Sex week kicks off on campus


For many colleges and universities, Valentine’s Day is the perfect start to Sex Week, a series of events and workshops on everything from consent and body image to contraceptives and STI testing. . Among the most creative proposals this year: a “make your own sex toy” workshop and a “condom bingo”, where players use condoms to mark their cards.

“People come to campus with a wide variety and levels of sex education,” said Tammi Simpson, vice president for community and inclusivity at Cowl College in Maryland, which hosted its first-ever Sex Week last week. “We feel like having a week-long program normalizes the conversation and allows us to be open and communicate not just about sex, but about sexuality, pleasure, and sexual health.”

The college hosted eight events, including a professor-led discussion on the reproductive journeys of transgender and non-binary people. The Queer Student Union co-hosted Condom Bingo and joined the Black Student Union in sponsoring Black Love Day, where students were invited to gather, eat together, and meet new people. friends.

Amanda Dymek, director of wellness at Hood College, who helped organize the week’s events, said it was especially rewarding to see faculty and students interact during a discussion titled “There’s power in your pleasure”, led by a sex educator.

“The maturity and vulnerability that was shared during our evening program…was truly wonderful to see,” Dymek said. “Our students were so honest, mature and thoughtful in sharing with our experts their experiences in relationships and in finding and developing their own sexuality.”

tulane university in New Orleans has scheduled more than 20 sex-related events this week, starting with a distribution of condom kits and sex toys to kick off sex week. Students can also play a “Wheel of Fornication” game to win small prizes while learning facts and statistics about sex and sexuality, or attend the “Black Bodies Need Love Too” discussion on the sex lives of black students on campus.

AT Ohio State UniversityStudent Advocates for Sexual Health Awareness (SASHA) is hosting 20 events, including one centered around writing thank-you notes to abortion providers in Ohio and Texas, which caught the attention of conservative media outlets such as Fox News and The daily callersparking a wave of criticism online and from the university’s Students for Life group.

An OSU spokesperson told Fox News Digital that no taxpayer dollars were used to sponsor the event, and that “the State of Ohio has a deep and abiding commitment to free speech”.

SASHA is also hosting a discussion on “soft masculinity” with Schuyler Bailar, the first openly transgender swimmer in NCAA Division I, as well as an event in conjunction with Lion’s Den, a national sex shop, where students can learn about different sex toys and equipment. .

The student association Sex Week at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is hosting 11 events this week, including a do-it-yourself sex toy workshop – by popular demand last year – in which students can choose a toy mold and make their own sex toy using a mixture of silicones. During the dating profile photoshoot, students can have their photo taken to add to their online dating profile for apps like Tinder and Bumble. And there’s a speed-dating event, where students go on miniature dates together.

Two events had to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, said student Emily Coulter, one of the university’s main Sex Week organizers: the group’s signature drag show and a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening. Both events have been pushed back to later in the spring because they draw large crowds; Coulter said the drag show usually draws 200 students.

Sex Week at UNC Charlotte aims to host events about things students can’t easily find online, like body image and its role in the enjoyment of sex, which Coulter says could be especially useful for those who have gained weight during the pandemic.

“Students won’t come to an event to learn how to put on a condom,” Coulter said. “Google is available for free and YouTube is available for free. It’s very easy to get these resources. So we’re focusing more of our attention on things that we think are interesting. I want to hear about the latest research on how our society thinks to our relationship with sex and gender and consent.

Vanderbilt University in Tennessee hosts a week of sex education and healthy relationships with eight events. Bailey Via, program coordinator for the university’s Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center, said she looks forward to “What Sex Meant to Me: Exploring the Talk Among Different Identity Groups.”

“We’ve done a version of this event in the past, and it went really well, so I’m very excited to bring it back this year,” Via said. “This event will feature a panel of Vanderbilt students from different racial and ethnic backgrounds as they discuss how the communities in which they were raised have influenced the way they view relationships, gender, sexuality, identity and more. This event is likely to spark a big conversation about how we all have different influences that inform how we view sex and relationships.

Via said it was important to continue educating students about sex to fill the gaps for those who may not have had much sexual health education.

“We believe this work is so important because it helps students make the most informed and safest decisions for themselves when it comes to sex and sexual health,” Via said. “We want everyone to have autonomy in their sexual decision-making, and the more we all know, the more autonomy we all have.”

The University of Denver is hosting a Love + Sex + Health week comprised of seven events, including a gay-friendly, inclusive consent education workshop for students who may have felt alienated from traditional sex education.

Most Sex Week programs are hybrid or virtual, so students who might feel uncomfortable or shy about attending an event in person can still attend virtually, said Andrea Thyrring, coordinator of Health Promotion in Denver and coordinator of gender-based violence prevention and education for the American. College Health Association Campus Safety and Violence Coalition.

“We really try to create as many opportunities for access to these programs as possible, while recognizing that students really want to connect with each other and with in-person educators,” Thyrring said. “So I’m really excited that we’re able to balance accessibility and inclusion again with that desire for in-person programming.”


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