Students flooded UMD's ballroom on Oct. 15 for a chance to see the I Love Female Orgasm program's presentation. Sex educators Maggie Keenan-Bolger and Marshall Miller entertained and enlightened about 500 students for the evening, speaking on topics ranging from how to talk about sex with your partner to tips for achieving multiple orgasms.
According to Keenan-Bolger and Miller, the program bridges a much-needed gap between how sex education is taught in schools and how sex actually works in real life.
"A lot of how sex education is taught in high schools is about all the things that can go wrong," Miller said. "And it's important to talk about that, but there's a missing piece if you don't talk about sexual pleasure and the meaning that (it) brings people."
Hannah Maertz, UMD senior and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies major organized the event.
"I really wanted to bring an event to campus that talked about healthy sexual relationships," she said.
Maertz thinks that the event reflects UMD's culture and is helpful to students.
"UMD is unique, and it is progressive, and it is always trying to find the best things for our students," said Maertz. "Over 70 percent of college students are sexually active … so it's incredibly relevant."
Most of the students who attended agreed. "I don't think it's inappropriate; this kinda stuff happens in college, so it makes sense to talk about it," said freshman Jake Wilson. "I had to come because I had a class that makes us do something uncomfortable. I figured this would do the trick."
The subject matter may be sensitive, but the students thought it was handled delicately. "(Keenan-Bolger and Miller) use a format to talk about awkward things in a less awkward manner,” said junior Hannah Huisinga. "I think they do a good job."
Inclusivity was emphasized. Instead of using traditional labels such as “male” or “female,” Miller and Keenan-Bolger spoke about “people with penises” and “people with vaginas.” Maertz appreciated the diversity.
"(Here tonight) were women, men, people who don't necessarily identify as either," she said. "Gay, straight, bi, pretty much people of all walks of life were here. I saw some older people as well, so it wasn't just students."
Keenan-Bolger and Miller often used humor to ease the tension, but the purpose of the event was entirely educational.
"I mostly just joke with my friends about this kind of stuff," said freshman James Norman. "But this was an awesome chance to discuss it more seriously. Definitely worth the visit."
Junior Krista Anderson agreed.
"It was informative yet funny," Anderson said. "It allowed people to talk in an open forum."
Part of the presentation was devoted to separating fact from fiction. According to Miller, 80 percent of women say size doesn't matter. And topping the list to achieving female orgasm? Communication and trust with partners.
The session ended with the anatomical details regarding the G-spot and how to have multiples orgasms, for both males and females. The key, according to Marshall, is years of kegel exercises.
BY JOHN FAHNENSTIEL firstname.lastname@example.org