In Which That’s Probably Just Ice Cream On Your Mouth

It Is Only Sex

by Alex Carnevale

Yesterday Harvard sex bloggeur Lena Chen posted a picture of herself with her boyfriend’s semen on her face.

This image called the collective bluff of people who pretend to be open-minded. It proved that the Victorian streak running through those educated at higher institutions, while largely irreligious, is still trumpeting a dated, outdated conception of female sexuality.

Camille Paglia made this point about feminism in her critique of their critique of pornography. As she told Playboy, “The problem with America is that there’s too little sex, not too much. The more our instincts are repressed, the more we need sex, pornography and all that. The problem is that feminists have taken over with their attempts to inhibit sex.” It is astonishing that this still goes on today.

Posts by other sex bloggers lambasted Chen. “This time she’s gone too far!” The reaction of the prudes was mind-numblingly predictable. Liberals and conservatives have finally found common ground in the War Against Semen!

If you’re going to say what happens, you say what happens. Semen is a part of life.

The outrage to the photograph is all the more pathetic when taken in concert with the explicit nature of Chen’s previous musings on the subject of sex. Sex scene:

His name was what I said the most, and I ground it out between my teeth with a ferocity reserved for sex that happened for sex’s sake. Behind me, he breathed hard and I squeezed my legs together and he sucked in his breath even harder. He was large and slick and filled me deeper than comfortable. But I liked it that way. Half-breathless he asked, “Is this okay?” and I silently winced but nodded at the courtesy. Straddling him would have made it easier, but the only time I was happy on top was when my mouth was on his cock, taking him down inch by inch and lapping him up again with the tip of my tongue. So instead, I found contentment on my stomach, on my back, and on my knees, as I dug deeper into his sheets and asked him, gasping, to fuck me harder.

Through Chen’s prolific blogging, you get to know this young, ethnically Chinese woman. She is dating some kind of native German graduate student whose apartment she lives in, and she finds herself deeply in love. Yet she is a young one, and she has trouble drawing boundaries. Her dabbling in bulimia and sex and abstinence all suggests that she feels most comfortable when she is made comfortable in some way, by someone. She also has a sweet dog.

chen and julia allison

“All Fall Down” – OneRepublic (mp3)

Ms. Chen’s current website, The Ch!cktionary, is a fairly comprehensive picture of her life. The revelation that she has an even more private blog than this one is shocking. What could she put in it?

Although at various times she appears chagrined at the connection between her public life and private life – even swearing that her best friends don’t even read her blog – if someone as smart Emily Gould can be naïve about that perilous intersection, so too can Ms. Chen. She posts images of her paramour, and yesterday she contrasted her awesome facial with an unfettered declaration of the meaning of love.

She reacted to the outrage:

Is this really such a big fucking deal? Compared to some of the other things I’ve written lately, a photo of me with semen on my lips is not exactly deserving of controversy. I’m not even naked. Sure, some people might find it gross and consider it porn regardless of nudity (that’s up to every individual), but you really find cum more objectionable than my views on religion? Maybe that means everyone agrees with my views on religion but no one agrees with my post-blowjob photo. But somehow, I doubt that the silence on the religion issue is because everyone concurs. I think sex is just easier to get upset about.


Look, I have no “mission” in writing about sex, but I sure hope that by the time I close up shop as a sex writer, the act is considered a little more common and a little less sacred. If I’m going to piss people off, I hope it’s because I proposed something radical in terms of the way our society deals with race or gender or religion. There are so many things WORTH getting upset about, that are worth sending me angry emails, that are worth your disagreement and outrage. This photo? Not so much.

To break down cultural taboos about sexuality is a noble act, and Chen devotes her life to it. There is really nothing so mysterious or wrong about a naked woman. There is a vicious rumor we are all like that under our clothes.

Her critics, meanwhile, compare her to interpretive abortionist Aliza Shvarts. Giving a blowjob isn’t like faking an abortion, and it’s shameful to suggest there’s a similarity. “That doesn’t change the minds of people we want to convince,” the faux-open minded whine. I have no idea who they believe they are engaged in battle with, but the fact remains that they spend most of their time preaching to the choir.

We are primitives, thinking sex could still hold mystery in itself. It doesn’t. It’s the basic reproductive function of human life. Other beings enjoy rich sex lives without shame. Thanks to organized
religion for providing us with that ancient concept.

