Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 25. 3rd October 1973
Books — Sex on the campus — Sex Savages:
Sex on the campus
Sex in the University? Do they or don't they? Well now, thanks to an explosive book by Jonathon S. Concord, all those questions you were afraid to ask have now been revealed! Possibly more startling than the Kinsey Report, and more enlightening than Dr Reuben, Sex Savages explores the menacing underworld of perversion that exists on American campuses. Sexual decadence has not eaten like a worm into the core of our university society as it has in the US, but the tell-tale signs are there. Underneath the smooth surface of campus life can be sensed an undercurrent of resentments and frustrations that has broken out here and there, and give ample foreboding of a revolution that will challenge the very cornerstone of society.
The truth is, as Concord so rightly tells us, certain students are more promiscuous that others, but on the whole the promiscuity is greater than it was 50 years ago. This in itself is a startling new fact, but when illustrated by ample case studies that wallow in the filth and grime of vulgarity, Concord's verity, perspicacity, and even, might I say, purity, need no further confirmation. Not only does he describe freshers losing their virginity within their first term at university, but some of these harlots are actually so degraded that they can describe their experiences without shame or regret. One girl talks of doing it in a car!
Later, in a chapter on prostitution, Concord gives us further cause of concern at this cancer in our midst. Three prostitutes who call themselves college students actually engage in bedroom practices with some executives (thanks to Concord's unerring tact, the details are omitted). And, lest we consider that such disgraceful conduct cannot happen with the posh pussies of the NZ scene, we only need to remember Concord's hard facts, which are indisputable: "The number of prostitutes under the age of twenty-five will show a remarkable percentage who are college registrants. They can be stringy-haired hippie in black pants and a taut jersey who hustles a 'tourist' so her man may have his pot and beer, or they can be the furred and be diamonded darlings, who haunt the first-class hotels and play it in between, teetering on a bar stool or lounging half naked on a warm sandy beach.
It is this mixture of solid facts, savage realities, and daring, flowing language, that makes Concord's book such a disquieting masterpiece. Indeed much may be learned about other related topics, such as birth control, drugs, or the manufacture of fizzy drinks from the abundant fountain of information. Take the section on contraception: "Contraceptives come in two forms. One is a mechanical device which prevents male sperm from reaching the mouth of the uterus, thus blocking its travel to the descending ova. The other is a chemical which can either render the ovarian egg impotent or kill the sperm before it fulfils its squirming duty." Concord has trapped the germ of the slippery problem, so to speak, in an eggshell. And one word by him flushes all the theories and quackery of our doctors about the pill being the most effective form of contraception down the lavatory bowl. "Clinically," says Concord, "the condom is the most effective unless it has been damaged by overly long residence in a wallet pocket or has been perforated accidentally or as a prank by grotesque friends."
In his remarkably lucid style, Concord explores every niche and cranny of student perversion — losing virginity, contraception, abortion, off-campus sex, dating, prostitution, drugs, piss-ups, homosexuality, and petting. He even discusses losing virginity. He demonstrates conclusively that some students are sexual beings, even, on occasion, going further than the goodnight kiss. Some might in extreme situations, even marry and have children.
What is the most amazing thing about this book is that so much research has been done by a person so absolutely without academic qualifications for that research. It all proves that degrees are frequently just bits of paper, and for many jobs they are totally irrelevant. In the Preface, the noted Albert D. Lowe M.D., Ph.D. indicates that the book's theme may be that "sex is a very real thing to our young." He assesses the great research and logic that has gone into producing such a profoundly disturbing psychological survey, concluding with the following words: "We have advanced our sciences, our mechanical abilities and our material goals with nearly comet-like speed in the past fifty years. In the meantime we cling tenaciously to our moded, unproven sexual mores, to snobbery to ethical prejudice and to the theory of immortality which most of us would not welcome, even if there were any truth to a pseudo-science." But that is another question.