All posts by abby

Take Back the Night at Harvard

Sex Week was such a huge success! THANKS to everyone who supported us! We wanted to let everyone know about Take Back The Night at Harvard, which is an entire MONTH. The program looks amazing. TBTN is sponsored by OSAPR and Response. Check it out here:

Take Back The Night 2012


TBTN Kickoff and Saturday Night Launch
Sunday April 1st

Ticknor Lounge

Kickoff Take Back the Night 2012 and launch the 6th edition of Saturday Night @ Harvard! Enjoy Spoken Word and A Cappella performances, Saturday Night magazines and readings, and some delicious food including pizza, burritos, and a dessert table.

The Price of Sex
A documentary film investigating sex trafficking by Mimi Chakarova
Tuesday April 3 @ 6pm
Fong Auditorium

The Price of Sex is a feature-length documentary about young Eastern European women who’ve been drawn into a netherworld of sex trafficking and abuse. Intimate, harrowing and revealing, it is a story told by the young women who were supposed to be silenced by shame, fear and violence. Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova, who grew up in Bulgaria, takes us on a personal investigative journey, exposing the shadowy world of sex trafficking from Eastern Europe to the Middle East and Western Europe. Filming undercover and gaining extraordinary access, Chakarova illuminates how even though some women escape to tell their stories, sex trafficking thrives.

Queer Sex Etiquette Dinner
Wed April 11 6-8pm
Leverett Private Dining Hall

Is there such a thing as too much lube? What’s the best way to ask for consent? Where exactly is the G spot (and what do I do once I’ve found it)? How do we open up our relationship? Where can I learn more about the kink/BDSM?

We all have questions about sex, and often desire a non-judgmental, open, and honest space to get those questions answered. Sexperts and sex educators Shana Natelson and Lyndon Cudlitz are here to answer your questions about sex, queer sexuality, and sexual etiquette. Join us in a comfortable, queer-positive space to have a discussion about sex, relationships, desire and so much more!

Hard Bodies, Soft Lights: Sports, Media, and Gender Performance
Professor Kerey Luis, Lecturer on Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Th April 12 @ 7:30pm
Harvard Hall 201

Sports, particularly professional sports, are often considered masculine in the United States (as the advertisements for the Super Bowl constantly remind us).  However, female athletes both challenge and support traditional heteronormative discourses about sports as a male activity, and sports as constructed for a male gaze. Media portrayals of athletes, particularly female athletes, use gender, the body, and sexuality to reinforce common cultural discourses about male and female bodies as essentially different, heterosexuality as “normal” and desirable, and particular body forms as able, beautiful, and healthy.  The media normalizes these ideas and images, writing them on and through the bodies of female athletes, although the athletes themselves may paradoxically defy such stereotyping.

Epic Vagina
Jincey Lumpkin
Monday April 16 @ 8pm
Sever 113

Jincey Lumpkin, Esq is known as the “Lesbian Hugh Hefner”, but she was not always a woman in control of her own sexual destiny. Epic Vagina describes her journey from victim to victor and how she overcame a history of sex abuse in order to reclaim her sexual power and change the landscape of the adult entertainment industry. The talk features strong graphic imagery and frank discussion of sexual topics, so it is appropriate only for adults 18 and older.

‘Love the way you lie': Reading Rihanna’s Political Response to Personal Assault
Kevin Allred
Thursday April 19 @ 8pm
Sever 102

Tracing Rihanna’s often overlooked responses in her music to her violent assault at the hands of Chris Brown, from Rated R all the way to the newest remix of the song “Birthday Cake” – featuring Brown himself – I argue for a politicized reading of the violence she has invoked since the assault occurred that takes into account the complicated, conflicted, and ongoing (even in its absence) relationship a woman has with her abuser.  Moreover, when race is centralized in the analysis, I argue that one can read complex statements about black women’s bodies as acceptable sites of abuse/violence in the U.S. and the media, as well as Rihanna’s own challenges to embodying that violence, both personally and more generically in the media, through her lyrics and visual images as attempts to reassert her own control personally, commercially, and politically.

