Feminist Activists at ISU created an open dialogue Thursday in order to discuss topics about human sexuality at “Sex After Dark.”
Heather Westemeyer, co-coordinator of the group and senior in women’s studies, said there are many new students at the beginning of the school year, and this is a good opportunity to reach out to them and discuss sexuality; a topic not often talked about.
Representatives from a variety of organizations participated in the event including Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support (ACCESS); Thielen Student Health Center; Relationships on Campus; Cuffs and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Ally Alliance.
Signs that read “Sex After Dark: R-rated Content Ahead” piqued the interest of passersby, along with condom balloons tied on signs Caitlyn Marino, member of Feminist Activists at ISU and sophomore in women’s studies, blew up for the event.
“They’re so slippery!” Marino said.
During the first hour people were able to go to each table, get information and talk with representatives from different groups.
The student organization Relationships on Campus had a red bicycle with free condoms in the basket, a part of the Red Bicycle Campaign.
“We advocate safe sex, though we want to make it clear that we’re not just about sex,” said Angelia Schmidt, freshman in pre-journalism and mass communication and member of Relationships on Campus. “Every Wednesday we take the bike around campus so students can ask questions [about sex].”
Representatives from the Thielen Student Health Center handed out brochures and free condoms.
Sara Letsch, senior in biology and her husband, Liam, founders of Cuffs, the “educational group for people who want to learn more about kink, fetish, BDSM, and other expressions of safe, consensual, and non-exploitative human sexuality,” explained to people what their organization was about.
“It’s not for everybody,” Liam said. “But we give people the tools and training they need to act out their fantasies.”
A key element to the group is making sure participants know how to use the tools and toys so they do not hurt anyone.
“It’s not always about causing pain,” Liam said.
After the first hour a panel concerning human sexuality was set up, with Dr. Tom Ross, obstetrician and gynecologist from Planned Parenthood, Penny Rice, Margaret Sloss Women’s Center coordinator and Marino.
Students submitted anonymous questions to Feminist Activists at ISU to be answered by the panel.
“Anything and everything is open for discussion!” Westemeyer said to the crowd that had gathered at 8:00 p.m.
One of the first questions asked was, “How old will you be by the time you can’t have sex anymore?”
“Hopefully never,” Ross said. “Sex should be a lifelong experience.”
The crowd laughed after a man in the back yelled, “Viva Viagra!”
Along with the anonymous questions submitted, four students in the crowd raised their hands to ask questions. The questions ranged from biological to suggestive in nature.
After a racier question was asked, Ross said, “In medical school I never thought I’d be a short, fat, bald Dr. Ruth.”
Some of the other topics discussed during the panel session were sexually transmitted infections, oral sex, yeast infections and trauma surrounding both male and female genitalia.
A crucial piece of advice Ross emphasized was that everyone should “get a look at where you go before you dive in.”