Sextion: ***Sex Week 2014

Welcome back from Spring Break everyone! As a special treat, and to make sure we’re not too depressed about having to be back at school after a (hopefully) restful break, our friends in the Sexual Health Education and Empowerment Council (SHEEC) have amped up their game with this year’s Sex Week. We hope you take advantage of the amazing speakers, films, and activities going on during this week. Check out last year’s Sextion post to read of some of the things Margaret and I learned. Events start TODAY with a table on the Main Green from 12-3 p.m. and continue through Sunday, April 6. Check out the AMAZINGLY FABULOUS poster (Est-ce que tu aimes le sexe?) and read descriptions of all of the events after the break!

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Monday, March 31st:

12 – 3 p.m.: Tabling (Main Green)
Come say hi, and grab a schedule, some condoms, dental dams, and candy! Remember to wear teal for Sexual Assault Awareness Month kickoff!

8 – 9 p.m.: Aggressive, Vanilla, and Horny: Discussing and Deconstructing Male Sexuality (Smitty-B G01)
This panel plans to explore male sexuality as influenced by the social construction of masculinity and the social influences upon it. We’ll discuss the relationships between sex, aggression, and power, the expectations and stereotypes of manhood, and the role of vanilla versus kinky sex. (Note: If you are interested in being a part of the panel, please contact Edwin Silva or Kevin Carty as soon as possible: edwin_silva@brown.edu and kevin_carty@brown.edu).

Tuesday, April 1st:

8 – 9 p.m.: Porn: Entertainment or EVIL? Screening + discussion (Smitty B 106)
The event will be a pornography screening and discussion. Different types of pornography — such as traditional, queer, and feminist — will be shown and discussed. The discussion will be centered around pornography as a medium and whether it is oppressive or empowering. Can porn ever be feminist? Or is it an inherently misogynistic medium? What sorts of ethical dilemmas are presented in pornography and how can they be addressed? This will be a safe space.

Wednesday, April 2nd:

7 – 8 p.m.: BDSM 101 Workshop (Wilson 204)
“Curious about kink? Interested in trying it out, or just curious a switch or a sub is? Learn about the basics of BDSM beyond what’s in Fifty Shades of Grey. We’ll be covering an intro to the history, theory, and practice of BDSM from a standpoint that emphasizes consent and personal safety.”

Thursday, April 3rd:

9 – 10 p.m.: Sex and Chocolate in the Dark, hosted by Students for Choice (Peterutti Lounge)
“Ever had a question related to sex you were too afraid to share? Want to hear, compare, and learn from other student and professionals’ experiences? Join Students for Choice, peers, and (sex)perts next Thursday to discuss sex in an anonymous and open forum with plenty of chocolate (and baked goods).”

Friday, April 4th:

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 pm: Move for Respect (Main Green)
“Come empower your body and mind by combining physical activity, strengthening your body, and consent, thereby making strong decisions for your body. All are welcome to participate in Move For Respect! and join us in in fun stations such as, Lunges for Love, Yoga for ‘Yes,’ and Crunches for Consent. FREE SWEATBANDS FOR THOSE WHO PARTICIPATE.”

4 – 5 p.m.: Sex Trivia with SHAG (Faunce 229)
“What’s the most common fetish? What does ‘g-string’ stand for? What was the first condom made of? What other animals engage in oral sex? To find out, join the Sexual Health Awareness Group (SHAG) in Sex Trivia Night, sponsored by SHEEC for Sex Week!”

Saturday, April 5th:

12 – 2 p.m.: Stand Up! March Against Sexual Assault (Main Green)
“Members of the Brown University community will Stand Up! against sexual assault by marching en masse around the campus to show campus solidarity around this key issue, starting and ending on the Main Green with a… keynote from famous feminist activist, Jaclyn Friedman.”

7 – 9 p.m.: Strong Sexy Words (Macmillan 115)
“Strong Sexy Words is an open mic experience for all people. It’s for womyn who want to perform pieces on being independent; it’s for men who want to support womyn; it’s for everyone and everything else in between. It is first and foremost a safe space for people to share their pieces of work from singing their favorite empowering songs to poetry to dance, all pieces and people welcome.” Sometimes people “share stories about friends who are going through really hard times (unscripted, just talking, and/or scripted and planned), and topics include anything from suicide to body image to love and relationships to incest/sexual assault to pieces of performance art for the support of strength/sexiness.” Sign up by emailing laurel_oldershaw@brown.edu or sign up on site when you get to the show.

Sunday, April 6th:

1 – 5 p.m.: Stand Up workshops (Wilson Hall)
“We are bringing you eight different workshops from 1:00 – 5:00 PM centered around specific topics (2 running each hour) that you can pick and choose to go to based on your own personal interests.” The workshops will cover topics including, but not limited to, rape culture at Brown, building healthy relationships, drug education, and bystander awareness. Learn more about all the Stand Up Against Sexual Assault events here.

I know I’m going to try to make it to as many of these events as possible. Hope to see you there! Happy Sex Week!

Monica Bruinsky

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2 Comments

  1. Michael Selchow

    I think it’s great that Brown has a week dedicated to sex-positive discussion around some of the more taboo areas of sex, sexuality, and gender.

    What’s not-so-great is the poster, or the titles of some of the workshops.

    SEXWEEK2014 with a large illuminated silhouette of a naked woman atop a pedestal, legs in the air, clad in high-heels? Subtle. Why not a man in an erotic pose? Or a man and a woman? Or two men? Two women? Why not all of these options? Or none of them at all, perhaps, is the best choice. Selecting a woman–and pandering to pornographic stereotypes with its depiction–is a blatant objectification of women, and one that is primarily hetero-normative (lesbians could be included, too).

    Then there are some of the workshop titles…

    “Aggressive, Vanilla and Horny: Deconstructing and Discussing Male Sexuality” — I wasn’t able to attend this, but I’m sure there genuinely was some really productive conversation revolving around our hyper-masculine culture and how that perpetuates further problems not only in the lives of men, but the lives of whom those men are in. Tacking on the beginning, “Aggressive, Vanilla and Horny,” is merely click- or attendance-bait (see BuzzFeed and UpWorthy for endless examples of this). You shouldn’t need to pander (again) to stereotypes about men to bring people in for the discussion. The true content, the second part of the workshop, should be enough to draw folks in. Since when are men considered “vanilla,” anyway? Are we then meant to infer that the derivative of all kink is from women? Here’s the thing: you can’t generalize in that way *ever.* Not with gender, sexuality, race, social status, etc.

    Here’s my favorite: “Porn: Entertainment or EVIL?” Right. So, again, I’m sure the content of this one (showing this evening, I’m planning on attending) will also be relatively constructive as attendees view different kinds of pornography and discuss how they portray gender, sexuality, etc. But putting forth such a limiting paradigm towards pornography is profoundly short-sighted. Pornography is neither explicitly “entertainment” nor explicitly “evil.” I feel confident positing that very few things in this world can be offered forth in a limiting, dualistic paradigm of “this” or “that.” Actually, I don’t believe anything can, but that’s a separate issue. So, on we’ll go to watch a variety of porn and talk about it. Will we talk about pornography’s inaccurate portrayal of pleasure-based sex between men and women? Will there be viewings of pornography that is not hetero-normative? With endless interests as humans, one couldn’t possibly cover all of the bases to discuss “porn” as a whole.

    I’m embarrassed that this is from the school I attend, the school whose other values and opportunities I take great pride in sharing and learning from. It’s disappointing, Brown, to see a very liberal, inclusive, and supportive image from the outside, and perhaps not find that this facade stays standing in important areas of campus discussion on sex and gender.

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