On Oct. 28, St. Mary’s held its second annual Sex Fest in the upper deck area of the Campus Center, with an excellent turnout from students. Sex Fest, conceived as a way to educate students about sexual health and awareness in an engaging way, went on from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and featured games, prizes, informational material and featured several talks from several “sexperts” over the course of the day. The first 200 participants to arrive received stickers as they showed up.
Held for the past two years on the afternoon of the last Saturday in October, Sex Fest 2012 featured booths out together by several of the health and sexuality-related clubs on campus, including the Burlesque Club, the First Responder Network, Feminists United for Sexual Equality (FUSE) and the new Green Dot Program. Many of the sexual wellness tables allowed participants to showcase their knowledge with fun tests, including putting a condom on a dummy to distinguishing different sexually transmitted infections. Rewards including candy and other small prizes. There were also information tables with information for men and women about different types of cancer, and the treatment of STIs. Health coordinators from Chance Hall also made themselves available to talk to the students and give them information and literature on the subjects.
In addition to the exhibition hall in the upper deck, lectures were given throughout the day in Cole Cinema. First, Professor of Religious Studies Katharina von Kellanbach discussed the significance the female orgasm in terms of morality in throughout the study of human sexuality, followed by a Q&A session by Sexual Assault/Wellness Advocate Meghan Root, allowing audience member to ask direct question about sexuality and sexual health. Finally, the event ended with a t-shirt raffle, a best costume prize giveaway and a lecture by sex columnist Timaree Schmitt. In the spirit of Halloween, Dr. Schmitt’s lecture explored the topic of sexuality as a theme in horror films, including the concept of how sexuality both compelling and repellent to the audience or horror, and the concept of the final girl left alive.
Overall, Sex Fest seems to have been regarded a success for its second year in a row. Sophomore and First Responder Dylan Hadfield had this to says of the success of this year’s Sex Fest, “I thought it went very well. We had a great turnout. Part of what makes Sex Fest so successful is that students are able to have fun and relax while also learning new facts about sexual health.” This year’s success certainly generates hope that Sex Fest will return next year as an annual event here at St. Mary’s.