Phi Beta Cons

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Sex Week at Yale, Day 8


I have never before been lectured by a naked person. It happened today at Yale.

The day began with a talk by female-to-male transsexual porn star Buck Angel. Buck told students his personal story of gender transformation. Born female, he said he never felt comfortable with his own body until he began a series of surgeries and hormone treatments as an adult. He later used his unique anatomy to pioneer a new niche in the adult-film industry. Buck told students that he saw his work as educational, and he hoped to help others become more comfortable with their own sexuality. “I really want to reach the younger generation,” he said.

The next event was an instructional presentation by porn producer Madison Young. Her bondage suspension performance last night, I learned, was moved off campus at the behest of the Yale administration. Young’s lecture today, however, was held on campus. Her talk, entitled “BDSM 101,” introduced students to the basics of bondage, discipline, and sadism and masochism.

Young played one of her videos for demonstration purposes. In the video, she was naked and bound by all four limbs. Soon, a man on screen began thrashing her with a whip. Welts were visible on her torso. I looked away, but I continued to hear the sound of the whip striking her, as well as the sound of a male voice taunting her.

When the video ended, Young asked a volunteer to come up and pin clips on her thighs. Two other students ripped the clips away with attached strings, following her directions. Young then removed the top of her dress, exposing her bare chest, and began to show students how to position nipple pinching devices. At that point, I left the room.

In the classroom next door, about a dozen students had gathered for an event sponsored by the Anscombe Society at Yale — a group that promotes premarital abstinence. The speaker, David Schaengold, said students who practice abstinence “shouldn’t feel their views are irrational.” Casual hook-ups are demeaning, he said, because they require students to use one another as mere objects of gratification. “If you think of your moral heroes,” he said, “it’s probably not possible to think of them doing lots of casual hook ups.”

The evening ended with another instructional class on oral sex, and a panel entitled, “Sex, Gender, & Pornography,” featuring six adult producers and porn stars.


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