‘Sex in the Dark’ looks to promote sexual wellness

March 1, 2019

A little darkness always adds an element of mystery and excitement. “Sex in the Dark,” an event co-hosted by the Campus Activities Board (CAB) and Student Sexuality Information Services (SSIS), is a question and answer style event that will allow students to ask questions about sexual health and relationships.

According to Shira Davidson ’21, the External Coordinator for SSIS, “Sex in the Dark” has been introduced at other universities around the country and has received very positive feedback. “The idea behind the event is that it will take place in the dark so as to maintain the anonymity of participants and to add a fun and unique spin to the event,” Davidson told The Brandeis Hoot in an email.

The event will be comprised of two main parts: a tabling fair and a question and answer. “A variety of organizations from the Greater Boston Area will be in attendance, as well as representatives from Brandeis who will be available to answer questions and offer resources, support and information to students on subjects spanning sexual identity, sexual health, sexual pleasure, abstinence and more,” Davidson said. Different activities and light refreshments will also be provided.

According to the Facebook event for “Sex in the Dark,” some organizations that will be in attendance are: Please Pie, Good Vibrations, Planned Parenthood, The Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth, Brandeis Chaplaincy and the Brandeis Health Center.

Following the tabling event, event goers will attend a panel with various “sexperts” who are able to answer all questions about health, sex and relationships. “The diverse panel is made up of professional sex educators, sexual pleasure experts, nurses, sexual rights advocates and more,” Davidson told The Hoot. To maintain anonymity, all questions will be submitted through the SSIS hotline.

According to Robin Donohoe ’19, the lights in the Shapiro Campus Center theater will be turned off. “Neon glow sticks will be placed to add to the anonymity and sexy allure,” explained Donohoe. The first 100 students in the theater for the panel will also receive a free “Sex in the Dark” T-shirt.

As the External Coordinator for SSIS, Davidson acts as a liaison between SSIS and the outside community. SSIS as a group hopes that the event will “provide Brandeis students with the opportunity to inquire, to seek support, to learn, to feel understood and to get any and all of their questions answered in a space that is safe and non-judgemental,” said Davidson in an email speaking on behalf of all of SSIS.

SSIS in general is working towards breaking down the “taboo” around sex and sexuality. “We recognize that everyone is at a different place in their sexual journey and might not be ready to talk about it as openly as we are,” explained Davidson. “As such, we hope that the nature of the event and the anonymity of the questions will allow all types of people from all types of backgrounds to feel comfortable and welcome in this space. Everyone’s sexual journey is equally important to us, and we are honored to be able to offer any support that we can.”

Speaking personally, Donohoe confided, “I honestly have questions ready to ask the panelists anonymously … I hope it will be really fun and something that CAB and SSIS can continue to do for years to come.”

Davidson also added that SSIS hopes that “you walk away from Sex in the Dark with the understanding that your sexuality and sexual journey are valid and deserving of respect and support.”

CAB worked with SSIS to elevate the event and promote it to the Brandeis student population. Donohoe also noted that this is the first educational event that CAB has done. Donohoe told The Hoot that SSIS focused more on finding organizations to come to the event, and CAB worked on marketing and other logistics.

“Sex in the Dark” is on Sunday, March 3 in the SCC. The tabling fair will be from 6 to 8 p.m. while the panel will begin at 8:00 p.m. and conclude around 9:30 p.m.

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