Theme VI: Guilty Pleasures, Intro

With an undergraduate population of roughly 22,000, NYU can seem like a constant flurry of faces. As we gain close friends and confidants, some of these faces will become familiar. Many of these faces, however, belong to peers who we will never meet or even see on campus again.

After the initial hurdle of making a new friend can sometimes come a greater challenge—how much of ourselves do we share? If we reveal our guilty pleasures, will it bring us closer together or bring judgment and embarrassment? Learning our new friends’ secrets and quirks can surprise, enchant, or shock us, but most often, these revelations make or break true bonds.

You may have wondered if you’re the only one at NYU with a peculiar habit. Do you hoard fruit? Can’t stop stalking your ex on facebook? Eat rice krispies in the shower? Maybe you’re obsessed with tinder, grindr, and other dating apps? Trust me—you are not alone. From secret eccentricities to potentially disastrous illegal activities, join us as we survey the guilty pleasures of NYU. This week, you’re in for a wild ride.

Happy Reading,

Emma Scoble

Under the Arch Editor

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Campus Confessions by Emily Harris

Video Gameplays by Erin Siu

NYC Kink by Anonymous

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Theme VI: Guilty Pleasures, NYC Kink

The author of this piece has asked to remain anonymous to protect her privacy. All names have been changed.

I hook up with a lot of men to feel powerful. The more gorgeous their faces are, the more muscular their bodies are, the more expensive their apartments look, the more powerful I feel when they show interest in hooking up with me. The first time they would lean in closer, I used to suppress a smirk on my lips as they kissed me. After that, I would passively submit to them in the bedroom. But, after a while of playing this role, I realized I didn’t want to anymore. I wanted to be the one in control.

Luckily, I had connections to the wonderful world of kink. A few months ago, I met Will through OkCupid. His profile was all about kink, non-monogamy, and how he can be dominant but prefers to be submissive. I met up with him out of curiosity, and we talked, but I never contacted him again. Months later, after one too many hook-ups that were great but felt like something was missing, I messaged Will again and asked if we could meet up to chat.

The first time I saw Will, I honestly wasn’t very impressed with his looks. He was handsome but not my type. But, the second time I saw him was different. We met up at a coffee shop, and he was wearing his dark winter clothes instead of the T-shirt that didn’t flatter him before. He’s in his late twenties, tall, and handsome on top of being charismatic, well-spoken, and having a well-paying job. He’s the stereotypical submissive man in the kink community—a successful, powerful man who wants to give up control for a while.

We sat down and talked about non-monogamy before I brought up that I wanted to be dominant, looking for answers about how to explore this part of myself. He provided tips on finding play partners and explained that I had to be careful because there are more submissive men looking for women than there are dominant women looking for men. He’s a touchy-feely person, and for the duration of the conversation since I mentioned I wanted to be dominant, he occasionally touched my thigh, but I suspected it was more than friendly.

After a while, he casually offered to “mentor” me in kink. I sarcastically responded, remarking on how generous he was. With a charming smile, he said, “I’m nothing if not magnanimous.”

courtesy of Amazon.com

photo courtesy of Amazon.com

So, a week later, I took a cab with him to Dumbo, Brooklyn to a social event for non-monogamy enthusiasts. In a fairly large apartment, about 50 people mingled in a living room and kitchen. I felt too socially awkward to approach many people, but I tried to speak to whoever looked the least intimidating. A lot of them knew each other already, so people didn’t approach me. It was exactly what you expect from a community of non-monogamous people, most of whom were also into kink: a woman wearing a bondage harness over her dress, Will touching every attractive woman in sight, a line of people on the couch and each one cuddling the person on either side of them. Men and women wholly or partially in the nude. The people there were mostly good-looking and successful, in their early twenties to mid-thirties. I was the youngest at eighteen years old.

It was a good experience. I made some connections with a former pro-domme who offered to mentor me and a dominant man who clearly wanted to “play” (the term for kinky sex) with me, though I told him I wasn’t interested in being submissive. I also met his girlfriend who was nice.

Afterwards, I started consistently hooking up a guy who’s into cuckolding. I’m really into it, too. He likes when I make fun of his small penis and talk about how much better other guys are at pleasing me.

I went a while without contacting Will before messaging him online again. We spoke with each other about playing, and I went to his apartment a week later. In the fancy, spacious apartment that he has to himself, he showed me some simple things, like how to tie someone up or safely flog them. We didn’t play that night but agreed to do it at a later date.

As I was leaving, he hugged me, and I could feel he was going to kiss me. He did, and I felt powerful. This handsome, smart, wealthy man was willing to fall to his knees for me. I’m going to dominate him later, and that kiss was a start.

Kink is exciting to me. My friends from NYU know I like kink, and while they admire me for it, they can’t relate to my desire to dominate and humiliate men. Most of the guys I hook up with aren’t into it either. That’s what makes it my guilty pleasure; I can try small things like bossing them around, but I can’t explore actual kink unless I’m with people like Will or my cuckold.

Kink will always be something I crave to incorporate in my sex life, but it’s not possible to satisfy that desire with most men. Most kinky women are submissive, so being a dominant girl makes me feel disconnected to them as well as non-kinky people such as my friends or my hook-up partners. I have almost no one to relate to about dominating men and that makes me feel lonely in both kinky and non-kinky communities. However, I wouldn’t want to change. Being into kink and meeting others in the kink community makes life more interesting.

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Theme VI: Guilty Pleasures, Video Gameplays

by Erin Siu

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetWhile the typical roommate bonding experience for most girls may include dorm decorating, yoga and Netflix binge watching, my freshman roommate and I bonded over watching YouTube videos of 27-year old American video gamer “TheRadBrad” play video games.

