Posts Tagged “Sex Positive”
Sex Positive Week 2010—a week geared toward helping students feel comfortable talking openly about sex and sexuality—is wrapping up. For its part, the Voice was pleased to see the University fund SPW for a second year in a row. “SPW is a much-needed antidote to the limited, overwhelmingly conservative dialogue that currently takes place on campus about sexuality,” wrote its editorial board.
How limited and overwhelmingly conservative? Well, recently, the Voice came across a curious treatise on the Georgetown University Counseling and Psychiatric Services website called the “Top Ten Reasons Why Dating is Better Than Hooking Up.”
Vox thinks this list—which more or less argues that STIs, emotional pain, pressure to go sexually farther than you’re comfortable with, pregnancy, pregnancy ending in abortion, unreciprocated feelings, and walks of shame are never risks in dating and always risks of hooking up—is a good example of the conservative (and sometimes ridiculous) platforms Georgetown has found itself capable of espousing in the past.
In an e-mail, Phil Meilman, the Director of CAPS, suggested that CAPS had not been aware of the existence of the page.
“It has been there for at least four years, if not longer, and we are unsure who authored it or posted it. However, we do not believe it is appropriate for our website and we are removing it.”
Thank goodness. Here’s a look at what one anonymous sage at CAPS once found appropriate to tell students of Georgetown (And for your reference, the full text of what was on the page is after the jump.):
- “4 ) With dating, the worst thing you will go home with is a doggie bag”
That’s a reference to STIs. Apparently, it is physically impossible for people who are dating to transmit STIs, lie about having STIs, assume they don’t need to get tested for STIs and transmit them, or not know they have STIs. Or engage in any behavior that would make any of those things possible.
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On Monday, the Student Activities Commission heard proposals from the students planning Sex Positive Week, a weeklong series of events designed to encourage discussion about sex and sexuality at Georgetown University, and ultimately approved funding for all the proposed events, although they put some conditions in place after their funding of Sex Positive Week caused a stir last year.
Looking at the public minutes of the SAC allocation meeting, Sex Positive Week, which will take place from February 22 to February 26, is going consist of events like “Virginity and Losing It,” “Disability and Sexuality,” “God and the Erotic,” and a “Sex Positive Carnival.”
SAC voted to stipulate that some of the events and material—like the Zine, which will print Sex Positive stories and images—will need further approval from SAC before they are ultimately funded.
Funding for “Virginity and Losing It,” which the organizers described as “a discussion about virginity and the climate surrounding that issue on campus,” was approved at $75; “Disability and Sexuality” was approved for $85; “God and the Erotic” was approved, but the organizers did not request any funds for that event. All of these events were approved unanimously.
Open Mic Night, for which the organizers did not ask for funding, was approved 8 to 1 (objecting) to 2 (abstaining).
From the looks of the minutes, the next item, a proposal for a Sex Positive Carnival, “a fun, creative way to get out information on things people don’t usually think about or care to learn about,” generated a lot of discussion among the student commissioners.
Read more, including the minutes of the SAC meeting, after the jump.
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“An urban tantra workshop.” “An event in support of survivors of sexual assault and fighting rape culture.” “A forum on virginity and celibacy.” “An orgasm workshop.”
Those are some of the events that the 20 students crammed onto the plush couches in the Women’s Center suggested when they met Tuesday night to begin planning this year’s Sex Positive Week.
The week is based around the idea that sex, in whatever context—heterosexual, homosexual, BDSM, or strictly within marriage—is nothing to be ashamed of. (And it was a very sex positive group—although Vox identified herself as a reporter and therefore not a meeting participant, she was still encouraged to take part in the introduction game, by naming the food she finds most sensual.) It will be the second time that Georgetown plays host to Sex Positive events, and judging by Tuesday night, the week may turn out to be as outre as last year’s.
Agreeing that they want to focus on “empowerment, education, and positive body image,” the students decided that they want to hold diverse events—some tame and communal, like an open mike night and student-centric discussions, and some more aggressive events, like a potential “guerilla theater”-style event in Red Square, in which women would act as female statues demonstrating “how lesbians have sex.”
“I’m so down for that,” one student said.
A student later cautioned against planning events that were too far out of the ordinary in order to give the week a broader campus appeal.
