Photo by Kimberly Williams
What does “Best Sex Ever” even mean? A page by page explanation of the Kama Sutra? “Sexual Healing” on repeat for thirty minutes? Sewanee was more than a little confused when posters went up around campus advertising “The Best Sex Ever,” presented by Laci Green. When February 11 arrived, students streamed into Blackman Auditorium. The multi-colored condoms strewn on the tables set the tone for the night – joyful, open, and uninhibitedly sex-positive. Green herself was down at the front, attaching a large blue dildo to the lab table. Kathleen Kelso (C’17), resident of the Women’s Center, introduced Green before the main event began. A loud “You guys ready to talk about sex?” drew an excited roar from the audience. “My hope tonight is that you will be given some tools, ideas, and information in order to have whatever you would consider the best sex,” Green started.
The lecture followed a simple outline, addressing anatomy, health, and consent. Noticeable “ewwwww”s were heard when Green presented a photo of a vulva. “What is that? A vagina? It’s actually a vulva – which is the technical term for the outside.” A large portion of the section that followed was dedicating not only to eliminating “ew” as a reaction to a healthy vulva, but also to debunking myths about vulvas and sex, including the myth that longer labias are a result of a woman* having more sex. “Sometimes I’ll hear ‘Um she just had a lot of sex. She’s just a slut.’ Honey, no. The myth that you get longer labia from more sex is just a myth,” Green announced. She also destroyed the idea that if a vagina is more open and wet, the woman is more sexually active. To the contrary, if a woman’s vagina is not wet and open, it is likely that she is not aroused.
“Trying to find a good picture of an average, front-facing, unerect penis was nearly impossible,” Green explained when the talk turned to the male* anatomy. “The average size of a penis is 5.5 inches. Most teenagers will assume the average size is 7-8 inches, usually thanks to porn.” She then went on to explain how societal pressure to measure masculinity based on penis size is completely unfounded. “Not only is it something you shouldn’t have to worry about, but size also has very little to do with pleasure. It’s all about how you use it.”
Other topics Green discussed included masturbation and STIs. According to a national survey Green presented, 89% of women and 95% of men admit to masturbation. “It’s a completely normal activity! But from an early age, we’re shamed for touching ourselves,” Green explained. “But then as we get older, it becomes more socially acceptable for men to masturbate, and less so for women. Which is a problem, because it really helps to know your own body when you want to have the best sex ever.” On the subject of STIs, Green said “STDs are normal, preventable, and often curable. But STDs are especially shamed because they are usually gotten from sex.” The most common STIs on college campuses are Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Genital Warts, and Herpes. The best way to avoid getting an STI is to use protection every time. Finally, Green addressed the subject of consent . “Consent is an affirmative, unforced, sober-ish, ongoing yes.” Alcohol and consent can be an iffy subject to draw lines around, especially on a college campus where sober hook-ups are in the minority. Green drew the line at “Sex under the influence is okay when sex is happening together, both parties are actively participating, and able to communicate and check in. Sex under the influence is not okay when sex is happening to them, either or both parties are sick, slurring, limp, can’t communicate clearly, not checking in, or pushing limits.”
Regardless of the situation, “Whether it’s one other person, two other people, or however many people are there – everyone should be checking in and consenting. When getting mixed signals, stop and check in – make sure everything is okay. When someone is asleep or passed out, do not touch them. Seriously. And finally, nobody ever asks to get raped – end of story. It’s not a punishment for getting drunk.” As the talk concluded, Green reminded the audience that respect and enjoying oneself are the foundations of the “best sex ever.” Afterwards, a large portion of the audience lined up to take photos with Green and/or the large blue dildo. In order to make safe, healthy sex as easy as possible for everyone on campus, free condoms are always available at the Wellness Center, and free condoms, lube, and dental dams are always available at the Women’s Center.
*All gendered nouns are meant to refer to designated female at birth/designated male at birth people. LGBTQ inclusivity and respect is an important part of healthy sex.