As the chatter and giggles erupted throughout the auditorium, speaker Megan Andelloux banged on the table with a translucent green dildo with ridges of shimmering gold to call for silence.
Abby P. Sun ’13, co-president of Radcliffe Union of Students, the campus feminist group that sponsored the sixth annual Female Orgasm Seminar, helped hand out 1500 free condoms and cupcakes decorated with candied breasts and vulvas to the nearly 700 audience members.
“It’s a fun and communal event,” she said, trying to usher entryway groups, teammates, and groups of friends—spilling into aisles and standing in the back of Science Center C—into seats. “Hopefully it will get some conversations started, too.”
Andelloux, a sex educator and sexologist, launched into her discussion about what an orgasm is, how to have one, female anatomy, and safety.
“Sex is not just about having that climax; it’s about the whole experience,” she reminded her audience, noting that goal-focused sex can end up less pleasurable than just having fun. But that didn’t stop her from talking about how to reach that goal.
“Direct clitoral stimulation is how orgasms happen,” she said. “Trying to have an orgasm without clitoral stimulation for most women is like men trying to have one without touching their penis.”
In addition to talking about tips, techniques, and toys to make sex fun, she highlighted the importance of being comfortable in one’s body, noting that rather than feel self-conscious about their bodies, all people should embrace their uniqueness. She emphasized this with a clip from the film “Viva La Vulva,” which celebrated how varied female genitalia can be. She also showed a scene of g-spot stimulation to demystify female ejaculation, also known as squirting. The entire seminar was punctuated with laughter, questions, gasps, and audience participation.
After the presentation, RUS raffled off a variety of sex toys including an assortment of dildos, a rubber ducky vibrator, a vibrating butt plug, and a Hello Kitty massager. Audience members exploded with cries of “yes,” “oh my god,” and “I’m so happy,” as well as nonverbal expressions of delight, when their numbers were called.
“This is what winning looks like!” said audience member Ian H. Clark ’12, who won a butt plug shaped like Marge Simpson’s coiffure. His friend Anneika M. Verghese ’12, who also won a prize, noted, “I didn’t know vibrators came in this shape.”
The two were not only surprised by their prizes, but by the focus of the seminar as well.
“I did not expect to watch porn,” said Verghese. “It was uncomfortable, but interesting, especially because the focus was less on sex and more on different kinds of stimulation.”
Clark agreed that Andelloux’s discussion, and especially her focus on individual differences, was informative and fun.
“It was surprising that there was so much emphasis on how people are different and how to enjoy what people have to offer,” he said.
Brandishing the purple butt plug he won, Clark joked to his friends, “who wants to go home and practice?”