Radical Sex & Consent Week: 2018
Words by Steff Leinasars
There's a lot to be said about sex and consent on the university campus these days… SO much (side-eyes the colleges). But when it comes to Radical Sex & Consent Week, the USU has you covered.
August 14th – 16th graced the grounds of Eastern Avenue with an amazing array of radical sex and consent panels aimed at educating our sweet academic brains, with panels and workshops discussing Sex & Disability, Sexual Assault on Campus, Polyamorous Relationships, Activist Movements and Cute AF Dildo Covers (just to name a few)!
Frequenting the Radical Sex & Consent tent, run by Kelsey and the rest of the USU events organising team, meant you were set to have an Amazing Time. Why? Tons of f*cking cool interactive panels. Possibly the BEST tote bag you will ever see in your lifetime by queer artist and writer – Sam Leighton-Dore – ft. lots of dicks (Sam loves to destroy the patriarchy with his raunchy art, you might remember him hitting the graffiti tunnel earlier this year before it’s short-lived demise). An interactive photo booth where you could print your face out FOR FREE, using the hashtag #USURADACCESS on Instagram! Plus, like, so many sexy chats with anyone and everyone interested in broadening your sexual knowledge! 10/10, a Good Time.
Highlights of the week:
- You Can’t Ask That – Sex & Disability, ft. Robin: BIG discussions around what to do and what not to do when having sexy times with a someone who is disabled. Basically, “Keep checking in, and don’t be a dick about it” (Robin).
- Online Dating – Consent for International Students, ft. Sissi: This was a last-minute panel discussing dating for international students and the f*cking ridiculous expectations which comes with dating ignorant Westerners. The host (Sissi) divulged a story about their experience with an ex-boyfriend who said, “I’m not racist, I just prefer Asian women”. Bye.
First Responders, ft. Karen, Jodi & Kate: These three ladies were just SO lovely and SO very well-educated on consent! They talked a lot about why consent is so f*cking important in literally every situation and told us about programs the university was working on to improve awareness on the importance of consent. (Familiar with the consent module? That’s them!)
What Must Be Done – Queercrips Under Capitalism, ft. Robin, Georgia & Margot: Or as Robin put it “angry crippled moaning hour” was just, maybe my favourite panel tbh? These three talked a lot about sex & disability and how “people think they’re being subtle [when talking about them] when they’re just being an asshole” (Georgia & Robin).
- You Can’t Ask That – Polyamory, ft. Meow: No, not that thing where you have multiple wives. This is the radical sex term referring to people with “multiple loves” (Meow). This panel talked about what polyamory is and how it’s actually a really healthy relationship dynamic to have, despite society telling you otherwise. Really, all it comes down to is “Safe sex & respect” (Meow).
Common themes from the week:
- Safer Spaces – Why we need more of them and why they’re so f*cking important!
- Stigma and Shame – No matter which panel I went to; this was discussed in great detail. Stigma and shame continue to be a large part of why sex and sexual health remains so taboo.
- Consent – Consent! Consent! Consent!
- Evaluation – Taking a step back to notice what you’re doing to yourself and others is so damn important! Re-evaluating things can be a great way to help relationship troubles.
- Self-actualisation & realisation – Talking more and more about sex and sexual health is just a great f*cking thing for discovering who you really are and what you need/want.
- Worth – “Worth depends on productive capacity”, “Capacity is such an empty word” (Robin). 100% agree. Worth, the definition of and how you can do whatever the f*ck you want despite social structures and expectations surrounding ‘worth’ was discussed in great detail throughout the week. Much love.
Honourable mentions to Kelsey (for organising the event), Sam (for making dicks Great Again), Shades (for providing the goods as usual) and NSW R*pe Crisis & RPA Sexual Assault (for providing some amazing hosts and information).
TLDR; What the f*ck was Radical Sex & Consent Week? With its 5th year running, Radical Sex & Consent Week [RSCW] is all about celebrating diversity and normalising discussion around active consent (no brainer) and promoting positive, satisfying sex and sexual health. Grown from a one-day event in 2014 to the three-day banger we have the beauty of partaking in on an annual basis now, RSCW is The Place to be in semester two. Tickled your curiosity (or other parts?), below are some links about past RSCW events! Indulge yourself - learn more about your body, your partners (or multiple) bodies, all things consent and how to have a good time during sexy time.