Sex education from the best: Dan Savage does campus tour
Published: Sunday, April 1, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
Dan Savage, the famous sex and relationship advice columnist, and co-founder of the “It Get Better Project”, is bringing his candid expertise to answer sex, relationship and love questions asked by students as he visits 12 very different colleges across the U.S. with his producer, Laura Hutchinson, who lends a female perspective on the show. The show is aptly titled, “Savage U” and features our very own neighboring school, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Dan Savage explained why his show is important for students. “Everyone wants to pretend that they know everything about sex. People don’t want to show that they’re vulnerable or inexperienced. We live in a culture where we take ignorance as a virtue when it comes to sex, but it shouldn’t be that way. It’s important for people to reach out,” said Savage.
Savage and Hutchinson traveled to campuses with different levels of sexual experience based on the culture and region.
“I remember when we were going to Cornell, Dan said, ‘I bet it’s going to be varsity level.’” Hutchinson explains, “What he means is that most Ivy League or big city schools have questions like, how to have a threesome or how to tie someone up. Whereas junior varsity questions are how to get a girlfriend, or how to approach a girl, very basic stuff we found in small town schools like Auburn and University of California Irvine.”
Their favorite college that they visited on the tour varies. Hutchinson liked Ohio State, while Savage, who was born in Chicago, liked the big city schools like Tulane University in New Orleans and, of course, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Overall, Hutchinson and Savage agree that across all campuses there was a similar sense of curiosity from students and a desire to just feel normal when they asked for advice.
Students intrigue about sex is a product of the America’s poor sexual education.
“Too often reproduction is simplified into basic biology terms. In classes they’ll just say, there’s an egg, there’s some sperm that gets ejaculated and maybe you’ll create a baby, and there that’s sex. Sexual education needs to be more about how you have sex, how to talk to women to have sex, how to be responsible, how to know what consensual sex is. If we taught drivers ed the way we taught sex ed, no one would survive! We would teach them about the car engine, but nothing about how to drive,” said Savage.
Savage is known for his successful “It Gets Better” campaign he created with his husband. As a leading LGBTQ advocate, he kept a queer perspective for the show.
“We talked to queer, gay and transgender students. Even with the straight students I give them gay advice since that’s a part of who I am and it can help them. One thing that I want straight people to adopt from gay men is to ask what your partner wants. In gay encounters nothing is assumed so we ask,” said Savage.
Tune in for real and candid conversations that guarantee to be not only entertaining, but informative for students watching to use in their own personal relationships. “Savage U” premiers on MTV April 3 at 10p.m.