“Won’t Stop” – OneRepublic (mp3)

lena’s tat

Talking about sex in an honest way has a psychological benefit to our culture. The men who run this country – Clinton, Spitzer, JFK – continue to sacrifice whatever good they might have achieved at the expense of their desires. If we do not demystify sex, it controls us. Those in the public limelight will emerge unscathed with their wealth. It is young men and women without means who can’t afford to be its victims.

In the meantime, it will be the most purportedly liberal people who prove to be the most closed minded. There’s just something wrong with that, they sneer. Their inborn sense of the moral objects. It takes a lot of balls to be snobbier than a matriculating undergraduate at the dumbest university in the world.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.

“Say (All I Need)” – OneRepublic (mp3)


pretending to be a lesbian

dating a robot

she tries abstinence

her first love

wary of boyfriends


why she doesn’t watch television

his wallet and i were friends

struggling with depression

struggling with bulimia

waxing vagina

rules for fuck buddies


It’s too late to apologize.

Danish and Jay-Z.

The tale of Genarlow Wilson.

20 thoughts on “In Which That’s Probably Just Ice Cream On Your Mouth

  1. I find it lame, but not at all surprising, that you automatically accuse those who would criticize pornographic images as a bunch of prudish killjoy feminists who hate sex and free speech.

    Anyway, Twisty’s already tackled Chen and her foil, a virginity pledger and fellow Harvard student, awhile back. I’d take her word over Paglia’s any day.

  2. personally i think that’s all total bullshit.

    the problem is that she’s talking down to her audience. she’s trying to shock and go one further. she’s going to great lengths to do so too “hey babe, can you dab your cum around my mouth this time. i want to take a quick photo for my blog. thanks” and being a total fake in the process. it’s all orchestrated and it’s lame.

    how is she paving any sort of way when a good majority of us have had sex, given blowjobs, swallowed cum? she’s not really anyone’s hero for doing what everyone in the history of the world has already done before and documented. at length.

    if she’s trying to get first time sexually inexperienced readers interested in sex and taking an active role in their own sex life how is showing a photo of her boyfriend guy’s oatmealy cum supposed to encourage that? no. she is doing this for her own self interest. for attention, as always. and she contributes nothing new to the dialogue.

    i feel embarrassed for her. she’s young, and she’s probably going to regret doing this when she grows up. i think she has a lot of issues she needs to work out in private. and i say all this as someone who is, herself, sexually adventurous, experimental and ‘in control’.

    bottom line: the pic isnt controversional because of it’s shocking boundary-pushing nature, it’s controversial because it’s GROSS. (yeah, you heard me, semen is yuck. like snot. natural, but yuck.)

    and really, lets be honest, the best part about sex IS the taboos associated with it. the risque nature of it. the naughtiness of it. the moment of breathlessness feeling “how can it be wrong, baby, when it feels so right?” the very idea of its “wrongness” enhances the pleasure. take that away and just what are we fucking for? love and reproduction? puuuke.

  3. not if your intention is to be “honest”.

    maybe her critics are right. maybe she should just get into porn. clearly she was born for it. why fight it?

    amateur porn though. she doesnt have the face/body for the good kind.

  4. Camille Paglia is, as always, willfully and, I think, frighteningly ignorant about the debates that took place within feminism discussing these very topics. They were called the “sex wars”, and took place over the course of the 80s. It is true that anti-pornography feminists like Catherine MacKinnon pretended to represent all of feminism and actually joined forces with the religious right, but it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to find that the most interesting responses to this situation came out of feminism, and not from self-serving famemongers like Paglia.

  5. I just hate that chick because she’s getting some and acts like it’s “natural.” What about all us losers who are hopeless at getting laid? Are we “unnatural?”

    Taking a picture with cum all over your mouth is rubbing it in!!

  6. People like to Fuck, some people like to exhibit the act or the results. It turns them on. I have know some really kinky chicks in my day, the sex was wild. What pisses me off is that women argue over whats right in a natural human function, if she was a dyke or it was a gay guy? would anyone really care? Fashion magazines are sold to women, Body image etc is promote and funded by women. For over 8000 years chicks have tried to be better looking. On the most part to impress other women, So women like to fuck & look Good when they go out to get a fuck. “Feminism should be about protecting and promoting women s right not imposing a pre conceived idea about what or how other women should or should not act”-Germaine Greer

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