Friday, October 19th, 2018

Panelist offer uncensored advice on sex

Katelyn Wiggins

Posted on March 21, 2016 in News
By USM Free Press

By Julie Pike, Contributor

On Tuesday, March 8, the newly founded group, Huskies for Reproductive Health, put on an event at the Gorham campus in Lower Brooks. The event was a panel of “sexperts” who could talk and answer any questions from students about all things sex related.

On the panel was Samar Jamali, a nurse practitioner from Health and Counseling Services at USM, Gina Roark, a sex educator and owner of Nomia in Portland and Kimberly Brown, a disease intervention specialist, from the Maine Center for Disease Control.  

The founders of Huskies for Reproductive Health, Emma Donnelly and Molly Concannon, both students at USM, created this event to help reduce the stigma that surrounds the topic of sex, especially on college campuses.

Their club began back in December, and the group decided that they need to bring the topic of sex and reproductive health up on campus. The “sexpert” panel was created to encourage students to ask their unanswered questions and to promote safe sex on campus.

Donnelly voiced the objective for the event: “We wanted students to be able to come to our event with their uncensored sex questions for our ‘sexperts’ to give them uncensored, down-to-earth, real answers with no judgement.”

The event was successful, as around thirty to forty students attended, with lots of audience participation to ask questions for the panel. Each student that attended got their own goody bag with information about how to keep themselves sexually healthy, including how to contact Planned Parenthood.

Most of the questions rendered laughs from the audience, for their generally uncomfortable nature, but the important part was that the audience was engaged in the talk and asked a variety of questions, no matter how embarrassing they may seem.

This was just what Donnelly had intended for the event: “The topic of sex always seems kind of taboo, but we are in college and this is the age where people are typically experimenting, or have their first long term relationship and are sexually active, so it needs to be talked about.”

To keep things light, free prizes were given away in several raffles, winners received free t-shirts, books, and various sex toys.

Dan Welter, chief of staff for Campus Life at USM, was there to engage the audience and gave the introduction for each of the panelists, and also created the ground rules for the event. Welter kept things light by getting the audience to laugh at the more uncomfortable topics.

Donnelly and Concannon provided extra resources for any students who wish to find out more about safe sex, reproductive health, and any other questions they have. Students who wish to find out more can visit Nomia, a sex shop in Portland, Planned Parenthood on Congress St. in Portland, Portland Infectious Diseases, where one of the “sexperts” Brown is from, and USM Health Services, which have many resources in terms of birth control, pelvic exams, and STD testing and treatment for all students to utilize.

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