Even in a crowded café, Jenna M. Mellor ’08 feels comfortable talking about female genitalia, and more specifically, describing in
Even in a crowded café, Jenna M. Mellor ’08 feels comfortable talking about female genitalia, and more specifically, describing in detail the structure of the vulva.
“I enjoy my sexuality. I enjoy my body. I enjoy masturbating and it’s also, I think, politically and socially important to talk about these things,” explains Mellor. Since her freshman year, she has been publicizing and advocating on issues relating to female sexuality.
Mellor’s work comes in response to a perceived lack of information amongst her friends and classmates. “I was talking to my friends a lot about dating, and a lot of common questions came up: Do I go down on him? Or does he go down on me? Or how do I masturbate?” Mellor said. So her freshman year, she organized the Female Orgasm Seminar. “There’s real empowerment that comes with understanding your body,” said Mellor, a social studies concentrator.
“She makes everyone feel good about themselves. That’s what sexuality is all about and she’s involved with that on every level,” said Martha A. Wasserman ’10, a friend of Mellor’s.
Mellor’s exploration of sexuality’s impact on society won’t stop with graduation. “I want to keep studying and writing about sexuality and power structures in the United States, but I guess to best do that I need to live in and study these issues in other contexts.” And by “other contexts,” Mellor is talking about travelling the world. Next year, she plans on moving to Thailand to study sex trafficking and the impact of tourism.
But for now, you can still find her empowering women around campus by speaking about the importance of sexuality and pleasure during sex, with detailed explanations of what makes up the female reproductive system. And if that fails, look for Mellor in Dudley House making dinner with her house-mates, blasting Prince’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and dancing on the kitchen floor.