Esquire Article Was 'Enraging'


To the Editors of The Crimson:

Your March 30 article "Esquire Investigates Harvard's Sex POlitics" was enraging. Rajath Shourie, by failing to contact any of us quoted in the Esquire article, repeated its egregious errors. In the original piece, I supposedly went to San Francisco and "slept with a lot of men,...he even slept with men he knew had AIDS. It was a political statement."

Shourie in The Crimson wrote that the Esquire piece dealt with my "decision to sleep with men he knew had AIDS. 'It was a political statement,' Darling explains." Political to sleep with people with AIDS? Like activist brownie points? charity fucks for the undead? Is that insulting? Or just incomprehensible?

What I had told Lynn Darling was what it was like coming out in the age of AIDS and HIV, In dropping the bomb of promiscuity and then "even" AIDS, Darling failed to mention what else I had spent three hours telling her: that the sex we had was safe, that these were friends of mine who I cared about, that I was very scared.

The "political" nature of this "sex" was that only when I went to San Francisco, when I joined ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), did I learn "the facts" about AIDS. It's not who you sleep with, but what you do Safe sex is about safe or risky acts, not "safe" or "risky" people. I certainly did not learn this from mainstream media like Esquire, which serves to sensationalize and condemn gay sex in the same breath.


In the article, I was the wild juxtaposition to my feminist friends, who were all portrayed as confused and pathetic. Pre-AIDS, gay sex was all pleasure, no danger, while feminist sex was all danger, no pleasure. With AIDS, the all pleasure of gay sex was all danger, a haunting macabre death dance.

Feminists (read: heterosexual, not bisexual or lesbian) were doomed still, not to Good Vibrations (the woman-owned, woman-run sex toy shop in San Francisco), but to representations entitled "How to Make Love to a Harvard Woman--Page 69", as the cover sticker on the Boston-distributed issues ofEsquire read. I do mind if such a voice is depicted as a ghost in a living memorial of doomed desire. I'll think twice now before I let my privates go public. Sandi DuBowski '92   BGLSA Co-Chair, 1991-92