Fire Miriam Datskovsky, worst sex columnist... EVER

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Bwog Links to Us...

The university system as we know it totally collapses.

Seriously, though, the Bwog posted an item about us around 10 PM. At this time, there are 48 comments, which is a lot. We feel as though we need to clarify some stuff:

1) We do not know Miriam. She may be a saint in real life, but that doesn't matter. We attack the persona she creates in her articles and the content of those articles. We don't do ad hominem attacks. This is an ad hominem attack:
"Captain Subtext has an ugly face and is stupid."
Note that we have never said anything like it. Miriam has a right to write her column. We have a right to make fun of it, and perhaps offer some of our own opinions on her topics. People on Bwog have a right to say FM (Fire Miriam) is mean. Ok, so once in awhile we might accidentally call her an idiot. But we're only talking about her column. We don't hate anyone. FM is all about the love.

2) It's not fair to call this site a "hatchet job." If anyone actually read through this site (and we don't blame you if you don't. It's way too long.), you would actually see that we try to be fair and give credit where credit is due. We think Miriam is a bad writer. Our goal is to prove it, using only the content of her articles and our razor sharp wits. We don't want to cut down Miriam. If we see other bad sex advice, we'll cut that down too. This isn't really about Miriam. It's about sex. Fire Miriam is just a cute name that people could remember. She's also the only person for whom we have access to her archives, so we naturally focus on her.

3) We have nothing to do with Chris Kulawik. I don't know how half of the comments ended up about him. We only have time for one genre of critique, and it's sex.

4) Somebody commented "Why do you care so much?" on an earlier post. We feel strongly about sex and sex advice. We might be overly thorough in our critiques but it's only because we care. By and large, we feel that American attitudes towards sex are unhealthy, and Miriam, at the very best, does nothing to improve or change those attitudes. Sure, she writes about a lot of things, but that doesn't make her a good sex columnist. Maybe it's not her fault. Maybe it's the Ivy League.

5) It seems that there is a specific commenter who is not happy with the way that we or the Bwog have not acknowledged the existence of people who support Miriam. We would like to point out that this site has acknowledged a post by ivygate.com and even linked to said post in an earlier writing. So, we clearly do acknowledge that there are people out there who (for one reason or another) do like Miriam's column. We aren't sure why, but you have a right to your opinion.

In the spirit of open and honest discussion, we have done some further research (read: cursory searches on The Google) and here are two articles which praise Miriam's efforts - The Vagina Dialogues and The Gothamist. As far as we can tell these are the only two "legitimate" sources which have written about Miriam. There are some blogs which have posted some nice things about her, but it seems that they are from personal friends or people she met while interviewing (i.e. Lusty Lady) for "The Vagina Dialogues." The Gothamist, as some of you may know, is a blog as well, but given its reputation we are willing to concede it as a source more reputable than FM. (Though we challenge anyone to be as thorough as we are in the actual reading of Miriam's columns.)

To get the discussion started, we would like to point out that the New York Magazine article does not explicitly say that Miriam is a good writer. In fact, while it acknowledges Miriam's intelligence, it quickly states that "sex columns aren't always about about great sex or great writing." FM is fully willing to concede this point. Miriam may well be intelligent but her knowledge about sex and her writing definitely put "Sexplorations" in the category of sex columns that are not about great sex or great writing.

6) Is this a groundswell of support? Maybe, maybe not. But if we were Miriam, we might say something like this:

Many of my friends have told me that they think Miriam is a terrible writer. My guy friends agree she doesn't know anything about men. One girl I know even called her "an affront to sexually active adults." Does this mean a lot of people hate her column? How could we ever know for sure? Does it always have to be so awkward? What does it all mean, really? Why do people write blogs like this? Do they have too much time on their hands?

Of course we do. Heck, we don't know for sure that anyone but us hates her writing. Maybe we are the only people who hate it so vehemently. But I doubt it. This blog started because some people thought that Miriam and the Spectator were doing a disservice to the Columbia community, and that we needed to at least try to provide some sort of counterpoint. We obviously couldn't write it in the Spec, so we started a blog. We just want people to have a few laughs and maybe look at the sex advice they get in a different way. Is that so bad?

-MM + CS

Monday, October 30, 2006

New Writers

We at Fire Miriam would like to introduce our newest writers: Masters and Johnson. We realize that we spent an awful lot of time complaining about how Miriam's articles are both useless and misleading and we've decided to take it upon ourselves to try to right these wrongs.

Masters and Johnson are our new sex writers here to answer questions or post real clarifications of those topics muddled by Miriam. If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail: firemiriam@gmail.com. They will try their best to repond in a weekly mailbag post along with some upcoming posts uncovering the truth behind sexual myths and legends.

The most false thing ever written by anyone ever

Are you kidding me?

Well, if you search on Google Blogsearch for Miriam Datskovsky, that article pops up first. Ivygate is officially the worst thing ever to happen to the internet. EVER.

Of the Ivy League bunch, Miriam Datskovsky’s "Sexplorations" is the column most reminiscent of "Sex and the City"
In that it is not funny, uninformative, and promotes awkward and embarassing sex as the norm for everyone. Oh yes, and that it is embarassing if people find out you're a fan of either.

except this gal can actually write.
You must not have read anything by her. She's the "writer" who has absolutely no idea what grammar is. I don't know anything about Sarah Jessica Parker and her fictional writing ability, but if I were her, I would sue for libel. If fictional characters had any legal standing, I bet Carrie Bradshaw would have a shot.

