USC educates students on sexual health in its first ever “Sex Week”

The week of October 17 to October 23 marks the first sex week at USC to celebrate and educate on sex-based topics.

Buy a sex toy, make 21+ pottery and experiment with “plant-play” at USC’s inaugural Sex Week, a collection of events focusing on healthy relationships, sexual education, and identity exploration held October 17 through 23.

Programming will be hosted both virtually and in person, and events will range from information sessions on sexual health to interactive experiences.

The week is sponsored by USC Student Health, Undergraduate Student Government (USG), Graduate Student Government (GSG), Student Assembly for Gender Empowerment (SAGE) and Women and Youth Supporting Each Other (WYSE).

USC Student Health said they chose to sponsor Sex Week because of the lack of comprehensive sex education provided in K-12 classrooms.

“We felt it was the right time to help openly address that young adulthood is when many people have sex, or are thinking about what type of sexual identity, practices, community, gender really fits who they are,” USC Student Health said in a statement to Annenberg Media.

Sex Week was created by Minne Ho, Executive Director of Communications, and Rachel Lichtman, Associate Director of Public Communications in collaboration with Fahima Gohil, a second year graduate student studying health administration who is currently interning at USC Student Health. They were inspired by similar programs held at universities like Harvard and Yale, and hope that students will get an opportunity to explore their sexuality that otherwise wouldn’t be available out of the programming.

“I just hope that they find something within themselves,” Gohil said. “A lot of students are coming here for the first time, the first time on their own, first time being totally self-sufficient. And I know sex is one of those taboo things that no one informs you about.”

Monday, October 17

To kick the week off, a virtual event titled, “Exploring Sexuality and Healthy Relationships with Good Vibrations” will be held by a sex expert, or “sexpert”, from the San Francisco based sex store “Good Vibrations” at 12:00 p.m. Discussion will range from polygamy to gender and sexual identity.

Later that night, GSG will host a virtual event for graduate students at 6:00 p.m. titled, “Exploring Sensuality and Herbalism.” In partnership with community-based organization Hood Herbal and apothecary experts at Wild Terra, GSG will use processes they call “plant-play” and “body bliss” to explore pleasure and sensuality in relation to herbalism. Participants will learn to make their own bliss body oil, herbal tea and more during this two hour session.

Tuesday, October 18

Looking for a more hands-on learning experience? Local ceramic studio, POT LA, is holding their signature SEXPOTS workshop on Tuesday, October 18 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The workshop will allow participants to use their creative side in “adult themed, shame-free, 21+ one-time classes” to create pottery and other clay works of art. According to USC Events, this event is only open to graduate students who are 21 and older. No experience is required.

Wednesday, October 19

The “Sexploration Tent” will be at McCarthy Quad from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sexperts like Erin Tillman, L.A. based intimacy coordinator and empowerment coach, and representatives from Feelmore, an Oakland and Berkeley based sex company, will be answering questions from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Students are welcome to use the space as a sex positive hangout space. There will be various sex products present, with some for sale.

“[Gen Z] is for sure leading the way, I think,” Tillman said. “Just living how you want and being more outspoken about different things under the umbrella of sexuality and learning and wanting to explore.”

Later, sexuality doula Ev’yan Whitney will be at the Reparations Club for an exploratory workshop on pleasure and identities. From 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. students can learn from Whitney’s 10 years of experience in the field of sexuality.

Sunday, October 23

To conclude the week, Tillman will host a Q&A through Instagram live to discuss all topics related to sex. Tillman hopes to use her expertise to spread the message that sex should be celebrated, not condemned.

“I just hope to bring to the table a broadening of possibilities within sexuality or dating or identity because a lot of people just feel like they don’t fit with what it’s supposed to be,” Tillman said. “If we had a broader idea of what sex actually is like, there’s so many ways that we could adapt.”

Gohil encourages anyone, no matter their sexual activity level or experience, to explore Sex Week and and educate themselves.

“I got the sex talk once in fifth or sixth grade when we had to watch ‘the video,’ and I think I really just didn’t understand sex,” she said. “You eventually have a conversation, you do your own research into it, you find out what makes you comfortable. And I think this is just a nice little gateway into that.”

To RSVP to any Sex Week events, visit the USC event calendar here.