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Sex Issue 2023: Bedside Manners

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The idea of “sex” is so abstract, yet it permeates every part of society. Sex sells, they say — and even as it does, only the most base and shallow parts of the beauty that can be sex tend to be advertised. And a negative stigma associated with the word is understandable. Usually associated with satisfying urges and extremely painful experiences, for some, sex is tough.

But instead of confining this one word to one meaning that doesn’t even begin to explain the complexities of the action, I urge everyone to discover what sex means to them. How do you express yourself? Make yourself feel good? How do you use your identity to make sex a positive and gratifying experience for you?

Sex is yours, it is all yours — and whether you think about it in terms of your sexuality, gender identity or something you engage in for pleasure, it is important to know that sex is more than an action. Even as sex sells, the way you think, engage or feel about sex, sexual identity or anything remotely sexual is completely free. 

Broken hearts, Berkeley Haas: SK Alagbada talks life after ‘Love is Blind’


A computer screen showing two people hugging.

Season three featured the then-couple-to-watch Raven Ross and Sikiru “SK” Alagbada, whose love story rose and descended off-screen, after the show was done filming its primary episodes — which, contrary to those who question the show’s integrity, were not scripted.

— Kavya Gupta

VoxBody Studio founder untangles nuances of rope bondage


Two partners tying rope around hands.

Since Oakland-based VoxBody Studio opened in 2017, founder and teacher Blue has been switching things up by providing a safer space for rope enthusiasts and rope-curious individuals to explore their own turn-ons and turn-offs through rope bondage.

— Amanda Hayami

Satire guide to setting the mood


Illustration of table set with rose petals, candle, and spicy food, by Tyler Wu

If you’re planning on getting busy this season, be safe! Ask consent for everything, wear protection, make sure your partner is having a good time and maybe don’t apply some of the advice I gave you. 

— Christopher Ying

Amid national outrage, Berkeley continues mission for abortion access


Illustration of uterus with Berkeley imagery and justice scales overlaid, by Alison Xiong

A poll by the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, found that 71% of participants believed that an amendment guaranteeing reproductive rights should be passed. The City of Berkeley has repeatedly explicitly stated their support, and dedication, to protect reproductive rights. 

— Selina Yang

Pink lens of naivety


Mug of Caroline Lobel.

Having spent high school and my first year of college devoid of proper romantic interactions, I patched my lack of experience with television shows and movies that all portrayed love in its most sugarcoated, fanciful form. 

— Caroline Lobel

 Ignite your love and sex life with these 4 crystals


Picture of crystals in front of a pink background. Rose quartz, rutilated quartz towers with two crystal bracelets and three tumbled stones

Investing in some crystals and channeling their energy may give you the emotional boost you need, so here are some crystals that are sure to brighten your February.

— Emewodesh Eshete

Staying single


Rae Wymer mug.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy gossip just as much as the next college student, but I was tired of explaining to everyone I met that romance wasn’t on the table for me.

— Rae Wymer

The Naked Run: Finding liberation at Main Stacks

Spectators looking down from spiral stairs of Main Stacks.

UC Berkeley students have continued the tradition of streaking through the semesterly Naked Run. Around finals season, hundreds of students gather at Main Stacks, a campus library, to watch their classmates and peers bare their unclothed bodies and run throughout the building.

— Ani Petrossian

The personal is not always political


Mug of Amber X. Chen.

Confessional essays are how I broke into journalism. But you aren’t going to get any more of those essays from me.

— Amber X. Chen

How to date like a pro


Illustration of text conversation; one person messaging "send nudes" and other replying with picture of rocket, by Fifi Berman

Everyone knows I’ve never struggled in my dating life in any capacity whatsoever. So, I am more than qualified to offer these eight sound pieces of dating advice.

— Natasha Kaye 

Whips, leather, safewords: Exploring BDSM


Illustration of brain with one region highlighted with hearts above, by Aarthi Muthukumar

Kink or BDSM in the Berkeley Kink club’s common vocabulary is described by Maxwell, co-president of the club, as an alternative activity that falls outside the standard norm, known as “vanilla sex.”

— Sandhya Ganesan

People are just people: Being a bisexual Floridian in Berkeley


Photo of Dina Katgara

I’ve always known I wasn’t completely straight, even from middle school. To me, people are just people. To be honest, I’m terrified to know how my family would react if they saw this article.

— Dina Katgara

 Bridging the miles


Mug of Carolyn Yu.

I won’t sugarcoat it. Long-distance is hard. It is time consuming, sacrifice making and even pain-inducing at times, especially if your love language, like mine, involves physical touch and quality time.

— Carolyn Yu

6 songs to listen to while being in love



Picture of a phone displaying a playlist under red light. Phone is next to a bag with it's contents splayed out.

It’s the season of lovin’; passion is in the air, and everyone is in the pursuit of love. But if you’re stuck in a certain stage of love, it can be nerve-wracking. Listening to melodies and melancholic lyrics can help ease the process.

— Harol Guerra

Thoughts on First Love


Mug of Emily Kim.

Here’s my take on first love. Maybe first love is actually about falling in love for the first time with yourself and the new aspects of yourself that you see, even more so than that person.

— Emily Kim

Hinge game

mug of julianna goldfarb

Faces on screens with vague interests listed below aren’t actually real despite their one-mile-away icon. That is until you sit behind them in Jewish Studies 100 and subsequently realize you did, in fact, match on Hinge.

— Julianna Goldfarb


Pitfalls of American sex education


Mug of Madison Creekbaum.

My high school addressed all the physical risks and dangers associated with being sexually active in great depth but they failed to do ant more than that. Safe sex goes far beyond avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy and how to use a condom.

— Madison Creekbaum

‘The pervasive Manosphere’: How porn leads to violence, fetishization


Dress shirts, black heels and a leather skirt are laid out on a bed

Pornhub, one of the most popular of these free tube sites, published its 2022 insights featuring the year’s top searched terms. These terms included but were not limited to: Hentai, Japanese, Lesbian, Asian, Step mom, Black and Indian.

— Anna Armstrong

Meet Cal’s sexperts: Sexual Health Education Program promotes safer sex, harm reduction

Infographic of SHEP services, with graphics of sexpert clinic, safer sex supplies, and student oureach, by Flora Huynh

SHEP plans to celebrate with a week of tabling events on Sproul from Feb. 13 to Feb. 17, exploring subjects like non-penetrative sex, masturbation and the benefits of using lube.

— Lauren Harvey

Performing for myself rather than others


The issue with constantly feeling like you are performing is that it makes it hard to know who you are without comparing yourself to something or someone else or without feeling like you are continuously being forced to keep up with and reach impossible standards.

— Amrita Bhasin

A guide to smelling sexy 

Perfumes on display. YSL Black Opium is in the foreground of the picture.

Being admired or wanted for a scent you’re wearing might be the best overlooked compliment you can get. Therefore, I’ve endured the headaches for you after spending rounds at Nordstrom and Sephora to scout out the perfect sensual and sexy fragrances. 

— Jocelyn Mi

Contact Maria Khan at 


FEBRUARY 25, 2023