orgasm seminar

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and art is subjective and all that – but some of the pieces in a new art exhibit at the University of Connecticut’s Contemporary Art Gallery are downright creepy and disturbing.

There’s the sleepwalking mannequin dude in his tighty-whiteys. There’s this guy combing a young boy’s hair with some serious pedophile undertones going on. There’s an infant lying facedown and almost dangling off a bus seat. There’s some guy hunched over with a chair strapped to his back. And of course, there’s the topless chick, there’s always gotta be at least one.

“A moment of unwanted recognition that makes sense even though it shouldn’t,” states the description of the exhibit online. Yeah, or maybe it doesn’t make sense.

UConn’s Daily Campus student newspaper reports the exhibit, called “Uncanny,” is a joint collaboration between an art professor/co-curator of the gallery and students. “Off kilter,” “odd” and “unmistakably different-looking art” are some of the ways the newspaper described the collection.

Well, considering last spring a UConn student accused the university’s new Husky dog mascot of wanting to rape her, and just last week the school hosted a seminar to teach students how to reach orgasm, it sounds like UConn marches to its own drum.

Let’s be clear, UConn has hosted female how-to orgasm seminars for seven consecutive years – way before the campus Sex Week trend took hold nationally.

In case you missed it, at the orgasm workshop held at the university in 2007, the sexperts advised students that the best vibrator ever is the Nimbus 2000. Yes, as in Harry Potter’s broomstick. Granted, it’s the muggle-toy version.

Click here to view the Facebook photos of the art exhibit, which debuted this week at the campus-based art gallery, part of the UConn School of Fine Arts.

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IMAGES: Facebook screenshots

On the evening of April 10, several students sat tucked away in an Episcopal church just north of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Their heads were bowed; their thoughts – ethereal.

The students were taking part in a weeklong “UNC 24/7 Prayer” at the university, an annual observance designed to lift up lives, families, careers – and the campus community – to the Lord.

About 250 students signed up for one-hour prayer slots that launched April 4 at 9:30 p.m. and ran day and night through April 11.

Although there was no official “theme” for the week, one Bible verse repeated in both email invitations and on handouts for students inside the church read:  “I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up. I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.” (NIV – Jeremiah 24:6-7).

In stark contrast to the thoughts and prayers of students who took part in the observance on the evening of April 10, another campus event unfolded nearby that was entirely temporal in nature.

The university’s Student Union played host to a workshop called “Orgasm? Yes, Please!” The event was advertised to students with the tagline: “Learn how to have AMAZING sex and enter to win a sex toy!” A variety of condoms, lubricants and sex toys were doled out during the workshop thanks to the generosity of two adult sex shops near the campus: Adam & Eve and Cherry Pie, organizers stated.

At least one student who took part in the prayer week event the evening of April 10 asked God to touch the hearts and minds of the students who were nearby learning about how to pleasure themselves and put on condoms properly.

That both activities took place at the same time was coincidental, but it does illustrate the vast chasm between the priorities of students at UNC Chapel Hill, something that is likely mirrored at universities across the nation.

The hundreds of students who participated in UNC 24/7 Prayer were not asked specifically to pray for their campus community, but without a doubt – that was among the topics broached in the silence of their hearts and minds, said one of the observance’s organizers, Nathan Tilley.

“We want it to be a way that God works in and through students to make His Kingdom to become present here on campus,” Tilley told The College Fix. “Who knows what effects might come from a week of intensified prayer?”

Tilley added that praying on and for the campus makes sense.

“This is our ‘city’, so to speak,” he said. “We live on or near campus, we work or study here, and we have the majority of our social and extracurricular life in or around the university community.”

The recent observance marked the seventh consecutive year the weeklong student prayer effort has occurred at UNC Chapel Hill. Members of about 15 campus ministries took part, including Cornerstone, InterVarsity, Every Nation, Reformed University Fellowship and others.

Each student signed up for at least one one-hour time slot, although many took on more than one slot.

The Episcopal church just north of campus, Chapel of the Cross, opened its doors to host the students as they gathered – sometimes individually and other times in groups.

Students were welcome to make themselves at home in the chapel, where books on Christianity, several translations of the Bible, and markers and paper were laid out at the ready. Also on hand were guides for students with various suggested Bible verses and instructions to “take time to quiet your mind and heart, and ask the Lord to help you to focus as you spend this hour in prayer.”

“Ask Him to meet you here, to guide you in prayer, and for your heart to be open and ears to hear what He would say to you during this time.”

Fix contributor Jessica Adams is a student at UNC – Chapel Hill.

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IMAGE: INN University Ministries/Flickr


In the wake of news that Allegheny College hosted a sex seminar inside its Ford Memorial Chapel, details on those who led the discussion have emerged. Robert Stacy McCain reports that one of the “experts” that led the event didn’t exactly go to med school or anything.

Writing about co-host Katie Weinberg, he notes:

“So, two years ago, Kate Weinberg was performing in an improv troupe, last year she was teaching theater to high school kids in Vermont, and this year, she’s teaching a female orgasm seminar to college students in Pennsylvania!

Busy and versatile performer, this young Ms. Weinberg and, in addition to her “young adult novel” (which became “acclaimed” rather recently it seems), she’s adept at writing the quirky/clever type of autobiographical profile of herself.

You’re probably asking yourself, “With her busy career as an actress — and also the novel-writing, hiking in Spain and so forth — how did Kate ever find time to train as a teacher of the Our Whole Lives comprehensive sex education program”?

Does the phrase “three-day weekend” ring a bell?

Yep: That’s how long it takes to undergo the training sessions for “Our Whole Lives,” a program of the United Church of Christ.

