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Harvard Univesity to Hold Anal Sex Workshop

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Kirin Gupta

Believe it or not, this year, Harvard’s annual Sex Week included a workshop called “ What What in the Butt: Anal Sex 101,” aimed at teaching “how to do [anal sex] well.”  [1] The event received national media attention from outlets that criticized and questioned the academic value and integrity of the workshop. [2] But not everyone is pleased about butt sex being taught on campus. Outraged critics believe these workshops don’t belong at the world’s finest university. At least one Harvard student is calling them “downright vulgar” on The College Fix, and many of the article’s reader comments are in agreement.   This year’s session marks the fourth consecutive run of Sex Week at the school, which is coordinated annually by Sexual Health Education & Advocacy throughout Harvard College, or SHEATH, a student-run group that describes itself as being “dedicated to empowering the Harvard community to explore their experiences with love and sex by providing comprehensive programming addressing a wide range of issues relating to sex, relationships, dating, sexual health, and sexuality.”  The opposition to Harvard University’s anal sex workshop has been perceived as nothing more than conservative homophobia and prejudice, according to the event organizer. “The conservative backlash speaks to the latent homophobia that society thinks so often it has gotten over, and has not,” Kirin Gupta, one of the event organizers, told MTV. “It speaks to these residual prejudices that people [have] when faced with a reality they’re not willing to acknowledge or respect.”  “I would say that the idea America has a crumbling morality, that we have some kind of morality that’s standing, is built on repressive patriarchal conceptions of sex and sexuality,” Gupta said. “So if that’s crumbling, then let it crumble.” [3] Gupta is co-president of Sexual Health Education & Advocacy Throughout Harvard (SHEATH) which is the student group that organizes Harvard’s Sex Week. Ironically enough, the anal sex workshop is set to be held on November 4 2014, which is Election Day.  Talks about a giant “screwjob.”  The workshop will cover everything inquiring minds could possibly want to know about back door action.  The workshop is going to be headlined by a “sexologist” from Good Vibrations, a sex toy and product retailer. According to the website, topics that will be covered during the class include anal anatomy and the potential for pleasure for all genders; how to talk about it with a partner; basic preparation and hygiene; lubes, anal toys, and safer sex; anal penetration for beginners, and much more!  [5] When interviewed by the medias, Gupta said that the workshop is simply about the “general mechanics” of anal sex and “does address performing this act on anyone of any gender.”  [6] Gupta also said the attention the workshop has garnered is in part because Harvard is an Ivy League school.  “[A] lot of times people forget that an Ivy League is also a college campus,” she told MTV.  [7] “There are young people here and they need sex education just as much as any other campus needs it. A lot of people think of Harvard as [having] old-school, ivory tower, Northeastern Protestant puritan morality–this abstinent of sexually repressed attitude towards intimacy.”  [8] Finally, the student activist noted that her anal sex workshop and Sex Week were all part of a “moral enterprise.”  [9] Speaking about the workshop, Carol Queen, a staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, told The Huffington Post:

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Carol Queen

We have worked with Harvard’s Sex Week in the past, and when they reached out to us this year, we were very happy to arrange to send one of our most experienced GV-SHOW educators to do this presentation. GV-SHOW speakers go offsite and bring the Good Vibrations perspective—correct information and a sex-positive, inclusive focus—to colleges, NGOs, and community groups. We were especially glad that the Harvard students who arranged this year’s Sex Week programming wanted to cover anal play, because this is a sexual topic that many people are curious about and interested in, but which must be engaged in with a level of knowledge that is part of very few sex ed classes. Doing it wrong, as so many people do, can lead to big problems: from pain and discomfort all the way to sexually transmitted infections. Anal play isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is far more common than many people realize, and the team producing Sex Week is on the same page as we are: We want people to know enough about anal play to decide whether to try it, and if they do try it, we want them to have information to stay safe and healthy. [10]

But not everyone was thrilled about the sex-positive event. According to The College Fix, some students are questioning the usefulness and appropriateness of Sex Week. “I can’t imagine that there are not more worthwhile educational programs and initiatives to which Harvard’s resources should be devoted,” Molly Wharton, a Harvard student, told The College Fix.  [11]  In addition to the anal sex workshop, other planned activities, according to the agenda, include “Brown Girlz Do it Well: a Queer Diaspora Remix,” a workshop that will “situate our personal narratives within broader systems of racism, casteism, classism, islamophobia, and imperialism.” Sex Ed 101 promises to teach students the ins and outs of safer sex, including the proper use of dental dams. “Losing Your (Concept of) Virginity” will question whether virginity matters. And “Fifty Shades of False: Kink, Fantasy, and Fetish” is expected to delve into how the bestselling book apparently got BDSM all wrong.  The “#SellingSexy – How our social culture is shaping the future of entertainment” workshop slated for Tuesday does not offer a detailed description online. However Jincey Lumpkin, who describes herself as someone who “entices all women to explore their female fantasies” and is also a lesbian porn producer, Tweeted that she is set to give a talk at Harvard on Tuesday.  [12] The week long workshop will provide students with condoms and other materials provided by ‘the world’s largest pleasure product company’ California Exotic Novelties.  Sex Week began Nov., 2 and included other events focused on virginity,sexual social justice issues, racism, fetishes, and online dating apps. The week ends Nov., 8 2014.

[4] James Nichols, Harvard University Offers ‘What What In The Butt: Anal Sex 101’, The Huffington Post, 11/05/2014 9:09 am EST
[6] Alexandra Klausner, Seminars on anal sex now offered at Harvard University, Daily Mail, 00:14 GMT, 6 November 2014
[8] Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Harvard Sex Week organizer calls conservatives ‘homophobic’ for opposition to anal sex workshop, Campus Reform, Nov 06, 2014 at 11:58 AM EDT
[10] James Nichols, Harvard University Offers ‘What What In The Butt: Anal Sex 101’, The Huffington Post, 11/05/2014 9:09 am EST
[11] Jennifer Kabbany, Harvard University workshop to teach students how to have anal sex, The College Fixx, November 3, 2014;   ​Clover Hope, Harvard Is Hosting an Anal Sex Workshop, Jezebel,  Tuesday 11/04/2014 – 4:10pm
[12] Jennifer Kabbany, Harvard University workshop to teach students how to have anal sex, The College Fixx, November 3, 2014


About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

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