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Kathryn Brown
IU Health Center

Tracy James
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sexploration Week: Sexual health, plastic surgery, pharmaceuticals among topics covered

Oct. 14, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The third annual Sexploration Week at IU will begin on Monday (Oct. 18) at Indiana University Bloomington, offering the campus and Bloomington communities speakers and activities designed to address sexual health and sexuality-related issues in a sex-positive fashion.

Sexploration 2010

Events include talks by photographer and gender-conscious plastic surgeon David Teplica and author Justin Spring, who wrote the new biography Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade, free HIV testing and the 38th annual Health Fair. Activities include a viewing of the documentary Orgasm, Inc. followed by a talk with its director, Liz Canner. Sexploration at IU is developed and organized by the IU Health Center's Health & Wellness Education Department.

"We want to provide our students with sex-positive out-of-classroom experiences," said Kathryn Brown, a sexual health educator at the IU Health Center. "This gives students a chance to hear speakers and see a film that would not be a typical part of a college experience. We hope that students, and in fact the larger university and Bloomington community, will take advantage of these opportunities and attend these events."

David Teplica

David Teplica

Photo by J Dworkin

David Teplica

Teplica, a photographer and plastic surgeon who contemplates gender and explores people's inner wishes and desires about their bodies, will be speak at IU Bloomington Oct. 18 at 4 p.m. in Woodburn 100. His talks are illustrated by his provocative, surprising, and artistic photographs of people as they are, and as they wish to become. This lecture, "Pleasure and Plastic Surgery: Reshaping Gender and Genetics," is free, open to the public and co-sponsored by The Kinsey Institute and the Department of Gender Studies.

"David Teplica is passionate about his work, and communicates that to his audience," said Jennifer Bass, director of communications at The Kinsey Institute. "He gets people thinking about how they identify themselves in the world -- and how their bodies play into this identity. Plastic surgery is such a fascinating and controversial topic today, with people electing to change everything from their abdomen to their genitals to their total gender. Dr. Teplica gets us thinking about what we are born with and offers insight into what it means to undergo sometimes drastic, sometimes subtle, body modification. And he's an amazing photographer."

Teplica, who is a clinical faculty member at the University of Chicago, Section of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, is vocal about the need for gender-specific operations.

"Most plastic surgical procedures were designed for women," he said. "If these operations are used on men, then feminization occurs, and men are very unhappy. Sadly, there isn't much dialogue in the plastic surgery world about this."

Orgasm, Inc.

A viewing of the film Orgasm, Inc., will be held on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Indiana Memorial Union's Whittenberger Auditorium. The documentary is about pharmaceutical companies' never-ending quest to be the first to get their "female Viagra" FDA approved. After the film's viewing there will be time for questions with the film's director, Liz Canner, who worked for the main pharmaceutical company featured in this film. Canner has conducted extensive research that didn't make it into the film and has insider information about other "female Viagra" drugs that she will be sharing after the film's viewing. This event is free and is sponsored by Union Board.

Orgasm Inc. Film

"Orgasm, Inc." takes a look at pharmceutical companies' race to create an FDA-approved "female Viagra"

Canner had a job editing erotic videos for a drug trial for a pharmaceutical company that was developing an orgasm cream for women. She received permission to interview and film her employers and realized that this pharmaceutical company and others were not just in the business of developing drugs.

"In order to create a drug that is FDA approved, there needs to be a disease," Canner said. "The cream needs to cure something that is wrong with you. Female Sexual Dysfunction is this broad disorder."

For more information about these presentations, please visit

Here are some additional highlights of Sexploration Week:

  • Free HIV Testing provided by Bloomington Hospital's Positive Link, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Indiana Memorial Union's Oak Room.
  • IU's 38th annual Health Fair, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. in the Indiana Memorial Union's Alumni Hall: This event includes free screenings, information, healthy snacks, mocktails and interactive activities. Flu shots are available, but for a fee.
  • "Writing Sexual Biography: The Story Behind Secret Historian," Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. in Fine Arts 015: Justin Spring, author of the biography, Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade, will talk about the fascinating life of Steward.

"This year's Sexploration Week covers an array of topics both timely and fascinating: plastic surgery, pharmaceutical companies, sexual health awareness and the life of a secret sex researcher," Brown said. "Every IU student should be able to find a subject to which they can relate and find interesting at this year's Sexploration Week."

Sponsors for IU's Sexploration Week include Health & Wellness Education, IU Health Center; Union Board; The Kinsey Institute; Bloomington Hospital's Positive Link; Planned Parenthood; GLBT Student Support Services; and Pure Romance, Inc.

A complete schedule of events can be found under the Events heading on the IU Health Center homepage, For information please contact Kathryn Brown at 812-855-7338 or