From the archives

Scandalized by sexuality

University campuses have long been characterized as hotbeds of sexual progress and promiscuity. While it is true that campus life has often pushed the boundaries of sexual propriety over the years, we students are not some homogenous hormonal horde. We have long proven ourselves capable of being every bit as scandalized by shameless sexuality as any ancient Aunt Prudence or puritanical Pastor Pete!

LA INFAMIA DE LOS LABIOS” – Volume 54, Issue 6 – February 8, 1922

About a year ago, a very excellent article on kissing appeared in a Mexican journal, “La Revista”. The subject naturally cried out for translation into English, because kissing, for all one hears of it, has not yet attracted the English scientists and literati, as he the other phenomena of love, especially divorce.

”The physical sensation, far from being pleasant, is intensely uncomfortable—the suspension of respiration, indeed, quickly resolves itself into a feeling of suffocation—and the posture necessitated by the approximation of lips and lips is unfailingly a constrained and ungraceful one. Theoretically a man kisses a woman perpendicularly, with their eyes, those ‘windows of the soul’ synchronizing exactly. But actually, on account of the formation of the nasal cartilages, he has to incline either his or her head to an angle of at least 60 degrees, and the result is that his right eye gazes insanely at the space between her eyebrows, while his left eye is fixed upon some vague spot behind her. An instantaneous photograph of such a manoeuvre taken at the moment of incidence would probably turn the stomach of even the most romantic man, and force him in sheer self respect to renounce kissing as he renounced leap frog and walking on stilts.”

”But the most embarrassing moment, in kissing, do not come during the actual kiss, for at that time the sensation of suffocation drives out all purely psychical feeling,) but immediately afterward . What is one to say, then, to the girl? The occasion obviously demands some sort of remark. One has just received (in theory) a great boon: the silence begins to make itself felt; there stands the fair one, obviously waiting.

Is one to thank her? Certainly that would be too transparent a piece of hypocrisy, too flaccid a brutality. Is one to tell her that one loves her? Obviously there are dangers in such assurances, and besides, one usually doesn’t add a lie to a lie. Or is one to descend into chatty commonplaces about the weather, literature, politics?

”The practical impossibility of solving the problem leads almost inevitably to a blunder far worse than any merely verbal one: one kisses her again, and then again, and so on. The ultimate result is satiety, repugnance, disgust, even the girl herself gets enough.”

Think it over!



“The Innocent Bystander” – Volume 66, Issue16 – February 15, 1934

Student feeling, as expressed in the Queen’s University journal recently appeared against “necking.” In an editorial regarding “formal necking” (a formal is a college social function), the paper said:

“The Science formal with its attendant celebrations looms in the immediate offing. For the past few years, at all faculty formals, by the time the dances get well under way, lights are doused, the room is in total darkness and smoking reigns supreme, punctuated by glowing cigarettes.

“We of Queen’s pride ourselves on our ability to acquire knowledge—yet we indulge in childlike love-making which is not only promiscuous, but is distinctly poor taste at an important college function.

“It reflects unfavourably on ourselves and adds nothing to our reputation among outsiders. The Science formal committee would do well to inaugurate a ‘new deal’ by seeing that the lights in the ‘dark room’ are kept burning!”


“THE SEXY SIXTIES” – Volume 94, Issue 12 – January 17, 1962

A native from deep in the forests of the Amazon Valley being shown the sights in New York might well be taken to the Peppermint Lounge, birth place (so Americans claim) of the world’s latest dance craze. One can imagine him gazing with awe at the gyrations of high society, and then turning to his companion and exclaiming: “With a fertility dance like that, no wonder they’re all talking about the population explosion!”

The Twist is sweeping North America. It has reached Europe—where Parisians claim it originated in the first place. No doubt it will soon be slipping under the Iron Curtain to set the Comrades’ hips awaggle. In fact we await with anticipation what Krokodil, the Soviet humor magazine, will have to say about this latest example of decadent Western Capitalism.

Returning to our poor, benighted heathen in the middle of New York, we wonder how one could set about explaining to him that about one quarter of the world’s population in the Western Hemisphere is not indulging a mass orgy of sex hysteria. But is only satisfying those “inner needs” which psychologists are always talking about these days.

