Editorials

Editorial: Embrace Sex Week

By
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The new and improved Sex Week is slated for mid-March — you should get involved.

The Sexual Health Education Empowerment Council and its co-chairs — Anna Hendrickson ’16, Alexandra Sepolen ’16 and Lytisha Wyatt ’15 — have been working hard to plan and promote 2015’s Sex Week.

SHEEC, created by Brown students six years ago, seeks to empower and promote healthy sexual experiences in all walks of life. The slogan for next year is “Will you DV8 from the norm for Sex Week 2015?” “DV8 isn’t linked to one type of difference. Our hope is that people feel their differences are celebrated,” Sepolen explained, with an ironclad emphasis on respect and acceptance.

Creating an honest platform for discussing sex is notoriously difficult. Yet for the past five years, Sex Week has succeeded in building many spaces in which students feel comfortable — such as Strong Sexy Words, a sex poetry and music event, and the Masculinity Panel, a talk in which male students answered questions about their masculinity.

There are still many surprises to be unveiled, but we are most excited about Late Night Confidential, a series of informal student-facilitated discussions with stringent requirements of respect and confidentiality. The topics of the talks will be chosen by students and will include asexuality, abstinence, race, LGTBQ issues, politics, sexual practices, role play and more.

Each talk will be, in Sepolen’s words, a “space for individuals who have had different experiences, from different communities to tell their stories.” Confidentiality and respect are essential. “It’s about them being supported and heard,” she said. It’s as important to understand as it is to be understood.

Opportunities to share experiences in this sphere remind us that sex ought not be a source of shame. And in sharing narratives of one’s sexual life, we see that “narratives change and develop over time,” Sepolen said. “Sex Week highlights that sex interests change, that it’s okay to have boundaries, okay to explore their boundaries when we talk about sexual narratives, and that we need active, enthusiastic and overt consent.” We agree. As long as there is clear consent between individuals and no violence — that is, physical or emotional harm — every sexual practice is normal. It’s great. Go right ahead. That’s a Sex Week that everybody deserves to have.

For Sex Week to address and represent our concerns, to coax us toward truly healthy sex, sexual practices and relationships, students must actively participate. “Sexuality is a conversation that crosses all different identities. It’s important to have the community see that sexual behavior is being done by a human person,” Sepolen said. As such, we recommend that all who are interested or have a story to share go onto bit.do/SHEEC and click on the “apply now” tab on the main page.

Whether as a facilitator or as a participant, we hope everyone will participate in Sex Week. Know that you will need to be respectful and attentive, but go in receptive, and it may surprise you. You might find some relief, acceptance and affirmation. You might even find something you like.

  • Brown SHEEC

    For individuals who may have a difficult time accessing the link provided in the editorial, please access our website at asksheec.wix.com/SHEEC or e-mail AskSHEEC@gmail.com to open our application for Sex Week 2015.

  • TheRationale

    Sex Week, when we pretend talking about our genitalia is an intellectual pursuit!

    • Brown SHEEC

      @TheRationale
      We hope that Sex Week isn’t reduced to solely talking about genitalia! We think that pursuing knowledge on safe sex, healthy relationships and consent are intellectual pursuits that are worth engaging in though! If you have any questions about our platform for this year outside of what has been stated in the article, feel free to e-mail us at AskSHEEC@gmail.com! We are more than open to questions and want to debunk myths about Sex Week this year!