Did you come? Sex Fest attendees sure did (and for those who won the raffle prizes, perhaps even more than once).
On Saturday in Smith Union, Peer Health hosted its first-annual Sex Fest, which featured ‘pin the clit on the vulva’ eductional resources, a scavenger hunt, rapid HIV testing and booths from student clubs and community partners. The event created a space for students to learn about sexual health in a unique and engaging way.
“We really talked about how we want this festival to be viewed by others,” Peer Health member Yewon Kim ’24 said. “Should we concentrate on bringing a funny and entertaining event, or should we be involved in a more educational and serious vibe?”
The event was inspired by a similar sex-education event held at Wellesley College, dubbed “Sex Carnival.” Assistant Director of Residential Life Melissa Jo Zambrana, who went to Wellesley, suggested that Peer Health hold a similar event at the College.
The event, which was initially supposed to take place on the Main Quad, was relocated to Smith Union due to rainy weather. Despite the move, there were crowds around every table and turnout exceeded Peer Health members’ expectations.
“We were not anticipating as many people showing up as did show up, so we definitely did not have enough prizes for the amount of people that came,” Susu Gharib ’23, an organizer of the event, said. “Now that we know that it is something people are interested in, I think next year it’s gonna be much, much bigger.”
One of the event’s main attractions was a sex toy raffle. Students earned raffle tickets for prizes by completing a Sex Fest scavenger hunt, which encouraged students to participate in the each booth’s activities. Enthusiasm for the sex toys was much higher than organizers anticipated.
“Paloma [Aguirre ’23] and I were talking about it, and we were thinking that next year instead of doing big prize packs, we’ll do a tier system for the scavenger hunt …that way everyone can leave with something,” Gharib said.
In addition to increasing the number of prizes, members of Peer Health are already thinking about ways to make the event more accessible next year.
“I think we mostly focused on people who choose to have sex, but I hope it was not too excluding for people who choose not to have sex, and I wanted to hear more opinions on their side so that we can incorporate those sides for the next festival,” Kim said.
Regardless of these proposals, the organizers were ultimately satisfied with and proud of their event.
“It was fun to see people come in kind of reserved, come up to the scavenger hunt table to get the scavenger hunt sheet, and then after they went through and finished their sheets, they came up and talked about how much fun they had and they just seemed very confident afterwards, which was the whole goal,” Gharib said. “We wanted to make sex not an awkward thing to talk about.”