The Oberlin Review
<< Front page News October 14, 2005

Safer Sex Night to return with some new tricks

Be still, vicious rumors: there will be a Safer Sex Night this year on Nov. 3 and it has the potential to outshine last year’s.

For those of us who have never attended Safer Sex Night, it is not exactly what right-winger Jean Pearce called “an orgy held on campus,” but it is a giant dance party where scantily clad Oberlin College students, with their private parts covered, of course, pass the night dancing, watching sexual education skits and socializing.

This year’s SSN theme, “Will You Play With Me,” is meant to “show how safe sex can be fun and consent can be sexy,” said junior Nickie Hill, Sexual Information Center member.

“The intent of Safer Sex Night is to educate people about safer sex and consent practices in a non-classroom setting and in a fun way,” she said.

In the spirit of Safer Sex Night’s purpose, there will be two game rooms set up at the event featuring a whole array of entertainment which will possibly include sexualized versions of charades, Twister, Scattagories and other games.

These new twists on childhood fun will not be the only way that the SIC is attempting to change indoctrinated views on sex. Safer Sex Night has also expanded their workshop repertoire to include workshops on homemade sex toys, lubricants, erotic stories and non-Western sex cultures.

Senior Rachel Lindy, another member of the SIC, hopes that workshops like these will “take sex-ed out of the sterile classrooms that we all grew up with in high school.”

In the spirit of the SIC’s initial purpose of educating students on sex, this year’s SSN will include an open forum for people to write down any questions they might have. Their questions will be answered for everyone’s benefit towards the end of the evening.

This year, the SIC has begun discussing the event with school administration early to prevent last year’s abrupt, last-minute changes. Some of last year’s changes included the switch to an earlier time slot and having to relinquish the beloved “Tent of Consent,” which in a Review article last year, Dean of Students Linda Gates remarked was not the “best way to educate about consent because it creates pressure for people to participate in ways that they might not otherwise.”

“While we’ve lost the Tent of Consent, we are creating programs that reach out to greater numbers of people,” said senior SIC member Drew Farnsworth.

SSN this year holds the much more desirable time slot of 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., instead of the inhibiting 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. of last year. This is hoped to attract more students. SSN is the SIC’s fundraiser.

“We use the revenue generated from this event to pay for all the events we do anyway,” said junior Miriam Drapkin, another member of the SIC. “We are open seven days a week, we provide condoms, lubricants and safer sex supplies at cost, along with free walk-in counseling. We also have a lending library stocked with information for everything from how to make your own whips and adoption to issues of assault and gender.”

SIC member and senior Tom Fort added that they “have many local community resources pertaining to sexual health.” The SIC also runs the SexCo every semester.

This year, SIC is also planning a sex health conference in March with some of the money raised on SSN. The SIC hopes to have a variety of alumni and people speaking about all aspects of sexual health at the event, including Joani Blank OC ’59, the proprietor of the nationwide sex shop Good Vibrations.

SSN is still a work in progress, so the SIC is accepting any questions or suggestions in Wilder Box 26 or at They can also be reached on AOL Instant Messenger during their office hours by the screenname Oberlin SIC.


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