“I would really like to see this week reach out past communities like the queer community and women’s community and maybe toning it down or having a good balance of themes, just so it’s more mainstream,” he said.
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Georgetown’s Sex Positive Week garnered a lot of attention, some of that being Catholic ire. Coupled with the vandalism of the statue of the Virgin Mary, Sex Positive Week led the Catholic blogosphere (oh, it exists) to blast Georgetown for its abandonment of Catholic values.
But wait! As a Jesuit University, we’re not alone in our infamy, the Cardinal Newman Society reports:
“These obscene abuses of Catholic values come just as Christians begin a holy season of penance, fasting and almsgiving,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Faithful Catholics have good reason to be outraged and heartbroken at what is happening at Georgetown, Loyola Chicago and Seattle University, three historic, Jesuit institutions.”
Now that’s ire.
Loyola University showed another film in its semester-long film series “The Color of Queer” and the University of Washington Seattle campus Seattle University hosted Transgender Awareness Week.
This is good news for fans of Sex Positive Week—as we can see, last week’s hosts aren’t alone in trying to challenge what some see as traditional or stultified notions notions of sex and orientation. This is bad news for proponents of Catholic identity, however— it looks like more Jesuit institutions have given up the ghost on maitaining theirs.
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In the comments section of Vox’s initial coverage of Sex Positive Week, someone asked we post David Gregory’s (COL `10) email to newspapers, students, and faculty members. All yours:
I know a number of us have been preoccupied by the outrageous debacle regarding Our Lady of Fatima, but another matter must be brought to our attention.
Subtly painted on opposite ends of Gaston Hall just below the ceiling are two words: “Wisdom” and “Virtue”; as we are all aware, the idea as that students who gathered in Gaston for convocation at the end of their Georgetown careers would have gained in wisdom and virtue. A lofty goal, yes, but one to which Georgetown remains faithful. On occassion, this ideal is violated, and once again we find ourselves in the midst of such an occurrence.
I was not really aware what “Sex Positive Week” (sponsored by GU Pride, United Feminists, and Georgetown Solidarity Committee) was all about until flyers began to pop up across campus over the past couple of days. …
The rest, after the jump.
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The tamest of “Torn about Porn”s images
This week, GU Pride, United Feminists, and the Georgetown Solidarity Committee are co-sponsoring “Sex Positive Week,” brought to you by University money.
That last part has irked a host of Catholic student leaders, including The Georgetown Academy Editor-in-Chief David Gregory (COL `10) and Georgetown Knights of Columbus Grand Knight Joe Kapusnick (SFS `10). You can read all about it in Voice News.
But let’s get down to business. Who or what’s gracing our fair campus for Sex Positive week that has these students so upset? Well, they tend to mention:
- Tristan Taormino. The self-proclaimed “anal sexpert,” author, and pornographic director will be speaking in ICC 115 on Saturday at the event “Relationships Beyond Monogamy.” Her racey bibliography includes Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships and True Lust: Adventures in Sex, Porn and Perversion
- Jenny Block. The author of Open: Love, Sex & Life in an Open Marriage will be speaking at the same event. But If the first chapter of her book (PDF), which sincerely discusses the difficulties of modern women, is any indication, she’ll won’t be anything like Taormino.
- Last night’s “Torn about Porn” event, a discussion about whether images from No Fauxxx shown in a slideshow are “Sex Positive”—that is, affirming rather than objectifying or exploitative, like sex-negative porn. I attended this for tomorrow’s article. While you can construe the ten or so images in the slideshow as ‘offensive,’ the conversation was grounded, with most students concluding that porn is porn, and these images in particular are just “porn with hipsters in it.’
- Mitzi from Black Rose, a D.C.-based bondage and discipline, sadism and masochism organization “that hosts, among other things, educational classes revolving around BDSM activities, issues, and safety.” She spoke at Monday night’s “Sex Positive … What’s that?”
- Ricci Levy of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, a group which “educate[s] the public on the importance and value of sexual freedom and counter the arguments of groups seeking to restrict sexual rights” (think Lawrence v. Texas) and “oppose[s] abstinence-only sex ‘education’ and endorse an age-appropriate, comprehensive approach to sex education.” She also appeared at Monday night’s “Sex Positive … What’s that?”
Image used with the permission of No Fauxxx.
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