Annual, student-led Sex Week tradition returns to Ivy League institution
“Anal Sex 101,” “Oral Sex 101” and “fatphobia” workshop are among 13 different offerings students at Harvard University have the option of attending as part of its annual Sex Week.
Harvard Sex Week launched Nov. 4 and runs through Nov. 10.
The workshops are organized by the student organization Sexual Health Education and Advocacy Throughout Harvard. Its members did not respond to repeated requests for comment. A Harvard spokesperson also declined comment.
Since 2012, SHEATH has hosted Harvard Sex Week every fall, according to its website.
“Sex Week intends to both educate and advocate, providing a platform for self-exploration and community dialogue,” it states. “We intend to promote a week of programming that is interdisciplinary, thought-provoking, scholastic, innovative, and applicable to student experiences in order to promote a more holistic understanding of sex and sexuality.”
This year, Sex Week kicked off with “Sticky: A (Self) Love Story” and “Feel Those Good Vibrations: Sex Toys 101.” On Tuesday students were offered a sex education class as well as “What What in the Butt?: Anal Sex 101.”
On Wednesday a “Tantric Sex 101” workshop was followed by a panel on racial preferences and dating. Thursday brought an STD panel and reproductive justice workshop to campus.
On today’s docket are panels on BGLTQ and intimacy. This weekend will offer “Body Positivity: Fatphobia and Liberation,” “Getting A-Head in Life: Oral Sex 101” and a “sexy trivia” game, according to the schedule.
Throughout the week, student organizers dole out various free sex toy swag to attendees, as the week is sponsored by 20 different companies involved in the sex-pleasure industry. Online, the companies sell various products, such as vibrators, anal plugs, specialized condoms, testicle stretchers, strap ons, ankle restraints and other items.
On-campus sponsors include Queer Students and Allies, Harvard College Women’s Center, Office of BGLTQ Student Life, Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, Harvard College Reproductive Justice Action and several other campus groups.
While organizers of Sex Week do not appear interested in discussing their programming, The College Fix reached out to renown author and cultural critic Mary Eberstadt to weigh in.
Eberstadt is author of the recently published book Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics.
“Harvard Sex Week is corporate exploitation at its sleaziest. Students should be protesting this cynical attempt to pick their pockets and degrade their romances — not lining up for instruction about practices that will land some in the emergency clinic,” she said in an email to The College Fix.
“It’s especially ironic that Sex Week gets Harvard’s imprimatur even as some of the men of #MeToo are appearing in courts. Sex Week promotes the same deformed view of the human person that led such men to harassment and assault in the first place: one dominated by pornographic narratives according to which human beings are always and everywhere available for any sexual permutation, no matter how problematic to their psyches or inimical to their health,” she said.
“It’s past time for these travesties to be shut down — and for the corporate sponsors of this toxic worldview to be ostracized like any other companies promoting public harm.”