What Are Your Great Sexpectations?

What Are Your Great Sexpectations?

By Maddie Orcutt

It was a Sunday afternoon like any other, and I found myself sitting in a Proctor booth chatting with some good friends about sex in college. During my time at Middlebury, I’ve really enjoyed the authenticity of such conversations:

“Neither of us came, but it is still a
great memory.”

“It took me 21 years to have an orgasm with a partner.”


“I was just too tired…”

“That’s weird, right?”

“I’m not playing that game.”

“It was casual, but consent was still
really important.”


I think that the reason my friends and I are able to discuss sex so bluntly has to do with the fact that we deeply trust one another. We have created a space for ourselves where we can openly admit that sometimes our
(s)expectations do not align with our lived realities. From my point of view, there is a huge void on this campus when it comes to sex positivity, and I would like to change that.

This column is my attempt to foster conversations about consensual sexuality among a wider Middlebury audience. My goal is simple: to create a space where Middlebury students can learn through the anonymous (s)experiences of their peers. So I have set up an email account ([email protected]) where students can submit stories about sex in college. Each week, I will select one or two stories, which will be anonymously published in that week’s edition of the Campus.

This column is YOUR column; I’m merely the moderator. This column will be an inclusive, supportive space that welcomes a variety of identifications and experiences. And if you identify as asexual or abstinent, I would love to (anonymously) share your
perspectives, too.

If you want to anonymously add your voice to this conversation, please submit a 300-word story to [email protected] When you are sharing, please make note of how consent functioned in your story, even if that is just in a sentence or two (because it is so important!). I look forward to reading and publishing your submissions each week, and to kick off this adventure, here’s an anonymous story from a current Middlebury student (who is also the most honest sexual storyteller I have ever met):


Two summers ago, I was working on the Appalachian Trail, giving out trail information and telling people to stop waiting around at moose crossing signs. Most of the people I hung out with were young twenty-somethings who lived in the woods, or else thru-hikers that had been hiking for months. In other words, the place was a sexual
tension minefield.

One evening, my friend and I hiked to a nearby campsite where we were soon joined by two thru-hikers, Veggie Tales and Brightside. Before long we were playing cards and listening to their stories about the trail.

At some point, I became aware of Brightside’s knee against mine. Before I knew it, our friends had gone to bed and we were left alone. After half a second of small talk, I leaned over to kiss him, but as I did so I was a hit by a smell so acrid and pungent I could not bridge the gap. He noticed my hesitation and explained that in his excitement at the prospect of hanging out with (cleanish) girls he had bathed himself with bottle of full strength bug spray, hoping to mask his body odor. I was touched by the gesture, or maybe a little high from the DEET, and decided to check “hook up with a thru-hiker” off my bucket list.

We made out for a while, and then Brightside made it clear he wanted to do more. Making out was fun, but I started to imagine lichen growing on this guy’s pubes and decided to call it quits. Despite being desperately horny, Brightside did not push it. He kissed my cheek and went to bed. Now on hikes that seem impossibly long or heinously buggy, I remember our encounter and laugh, and remind myself to always look on the bright side.