Savage U of M

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When I see a headline about students at the University Of Maryland I usually cringe. I’m expecting to read about someone setting fires to power lines or someone going to the hospital as a result of an energy drink mixed with alcohol.

Well, this time time it looks like the students there did something right.

I found this part of Dan Savage’s sex advice column about his visit to the University amusing:

CONFIDENTIAL TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: I was supposed to speak on your campus last Thursday night, but God had other plans. I was at the Cornerstone bar when the blizzard really started slamming and power lines started catching fire and all hell broke loose. The evening’s most distressing development: The bar had to stop serving once the power went out.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to coming back to your campus—the Savage Love Live event/shoot is being rescheduled and may take place this week—and when I return, I’d really like to meet the person responsible for some graffiti I spotted in the men’s room at the Cornerstone: “Don’t Raw Dog a Random.”

That has to be the most effective peer-to-peer safer-sex message I’ve ever read while taking a piss in Maryland. It did take me a second to work out exactly what it meant, as I’m old, so here’s a quick translation for other olds: “Don’t raw dog a random” means “For heaven’s sake, don’t engage in unprotected vaginal intercourse—don’t have sex without a condom—with a woman you’ve only just met, particularly if you met her in this drinking establishment. Bro.”

It’s not a fail-safe strategy for avoiding sexually transmitted infections—people can get very specific STIs from completely nonrandom sex partners—but the number of STIs could be cut dramatically if all male college students everywhere refrained from raw-dogging those lovely lady randoms and vice versa. (I realize that “random” is not gendered… but if you saw this bar, you would know that an exclusively heterosexual clientele can be safely assumed. A straight boy wrote that message, and he was addressing other straight boys, and “random” refers to female pickups, not male pickups.)

I want to add that I was particularly impressed by the use of the word “random” in place of, say, “bitch,” “slut,” “whore,” or any of the other sexist/hostile/demeaning terms that college-town-bathroom-stall-graffitiing types typically use in place of “woman,” “female,” or “young lady coed.” Well done, DIY safe-sex educator!

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