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. Read the rest of this entry »


Primal Scream

Of Harvard’s many traditions, Primal Scream is the best. It’s naked girls, naked guys, and the men’s cross country team.

So as an aid to your efforts tonight (midnight, Old Yard), I’m going to present some ground rules. Try to remember them no matter how inebriated you are later.

Attire: For girls, trench-coats. For guys, underwear. Doff once in the Yard. Also, shoes. You don’t know what the Occupy people have fertilized that lawn with.

Positioning: The issue with being at the front of the pack is that you’re more likely to be photographed. The issue with being at the back of the pack is that you’re more likely to be photographed. The issue with being in the middle is all the strange penises pressing up against various parts of your body. But that won’t get you kicked out of your New York congressional seat, so stick to the middle. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Everyone Should Take a Drama Class

Something that I’ve tried to emphasize throughout this blog is the importance of being comfortable in a variety of social settings. It’s not that I want you to socialize all the time, but I do want you to have the option. Don’t embark on a heart-to-heart with every crazy person on Mass Ave, but if you are in an unfamiliar city looking for the nearest Starbucks, save yourself fifteen minutes and ask someone. There’s no need to go out three nights a week, but don’t say no when a cute girl invites you to a bar with her just because the combination of drunk strangers, loud music, and public restrooms makes you uneasy. Becoming comfortable doesn’t necessitate a change in lifestyle. It’s better to think of it as an enabler.

There are a number of steps to becoming comfortable in a given situation. The most broadly applicable, and perhaps the most important, is to switch from the mindset of trying to impress others to the mindset of trying to have fun. To illustrate, when you knock over a vase in front of your date, it’s natural to feel some embarrassment, but don’t slip into imagining how she perceives the incident and is now regretting her decision to take you to the Museum of Fine Art. It’s much better to laugh it off. Feel free to use it as a segue into an entertaining story about some other clumsy thing you did. Read the rest of this entry »