Men Boys and Healing
Tuesday April 24 @ 7pm
Fong Auditorium

Boys and Men Healing is a documentary about the impact the sexual abuse of boys has on both the individual and society, and the importance of healing and speaking out for male survivors to end the devastating effects. The film portrays stories of three courageous non-offending men whose arduous healing helped them reclaim their lives—while giving them a powerful voice to speak out, and take bold action toward prevention for other boys.  The film includes a support group of men and is testimony to the importance of men finding safe places to support one another and share their stories together.

Haitian Panel
Date, time, location TBD

Candlelight Vigil
Wed April 25th @ 8pm
Memorial Church Steps

Join us as we close out the month of events with a Candlelight Vigil. This vigil is meant to literally and symbolically illuminate the darkness of abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Survivors and allies are invited to share their stories in this confidential and supportive space.

Photos from SPRING FEVER!

Check out photos from out kick off event with Megan Andelloux, certified Sexologist and Sex Educator!

Don’t forget our Monday events, which include How To Talk to Your Doctor About Sex, Adams LCR, 6:30PM, and Hooking Up On Campus with Dr. Lisa Wade, Science Center D, 8PM!

Announcing the finalized Sex Week schedule!

For more details about each event, go to our schedule here.

All events are free and open to the public.

Announcing the Sex Week schedule!

Take a look at our schedule here!

Any comments, suggestions, or pertinent topics that you think should be addressed? Any connections that you can make to your experience at Harvard (something you’ve heard from a friend, in a dhall, or in a class)?

Let us know in the comments, or fill out this google doc by 2/1!

As thanks, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a Picobong minivibe or Intimate Organics Foot Foreplay Coca Bean and Goji Berry lotion (your choice!). Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or let other people know about this giveaway by tweeting to gain additional entries for the drawing!

We can only ship to Harvard campus mail boxes. We’ll send your prize in a plain box when the drawing closes a week from today, on Wednesday, 2/1 at 11:59pm Eastern!

Continue Reading →

Why do I support Sex Week? #2

This post is Part 2 of “Why do I support Sex Week?
Read more about our supporters here→


I graduated high school not knowing how to do two essential things: I didn’t know how to do my taxes, and I didn’t know how to use a condom. Seriously, how is it possible to declare 18-year-olds ready for adult life if they can’t be financially responsible or sexually healthy in the most basic ways? I sat through weeks of peer presentations on gonorrhea and syphilis and herpes in 9th grade, and then again in 11th, but no one thought it would be useful to bring in a condom and open it up? No one thought it would be helpful to explain how to put it on and how to throw it away, to use a new condom every time but to never use two at a time? (And how many of you learned that condoms had an expiration date from that episode of Friends where Ross finds out the hard way?)

Sex education is an issue I care a lot about. I get angry a least once a week about how little American teenagers know about sex, and how about high our STI rates are, and how high our teen pregnancy rates are. If we’re not getting the education we need to be healthy adults by the end of high school, then we need to do some serious catch-up in college. So, in the words of Salt-N-Pepa, let’s talk about sex, baby!

– Erin

Sex Week comes to Tumblr!

Check out the new Sex Week tumblr for your daily (or more than daily!) update of images, links, and quotes related to everything Sex Week–sex, sexuality, love, relationships, gender identity and expression. That’s right, love is in the air–digital air.

Have a burning question or want to submit images, videos, and links to our tumblr? Ask us anonymously or submit content here.

Harvard College Student Organization Announces First “Sex Week at Harvard College”


Harvard College Student Organization Announces First “Sex Week at Harvard College”

The campus-wide collaborative program will run from March 25-31, 2012.

Cambridge, MA    November 11, 2011

As a new undergraduate student organization founded by Abby Sun (Harvard College ‘13) and Samantha Meier (Harvard College ‘12), Sexual Health Education & Advocacy throughout Harvard College (SHEATH) will coordinate the first campus-wide Sex Week at Harvard College next spring.

