Students piled into the Memorial Union Building’s (MUB) Strafford Room on Friday night to dive deep into the abyss of sex myths and learn about sexual health at the Memorial Union Student Organization’s (MUSO) Sextober event, Motorboat Your Myths.
Approximately 40 students attended this event with intentions to learn more about sexual health and sexual pleasure in an open forum environment.
This interactive lecture provided attendees with information they may not be taught in a typical sexual education class. The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health sent therapist, activist and sex educator Aida Manduley to UNH to help bust some myths and answer students’ questions.
“I’m mostly based in activism,” Manduley said at the beginning of the speech. “Sex, LGBTQ+ rights are really my bread and butter.”
Manduley began the erotic educational event by encouraging the audience to participate for prizes, and emphasized the fact that the event was not just a lecture, but also a chance to laugh, learn and open up about sexual qualms that get some college students down.
Manduley also stressed the importance of breaking down sexual barriers, as she said she believes sex education is not meant to be as much as a taboo as our society portrays it to be.
“We don’t treat sex education like we treat other education,” Manduley said. “[Yet] these are the skills you need for adulthood and you need for college.”
This event covered everything from contraception to sexually transmitted infections, pronouns to bisexuality, and even the idea of sexual justice. Students and other attendees were able to ask any question that arose as Manduley busted sexual myths.
Manduley gracefully handled all myths and questions with a combination of charismatic laughter and professionalism, which loosened up the audience and allowed for a laid back, conversational feel to the event. It proved to be a refreshing take on sexual education, and removed the awkwardness and uncomfortable nature while also breaking down some barriers that come with these topics.
“[We need to] make these conversations more normal and more fun,” Manduley said. “We speak about sex in a really binary way…but we want wellness overall. The whole person is what we are trying to talk about when we talk about sexual health.”
Throughout the lecture, Manduley provided the audience with sexual knowledge that was both common, and less known. Some interesting nuggets of information she provided included topics on lesser known ways to contract sexually transmitted infections, types of contraception, reasons to have sex, abstinence and asexuality, sexual justice, sex toy safety and even body positivity.
This event was complete with the passing of erotic toys through the crowd, demonstrations, colorful slideshows and humorous memes to lighten the mood.
However, the most prevalent themes throughout all of the topics were that of intersectionality and sexual inclusion. After the presentation was over, Manduley discussed problems with current sexual education with the students and revealed that she believes there should be more intersectionality and inclusion in sexual education.
“I’m here to tell you that maybe there is more [sexual] information that you aren’t considering,” Manduley said during the speech.
“We get a one size fits all education,” she said. “[But] values neutrality doesn’t exist in sex. [Sexual] education should have a social justice basis; we need to talk about that during sex… The way we will make change in this world is through compassion and empathy.”
To portray this theme, Manduley made sure to speak about kinds of contraception and sex in a non-heteronormative manner. This was one of the reasons that MUSO chose Manduley for the event.
“We bring [sexologists] every year from the same place, the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, because they’re very inclusive and it’s not a bunch of heteronormative sex ed. stuff,” UNH sophomore and MUSO member Hollie Foster said. “Sex education is overall really important and people don’t talk about it enough.”
More Sextober events will be happening in the upcoming weeks, so keep your eye out.