The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Great Sex Day Aims to Educate and Inform

Amajla Tricic, Assistant News Editor

Utica College hosted Great Sex Day in Strebel Lounge featuring events from the Residence Hall Association, Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) and the Womyn’s Resource Center (WRC) in Strebel Student Center on Valentine’s Day.

The event focused on sex education, sexual violence, tips for healthy relationships and sex and gender identity. Those in attendance could participate make Clearly You Crystals that etch images into crystals and jewelry, purchase flowers for loved ones and participate in AcroYoga — activities that are meant to instill trust with a partner through acrobatic feats.

Jeff Percacciante, area coordinator for Boehlert Hall and an organizer for the event, wanted to stress the importance of sex education as a way to engage in conversations about meaningful and healthy relationships.

Percacciante explained that Great Sex Day is about the emotional features of a relationship and how to make that thrive more than having a healthy sex life.

“Sex education on our campus usually revolves around sexual health, using protection, getting tested,” Percacciante said.  “Rarely does sex education touch on the deep emotional and personal aspect of sexual relationships. That’s the goal of Great Sex Day. At Great Sex Day, sure, you’ll get condoms and tips for safe sex, but you’ll also be learning about trust, emotional intimacy, friendship, partnership and emotional health.”

Percacciante said that there is more to sex education than the physical aspect, having a strong emotional relationship strengthens all qualities.

“It’s so important to touch on this is vital aspect of sex education,” he said. “It will help teach our students the ‘why’ behind their sexual life and how to protect themselves and their partners from dangerous lifestyles. In this small campus, where everyone knows everyone, it’s more important than ever that we practice awareness and care around this very special and incredible topic.”

For young adults, the topic of emotional and physical abuse is one that comes up most often as girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average, according to Loveisrespect, a nonprofit dedicated to relationship violence prevention.

The Womyn’s Resource Center focused on this idea through a table offering free condoms, consent tattoos, I Stand With Planned Parenthood pins and pamphlets that focused on healthy relationships and how to report sexual violence.

Sung Jang, programming intern with the WRC, explained some of the featured items and why they were placed.

“What we wanted to do for Great Sex Day is educate people about the safety of sex as well as the healthy aspects of relationships,” Jang said. “So we have these pamphlets, ‘50 Ways to Make Love Without Doing It,’ that basically say if you want to have something in your relationship and if you want to spice it up but aren’t comfortable with having sex and stuff like that these are ways to show appreciation and to show romance. We also have other resources such as the ‘Enough is Enough’ pamphlet that shows you what a toxic relationship is and where to go to if you need help.”

The WRC wanted to display the complete spectrums of relationships to make sure students were informed in all ways possible to remain healthy and mentally well.

GSA set up a table that focused on the spectrum of gender  from being genderqueer (not identifying as a man or a woman or identifies as both), cisgender (being comfortable their sex from birth) and cross-dresser (dressing in clothing deemed inappropriate by society for the gender assigned to them at birth).

GSA also touched on relationships in the form of allies, someone who does not identify with a certain group but still advocates for that group’s right, and continuing the importance of healthy emotional support.

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