Sex in the Dark answers students’ anonymous questions

“Blue balls are not life threatening,” sex educator Marshall Miller said. “Your partner will survive if they just take matters into their own hands.” 

This was just one of the many sex-ed brain nuggets shared with over 400 students at Sex in the Dark Wednesday night, Oct. 23, in the KIVA. 

Sex in the Dark is a part of the sex week events put on by Kent Interhall Council, where students can ask their burning sex questions in an anonymous, sex positive Q&A format.

The two-hour event is a favorite among students. At the start of the night, attendees wrote their questions on provided index cards to be answered and discussed in a casual yet informative setup by sex educators Marshall Miller and Stephanie Campos from the college sex education program, “Sex Discussed Here!

“Sex week is our kind of week,” Campos said. “And sex and darkness go very well together.”

Topics from anal sex preparation to whether body count matters were discussed and no question was off limits. The animated crowd was cheering, clapping, laughing and swinging complimentary glow sticks as the conversation shed light on some real and under-discussed issues. 

“You can ask anything under the sun about sex,” Campos said. “We feel very comfortable talking about sex.”

The night opened with questions like: how can I improve my sexual endurance, how do I know if I have an STI, is period sex OK and does size matter? 

Miller said the anonymous platform is helpful to create a more full and honest discussion.

Conversations about all kinds of sex involving the full spectrum of gender identity and sexual orientation were welcomed. Miller and Campos were thorough in answering every question through several perspectives. 

“We should acknowledge the sexual diversity in the room,” Miller said. “There are so many gender identities and sexualities to recognize and appreciate.”   

Students were quite interested in the realm of anal sex, how it can be enjoyable and techniques to make it comfortable. 

“Accidentally slipping into the wrong hole, not cool,” Miller said. “Everyone needs to consent to it, there should be a lot of lube and communication.”

Safe sex practices were also a hot topic among students as they queried about the best way to approach choking kinks. 

Campos said to discuss the idea with your partner beforehand and have a safety plan involving a safe word or gesture. 

Miller and Campos kept the conversation light and fun while providing helpful tools and education for a safe and enjoyable sex life. 

Another theme of the night was the ever-elusive vaginal orgasm. “Why can’t I orgasm with my partner?” and “I am a girl, how do I know if I had an orgasm?” were some pressing issues among the enthusiastic crowd. 

“Only 30 percent of vagina owners orgasm with penetration alone,” Miller said. “You want to dedicate attention to the clitoris which takes time, on average at least 20 minutes of direct stimulation.”

“Focus on the clitoris,” Campos said. “That’s where the money is at.”

More serious issues were addressed as well, like how to reexplore sexuality after sexual harassment. 

“You are not alone, it is something that happens to a lot of people,” Campos said. “It is hard to get back to trusting people.”

Campos said counseling and therapy are important resources for healing and that taking your time is key for regaining sexual confidence.

“Start by masturbating,” Campos said. “You can take it at your own time, your own pace and your own rules and that’s very helpful.”  

Students were impressed by the openness of the discussion. 

“People have different perspectives and they did a good job of representing all the different identities,” Gabby Azar, a sophomore nutrition major, said. 

Marissa Belock, a freshman biology major, appreciated the casual atmosphere of the night as well as the anonymity. 

“People should hear this at least once in their life,” she said. “I feel like without the darkness people wouldn’t be as comfortable asking their questions.”

Miller, who has practiced sex education for 15 years said these discussions are healthy and important for college students and the question format helps cut to the chase of what students need more information on.

“There is so much more to learn and to be discovered,” Miller said. “Sexuality affects so much in people’s lives, self-esteem and relationships. It’s so core to being human.”

This is the third year Miller and Campos have come to Kent for the event. 

“We love coming to Kent,” Miller said. “I think it gets bigger every year.”

Campos and Miller hope to destigmatize sex with these conversations and welcome people to read more and submit questions on any sex topic to the Sexuality Education website.

Contact Colleen Carroll at [email protected].