Part social commentary, part personal experience
.01% Social commentary, 99.99% Awkward personal experience

Miriam's musings are honest without being trite
Read the last line of any of her articles. "Trite" is the nicest thing you could say about them. "Face-numbingly annoying" might be more accurate.

She claims no sexual expertise but still tackles adventurous topics from anal sex to pornography.
Which makes her unable to accurately describe anything she talks about. It also means she attacks everything with a closed mind. I don't think you need to be an expert to talk about sex in any way, but it does help to have an open mind. If you think anal sex and porn are gross, it may bias your column just a smidge.

Her risky approach pays off in authenticity
Yes, we believe she is authentically awkward and authentically has backwards view of everything sexual.

"Hooking up with my favorite guy friend was a no-brainer-until an incredibly un-glamorous bedroom incident on the night of my 19th birthday left me lost and lonely. … Tomorrow will be exactly two years since my ill-fated fuck buddy incident. By all outsider and dating-book standards, I am still setting myself up for disaster. But I care too much about him to go back now. Logic says I should get myself out before I really get hurt. Logic is the last thing I care about."
They quote Miriam, not realizing that this must have been the only sentence that didn't have a question mark or a grammar error. I don't even know if she's going back to this guy or what. Has she been dating him for two years? What is she talking about? Look, we all go to Ivy League schools. We can all write flowery, meaningless prose that sounds nice but says nothing. Note that IvyGate obviously couldn't find something that didn't describe something awkward and embarassing.

Sex? Yes.
Nominally, yes. She does talk about sex. It is a sex column, so she has to, but she still gives the feeling she would rather be talking about somthing else

Dating/Relationships? Yes.
Yes, way more than sex.

Sexual Health? No.
Because she clearly knows nothing about anything technical/scientific/factual/anatomical (you pick).

Personal? Yes.
As if this is a good thing.

Shock factor? Yes.
False. Unless you mean how bad the writing is. Then it is true. Very, very true.

Inclusive/Non-heteronormative? Yes.
False in every way. She has gay friends. Whoop de do. She clearly writes as a straight female and everything she writes is biased as such, but with a hint of Bill O'Reilly thrown in for good measure. No one who isn't Miriam Datskovsky or like her in every way could get anything out of any of her columns.

Maybe the fact that IvyGate thinks Miriam is actually good says more about the Ivy League than about its sex columnists. Or maybe it means that people have never actually read good sex advice. I don't know. But I do know I've never been more embarassed to be a member of the Ivy League.

-MM

Thursday, October 26, 2006

RE: College Baserunning 101

I was actually beginning to feel bad about this little blog. I mean, Miriam sucks as a sex columnist, but maybe I don't need to be so mean about it, right? Actually, yes, yes I do. If you want to know why, just read this:

Miriam doesn't know anything about baseball either


There will forever exist those expectations that the logical side of our brains insist are false, but our desires hope to be true
Desires can't hope, Miriam.

we can expect that the Eagles will actually go to the Super Bowl this year
Obviously, the Eagles did go to the super bowl that year. They lost to Tom Brady's heroic and manly stubble.

What? I'm not talking about sex yet? Well, if you insist...

Apparently the good old days of a four-bases foreplay system are gone for good: I was regaled with tales of minor-league bases, major-league bases and a British-based, 10-step, “snogging scale”—the latter two ending in the “full monty.”
This comes from Miriam talking with her eigth grade sister about sex. Because she can't get any herself, apparently, so she needs tips from a twelve year old. I can't decide if this is funny or creepy. By the way, if you aren't absolutely sure that there's a question right after this, you must be reading the wrong blog.

If middle school has become so complicated it now includes three different base systems, where does that put us?
Bingo. Ok Miriam, since we don't really know if you'll actually answer this, let me do it for you: It puts us in college. You know, college? Where people can have physically intimate moments without resorting to sports metaphors? We're all mature adults here, Miriam. But since you really want to go back to the pre-sexual congress days, I'll indulge you.

The first play of our game, the “four-play,” is finding someone you might want to be with.
Miriam has suddenly switched sports on us, all to give herself a chance to use a stupid name she thought up in the shower. We aren't baserunning anymore. Now we're playing football.

Ok, find someone I might want to be with... why the heck not? Sex is generally more fun with another person, but as Miriam will attest to, not always.

Obstacles arise regardless of where you meet—class, a concert, a game, a bar. The most obvious obstacle is the cock-block
Miriam obviously assumes we have some experience with picking people up, since she jumps right into the stuff that stops us from picking people up. Some of us might want to know how to approach someone, how to strike up a conversation, how to sound witty and erudite. Miriam must be really self-confident to know that people would always sleep with her if not for outside factors.

Cock-blocking can be caused by a number of different factors: your hotter best friend swings an arm around your shoulder and suddenly no one is talking to you anymore
Ok, maybe not.

Then there is the age-old dilemma of beer goggles—do you step in and block your drunken friend flirting with a random nasty guy or girl? How do you know if they want to be cock-blocked?
In football, this is known as the counter play. You get the defense going in one direction and then cut back against the grain. Miriam has subtly switched away from being cock-blocked to cock-blocking someone else, which has no place in this article. I guess cock blocking someone else is the equivalent of going out to the mound to get the ball from a tired pitcher, which isn't really a base, now is it?

The next obstacle becomes the wingman
No, Miriam, the next obstacle is the wingman. It can't become something because it has to actually be something first. Please, please tell me you asked your sister about her english class. I bet she could give some useful pointers.

