It’s Thanksgiving and the family is gathered around the table waiting for the roast turkey to be carved. Can you smell the sweet potatoes and cranberries? Father is proud of his daughter’s accomplishments at Harvard University and asks, “What did you learn last term?” She responds, “Ummm, let me see. Well, I went to this workshop on masturbation, and then explored sadomasochism and sex letter writing…” A loud thump is heard as the father collapses. 911 is dialed. No fiction. His daughter attended Harvard Sex Week.
Sex is healthy and sexuality is responsible for populating the earth. Transmitted genes allow diversity and different approaches to living styles. They also may draw the lines of sickness and health. In a way, it’s academic. From November 8 through November 15, the prestigious Harvard University is sponsoring what is called the Harvard Sex Week as a means of educating and helping young students cope with sexual relationships and fantasies in a post-feminist society. There’s more to sex than being fruitful. As health or lifestyle, is this something that Harvard should be teaching to the ivy league?
Is sex good or bad? Without sex, this would be a lonely planet. Since feminism, sexual flavors seem to have evolved and there has been a rekindling of passion with new parameters. Harvard University presents the Harvard Sex Week as a series of workshops that explore and inquire what safe, sane, and consensual sexuality mean in contemporary society.
Liberal arts and sciences are the core of colleges around the country and there are violent clashes among those that extol traditional family values and those that want more open freedom and expression. Sex in the United States is one of those topics and more women and men are seeking open forums for learning and expression. Considered an old, established, honored bastion of education and research, Harvard University is having their third annual sex week to open up doors where many remain closed. Sex Week is coordinated by Sexual Health Education & Advocacy throughout Harvard College (SHEATH), a recognized student-run organization at Harvard.
There are differences in quality among universities. For the past 3 years, Harvard University has participated in Annual Sex Week activities. Beyond the textbooks, Harvard students have a sanctioned, experiential sex week. This year, it takes place from November 8 to November 14.
As reported in Huffington Post Live, both female and male students are seeking to open many avenues where intimacy and sexual expression come in many flavors.
Among those flavors, many have moved up to the ladder of the United States Supreme Court as a constitutional right. Amidst all that there continues debate. Sexuality may not be central to intimacy and family values. Media of all kinds seems to be very suggestive, even when little skin is exposed. Harvard Sex Week is the third annual event that seems sensational but is a collection of workshops that pursue popular flavors in an open and academic way.
In 2012, 50 Shades of Grey, a novel involving BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism) became an international best seller that topped many literary records. It spawned a series of movies. The novels were considered an exciting invitation to female readers, as written by a female author. In the post-feminist era, beyond the 1970’s, more female authors wrote erotica novels with new expressionism and perspectives.
Among the many topics discussed at the 2015 Harvard Sex Week is feminist porn. More women are using words to draw images and excite fantasies. Playboy, with its largely female editorial staff, has decided to no longer expose fully nude women in their publication. They intend to use suggestive lingerie and other fashion statements to frame their women.
Fashion, through the centuries, has been based on fetishes and uniforms. Many designers grow bolder each year with more erotic and powerful fashion statements that may be less suited for USA tastes than Europe. Europeans generally are more open and respectful about sex. Italy has a Prostitute Party in government.
Early psychoanalysts and physicians found that women often felt repressed and realized that hysteria was associated with freedom of sexual expression. When Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, visited USA in the early 1900’s, most of his sexual theories made him extremely popular. Harvard University students are now trying to discuss contemporary post-feminist issues of sex and sexual expression of all the forbidden topics up to now.
On Monday there was a workshop on masturbation as seen and felt from a woman’s point of view. This topic has only come to the forefront after sexologist Shere Hite discussed the genuine female orgasm instead of the faked orgasm. The topic became the plot of one of the classic Jerry Seinfeld TV series.
For the most part, Harvard Sex Week has been organized by women. Their belief is that many students entering college have virtually no formal education about sexuality and its activities. Harvard plans to have 13,000 condoms and 1,200 lubricants to distribute to students and attendees of the show, focusing on the importance of safe and consensual sex.
I think sex education must have its borderlines. Harvard plans to offer a workshop on consensual Torture Sex or BDSM called “Work Hard, Fuck Hard: The Guide To BDSM In The College Dorm Room.” The workshop is part of the annual Harvard University “Sex Week” and teaches students how to navigate sex involving bondage and sadomasochism in the dorms. This is quite a shocker but students feel it necessary as many are exposed to literature and movies that cope with BDSM. The Internet and Social Media are filled with excellent BDSM educational websites, such as A Submissive Initiative that covers many topics that many young college students read. The borderlines are very grey and safety, consent, and sanity are emphasized. There are also approached to love, intimacy, and passion where the roles of men and women may be changing.
If I were a parent that is paying $50,000/year tuition to send my child to college for the best education possible, I’d be very upset when reading about this Harvard Sex Week. Yet, sex and sexuality have been critical issues since the old Biblical days. The church has helped push some of it under the rug. At a time of many unintentional pregnancies, issues of consensual sex, and domestic sexual abuse, perhaps colleges are a good place to exhibit and discuss sexuality as a responsible part of human living. At an elite educational institution, Harvard Sex Week may be a service that opens questions.
Adults living over 60 are also grappling at finding flavorful sexual fulfillment after hormones and parts seem to be changing. Many websites from AARP, Senior Planet and others are opening new avenues to post-retirement sexual passions. Harvard sex week may be targeted at college age students but, at this time, safe, satisfying responsible sex activities (with or without flavoring) require new approaches. Relationships are becoming more academic and love more meaningful.
Anecdotally, the traditional vows of marriage are poked satirically. Secrets are challenged as women and men share an equal footing in society. Marriage has gone far beyond pre-nuptial agreements to deep personal explorations. In senses, beyond children, sexuality needs to be challenged. It is unique that Harvard University recognizes that a future generation may benefit from experiencing the Harvard Sex Week. Sexuality is more than lifestyle choices. They are also healthy decisions.
College is more than a place where young minds are taught how to inquire about all those things within our world and beyond it. Harvard Sex Week is an exploration beyond populating our planet. It opens safe discourse of the realms and ideas beyond mere intercourse as experienced by young women and men.