Minus the City: This Is Not An Article About Sex

Kira Palmer, Maroon-News Staff

I sincerely hope you all had the opportunity to see This is Not a Play About Sex (TINAPAS) this weekend. Yep, that was me on the couch talking about my private parts as if they had a mind of their own. The play has been a very important part of my Colgate experience and I’m sure it has been, and continues to be, for many others as well. I decided to interview some seniors in the cast to hear their reflections and learn how TINAPAS has shaped their time at Colgate.

“I saw TINAPAS my freshman year simply because my Link was in it, and it started to transform the way I thought about sex and sexuality. I decided to get involved the following year and performed the monologue, ‘Yes, I Touch Myself ’ about female masturbation. While I was speaking someone else’s words I felt I was telling my truth. Watching the monologue was important, but performing it was what truly helped me accept and take pride in my own sexuality. Every time I’ve had a chance to be a part of the cast, read the scripts and watch my peers perform, I’ve been reminded of important lessons that extend far beyond sex to how we treat one another at Colgate and our relationships with ourselves. Yes, it is a play about sex, but it’s really not. And I think that makes it pretty special.”

“When I saw TINAPAS for the first time, it was a wake-up call. Never in my life had I heard so many people be so candid. For me, it established a standard to which we should adhere when tackling difficult subjects. Ever since that day in 2015, I have wanted to be a part of the production. As a senior, this experience means more to me than just sharing a monologue in the show. It feels like I’m paying it forward to younger students. The entire cast is giving them advice, yes, but we are also giving them a challenge, and I’m excited to see what they do with it.”

“I’ve seen TINAPAS two out of the past three years and I’ve always been struck by how aggressively uncomfortable I’ve been watching it. Don’t get me wrong, sexual education and expression is important and great, but it’s always existed in theory for me. Growing up pretty conservative, where sex in any shape or form was never discussed, has made me very sheltered to and uncomfortable with the sorts of things discussed and touched upon in TINAPAS. And yet, this year, I found myself a member of the cast saying things I’d never dreamed of discussing in public. It took countless attempts of saying ‘sex’ in the mirror until I could get my mouth around it without shying away from what should be an innocuous statement. TINAPAS has pushed me, by force or by fire, out of a bubble and into a space that promotes conversation about something natural and facilitates conversation about those harder to discuss topics. I’m grateful for that.”

Of course, this play is by no means perfect. But I do think it has grown and changed over time to reflect our understanding of sex, sexuality, bodies, identities and the different ways we engage in thought and conversations surrounding these topics. It does not represent all people on Colgate’s campus nor all the possible experiences one could have, but I do hope there is something in there for everyone to connect with and take away. I hope this little production continues to inspire action, conversation, acceptance, growth and connection for years to come.

Contact Kira Palmer at [email protected]