‘One Big Sex Night’ aims to sexually empower students

Carly Weckstein, a representative from the Pleasure Chest, a Los Angeles sex shop, spoke to at least 40 students in Argyros Forum Feb. 6 about sexual empowerment, handing out prizes like spanking sticks and lubricant. Photo by Gabriella Anderson

On any given day, Argyros Forum is a cozy hub for Chapman students, home to Jamba Juice, study nooks and bagels – but on Wednesday Feb 6, it became home to a sex education extravaganza with hand-drawn posters of male and female erogenous zones, penis-shaped lollipops and casual conversations about bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism, also known as BDSM.

Every February, Chapman’s University Program Board Club (UPB) hosts its annual “One Big Sex Night,” where employees from the Pleasure Chest, an adult entertainment store in Los Angeles, California, come to teach Chapman students about everything from enhancing sexual experiences, to consent, to even spanking sticks.

“I was expecting a cappella groups to sing about sex like they did in ‘Pitch Perfect,’ but I actually thought the speaker was much more entertaining,” said Kirstin Bastin, a freshman vocal performance major.

The evening was not quite what Bastin expected, she said, but she left with “thorough explanations” on topics that ranged from pornography to sex toys.

“I absolutely love teaching college students,” Carly Weckstein, the evening’s representative from the Pleasure Chest, told The Panther. “We imparted knowledge to empower folks to have hot consensual sex.”

Armed with new sexual knowledge, 40 to 50 audience members went home with handouts like phallic candy, BDSM toys, condoms and different lubricants.

Learning about sex as a college student is critical, Weckstein said, and an increase in knowledge can be “empowering.” Her goal is to help students understand ways to enhance their sex lives.

Sex education in college can provide a sometimes much-needed crash course for students who may not have learned the ins and outs of a healthy sex life in high school.

Only 24 states require sex education, according to a 2016 study released by the National Conference of State Legislation, and four of those states require parental consent.

But college sex education and open discussions about sex are on the rise – Harvard University hosts a “sex week” each year, with 2019 marking its ninth return to campus. This year, a Harvard survey found that around half of those who responded have or believe they have a sexual fetish.

Writing on poster paper in front of her audience at Chapman, Weckstein asked the crowd to shout out sexual narratives and societal expectations, breaking down the idea that only “sexy” people deserve to have sex.

“Enhancing your sex life is through your own agency,” Weckstein said, aiming to dismantle the sometimes “unrealistic messages” associated with college sex life.