Sex Week to return in November

The Sexual Health Awareness group is planning Sex Week, despite last year’s absence


Grace Mamon

Washington and Lee’s annual Sex Week, which was on hiatus last year, will return this year thanks to increased interest and support. Sexual Health Awareness Group (SHAG) has partnered with General’s Unity (GU) to bring Sex Week back to campus.

Sex Week is a weeklong series of events that promotes increased education about sexual health and sex positivity scheduled for November 4 through 8. 

“[Sex Week] works to destigmatize a lot of the concepts that surround sex in American culture,” said SHAG president Katie Evans, ‘22.

Last year, SHAG’s executive board was not big enough to support organizing a fully-fledged Sex Week. By the end of the year, Evans was the only member and she was tasked with generating enough interest for Sex Week to be possible again. 

“I wasn’t ready for it,” Evans said, “but I’m really glad I have this opportunity.” 

She has already begun planning some potential events for the week, including the national sex education program ‘I Love Female Orgasm,’ a sexual health trivia night and an LGBTQ+-themed movie night. 

Last year, in lieu of Sex Week, Amnesty International and GU jumped in to make sure that the same sentiments were still being shared in its absence. They jointly incorporated some of Sex Week’s aspects into the university’s third annnual student-organized Woman’s Week, which included events centered around empowering women and providing information about women’s sexual health. 

GU is remaining involved this year with the intention to make all events inclusive of LGBTQ+ students. 

“The point of Sex Week is to have events that are both fun and informative and that any student can feel comfortable attending,” said Chase Isbell, ‘21, the vice president of GU. “Those events encourage having a healthy and safe sex culture on this campus.”

Evans said she’s most excited about the increase in inclusive events so that every student on campus will feel welcome, due to the partnership with GU. 

In the past, Sex Week advertising has raised eyebrows: a poster of nude students that hangs in the Commons lobby, condoms and lubricants displayed during tabling. Despite a few negative responses, those involved say they’re committed to programming’s necessity. 

“It’s really important for students to make informed decisions about whether they participate in sexual activities or not, and how they do that,” Isbell said. “At the end of the day, if people are upset with that, I still think it’s really important for us to promote a healthy sex culture on campus.”

Evans agreed, adding that the core ideals of Sex Week are fairly universally valued and only controversial because of the subject’s taboo. 

“This is about sex positivity, education, enthusiastic consent, healthy relationships, and respecting boundaries,” Evans said. “I think that [for] people who don’t support Sex Week support those things, the stigma just gets in the way.”

A calendar of specific events will be released closer to the date. 

Photo courtesy of Melina Bell