Jay Friedman has made a career touring the country to tell students that “sex is good” during his racy – but educational – lecture series, “The J-Spot.”
Before the self-proclaimed “sexpert” spoke to students in the Marvin Center on April 7, Friedman sat down with The Hatchet for a more personal interview. He offered his opinions on how to have a sexually healthy campus, the importance of good communication and his favorite position.
The Hatchet: What is the most pressing sexual health issue facing colleges and college students?
Jay Friedman: The ability to talk openly about it. We can run down a list of issues that all colleges campuses face, like sexual assault, homophobia, unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, but I think all of these boil down to a failure to communicate and negotiate.
H: What can couples that find themselves in a dull relationship do to spice up their love lives?
JF: Sex is all about sharing your hopes, your needs, your fears and your desires. Unless you can communicate, unless you can tell someone slower or faster or firmer or softer, it is going to be hard for someone to find the sexual satisfaction that they desire.
H: What is your favorite condom?
JF: The one that fits best.
H: What issues should partners always talk about before having sex?
JF: There are two: preventing the problems and promoting the pleasure. Certainly given all negative consequences of unprotected sex, it is important to negotiate good birth and disease control. At the same time, it is about negotiating the physical and emotional expectations from the relationship.
H: What is the strangest question you have ever heard?
JF: Someone once asked me, “Didn’t I once see you in a porn flick?” I was flattered on a lot of levels.
H: Were you in a porn film?
H: Do you find that a lot of students feel pressured into having sex?
JF: Yes. I think that both genders face a lot of pressure from the media and from their peers. I think there is an expectation that you’re suppose to do it, but in reality only 50 percent of traditional-aged college freshman have had intercourse by the time they come to campus.
H: If you could talk to every college-aged student in America, what is the one piece of advice you would give them?
JF: That sex is just as mental as it is physical. Our most important lovemaking tools are not in between our legs, they are in between our ears, as our brains and our mouths. Again, it boils down to good communication. We live in a society where it is taboo to talk about sex, where you are suppose to do it with the lights off, where everything is supposed to be perfect and everyone has a simultaneous orgasm. Well, that is just fantasy. Sex is more clumsy and moist.
H: What countries do you think have a comprehensive sexual education program?
JF: Northern Europe is light years ahead of America, they are just much more open, and they have far fewer problem than we do in terms of sexual assault, pregnancies and disease. Even some Asian countries where it is more taboo to talk about sex still have more sex-positive views than Americans do. We are Puritans in America.
H: What is your favorite position?
JF: My other job is as a food writer, and I think sex is a lot like food in that there is a menu. If I were to order the same thing off the menu, even if it is something as great as foie gras . I need variety to have a fulfilling life.
For sex and sexual health questions, Friedman has a few favorite Web sites he recommends:
American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists:
Go Ask Alice!:
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States:
Society for Human Sexuality: