The University of Pennsylvania is kicking off its inaugural Penn Sex Week with a bang.
The series of discussions, workshops and lectures about America's most time-honored pastime begins at 2 p.m. Tuesday with author and ad pro Cindy Gallop's lecture "Make Love Not Porn," billed as a critique of the current state of the skin flick industry.
"As undergrads, we talk about sex a lot but not necessarily in productive ways," said event co-chair Arielle Pardes, who first floated the idea last year in her Daily Pennsylvanian column "The Screwtinizer."
"We want to change the discourse from people hooking up at frat parties on the weekends to people talking about different types of desire, being critical of certain images in the porn industry, discussing how sex fits into life in terms of race, religion and sexual preference – all the things that are glossed over in normal college conversations."
Events include an erotica writing workshop, an Asexuality 101 class and lectures like "The Female Orgasm" and "The Ins and Outs of Masturbation." Pardes said they're intended to both educate and celebrate
"People are having a lot of sex, but they're not talking about it," college sophomore Kay Lu said. "It's important to learn to have an open conversation."
"Penn is a pretty sexually active campus despite the fact it's an Ivy League school," junior Daniel Brooks agreed. But he was concerned the event may be too cerebral to catch the attention of many carnally-minded coeds. "
I'd like a more interactive seminar, not just someone standing in front of a class and lecturing," he said. "Obviously students find that boring in the classroom, so why would they want that in sex education?"
But freshman Annie Lu said she understands the need for some sensitive wording.
"I think they have to advertise it in a dry way to attract people who don't want to talk about it because they could scare them away if they're too candid in their description," she said.
And Pardes, who hopes to make Sex Week an annual event, said it's not all about attracting attendees.
"Our goal is to provoke individual conversations on campus," she said. "That even if you attend none of the events, you still bring up the issues with friends, in classes or while thinking by yourself."
Check out the two promotional videos below for more titillation, and click here if for additional information.