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Friday, December 19, 2014

Way to go for the Big 'O'

Female orgasms celebrated at yearly event

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By Di Linh Hoang / New Mexico Daily Lobo

Sex educator Marshall Miller holds up a vibrating Harry Potter-themed children’s toy during the “I <3 Female Orgasm” event held at the SUB on Monday night. The toy was eventually discontinued due to people using it to orgasm.

culture@dailylobo.com
@Jyllian_R

What do tongues, communication and a toy broomstick from the Harry Potter franchise have in common?

Orgasms.

Or at least they do according to sex educators Maggie Keenan-Bolger and Marshall Miller.

The two spoke to a room of more than 750 students last night during their nationally acclaimed presentation, “I <3 Female Orgasm.”

In a two-hour span Keenan-Bolger and Miller covered everything from g-spots to female ejaculation to, yes, people using the toy version of the Nimbus 2000 to orgasm.

For Keenan-Bolger and Miller, talking openly about sex and sexuality is extremely important.

Miller said sex education without talking about orgasms and a person’s body is like teaching people to drive without ever putting them behind the wheel of a car.

“You wouldn’t learn anything about how the car actually works, like where the gas pedal is, how to turn on the headlights, how to back out of the driveway,” he said.

Sex and pleasure are rarely spoken about in open and positive ways, which often makes people feel like there’s something wrong with how they experience sexuality, Keenan-Bolger said.

“Being able to have a forum where people are surrounded by other people who are learning about it and getting information can be really validating,” she said.

The topic is avoided because of the many cultural, political and social issues that breed silence instead of dialogue, Keenan-Bolger said.

“With women in particular, we are in a patriarchal society and so the idea of women having control of their own bodies can be scary for people,” she said. “Sexuality is very much in tune with that sort of thing.”

Summer Little, the director of the Women’s Resource Center, was instrumental in bringing Keenan-Bolger and Miller to UNM.

She said events like this are good for the campus because they promote healthy sexuality, healthy relationships, consent and violence prevention.

“Marshall and Maggie do a great job of bringing humor to something that people don’t generally talk about a lot, and that’s female sexuality,” Little said.

While she’s happy to see “I <3 Female Orgasm” on campus, she wishes conversations about sex and pleasure were happening in more places.

“I would love to see sex education — good, comprehensive, medically accurate sex education — happen at all levels,” she said. “Unfortunately, we have this history of abstinence-only education and a lot of our young adults have really interesting ideas about their body parts and what they do and don’t do. So I think bringing it to a college level is really important.”

Little said she hopes to bring Keenan-Bolger and Miller back to campus next year.

Until then, Keenan-Bolger said the best thing to do is practice.

“Have fun, experiment, try new things; you never know what you’re going to find,” she said.