It’s that time of year again, folks. Sex. Power. God. And for those of you, like myself, whose parents asked a lot of questions about the SPG posters across campus during Parents Weekend, you may have had a lot of explaining to do. So how do you talk to your parents about SPG? Or to friends from other schools who have heard about Brown’s raging sex parties? Here are some helpful things to say if you’re a tad bit tongue-tied and want your tongue to be tied with someone else’s at SPG:
1. The Basics: SexPowerGod, or SPG, is the largest annual dance put on by a student group here at Brown. In the last few years, approximately 600 students were given tickets. This year, only 400 tickets were sold. The event is put on by the Queer Alliance, and it’s entirely student-run: students plan every aspect of the event, from the postering to the DJing. Since the event is put on by the QA, many posters advertising the event feature queer students and activities, though it is designed for students of all sexualities, and all tend to be well-represented. It is meant to be a safe space where students can feel comfortable exploring their bodies and their sexualities without fear of judgement, but in recent years, the rules about what is and is not acceptable at SPG have become much stricter. Even so, you will most likely see things you haven’t before. And that’s okay. It is an opportunity for all to test the boundaries of their comfort levels.
2. Times they are a changin’: The important thing to tell your parents about SPG if they’ve seen posters on campus—and particularly if they have watched Jesse Watter’s segment on The O’Reilly Factor in 2005—is that SPG has changed a lot over the years, as has the culture of our campus, too. Policies surrounding alcohol and other drugs are much stricter now than they were in 2005. You will be turned away if you are visibly intoxicated and your person will be searched before being granted entry. Similarly, bags, cameras, and cell phones are not allowed, so there will be no pictures posted on Facebook of what you choose to do while you’re there. And each year the party is inherently different, based on the people that attend and the choices they make based on their own comfort levels. This year, for example, there will be pole dancing.
3. It is a party about YOU: Yes, I mean YOU. The whole purpose of the dance is to explore yourself, so you can tell your parents that you will only do what you feel comfortable doing. Tell them that they should trust you and the choices you’re making. You know yourself best and the choices you’re making should be yours alone, not based on what others are doing or wearing, not doing or not wearing. It should be your choice if you want to consume alcohol and how much, your choice in what you want to wear, and your choice about what kind of sexual activities you want to engage in. You can also go just to dance with your friends and have some fun. Your experience should be entirely in your own hands.
4. But Mom, I need to go so I can scout out potential mates! And the only thing I need to do is kiss them!: According to the New York Times, kissing serves a whole host of purposes other than sexual arousal. This study found that those who tend to be choosier in selecting genetically fit and compatible mates (i.e. women, people who consider themselves attractive, and those favoring casual sex) use kissing as a means to determine a partner’s suitability early in relationships. So if you plan on kissing a bunch of people at SPG, tell your fam that you’re just doing a bit of scouting for mates. Additionally, the article also states that kissing (even more so than sex) can act as relationship upkeep. So if you’re already in a relationship, bring your partner to SPG and do a whole bunch of kissing to increase your happiness! So, if you want to engage in some activity with a greater sense of purpose, why not try some kissing this year at SPG?
For more information about SexPowerGod, check out last year’s Q&A about the event here. While the ticketing information in this does not apply to this year’s SPG, the post should give all of those lucky enough to have snagged a ticket some extra information on what to expect. It will also provide you with some helpful tips like BRING A JACKET BECAUSE IT’S COLD OUT AND THE LINE IS LONG and KEEP YOUR KEYS AND ID ON YOUR PERSON.
And the most important piece of advice I can give: CONSENT. Ask for it. Do only what you want to do, not what you feel like you’re supposed to do because you’re at SPG or because you’ve already made out so why not let it go further? No. Let’s have an SPG like it was intended to be: a safe space where everyone can feel comfortable exploring his/her sexuality and their bodies to the extent that he/she wants to. And, of course, a lot of fun.
All the love in the universe,
Questions or concerns about SPG can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org