Orgasm and Penis Seminar Draws Over 200

Sexologist Jill McDevitt held a light blue bottle in her hands, twirling it between her fingers for her audience to see. The over 200 students who had gathered for her workshop on “The Female Orgasm and All Things Penis” started laughing. On the bottle’s label were the words: “Female Arousal Cream.”

“This cream will give you a pleasurable sensation,” McDevitt said, removing the bottle’s cap with a yank. “Who wants to go to the bathroom, try it out, and tell us how it feels?”

One by one, more than 10 students at the workshop during Harvard’s second annual Sex Week—the best-attended event of the week so far—stood and approached McDevitt to get some of the mint flavored cream. Cleopatra’s Secret Sex Creme also comes in strawberry and cherry vanilla, McDevitt said.

The audience watched these students exit and enter the room, gauging their facial expressions.

“There’s a lot of things going on down there,” Brianna J. Suslovic ’16 said as she returned to her seat.

The event, the eighth held during Sex Week, was a combination of two workshops, one focused on the female orgasm and the other on the penis, which McDevitt said she had “thrown together just for Harvard.” In addition to reminding the audience of what they had learned in high school sex education, she also spoke about the challenges of achieving orgasm, saying that 75 percent of women have faked experiencing the sensation at least once in their lives.

“Some go into sex on a mission to orgasm, others just swim past a water jet and accidentally experience it,” she said. She later shared that her personal record was 67 orgasms in one hour.

According to McDevitt, there are three main reasons that “reaching the big O” is so difficult: “misinformation about genitals, misinformation about orgasms themselves, and the general dislike people have for their genitals.”

“Genitals are not dirty,” McDevitt said. “They are beautiful not only to our appearance, but also to our experience of sex and sexuality.”

Students also played “pin the clit on the vulva,” learned more about anatomy with models of a penis and vulva, and anonymously wrote down their insecurities concerning sex and genitalia for McDevitt to read out loud.

Some students stepped outside their comfort zones and spoke about experiencing their first orgasm. One student said that he first experienced an orgasm when he was 11 years old.

“I was rubbing myself and thinking of Pokemon,” he said.

Students said that they appreciated the comfortable and safe environment that McDevitt established at the event.

“Some sex talks are really serious, but this was an informative, relaxing environment,” Anahvia Mewborn ’16 said. “It was comforting to hear that everyone has insecurities too.”

Arthur D. Kaynor ’12, who co-directed Peer Contraceptive Counselors last year, said he came back to attend this workshop, which he knew was going to be Sex Week’s most popular event. He showed his support by wearing the classic, pink vulva costume.

“I wore it a lot last year too,” he said. “I asked to wear it because it’s pretty and sparkly.”

—Staff writer Michelle Denise L. Ferreol can be reached at mferreol@college.harvard.edu.

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