Do you want to know more about sex?
Every year, Denison Advocates for Sexual Health (DASH) sponsor Sex Week on campus. DASH is an open student organization that encourages and allows space to discuss sex as well as how to handle different situations and questions in regards to the taboo topic. Sex Week allows DASH to further publicize their conversations for one week each year.
Many students do not realize how helpful DASH can be in their sex lives, even if it may be as simple as answering their questions. Sex Week is an opportunity to reach out to more of the Denison community and include people that wouldn’t otherwise know about DASH’s work.
According to DASH president Kelsey Schwimmer ‘18, “Denison Sex Week is a string of collaborations throughout the week of March 6 through March 10 with over 15 different clubs and organizations. [It is] designed to start discussions and spread awareness of sexual health, education and sexual positivity. The week is meant to start an ongoing dialogue on Denison’s campus about these topics and to promote a culture of sexual respect.”
As president, Schwimmer oversaw the entire Sex Week schedule. Most of the events were run by the organizations that DASH collaborated with, such as the acapella groups on campus.
Many different events were conducted during Sex Week, with a variety of intentions. The Story Slam was an opportunity for people to share their sex stories in a comfortable and casual environment in the Nest.
“Students shared stories of their own experiences followed by open-mic time, normalizing these kind of conversations and experiences. By coming together and sharing our experiences that we might have thought were too awkward or weird to share, we start a conversation and know that we are not alone,” said Schwimmer.
At Ice Cream and Consent, students were able to build their own sundaes while having a conversation about consent. Meanwhile, the Hilltoppers and Ladies’ Night Out performed their “Switcheroo” concert, where they swapped songs and clothes.
“I was able to go to Ice Cream and Consent and it was a blast!” said Jax Preyer ‘20 from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “DASH did a really good job of making this week inclusive and allowing for people to learn a lot about sex and sexual health. It was fun but it also was important information.”
The Sketch’rs also participated in the fun, with their sex edition show. It was not all just fun and games though. This was also a week for students to feel more comfortable about sex. There were opportunities for students discuss more serious sex-related experiences and receive free HIV testing. The goal for Sex Week is to make the discussion of sex fun, while also providing useful information on health.
The planning process for Denison Sex Week began before winter break, with DASH reaching out to a variety of clubs and organizations and discussing potential collaborations around the topics of sexual health, education and positivity.
“I loved everything about Sex Week this year! We got to have so many conversations about sexual health and positivity that would not have normally occurred, and we were able to engage over 700 people over the course of the week,” said Schwimmer.
Preyer was not the only student who found Sex Week to be fun and helpful.
“Overall, I actually learned a lot this week. Sex isn’t always the easiest thing to talk about and the fun manner of the week made it a lot easier,” said Brooke Stiles ‘20, a communication major from Akron, Ohio.
Sex Week brought discussions regarding consent, wellness, and many other topics to the forefront of campus, as well as spread awareness and make education accessible.
“One of my favorite events was the Story Slam. The theme was ‘What I didn’t learn in sex ed…’ and [it] worked to create intentional spaces for us to build empathy, compassion and understanding of one another through shared stories and experiences,” said Schwimmer.
DASH holds open meetings every Sunday at noon in the Nest and anyone is welcome to join.