Over the past few centuries dances performed at social functions would appear to have been getting faster and more erratic as the general tempo of living has increased. In the leisurely days of the 18th Century daring young things performed the stately (to us) Minuet. The 19th Century was characterized by the Viennese Waltz. The 20th Century has gone mad The roaring Twenties witnessed the rise and fall of the Charleston. The 30’s and 40’s were relatively quiet except for the odd war. However, one might have imagined the ultimate had been reached with Elvis the Pelvis and the wiggling 50’s. Not a bit of it. The sexty ’60’s have produced the Twist.

For years now psychologists have been warning the human race that the perpetual turmoil in which it lives can only lead to the mental asylum. Perhaps the Twist is the proverbial last straw. Regardless of whether the Twist turns out to be the last straw or not, we cannot help but be amazed at the reception this ‘dance’ has received here at Dalhousie and at many other institutions of higher learning across the nation. The Gazette has been accused in the past of regarding as foolish the habits of the average university student. This latest craze only serves to confirm our beliefs.


“Condoms tasteless” – Volume 110, Issue 21 – March 2, 1978


To the Gazette:

I protest the appearance of the condom advertisement in last week’s Gazette, as not only are the ad’s size and wording indiscreet and tasteless, but also the mere presence of the ad in a student newspaper borders on the irresponsible. Under the guises of “education” and “birth-control”, you are making a product easily accessible to a body of people who ought not need it.

The truly responsible student will avoid pre-marital promiscuity, which endangers the health and education of many students-either by sustaining an unwanted pregnancy, ruining someone’s education and bringing yet another unloved child into the world; or worse still, murdering a child by abortion and risking possible psychological problems compounded by guilt and self-blame. No birth-control method is 100% safe save for total abstinence from sex until ready for the responsibilities of married life and parenthood.

A truly responsible student paper would speak out against the real problem (promiscuity), rather than trying to treat symptoms (disease and pregnancy) and merely encouraging the problem further by temptation. By running the condom ad, I suggest that you are not acting in the best interests of Dalhousie students, and that you cease printing it. Surely you do not need the money (and space filled) that much!


“No sex for saints” – Padraic Brake – Volume 122, Issue 7 – October 19, 1989

Three Maritime university student councils won’t be distributing an AIDS pamphlet because it uses ‘bad language.’

The Students’ Union of Nova Scotia (SUNS) produced the pamphlet entitled ‘SEX’ that uses terms like as “giving and gelling head,” “eating shit” and “swallowing cum” to discuss safe sex.

Student councils at St Thomas University in Fredericton, N.B., St Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. and St Mary’s University in Halifax decided not to distribute the pamphlet.

“We want the pamphlet cleaned up, and then we will circulate it without a doubt,” said St Thomas student council president Irma Ferlalle. “The risks have to be printed, but not with that language.” (…)

Ferlatte said the council objected to the pamphlet’s “gutter language” saying it was “beneath the level of university students.”

This is the second year that SUNS has produced an AIDS awareness pamphlet. Trainor said this year’s pamphlet is more blunt because that’s what the people working with, and for people with AIDS suggested.

“Everything else that we have done to make students aware of AIDS has failed completely,” said Trainor. “The success of this year’s pamphlet has yet to be seen … but we have had a lot of free publicity.” (…)

Trainor said the pamphlet was checked with the Federal Centre for AIDS, People With AIDS – Coalition of Halifax and local doctors among others. (…)

The St Mary’s student council withheld the pamphlet until an insert was produced which said that “abstinence and monogamy are highly recommended ways of preventing AIDS.”

The Federal Centre for AIDS gave SUNS a $240,000 grant to establish a program to create awareness and change the behaviour of post-secondary students.

The pamphlet was distributed without changes at Dalhousie University. Dalhousie Student Union president Dave Shannon said he’s heard a “mix of reactions.” “Many are ambivalent. Others wish it were more intellectually sophisticated. But no one has come in and said ‘I am angry about this leaflet,”‘ he said.

Crawley said “people are getting excited over nothing.”



1 Comment

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John Hillman

John Hillman is the Gazette's Opinions Editor. John is a second-year law student, but he has been at Dalhousie for much longer than that. Recently discovered cave paintings indicate he was first observed lurching around campus by Halifax’s original human settlers some time during the late Pleistocene epoch. He started writing for the Gazette back when you were in elementary school, but he unexpectedly went off the grid a half-decade ago to concentrate on helping found, a DSU-focused political blog. Where exactly was he hiding between the years 2009-2013? Certain individuals would prefer he not comment. Why has he returned? Not because of a top-secret Illuminati indoctrination project known only as the Omega Initiative, that’s for sure.

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