Today was the ninth and final day of “Sex Week” at Yale. The Beatles said it best: “Eight days a week, I lo-o-o-o-ove you. Eight days a week, is not enough to show I care.”
The day began with a talk by alt-porn producer Tristan Taormino. She was introduced as a filmmaker who “tries to promote a pleasure-positive view of sexuality, and also tries to challenge gender norms through porn.”
Taormino is author of the book Opening Up, which serves as a kind of how-to guide for a variety of non-monogamous lifestyles. Her talk was called “Beyond Monogamy: The Case for Open Relationships.” She argued that high rates of infidelity and divorce disprove the idea that humans are naturally monogamous. She called cheating a “shadow institution” in American culture.
Non-monogamous relationships allow people to be more honest, Taormino said, and to pursue supplementary relationships in an ethical way. By maintaining open communication, people in such relationships can learn to overcome what she called “dark emotions,” such as jealousy and insecurity.
The second talk today, entitled “Sexual Fantasies,” was presented by sex therapist and HBO personality Susan Block (aka Dr. Suzy). Block has spoken at every Sex Week since the event’s inception in 2002. At that time, she said, conducting a Sex Week was considered “a crazy idea, a fantasy.” But Yale has inspired other colleges and universities to hold similar events, she said.
During her talk, Block described various categories of sexual fantasy. She brought along a number of adult-themed DVDs that she had produced. Not all the titles are printable here. But there was one called “The Bonobo Way,” and another called “Eros Day,” which she said contained footage of an orgy she had held in celebration of Obama’s victory. She handed out her DVDs to students, along with about 20 Doc Johnson “Pocket Rockets.”
The final event of Sex Week was a talk called “Positively Sexual,” by prominent porn star Sasha Grey.
Grey, who at 21 years of age is perhaps the best-known porn actresses in the U.S., spoke about how she got into the adult-film industry, and about her experiences in the business. She also talked about her plans for life after porn. She said she hopes to start a family some day. “I obviously will not be performing in adult films then,” she said.
In an interview, I asked Grey what she hoped students would take away from her talk. “People my age are uncomfortable with their sexuality, and I want to change that,” she said. “Ignorance breeds fear. The more you learn, the more you’re aware of yourself. If we had better sex-ed in this country, there would be less teen pregnancy and a lower STD rate.”
With those words, Sex Week at Yale 2010 came to a close.
– I would like to thank the folks at NRO, especially Robert VerBruggen, for the support this past week. To follow me on Twitter, click here.