Posted on Thu 01 Sep 2016 at 12:39 by Callum Aldcroft
Talking about sex can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, and awkward – but it is a conversation we need to be having.
This is the aim of LUU’s “let’s talk about sex” sessions – to start an open dialogue about sex where everyone is included and respected. It is only through having these uncomfortable conversations that we can start to have better sex where everyone feels able to give (or not give) consent.
Feeling able to give or not give consent is crucial – as many of us have been in positions where we’re not really sure that we’re okay with what is happening, but we don’t feel like we can or should say no. This isn’t okay and it’s time that everyone feels confident and respected, especially when it comes to sex. Your “no” should always be enough and it requires no more validation or explanation than the fact that you just don’t feel comfortable. However, due to the lack of sex education in school, this message is one that is often skipped over
Reducing the number of sexual assaults and violence on our campus and letting people know what support exists is a clear and immediate goal of this conversation about sex. Eradicating sexual assault on campus and in society would be my ideal end goal for this campaign. Whilst there is a long way to go to achieve this aim, we’re making a difference just by starting the conversation.
The eradication of sexual assault is obviously the biggest reason for running these “let’s talk about sex” sessions, however, this is only part of the motivation. I want Leeds students to be having better sex (if they want to be having sex at all) and part of that includes being able to chat about what you are into and, probably even more importantly, what you’re not. Without having an honest and open discussion where all parties are treated as equal, having mind-blowing or earth-shattering sex is probably a distant fantasy.
More than that though, these sessions are about you being a better partner, a better friend and a better family member.
Around one in four women will experience sexual violence in their lifetime and this rate only increases for LGBT+ women. Bisexual women are three times more likely to be raped than straight women. Whilst statistics are really useful, they are often inaccurate due to the low reporting rates and stigma associated with sexual violence. This means that there are few reliable statistics about male victims of sexual assault – this in itself is a huge problem.
The fact that these statistics are so high mean that you almost certainly know someone who has experienced sexual violence – and that sucks. However, by coming to these sessions, not only will you be clued up on all things sex and consent, but you will also be able to support your friends or family who might be going through this.
There will also be sections on bystander intervention – which will help you look after people on nights out. This will give you practical steps to recognise if you’re worried about someone on a night out – you’ll know how to step in and make sure everything is okay.
The difference these workshops could make to you, your friends and even strangers you interact with is huge – and as an added bonus you’ll get free pizza! Not bad for an hour of your time.