On Friday, Nov. 3, the Student Alliance for Sexual Health (SASH) hosted their Sex Carnival in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union. Every semester, SASH works to educate the student body on sexual health and destigmatization of sex through a wide variety of events.
Before entering the room, attendees were welcomed and given a goody bag with a sex carnival passport. Students had the opportunity to visit over 12 stations each dedicated to discussing different elements of sexual health such as: sex myths, consent, sex work, masturbation, BDSM and contraceptives. After visiting every station, the attendees could use their passport as a ticket into a raffle for any one of the plethora of sex toys donated by Good Vibrations.
Members of SASH worked together to share their knowledge, while fostering a sex positive and comfortable environment. The room was packed with students excited to learn about and discuss the evening’s topics.
Sam Saucier, the president of SASH, walked around the room wearing a condom crown and snapping pictures of the event.
“We have these events so that people will be able to talk about sex in an open-minded and tolerant way. I really love listening to people learn, and I love playing a role in their learning. We live in a sex negative world where it’s not okay to talk about bodies and sex. It’s sad that it doesn’t happen before college,” Saucier said.
While holding a giant inflatable penis and handing a hoola hoop off to anyone who wanted to play, Sophie Hubbert-Severance, a third-year psychology student, talked to people about the importance of using contraceptives through a ring-toss like game.
“I’ve gotten hit three times,” Hubbert-Severance said when two girls asked nervously if they would miss their target.
“I love seeing the community come together,”Hubbert-Severance said. “When freshmen approach me, timid, nervous, stiff, and red-faced, I love watching them relax and become comfortable when they realize that this is a safe and nonjudgmental space. I wish people experienced it sooner than in college. I wanna be able to talk openly with people, so that they can feel better about talking to me.”
Brianna Guy, a second-year student studying wildlife ecology, heard about the event and thought it sounded like fun. Her favorite activity was the condom race. As students raced each other to properly open and put a condom onto dildos, they learned the proper techniques and got more comfortable talking about contraceptives.
“Sex is a really taboo thing to talk about. We need to get the conversation out in the air. No one ever really teaches you about stuff like this and it’s really important,” Guy said.
SASH’s work towards sexual education and encouraging sexual health did not stop at the doors of the Bangor Room. Inside the goody bags were more information on their group, the women’s resource centre, consent, contraceptives and support systems set up for students on and off campus. For more information about the Student Alliance for Sexual Health, their schedule of events and next semester’s Sex Carnival, please visit their facebook page at facebook.com/umainesash.