Too sexy for OSU

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Posted: Monday, January 24, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 1:59 pm, Wed Jul 3, 2013.

Most of us have sex at least once in college. Some of us even diverge from the typical missionary position and the most daring of us put things in places that aren't always comfortable for the mere chance of momentary bliss.But pay an expert - someone with real-life experience on the topic to come talk about "Claiming Your Sexual Power" - now that is something OSU won't do.

Last Wednesday, The Daily Barometer received an email from Tristan Taormino, a sex and relationships author and columnist and self-proclaimed feminist pornographer.

Taormino said that on Oct. 28, 2010, she was booked as the keynote speaker of OSU's Modern Sex Conference, which is scheduled for Feb. 15 and 16.

In December, Taormino said OSU advised her manager to set up travel arrangements.

With flights already booked as Taormino waited for the final version of her contract, her manager got a call from OSU last Tuesday.

Steven Leider, director OSU of LGBT Outreach and Services said that "OSU cannot pay Ms. Taormino with general fee dollars because of the context of her resume and website," according to Taormino's press release.

Taormino's invitation was revoked.

Her resume includes several award-winning novels on the subject of sex and relationships and at least 14 pornographic videos.

In a conversation with The Examiner, Todd Simmons, a spokesman for the university said the university feared backlash from state legislature taxpayer dollars were used to fund a speaker "with significant business interest in creating and selling and distributing pornography."

Without a signed contract, OSU will likely be free of any legal trouble, but that won't stop students and the blogosphere from labeling the university as ultra-conservative and out of touch.

And as a petition circulates among students to invite Taormino to campus on student incidental fees, we can't help but question the politics involved in how and when the university dips into its pocket.

The students will pay for a Student Experience Center. The students will pay for the new Outdoor Recreation Complex, which is already over budget.

And now, if students want someone to come talk to us about issues that are relevant to our lives and aim to empower our minds and bodies - and with all due respect, are not the dry, monotonous scientists we typically hear from - we must pay for it ourselves.

As the conference aimed to challenge students "to examine the individual and collective struggles inherent to the entanglements of sexuality with the social and cultural systems of sex, gender, race, and class," it should also force us to question the politics of our university and why we pay tuition and then tax ourselves to get what we want on campus.

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