At some point in most college students’ lives, they have received some sort of sexual education. Most receive it through their high school’s sex education program, which, especially in the South, promotes abstinence and teaches intensively about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases. Although some people would like to think teenagers remain abstinent, the obvious reality is that many do not, making it imperative for them to learn the realities of sex.
This past Monday I was walking up the steps from D-hall to the Commons when I saw a table that caught my eye. Not only was the word “sex” covering all of the papers on the table, but there were also packs of lubricant and even flavored condoms. My friends and I were shocked, even a little bit uncomfortable, by what we saw.
The man sitting at the table handled our interaction with him casually, showing no reason for discomfort. He let us know what events were going on and what their goals were to teach the students. As someone who had received sex education in Georgia, the idea of someone not only teaching the realities of sex, but also promoting a healthy sex life was surprising to me. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the idea of “Sex Week,” so I decided to attend an event to find out more.
My friends and I attended the “Sex in the Dark” event on Thursday. The event’s goal was to create a dark space for students to ask their real questions about sex while remaining anonymous and free from judgment. The questions, which the audience wrote on note cards, included such topics as the definition of certain sexualities, body parts, alcohol and sex, and helpful tips. The speakers, who are professional sex educators, talk to colleges, high schools, and even some corporations across the country about sexual health. While they treated every question seriously, they made the environment comfortable and casual. As students left the event, I gathered opinions from the audience on the controversial week.
“I think Sex Week is an interesting way to educate the Washington and Lee population on sexual culture,” Coleman Martinson, ’21, said. “I think the event had its pros and cons and even might have been uncomfortable at times, but it brought light and humor to important conversations that need to occur on campus.”
The objective of Sex Week was to educate students and promote healthy sexual relationships throughout the student body. I think this is an incredibly important concept for those interested in sex. The general opinion among students appears to be positive.
“I think Sex Week is a great thing. It is important to have these discussions in order to promote a healthy culture in regard to sex on campus,” Bill Kuenne, ‘21, said.
The more comfortable students feel about sex, the easier it is for them to communicate about it with their peers. The idea of Sex Week was shocking at first, but after attending the event I realize how important the concept of it is to our school.