Sextoberfest ends KSU Sex Week with education, fun


Black Squirrel Radio’s URL the Squirrel makes a guest appearance at Sextoberfest 2013. Submitted photo.

Mariam Makatsaria

Friday’s Sextoberfest offered students an education about everything from birth control to condoms to sex underwater. Residence-hall councils presented informational booths promoting sexual literacy.

“This is traditionally the last event of Sex Week,” said Alyssa Galmish, director of leadership development, who helped organize the event. “It’s the event where all the hall councils can come together and not only promote their hall but also get together with (Kent Interhall Council) and have a booth or a game or some kind of educational activity that promotes sex education.”

Kyle Hovest, vice president of programming and development for KIC, said Sextoberfest has been taking place since the 1990s.

The beach-themed event, organized by KIC, attracted more than 200 students in Room 306 of the Student Center. Twenty-five minutes before the event started, about 30 students lined up by the door. Sex Week is a five-day series of events aimed at teaching Kent State students sexual health and wellness.

“I think it is extremely helpful for students to come to Sex Week, because I really think that students who are in college are exposed to various influences that are sex-related,” Galmish said. “They need that education. Even though they might think that they have education from high school, I think it is really important to refresh their memory on aspects of their sex lives that they might not think about.”

Decorated with colorful leis, inflatable palm trees, green table skirts and tropical flower garlands, the atmosphere of the event made it easy to address taboo, sex-related topics.

“I think the program is a really great eye-opener,” said Shannon McFarland, director of community development who also helped organized the event. “It kind of shocks everyone who walks in, but at the same time, they learn new things. It allows the subject to be a fun one instead of just an objective thing, which is what it is usually taught as. It makes people more comfortable with it regardless of where they come from.”

The event featured sex-education games in which students competed for giveaways such as free condoms, candy, leis and sunglasses. All games provided students with a wide range of information that included how to put a condom on properly, how to stretch before sex and how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases.

Prizes were offered at many booths and games promoting sex education.

“This is my third year participating in Sextoberfest,” said Megan Corder, president of the National Residence Hall Honorary Black Squirrel Chapter, whose booth featured a game that allowed students to guess three health benefits of sex in exchange for a pair of sunglasses and free condoms. “It is my favorite activity of Sex Week because it really addresses issues about sexual health, sexual identity and sexual orientation that we don’t talk about because it’s taboo to talk about it. So I think it’s really important that we approach it in a fun way.”

Visitors were entertained by popular songs with sexual overtones as they played water pong, launch-a-thong, dressed up as drag queens and competed to put condoms on bananas faster than their friends.

Sextoberfest organizers also gave students green forms upon arriving at the event. Students could receive a free Sex Week shirt by filling the form with stickers from at least 20 booths. They could also circle their favorite hall council’s booth, giving it an opportunity to win a prize.

The hall council with the most points will receive a certificate and 20 hot points that will help them when they compete against other hall councils for an award at the end of the semester. The winner will be announced Wednesday.

National Residence Hall Honorary, Phoenix, PRIDE! Kent, Pure Romance and Fusion magazine also set up informational display boards and trivia challenges at booths.

“I think (Sextoberfest) was great,” said Rachel Barker, a junior special education major who came to the event with her friend. “It gets the word out there and does it in a fun way. It’s the last hurrah for Sex Week.”

Contact Mariam Makatsaria at [email protected].