Take your average seminar. Then, take away the classroom and replace it with a frat house. Remove the circular table in favor of a large screen television playing pornography. And as the final touch, kick out the professor and invite a porn star to lead the class.
The wandering eyes and X-rated daydreams can, however, remain.
This is no fantasy. This is Sex Week at Yale: Education, the way you wish it were.
Undergraduates and graduate students alike participated in a number of eyebrow-raising nocturnal events this week celebrating the act of love.
Wednesday, 11:59 p.m., 16 Lynwood Place: In a tight black t-shirt reading “Everybody Loves an Aries” and standing only a head taller than the big-screen TV, Devinn Lane, star of Wicked Pictures, was at first difficult to distinguish from the typical college co-ed.
Pushing into the living room of Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Lynwood house and maneuvering their way through the crowd, beers in hand, students jostled for a view of the taped porn, but had a more difficult time locating the live entertainment.
“Where is she?” several newcomers whispered to their neighbors, straining on their toes to catch a glimpse.
The event, hosted by the revived “ancient society” Porn and Chicken and organized by Sex Week at Yale, gave those invited exactly what it advertised: plenty of porn, chicken and the chance to speak with a porn star.
“Your girl wants you to talk dirty to her,” Lane said to the gathered partiers — mostly men — as she answered their numerous questions about anything and everything.
The audiences’ glazed gazes occasionally shifted from the naughty judge removing her robe on the television to Lane, holding a chicken leg in her hand. Patient and unembarrassed, Lane lectured on geometry (concerns of size) and mathematics, in particular, how to make a party of two into a party of three. She happily dispelled the myth that “Ribbed for Her Pleasure” condoms work.
Fashion was also a topic of concern. Does she prefer turtlenecks or v-necks, one audience member wanted to know.
“V-neck for men or turtleneck for women,” Lane answered. “Because I’m bisexual, I always talk about both sexes equally.”
Amen, cried the audience.
“I think it’s really crazy that our school is bringing up these topics,” said Erica Deahl ’07, one of only a handful of women at the party. “It’s sort of surreal.”
Deahl and her two friends, Lexi Newman ’07 and Janice Wang ’07, said this was their first time viewing porn. All three agreed that the party afforded an unprecedented opportunity and a great story for their grandchildren.
Although certainly more titillating than a college seminar, many at the party said they thought it was still educational.
One freshman from Saybrook College, who declined to give his name, said the party was a lot more interesting than a college seminar and just as informative. Listening to Lane, he said, had altered his perception of the adult entertainment industry.
“I didn’t expect her to be well articulated,” he said. “I [now] think there’s a lot more to it than sex on camera.”
Not to be outdone, graduate students also had their share of kinkiness this week — Graduate Sexual Health Awareness Week coincides with Sex Week.
Thursday, 9:15 p.m., GPSCY: The McDougal Center Wellness Fellows combined two of Yale’s favorite guilty pleasures for their annual “Sex and Chocolate” party.
The soiree, held in an intimate, candlelit room in the Graduate and Professional Student Center at Yale, was filled with rich foods and a smattering of sexual health tips. Fondue, strawberries and Hershey’s chocolate shared table space with condoms, dental dams and STD awareness brochures.
The McDougal Fellows, Naurin Ahmad EPH ’04 and Hannah Gould, EPH ’06, said they intended the party to promote sexual awareness in a fun way.
“We want people to be safe, but have fun,” Gould said.
Students sipped Godiva martinis as they perused flyers full of tips for better enjoyment of sex toys, courtesy of New York naughty shop Toys in Babeland. They chatted as they stood around a large scarlet cake and plates full of cookies, their gazes occasionally drawn to the condom-sporting bananas that lay here and there.
Sanjay Unni EPH ’05, who came with a group of his friends, said he was having a good time.
“They did a good job selling it, making it fun and interesting,” Unni said. “Chocolate sells.”
An educational element was subtly laced into the hedonism. Students tested their knowledge in the “Wheel of Sexual Health” game, and could pick up sex safety kits, full of condoms and a small instruction manual, on their way in. Having learned about correct lubricant usage and gorged themselves on chocolate treats, students could leave the party — and sex week in general — with new knowledge and a purse full of Trojans.
“Everything about it reminds me of my time at Yale,” sexologist Dr. Susan Block ’77 said at the Porn and Chicken party. “Except the porn blaring through the halls and the porn star.”