Thanks to thefacebook.com, you don’t even need to get a number before you say goodbye. You can poke, you can message, you can even be brave and IM. The to-ask-home-or-not question no longer has to be debated that first night. You no longer have to be sleazy to get a piece of ass; you can get in touch with the other person the next day.
Let's review:
asking someone for her phone number in a bar = sleazy
stalking her on facebook = perfectly normal
Why do you make assertions like this Miriam?

The single room is key here. Doubles eschew a host of complications-—warning your roommate ahead of time, or making sure they don’t accidentally walk in.
I would like everyone to pull out his or her dictionary and read along. Eschew, v. - To abstain or keep away from. So actually, doubles avoid a host of complications. Also, there's a horrendous pronoun switch, as Miriam gains an extra roommate as she goes from... you know what? Forget it. I can't keep line editing Miriam's work. Somebody should do this for her. It's the Spectator's fault they hired someone who writes at a sixth grade level. I'm not doing their dirty work any more.

Bunk beds make the case worse: it’s flat-out obnoxious to have sex above someone who’s sleeping, but we stoop to that level anyway.
No, we don't. You might. But we don't. Stop calling me obnoxious, Miriam.

You definitely don’t anticipate a question like “Are you comfortable enough to blow me right now?” and then it’s asked, or at least it has been to me.
Of course it has. I think maybe you should go back and reread first base (or first level or first square or first first or first whatever the hell you're talking about). Remember, you said facebook stalking was a good way to learn about your potential hook-up. But now we find the facebook paradox: people who stalk people on facebook may lack the social skills that one would require to attract a potential mate. She is right, though. I wouldn't anticipate that question. Mostly beacuse I'm not Miriam and my sexual encounters aren't always awkward and embarassing.

Wait a minute... I feel something shivering... is it my DLRQ sense?

What do you do when someone says the wrong thing? What if someone uses baby talk in bed and you can’t stand it? Do you laugh or yell or just try to pretend it didn’t happen?
I think Miriam is actually a robot that writes articles according to a very specific code. That's why all of them sound exactly the same. It's also why she sounds like she hates sex. Robots hate sex and they want us to stop having sex so we'll be easier to conquer. At least that's what I saw when I was watching late-night Fox News. Or maybe it was Cinemax.

Never underestimate the importance of play three: foreplay.
Well, that's a very sensible statement. Do you mean oral play?

I’m not talking oral sex
Oh, I see. What are you talking about?

I’m talking good old fondling, rubbing, and pumping.
Pumping? Really? I don't get it. Are you having sex on a boat that's taking on water? Are you inflating a beach ball while having sex? Oh, no, I do get it. You're both wearing those Reebok pumps from, like, 1992 and you need to pump them up. Gotcha.

It goes without saying that men get the shit end of the stick here: you can get a better hand-job without the hassle of getting a girl into your bed. On the bright side, guys, the more effort you put into pleasing her, the quicker you’re going to get head.
This is just an embarassing thing for anyone to write, especially a sex columnist. I dare you to find one straight guy that really looks at digital-vaginal play as a sacrifice he has to make on the road to the almighty blow job. And besides, just because you have no idea how to give a hand job doesn't mean that it sucks for every guy ever. Honestly, how many guys do you know that sit on their bed with a girl's hand down their pants and think to themselves, "Well, this sucks. I could have my own hand on my penis right now."? Holy mother of mercy, this is terrible.

And to all you guys who think boobs are overrated, that’s bull.
Are you kidding me? What guy thinks breasts are overrated? I am speechless right now. In fact, I have just melted and am now a tiny puddle of goo under my desk. You must mean gay guys. They are the only group of men I know who think that playing with breasts is not one of the most rewarding activities to which one can devote one's life.

Play four is oral.
Oh, this won't be scarring and embarassing.

It’s a given that guys love to receive head, but most hate to give it
This is false in so many ways I can't even begin to comprehend it. My head has actually jumped off of my body and is now attempting to drown itself in the sink. Where do your get this information, Miriam? You can't throw out these "givens" without some sort of data. Get off your ass and conduct a freakin' survey if you're so damn sure. I bet you can find at least some guys who don't like getting head, and I guarentee that you will find a whole truckload that don't hate to give it. You are perpetuating so many stereotypes that it's embarassing for us and you.

To the girls’ credit, successfully going down on a guy is not as easy as it looks
Oh so are you going to teach them how, since you're obviously so good at it? That would be useful. We all want to spice up our sex lives, and any advice you could give us would be...

And then there’s the swallowing issue
...oh, ok, I guess you could just move right on to this...

should you avoid awkwardness but experience the disgusting taste, or do what you want and spit?
Ok, leaving aside the fact that not every girl wants to spit (or that all cum tastes disgusting), why must you couch everything in terms of awkwardness? If a girl doesn't want to swallow, she shouldn't swallow. Just have a towel or something nearby, and discretely spit into it when you're done. Not awkward at all. Problem solved. Stop writing.

Often girls are too embarrassed to enjoy receiving it.
READ: Miriam is too embarassed to enjoy receiving it.

Shaving and trimming are essential to good oral sex
False. Stop generalizing. You make me so angry. Here are Miriam's factors for good oral sex:

SHAVING AND TRIMMING: Essential! The most important thing there is!
SPITTING OR SWALLOWING: Causes awkwardness!
VAGINA: Causes awkwardness! Men hate being near it, women hate having people near it!

