This week at the University of Pennsylvania, students are getting some advice on an often sensitive and uncomfortable topic: Sex.
Events for the first “Sex Week at Penn” will be held on campus, but not funded with tuition dollars. The expenses are being covered by student groups and organizations.
Penn junior Arielle Pardes, a co-chair and founder of “Sex Week at Penn,” said it’s time for students to ask questions and talk openly about what they’re experiencing.
“Penn Sex Week is designed to be a collection of lectures, discussions, workshops and performances that are all sort of situated around this theme of sex and sexuality,” Padres said.
Changing the conversation
Pardes wants to change the discourse of sex on a college campus, moving beyond talk of which students hooked up at which party over the weekend.
She said discussion topics will include pornography and an interfaith panel on religion’s role in sexuality.
There will also be “an erotica writing workshop, we have a discussion about asexuality for people for whom sex is not a relevant part of their lives, we have several workshops on kink and sex toys,” she said.
Jake Tolan, a Penn senior and a co-chair of “Sex Week at Penn,” said it makes sense to let students talk about what’s on their minds.
“At this particular age a lot of people are just recognizing their own sexual identities,” he said. “A lot of people come to college as virgins and then they lose their virginity sometime in those four to five years, so that’s like an important aspect by itself. So we’re hitting them when they’re just starting to figure this out.”
Similar sex weeks at other schools have been met with controversy, including calls to make sure tuition dollars don’t support the events.
Pardes, who’s majoring in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies, said she’s received primarily positive feedback so far.