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Last modified: Friday, September 16, 2011

Sexploration Week: Discussions, testing, speed dating and more

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 16, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The fourth-annual Sexploration Week at Indiana University begins on Monday (Sept. 19), with a talk about sex trafficking. Activities include a busload of sexual health information, a discussion about IU's groundbreaking national sex survey, and even some speed dating, a "Friends, Partners, Date Game Show," a drag show and a call for secrets.

"Sexploration Week at IU, now a tradition on the Bloomington campus, is sex education at its very best," said Cathlene Hardy Hansen, director of Health & Wellness Education at the IU Health Center. "It's an opportunity for us to explore the many dimensions of orientation-inclusive sexuality."

Sex on the Move

Each day's events will fall under a different theme. The topic for Monday is "Safe Sex," highlighting sex trafficking and ways to keep safe. Tuesday will feature "Sex on the Move" with a Mobile Health Promotion Bus that will provide "safer" sex information, STI testing for men, on-site dietitians, massage and other healthful information, such as tips for managing stress and for quitting smoking.

"Even though the STI testing here isn't for women, we want women to bring their boyfriends or male friends," said Kathryn Brown, IU Health Center health educator.

As the week continues, activities "celebrate the diverse nature of our sexual health and well-being, from identity to relationships, with internationally known experts and sexual celebrities who are living and working right along with us at IU," Hansen said.

Sex in America

By "celebrities," Hansen refers to IU sexuality researchers who spoke to many print, radio and television reporters over a period of several months after releasing the results of their groundbreaking National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior almost a year ago.

During Wednesday's panel discussion "Americans and Sex: What They Do, Who They Do it with and What they Think About It," the local community can listen to researchers from the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, The Kinsey Institute and the IU School of Medicine discuss their detailed study and answer audience questions. The study can be read and downloaded from this site, where it has already been downloaded around 73,000 times.

"In addition, we include creative, sex positive ways to educate, entertain and explore the role of sex in our lives," Brown said.

Thursday's theme will involve "Healthy Sexuality and Relationships," including the Friends, Partners, Date Game Show, while Friday's events focus on "Fun Sex and Art" with a drag show at Uncle E's for those age 21 and older.

IUSecrets

IUSecrets, described in more detail here, was inspired by the moving PostSecret project, which involves inviting people to anonymously share a secret on a decorated postcard. As part of Sexploration Week and a special Health and Wellness Week planned for October, IUSecrets has been launched to encourage the campus community to send in anonymous postcards. Postcards received by Oct. 1 will be displayed in the Solarium at the Indiana Memorial Union during the annual health fair on Oct. 6.

"The truth is that we all have secrets," said Debby Herbenick, associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. "Some of our secrets are small and light-hearted. Other secrets can feel big and scary. When we keep them to ourselves, they can make us feel alone. When we share them with others, we often realize that we're not alone at all."

Blank postcards will be passed out on campus next week. Students, faculty and staff can also use an index card and send it to Herbenick via Campus Mail or the U.S. Postal Service at HPER 116, Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind., 47405. For more information, visit http://iusecrets.tumblr.com/.

Sexploration Week activities:

  • Sex Trafficking: Monday, Sept. 19, from noon-1 p.m. in the Frangipani Room at the Indiana Memorial Union. Stepanka Korytova (Magstadt), lecturer in the International Studies Program and Labor Studies at IU Bloomington, says illegal trafficking in humans, which has been documented in the American Midwest, is the second most profitable international trade, surpassing illegal drugs. She will discuss the history of global human trafficking as well as Indiana legislation regarding human trafficking and what communities can do to eradicate the trade.
  • Mobile Health Unit: Tuesday, Sept. 20, noon-5 p.m., just off East Seventh Street between the School of HPER and the IU Art Museum. The bus will include free sexually transmitted infection testing for men, in addition to health information on nutrition, sexuality, tobacco cessation and other topics.
  • "Americans and Sex: What they do, who they do it with and what they think about it": Wednesday, Sept. 21, 3:45 p.m.-4:45 p.m., in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation Auditorium. National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior Panel. Researchers from the Center for Sexual Health Promotion in the School of HPER, The Kinsey Institute and IU School of Medicine will discuss their findings from the 2010 survey, the largest nationally representative study of sexual and sexual-health behaviors.
  • Speed Dating: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 7-9 p.m., State Room East, IMU. In a speed dating fashion, find a date or simply make new friends.
  • The Friends, Partners, Date Game Show: Thurs., Sept. 22, 6:30 p.m., La Casa, 715 E. Seventh St. Contestants compete against each other in a series of revealing question rounds to determine how well they know (or don't know) each other. Find out from the "sexperts" how well the contestants actually know their "stuff."
  • The West End Girls drag show: Friday, Sept. 23, 10 p.m. and midnight, Uncle Elizabeth's Nightclub, 1614 W. Third St. Must be 21 or over to attend.
  • Related campus and community theatre events: IU Theatre Department's production of "Hair," Oct. 7-8, 11-15, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 15, 2 p.m. matinee, Halls Theatre; IU Theatre Department's production of In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play, Oct. 21-22, 25-29, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 29, 2 p.m. matinee, Wells Metz; University Players student production of Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party, Oct. 21-22, 8 p.m., Oct. 23, 2 p.m. matinee Waldron Arts Center.

This year's Sexploration Week activities also kick off a series of Wellness Weeks on the Bloomington campus that will provide speakers and activities involving stress, alcohol and other health issues. Three additional weeks of activities, each with a different focus, will take place in October.

Sponsor's for "Sexploration at IU" include: The Kinsey Institute, Kinsey Confidential, Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Positive Link, The IU Health Center and Health and Wellness Education.

For a detailed schedule, please visit healthcenter.indiana.edu/wellness/ or Health and Wellness Facebook page or Sexploration Facebook page.

For more information, please contact Cathlene Hardy Hansen at 812-855-7338 or chhansen@indiana.edu.