It would be awfully nice if our sex lives were as simple as a game of baseball, if every successful play ensured a win and good sex.
Miriam, every successful play in baseball guarentees nothing, especially not a win. In fact, you need several successful plays, often in a row, to even generate a run. You need multiple runs to win games, and you need successful plays on defense to prevent the opponent from generating runs. You just spent an entire column comparing sex to baseball (sort of), and now you're going to pretend that baseball is something totally different to make some point that contradicts the entire point of your column? I'm offended as a sex fan and as a baseball fan.

On the other hand, where would the excitement be if our sex lives were as predictable as the Yankees beating the Mets?
And if you didn't have enough reason to hate Miriam, she throws in a Yankees reference.

We can’t assume we will have sex with every person who makes it into our bed, but where would the fun be if we could expect the same from every guy or girl we meet?
This may be shocking, Miriam, but you could have sex with everyone that ended up in your bed, and I bet it would be damn fun. It would be different everytime, too. So once again, you say something and it's wrong. We can't assume that everything you say will be wrong, but where would the fun be if we could expect the same from every single sentence you write?

Final consensus? Well, Toto, we’re not in middle school anymore.
Great. I'm glad I just read that whole ludicrous column for this cute little zinger. A pithy remark at the end of a column does not a conclusion make. And who says it's a consensus anyway? You have to find a bunch of people to agree with you for that to happen. Actually, why don't you start looking now? And don't write any more columns while you're looking for that consensus. We'll muddle along without you.

-MM

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

RE: Six Degrees of Sexual Frustration

Miriam Needs Your Help

I have to hand it to her. It's her fifth column and she's finally talking about actually having sex. Well, she's decided to recount all of her terrible sexual experiences. Obviously, she's at a loss for how to make her sex better. Let's see if we can lend a hand.

It is nature’s most frustrating law: with everything good must come something bad. Columbia’s academics are excellent, but, let’s face it, our athletics are sub-par. The Red Sox won the World Series; Kerry lost the election. My last lover was good in bed, but a moron in the realm of dating. Another before him was a sweetheart, but terrible in bed. Harsh, but true: sex is no exception to the law—it was created as a part of nature.
False. Repeat after me: "Correlation does not equal causation." Good does not cause bad. Miriam just likes to approach everything from the negative. Also, since we're trying to find correlations between completely unrelated situations (Red Sox and John Kerry? Oh, because both are from Massachusetts! They are totally one in the same!), let me see if I can create a "dis-proof" of this paragraph in a similar manner. Halle Barry was topless in "Swordfish" - good. I got to see Halle Barry's boobs - really good. QED.

Now, onto the bad sex Miriam's had...

Short sex has got to be the most awkward, and it doesn’t help when he starts apologizing profusely, because you both already feel terrible enough.
Agreed. This is terrible sex unless you planned having it that way (like for a morning quickie or some afternoon delight). Miriam, as a sex columnist, would you be kind enough to give some advice on how to avoid the causes of unplanned short sex?

Tight/limp sex (in layman’s terms, when she’s too tight, or he can’t get it up, or both) comes in as a close second on the awkward scale.
Guess you won't provide any insights for us. You're just going to go onto your next experience with ungratifying sex.

there is much more to the art of the sex then pumping up and down as fast as you can. Be honest with your lover about your inexperience, or go buy The Idiot’s Guide to Sex; just don’t pull the “jackrabbit” moves.
Let me get this straight. I've spent all this time reading a column about sex and now you're telling me to get sex tips elsewhere? Well, maybe The Spectator should just start publishing excerpts from The Idiots Guide to Sex because this sex column written by an idiot clearly isn't helping anyone.

The Entire Paragraph on Make-up and Rebound Sex
If anyone can make sense of this paragraph specifically as to why make-up and rebound sex are lumped together. Please email: firemiriam@gmail.com

One would expect it to be easier to gauge the we’re-gonna-fuck-until-we-both-come-even-though-it’s-not-gonna-happen sex; unfortunately it is our inability to make that judgment that results in this final kind of bad sex... Save the sex while it’s still good: stop ahead of schedule.
Finally, some "advice". Now, when exactly do I stop? After I insert? Before I insert? When my dick starts to get limp? Should we have a deep heart-to-hear before we have sex and see if we want to come today?

I have to ask myself: why the hell have I come up with not one, but six different classifications of bad sex? Why does it happens so often?
Yup. The previous response was a foreshadowing. You thought Miriam would make it out of this column without a DLRQ (Datskovsky Line of Rhetorical Questioning)? You thought wrong. You thought she would use the DLRQ to pose and then answer questions that we might have about avoiding bad sex? You thought wrong. She won't even answer these questions because...

On the grand scheme of sexual things, how much does bad sex matter? There’s no denying the damage factor of bad sex: I’ve seen it destroy everything from booty-call potential to friendships and relationships. Just as there’s no easy way to tell a friend he or she has bad breath, there’s no easy way to tell a lover that he or she could use some bedroom guidance. Is bad sex a problem in and of itself, or do we make it a problem? How many people believe they’re good in bed because no one informed them otherwise? That said, is there a way in which we can communicate to our lovers about bad sex?
You got it. That was just a warm up DLRQ. And, since it's nearing the end of her column/word limit, she needs to get in a jab about how sex can destroy all your relationships. If you ask me, we're five columns into "Sexplorations" and I don't see much exploring outside of the world of awkward, relationship-destroying sex.

