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Child-masturbation advocate speaks at Christian college, invited by student government


Advertised as ‘sexual racism’ discussion, but repeatedly promoted sex toys

A Christian college student government promoted an event that served as a comprehensive marketing campaign for a vibrator company, under the banner of preventing sexual assault.

Self-proclaimed “certified intimacy educator” Autumn Morris argued that the earlier people begin to masturbate, the better, according to Alpha News, which covered the Nov. 21 virtual event.

St. Olaf College in Minnesota has ignored College Fix queries for two weeks about the event, co-sponsored by its Political Awareness Committee (below), a branch of the student government, and student-run Sexual Assault Resource Network and Cultural Union for Black Expression.

SARN, which has its own campus office, hyped the “Sex, Social Justice, and Sexual Racism” event for several weeks. The three co-sponsors formally invited every class at St. Olaf to attend in a Nov. 20 email obtained by Minnesota-based Alpha News.

The event description does not mention that Morris (above) promotes masturbation for children or sex toys made by Unbound Babes. It suggests the discussion will only touch on racial issues in relationships.

St. Olaf’s mission statement, last updated in 2016, says it creates opportunities for “reasoned consideration of Christian faith” and is marked by “a Lutheran understanding that God’s love calls us to meet the world in generosity and service.”

MORE: The tale of a fake hate note at St. Olaf

Certified by consulting firm founded by former porn journalist

Morris often referred to her vibrator during the event, which was ostensibly about sexual racism.

She opened her talk by showing viewers her “microphone,” as she called the sex toy, and offered them a 10 percent discount on the retailer, according to Alpha News.

“Please feel free to pleasure yourself by getting you one on Unbound Babes, we love them, use code Autumn for 10% off,” she said. Morris mentioned the website and discount code again, saying she hoped viewers were “jazzed” to buy sex toys after the lecture.

Her Instagram account features Morris using a vibrator as a microphone, too. She’s not monogamous with vibrator purveyors, also serving as a “brand ambassador” for Sweet Vibes.

The influencer offers her own branded discount codes for sex products beyond Unbound Babes and Sweet Vibes through her intersectional sex education company, Speaking of Autumn.

She sells webinars on “How to Be a Sexpert” but does not disclose on her company website, which continues to link an outdated Instagram account, how she received her certification as an “intimacy educator.” Morris only mentions the certification on Instagram among her affiliated social media accounts.

Her LinkedIn page is not linked from her company website or social media profiles. It says Morris received a “Sex Educator Certification” a year ago from Everyone Deserves Sex Ed, an “LGBTQIA+ inclusive” consulting firm founded by a former porn journalist that also runs professional development courses and corporate trainings.

EDSE’s homepage says its sex-ed certification is a 25-hour training program, but the certification page says it’s now 35 hours to include “additional time for processing and Q&A and more space for live training.” The standard rate is $2,495 per person, with a $750 nonrefundable deposit due at signup, and participants can purchase three one-hour coaching sessions for another $350.

MORE: St. Olaf professor quits out of fear of white students

The Sexual Assault Resource Network is also on the Unbound Babes train.

A month before the St. Olaf event with Morris, SARN teamed up with the sex toy company and certified intimacy educator to offer a giveaway to students who follow its detailed instructions on promoting the event. The sexual assault counseling group announced one winner Oct. 29.

Another SARN Instagram post in mid-October offered students a 10 percent discount at Unbound Babes (below) on behalf of one of its advocates, Maren Assef, a campus representative for the company.

The email to students the day before the event portrayed it as a discussion on “sexual racism,” meaning people refusing to have sex with or date people of a different race. It explained the term is “commonly” applied to white people who have relationship “preferences” against certain ethnic groups.

The Olaf Messenger explained sexual racism to readers in a preview article on the event, which appears to have been rescheduled from Nov. 12 to Nov. 21. (SARN’s final mention of the event was Oct. 29. The student newspaper’s Nov. 5 article says it was scheduled for Nov. 12. The email cited by Alpha News is dated Nov. 20, though.)

Adding an “ethnicity filter” to dating profiles “can either eliminate an entire group of people based on their skin color or fetishize them by reducing them solely to racially stereotyped characteristics,” according to the article, which is categorized under arts and entertainment, not news.

“Racist media and online dating platforms often defeminize Black women through the open discrimination and dismissal of entire groups of people, perpetuating racist stereotypes and attitudes,” the article continues. It was written by Landry Forrest, who is studying women’s and gender studies.

MORE: Government website offers 10-year-olds tips on ‘mutual masturbation’

Children would have ‘less sexual trauma’ if taught masturbation in school

It’s not clear how much of the event was devoted to sexual racism. The Alpha News report does not mention Morris, who identifies as a bisexual woman of color, speaking about racism at all.

Rather, she explained “pleasure politics” as the “policing of the presence of joy, power, happiness and pure fulfillment in life in one’s own body due to social constructions.” Morris also condemned the “patriarchy” and “slut shaming.”

She emphasized that people should masturbate “early and often,” quoting from the 2019 book “Pleasure Activism.” If they were encouraged “to learn what feels good to them and that they have the right to communicate that, there would be less sexual trauma, assault, patriarchy, misogyny and general awkwardness.”

Asked what the “ideal public school sexual education program would look like,” Morris told an audience member that schools should teach students about “pleasure” while waving her vibrator. It is not clear if she cited a specific grade level to start encouraging children to masturbate.

The Fix first asked Kari VanDerVeen, associate director of marketing and communications for media relations, in a Nov. 23 email if the event clashed with the Christian mission of the college, and if any Christian students complained about it for that reason.

VanDerVeen has yet to respond after several followups, including Monday morning.

SARN has not answered Fix requests Friday and Monday to explain the connection between the webinar’s focus on sex toys and its mission of providing resources for student victims of sexual assault.

UPDATE: The article has been updated to note the provider of Morris’s certification, which is not mentioned on her company website or social media accounts linked from there.

MORE: University distributes dozens of vibrators for sexual health week

IMAGES: Speaking of Autumn/Instagram, Oleville screenshot, Unbound Babes screenshot

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About the Author
Alexander Pease -- University of Massachusetts, Boston