In a recent issue of British tabloid Grazia, the now celebrated (and still anonymous) “Oxbridge Sex Blogger” has a chance to explain her motives. She claims she’s simply attempting to humanize her superhuman peers in English academia’s Arcadia—and to show the world that, aspirations to lead nations aside, these kids are only human. Her work makes a remarkable bookend to New Yorker writer Ved Mehta’s 1993 book, Up At Oxford (1993), a vastly less explicit love-song to the trends of charmed lives.
Is there anything illuminating, or even sexy, in reading about kids fooling around at Oxford and Cambridge? Probably not. The larger seduction is, as it has been for works throughout literary history, the simple sex appeal of anonymity, and the accompanying mystery, wonder, and desire to keep reading so as not to miss the inevitable moment when the author reveals herself. Anonymity, plus power. The real fascination with Oxbridge is not who is sleeping with whom, but rather where who might end up in ten or twenty years down the line. It is at that point that the chronicles of this blog will become a lure.
Still, here is the Oxbridge Blogger’s mea culpa, or the crux of it:
I titled the blog “Sex at Oxbridge” not only to conceal as much detail as possible about who I actually am, but also to appeal to as many readers as possible. Two universities has to be better than one, right? I certainly never expected it to make it big time outside of the medium of student newspapers. Sex blogs aren’t exactly high on the list of things I believe are lacking in the world, and my intention isn’t to enlighten people to the glories of sex. What I’m doing is in no way unique, and I’m certainly not the only person who enjoys having sex, but I also enjoy writing. When I was younger I had a teacher who began her review of one of my essays with: “To my future Jane Austen…” I have always been encouraged to write, but I’m not sure this is exactly what they meant! One of the most clichéd pieces of advice for writers is to write what you know, and for me that is sex.
The fact that I am a girl at Oxbridge blogging about sex is unique in a few ways. First, a lot of students barely have time to sleep, let alone have a cheeky workout in bed and then get online to write about it. Second, if you are having sex you are not meant to tell everyone about it, and you certainly aren’t meant to publish blogs for the world to see on it. It’s completely taboo for a girl to even admit to masturbating, let alone having casual sex and bragging about it. There’s no stereotype that Oxbridge students don’t enjoy sex, but if you do then Mum’s the word!
Oxford and Cambridge are the oldest institutions in academia, and with that of course comes a stigma and expectations of greatness. As students, we represent a mili-fraction of the global population. I have received responses to my blog from people in Delhi, Malaysia, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Turkey and Hong Kong. If I can humanise the Oxbridge population to the extent that a student from Monash University writes to me telling me they know exactly how I feel, then I think the only thing I’m blowing the lid off of is the fact that we’re just like anyone else struggling to survive uni, and that we’re trying to have a laugh in the meantime.
Quite right, as the English might out it. We will continue to chart her rise.