On the one hand, as the “victim,” bad sex has very little to do with you: shortness, limp dick, tight dryness, and rebound tendencies are almost always a reflection of your lover. On the other hand, as the “victim,” bad sex has everything to do with you: if you keep faking, your lover’s only going to continue to do the “great” things he or she thinks he’s doing. If you can’t bring yourself to share your dirty secrets out loud, show him or her. Take the lead in bed and guide your lover. Avoid drunken sex until you both get it right.
Finally, some actually useful sex advice - Be honest with each other. I like that. I will give credit where credit is due. Sex is about everyone involved's enjoyment and it is important to be open about what you like and don't like, what you're comfortable with and what you're not comfortable with. That being said; I can't help but feel that, despite the attempt to use "he or she" and "him or her" to make this paragraph seem universal in its target, Miriam was speaking to only one half of the human population... or maybe just to herself.

It’s easier to hear it early on, before you or your lover feels embarrassed or angry, from a friend rather than from someone you love.

So, suddenly we only have sex with people we are friends with and can only fall in love after the sex. For a person who has claimed that emotions are "bullshit" and that sex is seperate from all that, I can't help but feel that Miriam is being a bit of a flip-flopper. I personally don't see why a sex column necessarily has to delve into the relationship issues that can come with sex, but, if you are going to do that, shouldn't you be open to the many kinds of choices people can make about who they have sex with and when they choose to do it? Some people have emotionless sex. Some people need to be in love before they have sex. Let's not assume that everyone is just like you, Miriam.

You’re bound to feel bad, but try to be kind, or take it for what it’s worth and know that things can only get better.
Well, after a bit of good advice on being open and honest, you leave us with a vague and confusing statement on how to achieve such openness and honesty. Might it be more helpful if you didn't suggest that we directly confront our sexual partners with statements about how they are poor in bed? I think it might be more fruitful to suggest more specific alternative approaches to communicating with your partner on such a touchy matter. Just off the top of my head, I could think of a few things like playing follow-the-leader in bed, gently directing their motions as they "perform" on you, or simply suggesting to your partner that they should focus their attention elsewhere. You know, statements like, "I really like it when you touch me like this." As opposed to, "I need to be honest and it's better you hear it now while we're just friends. I'm trying to put this as nicely as I can... You don't really know how to use your hands or any other part of your body. But, don't be mad. This is just to help you get better. We all want to be sex geniuses, right? " But, hey, I'm not the "supposed sex-connoisseur extraordinaire."


~CS

RE: Insertion is Nine Tenths of the Law

The big "V"

I was ready to give Miriam the benefit of the doubt. I'm a guy, she's a girl. Losing one's virginity is a lot different if you're a guy. My first experience wasn't bad at all. In fact, we had sex three times that night. I'm not bragging. Everyone's first experience is different. There's no way Miriam can anger me with this column.

The night I lost my virginity my mom was downstairs checking her e-mail. It was a little weird—wrong maybe—but it was high school: you did what you had to.
Well, maybe this isn't the best way to start a sex column. I mean, most people don't want their parents involved in these sorts of situations. But hey, she's just illustrating a point. Her Mom has email. And besides, we did do what we had to in high school. So this is a pretty good start.

What we fail to realize in our fantasies are the realities of losing your virginity: the pressure to either “get it over with” or “wait until marriage,” the awkwardness of not knowing what to do or how to do it, and dealing with the less romantic situations available to virgins our age.

Well, see, that's why they're called fantasies. Because they have little to do with reality. But that ridiculous bit of wordplay aside, she's right. Some people do feel pressure, sometimes it is awkward, sometimes it's not romantic. I know she's generalizing, but let's give her some leeway. She knows we aren't all the same, and I'm sure she'll mention it eventually.

Excitement aside, when it comes down to it, the big V is quite frightening.
There are two possible meanings for "the big V": Virginity or Vagina. Neither of them are particularly frightening. Although Miriam's fear of her vagina might come back to haunt us later on.

The point she's trying to make is "losing 'the big V' is quite frightening." Which can be true. I would imagine if someone woke up with her vagina missing, she might feel a degree of consternation.

What constitutes losing it anyway?
Well, maybe you could answer that for us!

I was recently disturbed by a high school friend’s confession that she had mistaken the loss of her virginity: “I thought he was doing something with my butt, but actually he wasn’t, so what I thought was my first time really was the second.”
Well, that's not really an answer but...

Last time I checked, insertion constituted loss of virginity.
Oh. Well, I guess that's it then. You poke, you pay. So that's the end of it.

She might not have been having sex before college because she couldn’t get any, but the question stands: to do or not to do?
That's a cheap shot at the poor girl who thought high schoolers shouldn't be having sex.

I have several college friends—male and female—who remain virgins, but then there’s also the hallmate who proudly described her first time as the act of a “desperate virgin.”
Wait, I just noticed. Miriam is talking about her friends again. I don't mean to be a jerk, but, uh, small sample size? The only thing that could make this article turn south faster would be the DLRQ (TM) (Datskovsky Line of Rhetorical Questioning).

If you are going to go ahead and do it, do you wait until you’re in love or do you get it over with? Is it simply a question of waiting until you’re ready, regardless of whether it’s with a long-term partner, and old friend, or someone completely random?
Great. Are you going to answer any of these this time?

Just to complicate things, for some folks there are two firsts: there’s the first and then there’s “the first.”
I don't have any idea what you're talking about. The first is the first, the "first" is some ordinal number that is not first. Maybe she's trying to say that there's the first time you have sex with someone you love. That's a different experience. Let's see if she clarifies this statement.

The gay men in my life happily debate with me.
Miriam gratuitously points out that she knows gay men. Oh, now I see. She is qualified!

