Ask anyone what the most common topic on Confessions from UC Berkeley is, and they’ll probably give you the same answer: relationship posts. Whether we like it or not, confessions dealing with love, sex and horniness are undeniably very prevalent. It felt very powerful to have people divulge their personal feelings to my form, and it seemed like such a unique privilege to be the first point of contact before the post was possibly public on the page. But it never occurred to me that the page could make me the object of someone’s affections.
When I started Confessions, I was admittedly single and lonely myself. In 2018, I got a submission that simply read, “All the confessions that you read on this page are just reflections of how Spencer feels on the inside.” I denied it at the time, but that submission hit me close to home. I often scheduled posts late at night back then, listening to my sad playlist on Spotify, getting “in my feelings.” I can admit now that my own loneliness was reflected in what I accepted. For better or for worse, it is possible that my acceptance patterns back then had an effect on the kinds of submissions the page has received ever since.
Since I am page admin and “Berkeley famous,” the page used to get a decent amount of posts confessing attraction to me. The page receives a lot of this type of love confession, but since everyone knew I was in the unique position of getting to directly read every submission, the ones addressed to me were both numerous and often pretty extreme. Given how lonely and single I was, this was both flattering and frustrating to me. It was really validating to know there were people out there who were attracted to me, but I lamented to my friends more than a few times that I wished my admirers would just tell me who they were.
Thankfully, it wouldn’t be too long before my wish came true. One day, as I complained to an acquaintance (and fellow Facebook group admin) about my anonymous admirers, she confessed to me straight up that she felt the same way about me as the posters did. I could hardly believe it, but I nervously asked her on a date. The rest is history, and we’ve been together ever since. Sometimes, people ask me if anybody has ever found a relationship through the Confessions page; it’s cool to be able to personally confirm that it’s happened at least one time.
My experience finding love through Confessions made me realize how important it is that the page covers these topics. After all, romantic relations are a pretty big deal for people our age. Though my top priority in these four years has been school, number two has often been romantic relationships, and it’s clear to me that most of my UC Berkeley peers think the same way. Whether you hate the posts or love them, whether you’re asexual or not, everyone sure seems to care about them and what they represent. And while wholesome and happy relationship posts are great, the most popular confession of all time describes, as might be expected, an imperfect and even infuriating relationship.
That’s reality, and that’s the Confessions page. The people of Berkeley, when given anonymity, feel free to post about their crushes on GSIs, their crushes on roommates, the times they cheated on their partners and even their feelings about a certain UC Berkeley chemistry lecturer. I am constantly amazed by the inhibition that my submitters display. Some confessions, including one in which a female virgin described what she thought sex would be like in vivid detail, have been removed by Facebook moderators for being too sexually explicit. Regardless, the page has been a haven, welcoming everything from the outlandish to the ordinary. I always thought that the people who were willing to display such honesty to complete strangers were courageous and worthy of adulation.
It’s no surprise that the Confessions page often receives submissions asking why so many of the posts are about these topics. But even as I have tried to limit the number of posts on these topics, I’ve accepted that there’s just no holding the flood back. It’s in our nature as humans and as young adults to think and even obsess about these things. There is a place for horny posts just as much as there is a place for the horny-be-gone meme that gets commented on them every time. I would say that we shouldn’t be ashamed, but the Confessions page wouldn’t exist without at least a little bit of shame.