Sex Week is about creating a comfortable atmosphere for students, staff and faculty to talk about sex and to raise awareness of sticky topics like sexual assault through workshops this week.
Angela Catena, gender violence program assistant, said Sex Week is a collaboration between local sexuality resource shop Self Serve and the UNM Women’s Resource Center.
“A lot of people think sex is such a taboo topic, and we are saying, ‘yeah it is, but most people have sex, so lets talk about this and get over that hump of it being very uncomfortable,’” Catena said.
Common sex trends discussed during Sex Week include group sex, bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism and anal play, she said.
All of the workshops offered are inclusive and do not come from a heteronormative perspective, Catena said. The Women’s Resource Center included the LGBTQ Resource Center and El Centro de la Raza to ensure that the workshops embraced all walks of life.
“It’s more of a community feel and (students) can feel safer talking about certain things if they know the person next to them might be going through the same thing or experiencing some of the same things,” Catena said.
Addie Gillespie, women’s health education program assistant, said she hopes couples have better sex after going to these workshops.
Gillespie is a collaborator for the O-Face Oral workshop, which kicks off tonight at 6 p.m. in SUB Fiesta, and said the event will cover male and female anatomy. Also, it will expand upon having better oral sex.
The language during the workshop will include perspectives and advice for both cunnilingus and blow jobs, she said.
“We try to create a really safe space and we opened our last workshop up by saying, ‘We are just here giving you information. Whoever you are having sex with, however many people, we just want you to be safe about it,’” Gillespie said.
Hunter Riley, store manager at Self Serve and UNM alumna, said the inspiration for Sex Week was to address the sexual assaults on campus and stress the importance of consent.
“I joke that normally we get ‘don’t-have-sex education,’ and even up through college we get that message,” Riley said. “So it was really important to me to bring sex education that was aesthetically accurate, consent-focused and sex-positive.”
More than anything, Riley said Sex Week is about helping people feel comfortable with talking about their wants, needs and desires. Too often, conversations about sex and sexuality are a struggle because people are taught to think of these subjects as taboo, she said.
“There’s a lot of moving parts and pieces and emotions to consider, so a lot of people when they are trying a new sexual experience get a little bit nervous and inside their heads, and then it maybe doesn’t quite go as planned,” Riley said. “So I think the fact that we are addressing these topics without shame is a really revolutionary act.”
Lauren Marvin is the assistant culture editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @LaurenMarvin.