Sexual Humor

I make a lot of references to sex in my posts. This is not because I’m obsessed with sex or because I have run out of other things to talk about, but because sex lends itself easily to humor. That is, sex is funny to most people in a way that the Harvard Lampoon is not.

This is related to social skills because I’ve noticed that a lot of socially awkward people are most awkward around the topic of sex. I’ll say penis and get an audible wince. Their eyes will kind of slide downward, and then they drop some cutlery for good measure.

So what I’m suggesting is that people become more comfortable with sex as a conversation topic, if not as a physical act. The point isn’t to be bawdy or lewd. But familiarizing yourself with enough terminology to lie during a game of ten fingers is a skill well worth acquiring. At the very least, learn to guffaw with the best of them.

Of course, being comfortable talking about sex is a lot easier once you’ve had it, and I think this is where people trip up: they’re worried that a lack of experience shows its cracks, so never quite get over their self-consciousness. But the truth is that most kids at Harvard are pretty clueless. Half of them can’t tell up from down on a sports bra, and the other half can’t tell front from back. So if you haven’t had a threesome with twins yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t talk about it. Also, nothing is really keeping you from being informed or vicariously entertained by other people’s sex lives (porn stars, Niall Ferguson, etc).

To a certain extent, this principle lifts to a more general one: don’t hesitate to tell jokes or engage in conversation about topics you know little about. For example, I love drawing comparisons to the Indy 500. And I don’t even have my driver’s license.