When does manhood become official? Are you official once you’ve successfully pleasured another? Does official have to involve your own cum? Or is it more of a two step process—are you a virgin until both firsts?
For those of you keeping track at home, in three paragraphs, that's six questions and two declarative sentences. At least the next sentence won't be a question.

In this case, is two better than one?
Oh, wait, nevermind. I thought you might try to answer one of those other six first, but, hey, it's your column. By the way, I think Miriam is saying that gay sex involves two different virginities. Obviously, she couldn't come out and say anything about anal sex, because this is a sex column and it's no place for that smut. It doesn't matter. She's wrong. If anal sex counts as virginity for a guy, it has to count as virginity for a girl too. A first is a first, right?

as a straight woman I’m a little jealous. I’d love two shots at the first; hell, if it isn’t amazing “the first” time, it’s fantabulous the next “first” time.
Well, Miriam, you could have two "first times" also. Maybe you could try the second time without your mom checking her email downstairs. Might set the mood a little better.

By the way, following Miriam's absolutely hilarious line of reasoning, lesbians can never have a "first time" naturally. Sorry ladies, but insertion is insertion and we all have to follow the rules. Also, according to Miriam, sex will definitely be good the second time you have it, but only if the first time was bad. See how it all makes sense now?

I’m not sure which is worse, being the virgin or the de-virginizer
Goddamn it, Miriam. It doesn't have to always be about worse and worst.

Guys can’t very well fake it, and girls shouldn’t
Wrong and wrong. A guy wearing a condom (you do want all of us readers to practice safe sex, don't you Miriam?) can fake it just as easily as a girl can. And maybe girls should fake it sometimes. Susan Walker calls it "turning on the landing lights," which means helping him out with a few useful moans. Trust me girls, a few hints can go a long way.

Scientifically speaking
You aren't a scientist, Miriam. You haven't even said the word "glans" in an article yet.

No matter what, the end result is ultimately the same: good sex is coming your way.
This is typical Miriam. Good sex is not coming anybody's way if they don't practice it. It doesn't just happen. You have to take your experiences and learn from them, sure, but you have to have a desire to get better. Even Miriam wouldn't say that you can just lie there and wait for someone to do something magical. That's where she's supposed to come in. She should provide a new, interesting, informative, and fun way to look at sex. Maybe then everyone wouldn't feel dirty and miserable after they read her articles. And maybe, just maybe, someone could learn something from her that would actually improve his or her sex life.

The Big V may be a little frightening, but then again, so are roller coasters.

Don’t forget to scream.
Roller coasters are not scary, Miriam. They're fun. Like sex. Which is fun. Sex should not be scary. Stop trying to make me afraid of sex. And if anyone I was in bed with screamed like she was on Space Mountain, I would probably get arrested.

-MM

Monday, October 23, 2006

RE: Defining and Defeating the "Hook Up"

Third time's the charm, right? Miriam has to hit it on the nose this time. There's no way she could write three terrible columns in a row and not be let go like a summertime drama on Fox.

Miriam Wants to Defeat Sex

Of all the things that typically go hand-in-hand with sex—intoxication, bed-sharing, morning-after awkwardness—romance is by far the most complicated.
Perfect start. A good sex columnist must always approach sex from a negative point of view. Can you imagine a world where people who write about sex were to tell us that sex is enjoyable, mutually-affirming and just plain fun? The horror.

Do we need good sex to have good romance? Do we need good romance to have good sex? In a day and age when casual sex is condoned and often encouraged, when and where do the individual spectra of sex and romance collide?
Ah, it wouldn't be a Miriam Datskovsky column without a Datskovsky-line-of-rhetorical-questioning. At least she decided to put it at the beginning of the column this time. Maybe she'll actually use these questions to guide her argument this time.

While good sex may not result in good romance, bad sex often results in bad romance. Is it better to ensure sexual compatibility by having sex right off the bat?
Nope, she's going to open up yet another topic through her questioning. I really hope she answers at least one of these questions.

Putting off having sex for the first time only threatens a relationship: no amount of scented candles and dimmed lighting can make up for bad sex.
Okay, putting off sex = bad sex? Even her individual sentences are starting to get muddled and confused with multiple points.

A note to the more chaste out there, a good sex columnist would have realized that it isn't true that sex defines relationships. It is perfectly alright to want to save yourself or wait for the right moment. You still can have a full and vibrant physical relationship if you want. There are all sorts of things that two people can do to enjoy physical intimacy without sexual intercourse. A list might include: baking cookies, staring deeply into each others eyes, feeding each other, playful wrestling, holding each other, dirty talk/role playing, deep kissing, frottage over or under the clothes, manual manipulation, mutual masturbation, axillary intercourse, intercrural intercourse, mammary intercourse. If you have access to a computer, you could even try cybersex or vidsex.

If being in love is supposed to enhance the sexual experience, why do the relationships we have fluctuate so much based on sex?
After a paragraph of meandering in the vague vincinity of answering the questions she posed earlier, she's decided that her column needs yet another direction. Does this girl have an editor?

The New York Times Magazine recently ran a piece on the changing face of youth sex, titled “Friends, Friends with Benefits, and the Benefits of the Local Mall.” Much of the article centered on the ambiguity of the term “hook-up, pondering the decisive way in which young people have chosen to separate sexual relations from romance. The author defines the term as “vague—covering everything from making out to sexual intercourse ... [other times] a euphemism for oral sex.”
So, for the first time in three columns, Miriam cites a legitimate source that is not some vague group of misquoted friends. Oh, and she's mentioned the "hook-up" for the first time in this column even though it's 2/3 of the way through and the article was supposed to be on the hook -up.