This is the kind of top-notch expertise student fees at Alleghany College were paying for, and you’ll probably not be surprised that the organization that brings the highly-qualified Kate Weinberg to campus has also provided similar services for dozens of colleges and universities, from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (Tifton, Ga.) to Worcester State University in Massachusetts.”

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MEADVILLE – Allegheny College’s Ford Memorial Chapel was transformed into a boudoir of sorts Wednesday night, as professional sex educators advised students in attendance how best to touch themselves and their partners to reach orgasm in what was billed as an educational seminar.

The chapel, built and dedicated in 1902, is where Catholic mass and non-denominational services are conducted every week at the private liberal arts college in northwestern Pennsylvania. But all that took a back pew to Wednesday’s festivities, dubbed “I Heart the Female Orgasm” and hosted by a variety of student groups on campus.

The two sex educators, Marshall Miller and Kate Weinberg, talked students through a variety of masturbation techniques during the event.

“Sometimes it can be difficult finding your G spot by yourself, because it involves inserting a finger or fingers inside the vagina into the front wall of the body, and that kind of results in an awkward, kind of clawlike hand position,” Weinberg said, demonstrating with a pawing motion as the audience giggled. “Obviously, there are better ways you can position your body. Or if you’ve got a partner, you can get your partner to insert their finger or fingers inside your vagina in the front wall of your body in a sort of a J curve.”

Miller also weighed in, noting “some (women) find that if they change the angle or position, they can find some way of rubbing against their partner’s body, against the base of his penis or pubic bone, and with rubbing to have enough stimulation to orgasm in intercourse.”

In statements to The College Fix, the college’s chaplain defended the event’s location, calling its theme “responsible,” and a campus spokesperson said it offered a “great message.”

While the chapel is hosting services in conjunction with Lent, on Wednesday the building turned into a sexual marketplace of sorts, as student groups sold buttons, t-shirts and hats bearing the program’s name inside the chapel itself after the event concluded. They also sold the book written by program coordinators Marshall Miller and Dorian Solot titled “I Heart Female Orgasm: An Extraordinary Orgasm Guide.”

Meanwhile, the sex educators had also told students masturbation is not a sin.

“Some people figure out masturbation and orgasm as teenagers, some people figure it out later than that,” said Weinberg, describing her lifelong fascination with pleasuring herself. “And some people figure it out earlier than that. Like preschool age. I was part of that last category.”

Weinberg also weighed in on a portion of the Book of Genesis in regard to masturbation.

“So this primary anti-masturbation story is about this guy, Onan. … And Onan refused to sleep with his brother’s wife, so he spilled his seed on the ground — that’s how it’s defined — and for that, God struck him dead,” she said.

But Weinberg said she believes that because Biblical scholars debate the exact meanings of many portions of the Bible, it permits a wide variety of sexual activity.

“A lot of Bible scholars say that’s the primary anti-masturbation story, but I don’t really see it,” she continued. “Onan wasn’t struck dead for masturbating. He was struck down for not sleeping with his brother’s wife. So the masturbation wasn’t the sin. So obviously, you know, the Bible is something that is interpreted in a lot of different ways.”

During the event, Weinberg and Miller played the famous fake orgasm scene from “When Harry Met Sally” on a projected screen, and also displayed different anatomical diagrams depicting women’s genitals.

“If you’ve got a vagina, your genitals are tucked pretty neatly inside your body. It’s a pretty handy place to keep one’s genitals, really. But because of this, many heterosexual women have never seen another woman’s vagina or vulva,” Weinberg said. “If you’ve got cool dangly parts down there, if you’re voluptuous, if one side’s longer than the other, if your va-jay-jay’s got some character, some personality, it’s not a sign that you’re abnormal and deformed. It’s a sign that you’re a healthy adult woman.”

Weinberg later held up two books titled I’ll Show You Mine and Petals, encouraging students to flip through them after the program: “We’ve got two amazing books up here with pages and pages of art photographs of vaginas and vulvas.”

The event was hosted by Allegheny’s student government and Allegheny College’s Reproductive Health Coalition, along with Young Feminists and Queers and Allies. It was funded by student activities fees.

Student reaction to the seminar was mixed.

One Christian student, Shannon McAvinchey, 20, said the school’s student government supported Christian groups on campus and were not trying to intentionally offend Christian students by hosting the event in the chapel. At the same time, however, she said some students’ attitudes towards Christians troubled her.

“I guess what frustrates me most is when you say you’re a Christian, your views are automatically not so much disrespected as dismissed,” McAvinchey said.

Other students, however, were excited on their way to the chapel, chatting and laughing happily.

“I have needs!” one girl said.

“I have condoms! Jesus!” her friend shrieked.

Officials at the college took a blasé attitude toward the event.

Chaplain Jane Ellen Nickel, who conducts non-denominational Christian services each Sunday and manages the office of Spiritual and Religious Life, said in an email to The College Fix that she saw nothing wrong with the event, and hoped students would feel comfortable attending a religious service there later.

“I don’t have a problem with it being held in the chapel. The program advocates responsible, respectful decision-making regarding sexual behavior, and includes the option waiting for marriage, a message that resonates with many students of faith. While the name may have some shock value, the event itself is consistent with our policy of opening the building to campus groups. We would love it if students at such an event experience the chapel as a welcoming space, and then feel encouraged to attend a religious service or program.”

Another campus administrator told The College Fix he had no problem with the event’s location.

“They have a great message about caring relationships,” said Dean of Students Joe DiChristina in an e-mail. “I appreciated their approach.”

Fix contributor Katie McHugh is a student at Allegheny College.

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IMAGE: Allegheny College Ford Memorial Chapel