There wasn’t a lot left to the imagination at a recent sex-ed event at Lynchburg College earlier this week, when a guest lecture titled “How to be a Gentleman and Still Get Laid” included hands-on demonstrations on how to sexually pleasure the penis and vagina.
Self-described “Sex Geek” Reid Mihalko used a vulva puppet, the live-long-and-prosper V-shaped Spock hand gesture, and a rubbery-looking dildo to educate the packed audience of Virginia college students on the nuances of stimulating the male and female nether regions.
As for the dildo-assisted “Dick 101,” the students learned there are three main ways to touch a penis: gentle fingertip touching, moving the skin up and down over the penis, and grab the shaft firmly and move your hand in a circular motion, like stirring soup, according to Lauren Rentrop, a 20-year-old Virginia resident who attended the event and took notes on Mihalko’s comments and presentation on behalf of The College Fix.
“It was kind of interesting, I guess,” she said in an interview with The College Fix, but added the demos were not necessary. “It doesn’t hurt, everybody has awkward sex, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not that horrible of a thing for people to figure it out for themselves.”
The demos were part of a much larger lecture on “navigating consent, sexual freedom, partying, dating relationships, and what it means to be a man on campus,” according to a campus-wide email invite description of the event.
Mihalko, who bears an uncanny resemblance to actor-turned-born-again-Christian Stephen Baldwin, told the students he wanted to help them turn the “Walk of Shame” into the “Dance of Fame,” and used college-level humor and a disarming, vulnerable personality to tackle the sensitive subjects.
A big subject broached during the Monday night presentation was how to gain consent for sexual activity.
He told students to strive for open communication, have the courage to say what they want, and to ask permission and get a verbal “yes” before any sexual touching, which should help them get “mega laid.” He added if it’s a “maybe,” that’s a “no,” and that they should thank people for saying “no” and taking care of themselves because they “saved you a lot of grief.”
Find your “Hell, yeah!” which will also be their “Hell, yeah!” he told them. Let the activity be intoxicating, and “If you liked it, add it to your ‘Do It More’ list.” He also said that it’s OK not to like or not to be good at certain things, but don’t view porn as a way to educate on sex, that “watching porn to learn how to have sex is like watching ‘The Fast and the Furious’ to learn how to drive.” That great sex requires what porn doesn’t show.
He also taught students about a “Safer Sex Elevator Speech Script”:
When were you last tested and what is your status
Your sexual orientation and relationship status
Your sexual needs and protocols
Any risky encounters since last tested
What you like sexually
What you dislike sexually
End with, “How about you?”
To illustrate this concept to students, he gave them his elevator speech, which included telling the students his sexual orientation, the type of foreplay he likes and dislikes, and that he was tested three months ago.
“That part about ‘being a gentlemen’ was not doing anything uncomfortable, but it was just all about how to enhance the experience for you, and if somebody else isn’t completely comfortable with it, it’s not going to be all that great for you,” she said. “So it was more leaning toward that’s why you should do it, not toward that it was the right thing to do.”
She also questioned the appropriateness of the event.
“In high school they tell you don’t have sex, but if you are going to have sex get tested and use a condom, but this was like encouraging us to have sex and how to have sex and be good at sex,” she said. “I don’t think anybody, especially a university, should be encouraging people to have sex.”
Reached for comment Thursday, a university spokeswoman declined to talk on the event at this time. Mihalko did not respond to a request seeking comment.
On the college’s official Facebook page, a post on the event garnered mostly positive reviews.
“As the mother of a teen girl and tween boy, I attended the lecture to feel better prepared to talk to my children about the sexual culture on college campuses and to provide them with the knowledge to empower them,” one woman posted. “I found last night’s forum poignant and informative and essential. Sexual violence is an epidemic on college campuses. To see the ballroom packed with students eager to learn more about consent, caring and communication was inspiring to me. Thank you LC for your leadership on this important topic!”
“Excellent talk,” posted another. “As an alum, I haven’t come back to campus to hear any speakers since graduation. This engaging and dynamic speaker was worth the trip. I am glad to see that LC is willing to provide a forum for discussion of this topic, particularly to avoid ambiguity around consent to engage in sexual activities which I think we all can agree is very important.”
Not everyone was so thrilled, however, with one comment noting: “Am I the only parent… with a daughter in college … who finds this offensive?!”
During his trip to the private Virignia campus, Mihalko also gave guest lectures during the day on “Healing Sexual Shame,” “It’s Hard To Kill People When You’re Cuddling: How Low Touch Societies and Sexual Shame Increase Conflict, Violence, and War,” and a “Rape Culture/Privilege/Slut Shaming – Interactive Class.”
For those who missed Mihalko’s Virginia appearance, according to the calendar on his website he is set to give a “Negotiating Successful Threesomes” talk on Oct. 1 and a “Blowjobs and Beyond” workshop on Oct. 2 at a sex toy shop in New Mexico.
UPDATED: The day after this article published, Mihalko responded to The College Fix‘s questions via email. He stated in part:
Pleasurable, consensual touch, both sexual and non-sexual, are very important tools for creating healthy, intimate relationships. I use puppets and marital aids in my lectures to lessen cultural shame around our bodies and to educate men and women on how to better pleasure their partners.
With the rates of sexual assault on campus skyrocketing, college campuses need to take a pro-active role in giving all students access to accurate sexual health information and the communication and emotional skills to it takes to have thriving, healthy, loving relationships. Colleges and universities need to give their students the skills they will need when they decide to start having sex to have healthy, thriving, intimate relationships. Talking frankly about sex, sexual self-confidence, and intimacy is role modeling for students that it’s okay for them to speak frankly and honestly to each other about these topics, which will help lessen sexual assault on campus and in students’ lives even after college. If the colleges and universities don’t make frank discussions about sex available, they are inadvertently encouraging sexual assault on their campuses and in the future lives of their alumni, and it doesn’t have to be that way.
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. (@JenniferKabbany)
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