Sex Week at Harvard College will feature a diversity of topics related to love, sex, and sexuality in order to connect communities both within and beyond Harvard.  All events aspire to foster open, productive, and ongoing discussion about sex and sexuality while also supporting a variety of sponsoring organizations, issues, and event formats.  The current Harvard-affiliated co-sponsors of Sex Week at Harvard include the Harvard College Women’s Center, the Center for Wellness, the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR), and the Office of BGLTQ Student Life.

With the inaugural Sex Week at Harvard College, which will be held March 25-31, 2012, SHEATH aims to expand the scope of sexual health awareness and wellness on campus.  Meier emphasizes it is a priority that events during Sex Week at Harvard College comprehensively address salient issues within a variety of Harvard communities, including religious, ethnic, cultural, and LGBTQ communities.  “The Women’s Center is pleased to support SHEATH in its efforts to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all genders that encourages dialogue and diversity–a core component of the Women’s Center’s mission,” says Gina Helfrich, Director of the Women’s Center.

During her tenure as the co-director of Harvard’s sexual health peer counseling group, Meier noticed that students have long expressed a need for events that deal with sexual health, sexual relationships, and negotiating sexuality in everyday lives.  “OSAPR is happy to be participating in Sex Week at Harvard College, ” Sarah Rankin, the Director of OSAPR, agrees.  “We believe that talking about issues like honest communication, enthusiastic consent, and the opportunity for self-reflection fosters an environment that supports healthy sexual experiences.”

The organizers of Sex Week at Harvard College are currently contacting student groups at Harvard in order to reach a diverse group of individuals and communities across campus.  Meier was concerned that many events addressing issues of sex and sexuality were held at different times of the year by student groups who did not necessarily communicate with each other regarding their events. “Although many of the events that student organizations hold about dating, love, and sex are very successful, most of the time this type of dialogue is limited to an insular community, rather than being discussed more broadly across campus,” Meier says. “Many students are unaware of the sexual health resources that we as Harvard students have access to on campus, and often know even less about resources off-campus or in our neighboring communities.”

“SHEATH is dedicated to ensuring that 100% of the events and activities during Sex Week at Harvard will be inclusive and welcoming of people of all identities and beliefs,” Sun explains.  “But we also see a huge amount of potential for Sex Week at Harvard College to become a platform for connecting people and communities, as well as a launching pad for continuing meaningful discussions and examinations of sex and relationships.”

Sun and Meier emphasize the importance of Sex Week’s potential, given the controversial history of Sex Weeks at other colleges.  At Harvard, student, staff, and administrative responses have been overwhelmingly positive.  “The Center for Wellness has been searching to find a way to bring a healthy sexuality conversation and exploration to Harvard,” notes Jeanne Mahon, Director of the Center for Wellness. “We are excited to be a part of Sex Week at Harvard College and especially pleased that there is so much student interest and support.”

In the upcoming months, SHEATH will leverage a unique combination of new and social media to create widespread support and anticipation of Sex Week at Harvard College.  For Sun, who co-founded the Feminist Portrait Project (formerly Feminist Coming Out Day), now a part of the  Feminist Majority Foundation’s campus programming, it is vital that Sex Week at Harvard College feature innovative publicity and education campaigns that integrate on-campus publicity activities with an event website and social media, in order to engage this generation of college students.

SHEATH is finalizing the schedule for Sex Week at Harvard and looking for partnerships with campus groups, community organizations, local businesses, and companies.  Contact sexweek@hcs.harvard.eduto suggest events, speakers, and collaborations to help make Sex Week at Harvard a resounding success.

Can’t wait until March for Sex Week at Harvard College?  Follow the events’ progress through our mailing list, blog, Facebook, or Twitter.


Be a part of Sex Week!

Want to help organize Sex Week?

We are currently accepting applications to our Executive Board, which will direct and coordinate Sex Week at Harvard overall. Apply as soon as possible to get in the action early!

Cosponsor Sex Week at Harvard

Student organizations such as PCC, Response, and the Radcliffe Union of Students (RUS), as well as the Center for Wellness, the Harvard College Women’s Center, and the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response are all cosponsoring Sex Week at Harvard. For other organizations who are also interested in cosponsoring the entire Sex Week at Harvard, cosponsoring only specific events during the week, or participating in other ways, please email for more details.