Update: After reporting on the workshop described below, Marquette University decided to pull its support of the program. The news of that decision was reported here.
A 12-week female sexuality workshop, which first began at University of California, Berkeley in 1993, and has spread to Brown University, Cornell, Columbia, Carleton, Yale, and the University of Nevada, Reno, is now being brought to Catholic colleges. The FemSex non-credit classes are currently being held at Marquette University.
Under the auspices of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, which opened last fall, Marquette is holding the co-facilitated, student-led workshop that was originally started by two lesbian women at Berkley in 1993. The class was originally titled “The Orgasm Class.” It has since evolved into a sexual liberation discussion group and course.
According to the syllabus used at Carleton College, the syllabus from the FemSex website at Berkeley, and a syllabus from the University of Nevada-Reno, FemSex covers topics including: porn and erotica, reproductive choices, self-pleasure, and orgasm.
Among the activities included in the class, students have been asked to write their own erotic stories, and facilitators have shown pornography clips in class. Some variations of the class have included optional field trips to bondage clubs. Photos from the workshop at Carleton College, show students who have decorated cookies with the female anatomy.
A Harvard student writing about the immodesty of the course said she decided not to register after reading the syllabus.
Assignments include coloring an anatomical diagram from the C*** Coloring Book, doing an erogenous exploration exercise, and let’s not forget the creative writing exercise—writing your sexual fantasy (don’t worry, it’s anonymous).
Each of the speakers will bring something valuable to the table: a midwife, someone from the BDSM community, a professional dominatrix named Princess Kali, a speaker on open relationships, the two leaders of Harvard’s Office of Sexual Assault and Prevention Response (an organization whose existence I’ve lamented in other posts) and sexologist Carol Queen. If that’s not enough fun, there is a writing workshop on pornography and erotica, a guided tour of Good Vibrations of Boston (a women-owned sex shop), and other field trips involving a porn night and a strip club visit.
The Marquette Warrior blog noted that while previous FemSex workshops have included Planned Parenthood speakers, it could find no evidence of a pro-life speaker ever having been invited to present for a workshop.
The Marquette syllabus seems little changed. It promises “both negative and positive views of masturbation.” Like the courses offered elsewhere, it will include:
- C*** Coloring: Color an anatomical picture from The C*** Coloring Book.
- Erotica: Create an anonymous piece of erotica exploring fantasy and desire.
- Pleasure Point: Find a new pleasure point or pleasurable activity, and write about (or express in another medium) the experience.
- Empowerment Object: Bring in something that you find empowering to share with the group.
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