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"Dirty Talk" Event Encourages Open Dialogue

By Lauren A. Rubin, Contributing Writer

Ben Privot of The Consensual Project encouraged open discussions about sexual desires in Dirty Talk, a workshop on verbal sexual communication held Tuesday as part of Harvard’s first annual Sex Week.

Privot started the workshop by asking audience members to write on a note card the dirtiest and sexiest thing someone had ever said to them. He then had the audience crumple their note cards into a ball and throw them across the room, so that they could be picked up and read anonymously.

One of the note cards read, “I’ll make you the kind of dirty that doesn’t wash off.”

The workshop focused heavily on this type of participation as Privot continued to ask the audience questions about their sexual desires and how they communicate about sex.

“You are all the world’s leading experts on your own desires,” Privot said. “I want you to all go back to a space where you feel comfortable forming your desires.”

To demonstrate his personal ideas and the ideas that audience members offered, he asked for volunteers to perform short skits. Privot asked one participant to give the audience “the look,” an expression that aims to seduce.

“Body language on its own is not reliable,” Privot said, so he asked another two audience members to demonstrate the concepts of “the narrator” and “the director” in sexual roles.

One volunteer commanded the other to pat her head, demonstrating how “the director” in a sexual relationship might communicate. Another volunteer praised the other for doing good jumping jacks in ‘sexy’ tones of voice, showing how “the narrator” might communicate.

Privot said that communicating through words is one key to pleasurable, consensual sex.

Between different discussion sections, such as body language, dirty talk, and the tools for consent, Privot asked Jeopardy-style questions and gave out prizes. Questions ranged from “When was the rubber condom invented?” to “How long does a pig orgasm?”

The prizes were sex toys, such as vibrators and specially flavored lotions.

Cheryl Y. Campos ’15, said that the workshop and Sex Week is important because it “makes sex less taboo and you learn about all different aspects of it.”

Brenda M. Serpas ’15, the publicity director for Sexual Health Education & Advocacy throughout Harvard College, which sponsors Sex Week, said that “it’s important to educate students on the issue of sex. Whether you’re sexually active or not, it’s still important to know.”

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