The big ‘O’: Learning to enjoy sex

[Columns, letters or cartoons published are the work of the attributed author and do not necessarily represent the official views or opinions of “The Highland Echo.”]

OK. We need to spend a hot minute talking about Sex Week.

As I’m writing this, UTK is wrapping up its first ever Sex Week. This is the first year (of hopefully many) that UTK is participating in Sex Week, and it has been filled with all sorts of events, including free HIV testing, seminars about all aspects of sexuality and a drag show.

SEAT (Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee) is the student organization at UTK that organized and presented Sex Week.

I have so much admiration and excitement for SEAT and absolutely everything that they have been doing to make these events successful. Their goal was a week centered on open-mindedness, inclusivity, sex-positivity and growth and development.

That, to me, sounds fantastic.

That sounds like a weeklong celebration of sex education, sexual expression and sexual empowerment. It sounds like something that every college and university should be doing, because it’s something that every student, professor and everyone else in the world needs to experience.

Not everyone agrees with me, however. Even though SEAT initially had an overwhelming amount of support from the university, administrators later decided to pull over $11,000 of funding—leaving Sex Week with only $6,700.

Refusing to take this lying down, students at UTK protested the attempted removal of Sex Week and promoted, campaigned and solicited donations until they gained enough financial and volunteer support to go ahead with all the original Sex Week plans.

And thank God for that.

It is so vital to educate people about all aspects of sex, and I think it’s especially so for college-aged students. We live in a society in which we are confronted and surrounded by sex constantly, and yet society simultaneously condemns the expression of sexuality.

That is so backwards and unhealthy, and it is the source of anxiety and discomfort for so many people.

The fact that SEAT makes it a point to educate people about not only physically safe sex (like condom use, for example) but also healthy views on and expressions of sexuality is admirable.

With events like “How Many Licks Does It Take”—a seminar on oral sex, which included tips on how to perform good oral sex on both men and women (and much more)—SEAT is showing students and faculty alike that sex is something to be discussed and celebrated openly.

And that is exactly how the topic of sex should be handled.

I’m also very proud and excited about our very own Sex Week here at MC. This is our opportunity to open up an honest discussion about sex for everyone—all sexualities, all likes and dislikes, and all levels of sexual education.

This is our chance to learn and share and express ourselves, and we should do so with as much excitement and openness as UTK has.

Because, as I’ve previously said, it is the right of every person to seek pleasure.

So, please, as you’re attending sex trivia night or listening to a slam poem about noisy sex, try to keep an open mind. This is an important thing. This is an exciting thing.

Enjoy yourself, stay safe and celebrate sex.

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