Unprotected Stacks

One freshman searches for a lay in the library

“So here’s the deal,” read a post on Craigslist.org yesterday at 11:54 a.m., “of the three obligatory Harvard acts—Primal Scream, pissing on the John Harvard, and sex in Widener Library—I have so far completed two. I think it would really be novel to manage all three while still in my first year here.”

Forget about the freshman dorms. We need condom dispensers in Widener Library.

If Anne-Marie Zapf-Belanger ’09 is concerned about finding her place at Harvard, she need not worry. In her unusual Craigslist post, she has already displayed some natural predilections common to Harvard students. First, like many of her classmates, Zapf-Belanger is a procrastinator—it was her “pesky” Expository Writing paper which she was avoiding when she wrote her post—but she is also a go-getter who knows what she wants.

In what is surely a commentary on sex life at Harvard, Zapf-Belanger was driven to the online marketplace in her solicitation of a Harvard male to facilitate her fantasies. In her posting, she humbly conceded that the library lovemaking would probably be “mediocre” at best. Her sexual experience, she wrote, “consists largely of a bunch of one-time, clumsy drunken hook-ups. But of this much she is certain: “bad sex is better than no sex.”

The charity of her offer was that, to qualify for the job, “You don’t have to be a stud: so long as you’re a Harvard student (i.e. no sketchy old men) and you’re generally okay looking, I’m not all that picky….I’m not looking for anything more than a one-time affair. I won’t get attached, and you won’t have to call me the next day….If you’re up for that and have a plan, drop me a line.”

I did drop her a line, and in a telephone interview late yesterday evening, Zapf-Belanger assured me that she is “not the biggest slut in the world or anything.” Nor is she particularly political, cheerfully noting, “I have a sort of liberal view of sexuality, I guess you could say.” I guess you could.

And many Craigslist users have apparently appreciated the candor, free from the shackles of tired convention—Zapf-Belanger said that she had received over 150 e-mail responses by midnight last night. Her mass e-mail addressed to all her respondents has been circulated around several house e-mail lists. In the note, she clarified that she was still “dead serious” about her offer. The replies to her post ranged from Harvard alumni reminiscing about their Widener days, to a Boston local detailing an erotic fantasy, to a Harvard male inviting Zapf-Belanger out for coffee.

To be fair, a search for “Harvard” and “student” over all of Craigslist’s personal ads yielded dozens of posts over the past week (and searches for other local colleges reveal similar figures). In this way, Anne-Marie is hardly alone at Harvard. Or in Boston. Or in the U.S.

Happily, Anne-Marie said she is “much more popular than [she] used to be.” She is now on the lookout for the troublesome trappings of fame, noting, alas, that executing the very act might be difficult at this point. To be sure, she is not revealing herself too early. She said that she has not accepted any offers so far, though she said that she has several on the table, adding that she might “have to wait a few hours until some things calm down a bit.”

While she is waiting, however, Zapf-Belanger is finding the Harvard reaction “hilarious,” and “just can’t get over how funny it is.” She said that she does not regret her posting. “I’m just too damn pleased with myself that I’m generating so much stir,” she said, giggling, and added that she was “enjoying her five minutes of fame.”

Let’s hope she gets at least five minutes in Widener.

Lucy M. Caldwell ’09, a Crimson editorial editor, lives in Wigglesworth Hall.