First-years: after almost two months, you likely feel less frosh-ish than you did when you got here. You’ve ventured into frats and navigated off-campus parties, you’ve done all the normal illegal things and some legal things that were so out there that they likely should be illegal. You want to keep this amazing experience rolling, but what’s this SexPowerGod thing you keep hearing about? Well, I’m with you on that one.
I’ve tried asking other freshmen, but they had just as many questions as I did. This is the biggest dance of the year, and despite its politically correct message, it sparks endless controversy (maybe it has to do with the barely-clothed promotional posters?) and raises a lot questions and concerns. Before I jumped through the hoops to get my name on the guest list, I decided to act as a liason for the freshmen class and ask Blog’s sex guru Monica Bruinsky for the real deal on SPG. Here are some frosh expectations compared to the upperclassmen realities:
Caitlin Dorman: If I go to SPG, will I see a lot things that cannot be unseen?
Monica Bruinsky: You might. This is the reality of SPG. The purpose of SPG is to create a fun, dance atmosphere that is also a safe space where everyone is able to explore themselves sexually. With this idea in mind, many students go to the dance and end up engaging in sexual activities, both at the dance and afterwards. Some people just go to SPG to dance with their friends and listen to the awesome DJing skills of Ethos Nebula. Others make out with people on the dance floor. Others go even further than that, though this is not technically permitted. You might see some of these things. Some years are distinctly more sexual than others. The dance is different every year, but there is an understanding that some students will engage in sexual activity and others will not.
CD: If so many people are hooking up around me, won’t I feel like a failure if I don’t hook up with at least 15 people?
MB: I sure hope not! You should do only what you feel comfortable doing. But because this dance has a strong reputation, many students feel that they have to hook up with someone, or a few someones. As I’ve said in previous posts, you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do. I would say go to the dance, survey the scene and your own feelings, and if you find someone you are genuinely attracted to who is also attracted to you and willing, then hook up to the extent that you both want. Don’t feel like you have to, but feel free to.
CD: So, is everyone naked at this party? Am I supposed to go naked to this thing?
MB: Most if not all people are not naked at SPG and you do not have to be naked. This is not a naked party. People come in all manner of dress to SPG, from being completely clothed to wearing leather corsets to just a sock on your *cough* privates. The purpose of SPG is for everyone to explore their sexuality in a way that makes them feel comfortable. And that includes the clothing that makes you feel comfortable and sexy. Many of the women tend to dress as they would on an average Friday or Saturday night, while others choose to be less clothed and wear some type of lingerie, such as a bra and underwear. Many, but not all, of the men wear their underwear. But again, it’s about what makes you feel comfortable revealing. So, technically, you can be naked if you so choose.
CD: Am I going to inevitably end up having sex there?
MB: No. Not everyone has sex at SPG. In fact, I would say that most people do not have sex at SPG. Do not think you cannot attend SPG if you have not had sex or if you do not want to have sex. In fact, according to the rules, you are not allowed to have sex. You should only do what you feel comfortable doing, and if you feel comfortable experimenting, you are free to.
CD: But Monica, if we are all in lingerie, won’t everything be hyper-sexualized?
MB: Though not everyone will be in their underwear, the atmosphere of the dance can often feel hyper-sexual to its attendees because sexual activity may be going on around you, and grinding is just sexual. This is just the nature of the beast. But this, hopefully, does not mean that you will be touched inappropriately without your consent. You should not be randomly groped by someone you are not actively engaging with. You can attend the party and not engage sexually with another person. The SPG Facebook event stresses the importance of consent, and I could not agree with it more. PLEASE PLEASE only do what you want to do, ask before you engage, and do your absolute best to say no if there is something you are not okay with. You can be assertive without being aggressive. And if you really are feeling uncomfortable but do not see a way out of a situation, there are party managers at the event that are trained in this, and can help you.
CD: Where do I get tickets? When do I get tickets? What do I have to do to get my ticket???
MB: Now that you’ve decided to attend SPG, you need to look at your schedule and decide which night would be the best to CAMP OUT FOR TICKETS! This event is legit, and you cannot get in if you are not on the elite guest list. This means you must have a pre-ordered ticket. Someone cannot sell you a ticket at a later date because their name is on the list and not yours. And they check IDs. I promise. So find a few friends and decide when you want to camp out. Camp out begins TONIGHT AT 10 p.m. in Andrews Dining Hall. Please do not arrive before 10. Seriously. You can line up on October 22nd or October 23rd and your tickets will be distributed the next morning. Half the tickets will be reserved for each day. So bring a sleeping bag, some homework, a movie or Bananagrams, and get ready to spend the night. Individually, you will be able to get yourself one ticket and one additional ticket with your Brown/RISD ID, for those that cannot attend the camp out. But you must know your guest’s name and possibly their ID number. Your guest ticket can go to a non-Brown student (that is over 18), but you must give their name. You can’t just say “I’m bringing a guest.” Tickets are $20 for Brown/RISD students and $25 for non-Brown/RISD students.
CD: Once I HAVE my ticket, how do I prepare for this party the night of?
MB: Get dressed in whatever makes you feel comfortable and sexy and WEAR A JACKET OR SOMETHING BECAUSE YOU MAY HAVE TO WAIT IN LINE OUTSIDE AND IT COULD BE COLD. There is a coat room next to the dance floor, so you don’t have to walk around across campus in your skimpies. But I would not suggest leaving your keys and ID in your coat pockets, as they could get taken. Keep them on your person. Do not bring any bags, cameras, cell phones, or anything of the sort. You will not be admitted if you are overly intoxicated or are caught attempting to sneak anything in the dance. Doors close at midnight, and you will not be able to re-enter the dance once you’ve arrived. Once you get in, meet up with your friends, dance, meet some new people, experiment if you choose to, and have fun!
If you’re feeling curious about SPG, go once and try it out. SPG does not jive with everyone, and that’s okay. Some people go and have a great time, but choose to never go back because it’s already been done. Others go back every year. So go to SPG with the expectation to have fun with your friends, dance, and maybe experience some new things. If you have any further questions, you can email me at email@example.com. Have fun!