Widgets Magazine

SHPRC hosts Sex Week

This week is the second annual occurrence of Stanford’s Sex Week, a five-day long event series organized by the Sexual Health Peer Resource Center (SHPRC). The week features events, ranging from a talk by Sex Week’s keynote speaker Laci Green entitled “Best Sex Ever” to a film screening of “Nymphomania.”

“The big thing with Sex Week is it’s such a loaded topic, obviously, on campuses,” said Laetitia Walendom ’15, co-director and general manager of SHPRC. “We want to do it justice,” she said.

Walendom explained that being an entirely student-run operation can bring its own challenges when it comes to taking into account potential concerns on the part of the University.

“When we started last year…on our end, it was like everyone wants to hear about all the sex, all the time, and then…the University was like ‘uh, maybe you should make some of these 18+, because it might be not the best for certain younger students,’” Walendom said.

Another concern was how to select the events to hold as well as what subjects those events would address.

“We don’t have the resources or the manpower to do a month, and even that wouldn’t cover sex,” said MaryJo Lopez ’15, co-director and financial officer of SHPRC. “You have to pick very selective topics, and you want to include as many people in that umbrella as possible.”

Lopez added that while inclusivity is important, the students organizing Sex Week didn’t want to run the risk of being too broad, either.

“You don’t want to do only very general, primary-level stuff. You want to go deep into certain things, too,” Lopez said. “So that further complicates the events you have.”

Although the film screening of “Nymphomania” was also held during last year’s Sex Week and two of this year’s speakers came to Stanford last year for talks that were separate from Sex Week, most of the events this year are new.

One such event, held on Tuesday evening, was called Oral Sex 101 and was presented by Sandra Daughtery, otherwise known as Sex Nerd Sandra who is a sex educator most well known for her online podcasts. Daugherty talked to students about her two rules for sex: one, that the sex is safe, sane and consensual, and two, to not “put anything in your butt unless it has a flared base.” Daughtery also gave suggestions about how to ask a partner for consent and gave tips on how to perform oral sex.

When Daugherty was invited to speak at Sex Week, “I was like ‘Hell, yeah!’” she said. “I actually wanted to go to Stanford. That was one of my top colleges when I was a kid. And so the idea of teaching a blowjob class at Stanford was like, ‘I have arrived!’”

Daugherty said she enjoys teaching college students because they’re at such a unique place in their lives.

“I find college students fascinating because they’re at a point where they […] have been through a long lifetime of institutionalized learning, so […]they’re very quiet and they behave, whereas when I teach […] people in their 30s and 40s […] they speak up and they’re involved in a different way,” Daugherty said. “College students are just these beings that…don’t seem like they’re yet comfortable being their full selves because they’ve been taught not to, and college I think is a part of getting in touch with who you are, so I really like being a part of that process and letting people know it’s ok to feel yourself and be who you are.”

By attending Daugherty’s event and others like it, SHPRC’s Sex Week coordinator Elisabeth Dee ’17 said she hopes that students feel more empowered.

“You come to these conversations maybe with misconceptions…you have all of these different conversations that you immerse yourself in,” Dee said, about Sex Week. “Whether you are currently sexually active or planning to be sexually active at some point in your life […] you need to be educated about these things so that you can be safe and happy and healthy and feel empowered about your body and your sexual choices.”

Walendom said that for her, a goal in planning Sex Week was to incorporate campus conversations of sexual assault and consent.

“This year there have been so many conversations around consent and what that looks like in an intimate context,” Walendom said. “Sexual Assault Awareness Month just ended and the events [that] SARA [the Office of Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse Education and Response] and company put on were so fantastic. I think that we did a pretty good job with placing Sex Week as an extension to that. How do you take that conversation into the bedroom? How do you tie that to all the other elements that you may be connecting when you may be exploring the world?”

According to Lopez, just judging by the numbers of students who have shown up to the events, Sex Week seems to be a success.

“People are about it, They’re showing up in droves,” Lopez said.

“Even Yik Yak is positive about it,” Dee added. “Which honestly is unheard of for Yik Yak to be positive about something.”

SHPRC is located on the second floor of Vaden Health Center and they’re open from noon–6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon-5 p.m. on Fridays.

 

Contact Sarah Wishingrad at swishing ‘at’ stanford.edu.

 

About Sarah Wishingrad

Sarah Wishingrad '18 is a former Desk Editor for the University/Local beat. She is a History major from Los Angeles, California who loves politics, the waffles at Coupa, and all things Jane Austen. Ask her about her dog, Hamilton, at swishing 'at' stanford.edu.