Last Wednesday, March 7, the Resident Hall Association (RHA) put on the “Sex, Lies and Chocolate” program, which took place in Isaac’s Café. The program was an anonymous Q&A session on the topic of sex, which prompted students to ask any question whatsoever about anything remotely sexual.
For one night only, Isaac’s got about as racy as it possibly ever has.
The panel of “experts” for the evening consisted of four Maryville College faculty and staff members: Dr. Karen Beale, assistant professor of psychology; Bruce Holt, director of counseling; Aja Rodriguez, resident director for Copeland Hall; and Roger Myers, assistant professor and reference and instruction librarian.
As they acknowledged, they are probably some of the more liberal members of our MC faculty, and they wasted no time in creating a light-hearted atmosphere in which some great advice was offered.
Naturally, as with any event of this nature, plenty of naughty little chuckles greeted the first couple of mentions of “penis” and “vagina,” especially when the two were mentioned in the same breath or described as working in unison.
However, maturity prevailed, and a few laughs here in there did not detract from the deeper meaning behind such an event: the promotion of responsible sexual practice.
Some very real and useful answers were given to the wide range of anonymous questions. From unraveling G-spot myths, to a “condoms in action” demonstration, to Rodriguez’s “working right hand man,” Mr. Woody the wooden member, the event provided a tangible understanding of most things sexual.
The panel members were not at all bashful about providing personal anecdotes from their own sexual experiences, which provided relevant and accessible examples which those who were less experienced could really sink their teeth into and grasp. This seemed to put people at ease and brought a personal touch to proceedings.
A steady flow of questions made its way to the panel all night, and the audience remained engaged throughout.
After receiving a number of “how-to” questions in succession, Holt said: “With a lot of these questions, the answer is exploration. It is supposed to be fun.”
Rodriguez followed Holt’s advice shortly after with a well-put statement about not getting carried away while having “fun.” She posed a question of her own to the audience: “What is the most important part of your body during sex?”
“It’s not the penis or the vagina; it’s the head, the brain,” she said. “The brain and communication with your partner are the ultimate means of protection during sex. It is better to say, ‘no’ and ruin a moment than to ruin your genital area or your ability to have kids for life.”
After the event, Beale said: “We hope there are some myths that we have managed to clear up for people tonight and also that we wanted to be sure to stress some of the important things like contraceptive use, penis size, birth control and pre-ejaculate.”
Myers closed the night by explaining the simple reason the staff members volunteered to help out at the event. He said: “When I was asked to do it, I signed up straight away. If there is any information I can pass on to the students to help them be safe and healthy, I want to do that.”
Ultimately, this event would have to be considered a success because it raised awareness about responsibility in sex.
“I base success of an event on the quality of people coming as opposed to the quantity of people,” said Stephanie Moore, staff advisor of RHA. “Even if just five really good people came to this, it would be a success in my book.”
“Sex, Lies and Chocolate” provided another example of MC faculty and stuff going above, beyond and outside the classroom. For once, one of the most inappropriate of all dinner conversations, sex, was welcomed with open arms.