One Friday night during the first semester of our freshman year, my roommate and I had a conversation about video games and whether or not we had played them in the past. 

Video games had always been a part of my childhood. When my little brother was old enough to get his first Nintendo Gameboy, I was also introduced to the art of video gaming. Since then, I’ve grown fond of video games and have played games from “Mario Kart” to “World of Warcraft” with legitimate bragging rights, such as getting to the highest level in the online game, which is no easy feat.

Unlike me, my roommate has little experience in the video gaming field. She played a bit of “Runescape”—a popular online multiplayer role-playing game—when she was younger, but nothing more. Since I knew she loved horror movies, I mentioned a new, first-person horror video game that recently came out called “Outlast.” The gamer takes on the role of a freelance investigative journalist sent to a psychiatric hospital in order to solve the unexplainable murders of patients that are taking place in the hospital. Most of the in-game environment is pitch black, and the player has to navigate obstacles and hospital corridors using only a night-vision video camera. Because my roommate and I both enjoy watching horror movies, she was intrigued and wanted to know more, so I searched “Outlast gameplays” on YouTube and finally came across a 13-part gameplay series by “TheRadBrad”—whose videos have fostered over 1.3 billion views and 4 million YouTube subscribers.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetFrom that day forward, my roommate and continually watched his “Outlast” gameplay as much as we could every night. We grew fond of Brad and his narrative commentary. When we finished all thirteen, half-hour videos of “Outlast”, we moved on to watching his other horror video game gameplays, such as “Silent Hill”, “Amnesia”, and “House 2.”
We now spend countless nights watching “TheRadBrad” gameplays as if they are horror movies. Although we call our love for horror video games a guilty pleasure, I wonder if the only reason we do so is because gaming is more often associated with male college students, not female ones. Male college students may also feel that watching gameplays on YouTube are considered a “guilty pleasure”, but most video games are marketed primarily towards male players, and a majority of game protagonists are male. Stereotypes aside, my roommate’s and my love for watching horror video game gameplays is a pleasurable surprise for both of us. Our bonding nights are not only filled with nail painting, gossip and boy-talk, but also various episodes of “TheRadBrad.” There is definitely no guilt in that.

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Theme VI: Guilty Pleasures, Campus Confessions

by Emily Harris

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“Ordering Seamless with my mom’s credit card.” Jay Rymal, Liberal Studies ’18

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“Listening to Shakira.” Jonah Stern, Liberal Studies ’18

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“I don’t get guilty pleasures…Why would you do something you would feel guilty about? I, at least, don’t.” Samantha Craig, Steinhardt ’17

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“Melting butter.” Amelia Chu, Steinhardt’16

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“Being too cool.” Alyssa Mullally, CAS ’17

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“Spending an entire weekend watching Doctor Who.” Alexander Knoll, Gallatin ’16

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“Books.” Mayank Parashar, CAS ’17

DSC08381“Sleeping in…on a Monday or a Tuesday.” Devon H., CAS’16

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Theme V: LGBTQ, From Tipperary to Manhattan

by Tommy Collison

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In my bio for the Washington Square News, I write that I grew up “among cows, computers, and not much else” in Tipperary, a small town in rural Ireland. My older brothers were fond of taking old laptops apart to see how they worked, and I think that love of tinkering was passed to me in turn. But growing up in such an isolated spot wasn’t always fun — there was an almost total lack of LGBTQ community.

Ireland’s political and social situation has definitely improved in the last 3 or 4 years, but when I was in my early teens, being gay wasn’t something that was often discussed. In my experience, people rarely spoke out against it, but that’s a long way from there being a positive community around the idea that it’s okay to be something other than straight. Two posters that read “he’s gay, and we’re okay,” was the extent of LGBTQ programming that we enjoyed in high school. I was lucky in that my parents and friends were supportive after I came out, but there was still a distinct lack of a sense of community. It wasn’t that I was actively unhappy, I just couldn’t look around and see people like me.

Moving to a new country as a teenager to start college was vaguely terrifying, as to be expected. Will I make friends? What does “my community” look like, and will I find it? At the end of my freshman year, I visited the LGBTQ Center at NYU, housed on Kimmel’s sixth floor. Then, I started working there as an OUTSpoken Peer Educator, doing outreach and advocacy on issues on campus relating to sexual orientation and gender identity. Students can chill and grab free coffee at the center’s lounge, and it’s become something of a second home to me this year.

Photo courtesy of Tommy Collison

Tommy Collison leads a Safe Zone training.

Part of being an OUTSpoken Peer Educator is conducting Safe Zone trainings, 2-3 hour workshops where other students, faculty-members and administrators can learn more about LGBTQ issues. We’re given a script but we’re encouraged to make the presentation personal with anecdotes and flourishes. When I facilitate these discussions, I often describe growing up in Ireland and not knowing what having a community felt like. I do this because I’m trying to convey that Safe Zones are, in a sense, recruitment tools. By signing up for one, you’re saying that you want to be an ally. By learning about the issues, we’re making NYU not just a more accepting place, but a place where people can feel safe and comfortable, regardless of how they present their gender or their sexuality.

In May, Ireland is going to vote on whether our constitution should be amended to allow same-sex couples to marry. I go back about once a year, so I’ve been watching the progress of the referendum since it was first announced. The work I’m doing at the LGBTQ center is based on trying to improve the community at NYU, and it makes me wonder if I can or should be doing more at home. Since coming to the U.S. two years ago, I’ve thought a lot about what it means to adopt a country — and to be welcomed by one. One of the things that makes me proud to live in New York is that my friends and I aren’t limited in who we can marry based on their gender. I hope to soon see the day when the same is true in Ireland.

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