Sexting on the Block Plan: TedSex at Colorado College

The Wellness Resource Center is here and ready, among many other things, to break up the winter blues.

Colorado College students filled Sacred Grounds Thursday Jan. 24 to attend TedSex, a string of presentations based on “sex, pleasure, and bodies,” as described by Wellness Resource Center Paraprofessional and TedSex host Montana Bass ’18. The event was part of the Center’s “Good Sex” series, which began this past semester.

Each presentation focused on distinct aspects of sex and sexuality. New Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Anna Thompson presented first, involving the audience in locating the different parts of the vagina on an interactive web page. Wellness Resource Center Paraprofessional Celia Palmer ’18 talked about “how to have the hottest, funnest, safest sexing in the world” and expressed her lament towards the “moral panic” around the activity. Student John Henry Williams ’19 tackled the issues of “ghosting,” “dick pics,” and even gave an oral sex tutorial using bananas. “Move to the side at parties if you want to make out!” pleaded Williams, as the audience erupted with laughter.

Illustration by Annabel Driussi

“The goal of my presentation was to show students that other cultures in the past have viewed sex and sexuality differently than we do in our society today,” said Associate Professor of Classics Sanjaya Thakur, who presented on “evidence for use of dildos in ancient Greece and Rome”. Montana approached me to speak [at the TedSex event] because I teach the history of sexuality on campus,
he said. “There used to be a lot more events like it that took place. Like once, I gave a whole talk on menstruation. I think it’s great that they’re doing this kind of thing again.”

Meanwhile, “I came up with the idea with Celia, and we collaborated with SOSS to make it happen” Said Bass. “We knew that Ted talks are really popular events on campus, and we also knew that it’s hard to draw students in to administration-organized educational programming.” She continued, “we really wanted to have a smattering of different topics [related to sex and sexuality]. It was a really well attended event, which I was excited about.”

TedSex attendee and Colorado College student Charlotte Wall had nothing but positive things to say about the talk. “I created the art for the campaign Julieta Lechini is launching that aims to bring free menstrual cups to campus, and she was using it in her TedSex Talk, so I thought I’d check the whole thing out. Julieta’s talk was inspiring, but I really got something out of every single one of the talks,” said Wall. She continued, “Over all, it was a really cool event in which sex was talked about openly. I think that openness allowed for presenters and the audience to interactively discuss topics that are otherwise viewed as taboo and kept under wraps. Even being someone from Las Vegas, Nev., I’ve never been in a space where all forms of sex and all body shapes are welcome and encouraged, which was really cool. I’ll definitely go to the next one if they have a similar program again.”

Alas, on the national scale, not everyone believes such events are necessary on college campuses. In a 2012 New York Times article titled “Do College Students Need Sex Ed?,” Anahad O’Connor writes that, in today’s world, where “sexuality is more badly and blatantly on display, young people are, paradoxically, having less sex than in generations past, surveys indicate.” Further, psychologytoday.com reveals that although the percentage of college students that have ever engaged in sexual intercourse slightly rose between 1980 and 2010, “about half of the men surveyed and somewhat more than half of the women classified as monogamist: that is, being in a committed relationship whether married or not. So there we have our answer: No, hook-up culture is not dominating college campuses. Rather, good old fashioned “going steady” still seems to be the preferred relationship style for young adults.”

But for now, the Wellness Resource Center will continue its “Good Sex” series, informing the students of Colorado College about safe sex and sexuality.

Erica Williams

Erica Williams

Erica has been reporting for the Catalyst since her freshman year. She is a history-poly-sci and REMs double major. Interestingly, her grandfather fixed Einstein's furnace.

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