Hutch hosts third annual sex education festival

By Emilie Shumway

The studious atmosphere of Hutch Commons transformed into a festival of free burritos, live music, and sex advice last Friday as part of Sex Education Activists’ (SEA) third annual sex education event, Operation Sexucation. The event featured information on everything from rape prevention to the ways “hip rocking” can invigorate sexual intercourse, as one flyer explained.

The program showcased booths where students could access information through both event representatives and educational flyers. Fifteen groups participated, including sexual rights groups Queers & Associates and QueeReligious, along with pro-choice and feminist organizations. The Student Global AIDS Campaign, the U of C’s Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research, TantraNova Sex Institute, and the female-run sex shop Early to Bed all provided workshops to encourage group discussion.

With a focus on “celebrating activism, responsible information, and pleasure,” SEA emphasized the Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act, a bill that would provide federal money to support sex education programs that teach people about contraception. Students were encouraged to sign pre-written letters to their senators promoting the bill. Currently, federal funding is limited to abstinence-only sex education programs.

Other topics included STD prevention, contraception usage, women’s rights and abortion, methods of achieving sexual stimulation, and masturbation. Organizers also hung up posters displaying relevant statistics and excerpts from abstinence-only textbooks now used for sex education.

The event featured musical performances from the Electric Shoes, Ariana Barr, and the Cathy Santonies. Candy and condoms were available at no charge.