ugg classic chestnut UC sex column
In an era where educators and HR representatives constantly caution young people to monitor their Google history and Facebook tags, Cho has shown remarkable nonchalance.
“Having sex in the library is just not that controversial. I mean, like, who doesn’t have sex on campus?” she says. “In the context of Berkeley, this is not one of the craziest things. It’s just like everyone is so worried about what’s on Facebook or what’s on Google, and I’m just not really that concerned. I think it’s generational.”
After applying to the Daily Cal last summer, Cho was thrilled to be chosen as the newspaper’s “Sex on Tuesdays” columnist for the fall semester. Her columns on threesomes, bisexuality and race didn’t generate major attention on campus. The media storm came only after her farewell installment and from afar.
The Daily Mail wrote: “Cho writes that she and an unnamed male student started their romp in Berkeley’s library, Main Stacks, the day before Thanksgiving when the campus was ’empty.’ ”
The New York Daily News recounted, breathlessly: “They almost got caught twice when two people walked past.”
The Taiwanese news animation added multiple Cal T shirt clad partners (there was only one man in the story) and sex props (there were none, according to Cho).
Cho was confused, even somewhat amused, about the sudden attention her article had been out on campus for more than a week, and she’d gotten few e mails from students about it.
Yet although most of the online barbs against her have come from foreign countries, there has been no shortage of criticism in the comments section of the Daily Cal’s website:
“My biggest problem with this column is that it isn’t actually a column about sex; it’s a column about Nadia Cho.”
“She is not a journalist, she’s an exhibitionist.”
“I know you would like your sex life to be more exciting, but do you know what is also exciting? Getting to work and thinking, ‘There won’t be people f in the library today.’ Now that is liberating.”
Throughout the semester,
Cho’s column was at times playfully exhibitionist and occasionally political. Her writing treated sex in the kind of matter of fact way that someone raised with “Our Bodies, Ourselves” would.
“There isn’t anything unnatural or anything to be ashamed of in watching porn,” she wrote in September. “Whenever I have convenient breaks in my schedule, I’ll come home after class, eat a snack, watch some porn, rub one out and go back to campus.”
When she writes about threesomes, she cautions that no one should feel “self conscious” if they’re left out for a few minutes and that there’s proper etiquette for breakfast (the couple should treat the guest). She wrote one column about ‘s plans to defund Planned Parenthood (Cho did not think this was a good idea). Her entire Oct. 2 column was, simply, about being sex positive. She uses terms like vagina tarian and procras turbation.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Cho identifies as a bisexual woman of color. She declined to provide details about her parents, other than to say that she hasn’t revealed to them yet that she’s been writing sex columns. She does suspect, though, that her father has heard about her columns by now.
“Because, you know, he reads the news,” she says. “I’m not sure any parent expects this. But I mean, what can you do? I just don’t talk to my parents about sex.”
“I don’t want to be a sex columnist for my whole life. It has a time and a place,” she says. “I don’t regret publishing the piece. I intended to do it. I don’t really mind that people know I’m having sex. And who cares if it’s online what isn’t?”
Cho is mostly concerned that this whole thing happened during a busy study time.
“It probably will stay on my Google forever. I can’t wait till I’m like 30 and 40 and can be like, remember that one finals week when this f happened to me and I was like 20?”