and about, for example, on campus, that I walk through other people’s photos. She hoped that I was just scatterbrained and unaware of my actions and demanded from me an acknowledgement and explanation.

I replied that I like her for all the same reasons. However, I’m totally aware of my actions and insisted that I had a great argument to support them. Firstly, most are using digital cameras; if it were film, I’d genuinely feel guilty, since the price and patience required mean something more.

Secondly, the world doesn’t revolve around them. When I take photos, I wait for gaps, aim high, and don’t expect the world to stop for my self-indulgence — I’m just not that self-important. I thought hard about my argument and developed a provisional conclusion, since, honest to goodness, I’m open to change in light of more compelling evidence, really.

She retorted, and I’m paraphrasing here, “What if this lady taking a photo is from, say Chile, and when she returns home and shows off her travels on a slideshow to her family, and in every Toronto photo there’s this tall bearded guy? Her family would rightly ask if that’s how Torontonians look and act, eh?”

She said, “I love you, but you need to be a better ambassador for where you live.”

“At the very least, when you’re photobombing the poor people’s photos, you can smile!”

These days, I smile every time I do it!

— Oscar Starschild

If you are interested in contributing to “Let’s talk about sex,” email arts@thevarsity.ca.