So as to save you all the trouble, I'll just give a short synopsis of the rest of the article. Several more paragraphs providing vague, non-committal descriptions/definitions of hooking up. A few presumptuous statements about how "we" all feel about hooking up. A scathing attack on "multiple levels of sexual and romantic collissions" and warnings against the potential for sex (especially hook-up based sex) to ruin your relationships. Then she tells us to stop hooking up but to have more sex. Great. Thanks.

So, for those of you keeping count at home, that's three columns and this is the first one where she's almost kind of approached sex (or hooking up). But, just the idea of sex. Not really the act of it, how to do it, or how to make it better. And, she's three-for-three on columns mentioning that sex is confusing, awkward, and potentially ruinous. Just what the doctor ordered for fostering healthy and constructive attitudes towards sex.

~CS

Thursday, October 19, 2006

RE: Finding the Solution: The Hot Number

All right, hands up if you think this will be about "69"! I mean, it's the hottest number I know. Way to go Miriam! Second article, diving right into something we want to know about! You scamp, you!

Sex and Numbers?

There are certain discussions you expect to have with the first person you’ve ever slept with
About 69ing?

The obligatory catch-up conversations with Lover Number One usually consist of either the awkward “how-are-you-it’s-been-a-while,” or the weighted “you-did-what-with-whom!?” exchange.
Oh, well... I guess this is just Miriam's way of introducing the subject of soixante-neuf. I'm sure this article won't be about, I dunno, what your friends think about sluts or anything.

They are certainly not supposed to begin with, “Hey, Miriam, how many people do you think a girl has to sleep with before she’s a slut?”
Shit...

My roommates continually argue over how to calculate this infamous number, and my buddies voice concern over how many is too many
The old bait and switch. Damn you, Miriam, and your unlimited craftiness!

nearly half of our first-years have had sex, and a large portion of them have had “lots” of sex.
Apparently the CDC says so. Personally, I think it's just because the condoms in the dorms always run out. People must be having sex 15 times a week in those freshman dorms.

Numbers and sex must be having their own secret love affair
It's not so secret. I was hiding erections all through that semester of Calculus. Maybe it was the way the professor drew his 5's. So sensual...

Who hasn’t slept with their first partner at least once more?
(Translating) Who among us hasn't made a horrendous decision after breaking up with his high school girlfriend?

And I might be nitpicking, since people seem to think it's cool to do this now, but "who" is singular. Its possessive pronoun is either "his" or "her." Don't give me that "popular usage" nonsense. I'll show you where you can stick your popular usage.


After my first experience as Lover Number Two, despite the mediocre experience, I listened to my partner brag about his sexual expertise and even go as far to discuss the logistics of potentially having sex with a “fat chick.”
This probably doesn't need any help from me. I'm tired. This is a good exercise for the readers at home. Everyone write a response and send it in. No more than 1200 words, please.

By the way, I'm potentially having sex with Angelina Jolie right now. The logistics are crazy.

my girlfriends and I were shocked to discover that, number-wise, we equaled or beat every guy in the group.
I would hate to be one of Miriam's friends. Imagine if everyone on campus knew all about your embarrassing sexual secrets. I hope none of her friends are into anything deviant, since Miriam would probably think it was gross and write her column about how gross it would be to, I dunno, be tied to a bed post or something. Not like anyone's ever been into that before.

Does sleeping with two or more people give us the right to talk about sex? Do we need to have slept with someone to talk at all? Or is the experience of watching a porno enough license?
1) No. Being capable of talking about sex gives us the right to talk about sex.
2) No. My 10 year old cousin can talk, but she hasn't slept with anyone. I bet there are a lot of people like this out there. In fact, I'm pretty sure I started talking way before I slept with anyone.
3) I have absolutely no idea what this question is trying to say. So I'm going to take a guess: Papua New Guinea.

The talk doesn’t stop there; when we’re not proudly parading our sexual skills, we’re busy criticizing others for their excessive experience.
"Being with Miriam while she parades her sexual skills" would fall somewhere between "being kicked in the shin for 24 hours straight" and "being deported to North Korea" on the list of things I want to do in my lifetime.

we multiply and divide until we feel confident in our sexual abilities
I actually do this, but only because I date a lot of girls with arithmetic fetishes.

What really matters is the fun-loving conversation in which comparison is unnecessary.
My conversations all love fun. The conversation I had about 18th century Russia got drunk one night and banged a conversation about the government of England. What fun-loving conversations.

I won’t for a minute pretend that I don’t enjoy the “hot number” conversations, or that my friends and I won’t continue to hold them.
I usually "have" my conversations, but you can "hold" them, you kinky girl, you. My friends actually "fondle" their conversations. It's hot.

But the solution to x-equals-slut? Undefined.
Leaving aside the fact that "undefined" is not a number, I will now summarize the entire column:

I had sex with someone and he said something about sluts and me and my friends call people sluts all the time but that doesn't mean that people are actually sluts because slut is a social construct and everyone is different but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop calling people sluts with my friends who are probably all sluts anyways.

By the way:
Number of articles Miriam has written so far: 2
Number of these that have not had anything useful or informative about sex: 2
Keep count at home kids, because I have a hunch this streak has legs.

-MM

RE: Sexual Stereotypes in the Sack

For those of you who don't know, Miriam Datskovsky is the sex columnist for the Columbia Spectator. How she got this job, we're still not sure. We have found, however, this classified advertising the position:

Wanted: Sex columnist for college newspaper. Breadth of awkward sexual experience a plus. Knowledge of actual intercourse not important. Loathing of own sexuality a must. Anyone who has read "Strunk and White" need not apply.

