Sex Week at Colorado College began a couple years ago, when four different students did a survey on sexual pleasure as part of their sociology research design course. Their work focused on hook-up culture, and they found out that female students were experiencing fewer orgasms than their male counterparts. The unsurprising results of their research led to them to create a club called OrgasmiCC, whose goal is to allow people to explore their sexuality and sexual identity through consent, exploration, and education.
Senior Brooke Arnett Becker, says that OrgasmiCC and Sex Week share the same goal. “It is to inform people on how complex sexuality can be and that people have different experiences based on their positionality or their identity, and that we live in a world that makes us feel so alone and ashamed and a lot of times we feel that we are deviant,” said Becker. “And so the whole point of Sex Week and OrgasmiCC is to show people that they are not alone and that there are people like them. We give them the sex education they’ve never received or resources that they haven’t had access to.” Becker also went on further to say that while sexuality can be so beautiful, it also can be so painful, based on whether it is based in stigma or something traumatic that occurred. “[Sex Week] provides an avenue to give people the ability to explore and learn while having fun,” said Becker.
In celebration of Sex Week, there were several events held Tuesday through Friday. They are different every year with the exception of the annual sex toy party. The event on Tuesday focused on trauma. Guest teacher Susanna Kelland, who teaches trauma informed yoga to inmates, did a presentation on yogic understanding of trauma and the body. It focused on how we can become aware of it and be in control of trauma, instead of the trauma being in control of us, thus empowering us to will our body to do what it wants.
The event on Wednesday was the screening of “Brown Girls Series,” which focuses on the lives of two queer women of color. “The series touches on everyday life experiences that many women relate to and go through,” said Becker.
Thursday marked the annual sex toy party. Sex toys are ordered and then raffled off as trivia prizes. Heather Horton, director of the Resource Wellness Center, and Maria Mendez, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), taught the audience how to use the different sex toys raffled away. Another important part of this event involved an anonymous Q&A in which students could ask questions they did not feel comfortable asking in front of the audience.
The final event of Sex Week was a display of one of Becker’s own projects, called “Wall of Junk.” “The project was inspired by the work of British artist Jamie McCartney,” Becker said. Other influences on the exhibition were based on the rise in labia plasty in recent years. “Women are being told and made to feel, sometimes by their OBGYN doctor that they need labia reconstruction due to something being wrong with their vulva when there really isn’t anything wrong,” Becker stressed. She was also inspired by the second wave feminist Betty Dodson, who did a lot of anti-genital shame work, attempting to do away with myths, such as that if you masturbated too much as a woman, your genitals would be deformed. “I wanted to have body positivity and body diversity celebration,” Becker said. The project requested anonymous pictures of people’s genitals to show that they do not have to look a certain way in order to be a penis or vagina. Becker was also hopeful the pictures would lead to some students learning what their genitals look like because “the vulva, unlike the penis, isn’t something you can just see and so some women don’t even know what their vulvas look like.” It is their hope that the events hosted during Sex Week will continue to help inform students on their sexuality and all aspects involved in what exactly sexuality is and means.