Well, in an attempt to prove that Miriam fits every one of these "qualifications," we submit to you our series of responses. In her honor, they will be presented in the order she wrote her columns.

Miriam Datskovsky's Reign of Terror Begins (Countdown to 2007)


It's undeniable: the sounds of love, or, at any rate, lust coupled with affection, are all over campus as we enter the new semester. And the funny thing is, it isn't the whining pitch of a heart-broken girl.
Ah yes, the whining pitch of a heart-broken girl. A must in any sexual encounter... at least when Miriam is concerned. (Grammar note: the plural "sounds of love" are expressed in the singular "it. " Get used to this. At least you know what "it" refers to this time... kind of...)

While my girlfriends have quickly let go of their no-sex-without-love rules, my guy friends have become increasingly involved with the girls they hook up with. One of my female friends recently admitted that she masturbated so much that losing her virginity didn't hurt; my buddy across the hall secretly confesses that he can't be with a girl unless he loves her.
What exactly does masturbation have to do with pain and losing your virginity? Some girls don't feel pain when losing their virginity. Some do. Let's not base everyone ever on your two female friends and your one male friend. Some of us would call this a "Small Sample Size"... but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt...

like the day your high school teacher announced that the perception that men are hornier than women is simply a social convention and not, in fact, a matter of science
Sorry Miriam, I'm not sure this ever happened to me.

Admittedly, there are girls here seeking a relationship, but there are also those who want the sex without the emotional bullshit.
Yes, if you swear, it makes you sound like you're being more honest. I like how you sling from the hip. A lesson for all the kids at home - emotions are bullshit.

And I have seen men step comfortably into typically feminine acts--worrying about their performances in bed or calling three times even when their dinner invites were refused, for example.
Really? It's not masculine to worry about your performance in bed? Oh, I remember, that's because the ideal man is "in-out, on with the TV." Oh, and, while we're on genderizing, stalkerish phone calls are totally a girl thing to do. I bet that's what Malibu Barbie would do. Ever notice that Ken always calls Barbie? (Until they broke up... that bitch... I digress...)

It is almost as if we want the opposite sex to occupy the dictated role; we are uncomfortable when we are able to be honest with each other. Do guys want girls to think they're macho and sex-addicted and want girls to play the sweet, innocent part? Do girls want guys to think they're angelic and demure but to go after them like sick dogs? It is widely accepted that the sweet side of a man always surfaces when he wants a relationship, so why is it so hard to believe that the rough-'n-tough side of a woman surfaces when all she wants is sex?
When a woman is rough-'n-tough does she become a man? Oh my, the circular rhetorical questioning! What's your point? Did you even have an idea of what you were going to write about when you started? Did you know this is the third to last paragraph? Are we just going to continue to genderize throughout this article? Are you even against genderizing? Does this paragraph sound smarter because I used a lot of question marks?

In the crazy world of our college sex life, where the rules of the game are about as clear as the New York City skyline on a hazy August day, this question is yet another cloud.
Woah. You just blew my mind. Clouds... from the stormy seas and rough surf of coital passions in our combined "college sex life." Well, at least we're in "our college sex life" together, Miriam. Another way to phrase this might be, "where the rules of the game are about as clear as a Miriam Datskovsky article." Now you don't need the lengthy, confusing metaphor.

The truth is that we may never do so. Or we may get lucky and meet our dream lover on the first shot. Or we might find out what we wanted was, in fact, not what we expected. Massive sexual confusion may persist, but we'll never figure it out unless we try.
This is actually the closing paragraph from another article she wrote. Haha... no it wasn't. But you thought it was didn't you? By the way, does anyone feel like having sex after this? Oh the hot, massive sexual confusion. I'm so turned on.

~CS

Some Questions and Some Answers

Why are you guys so hell-bent on getting Miriam Datskovsky fired?
Her column is an abomination.

Why are you guys such total dicks?
Good question. We're not. There comes a time in every young man and woman's life when they begin to to grow fond of their potential alma mater and cannot sit idly by while their fellow brethren are mislead by a girl with a completely unhealthy Bill-O'Reilly-esque sense of her own and others sexuality.

Call us old fashioned, but we think a sex columnist should help us to enjoy the wonderful art of love making or at least learn how to have threesomes. Miriam confounds us with poor sentence structure and misguided stereotypes.

Who are you guys? You angling for some job as the Spectator Sex Columnist?
1. Doesn’t matter who we are. Friends from school.

2. We will admit that the majority of us are guys and straight. Which, unfortunately, precludes us from being taken seriously as sex columnists. Gender equality my ass.

The site looks terrible. Don’t you know anything about web design?
Actually, yes. We were lazy. Go pre-made templates!

Are you all Red Sox fans?
Pretty much. Yes.

Why don’t you blog about other things?
You mean other "sex advisors" here on campus? Well, if we find that certain publishers of sex magazines or sex television shows are also misleading the Columbia community and public at large, they'll be held accountable. This is the NO-SEXUAL MISLEADING ZONE!

How do I become a member?
Keep your eyes peeled for the Fire Miriam Facebook Group.

I have, like, sixteen dollars that are just eating a hole in my pocket. Why can’t I buy a Fire Miriam t-shirt, or a Fire Miriam bib for my dog or whatever?
We're not actually that serious. We just like talking about sex. (And making fun of people...) But, who knows? Make sure you join that Facebook group to stay up to date on our cause!