It’s a no pants party, and you’re invited, U of T
JAN 19, 2013 | BY EMERSON VANDENBERG
Campus is abuzz regarding “Sexy Social”, the upcoming U of T Sexual Education Centre event on Monday, January 21. Clothing is optional and sex, while not explicitly encouraged, is openly welcomed. To debut its annual Sexual Awareness Week, the SEC has rented out Oasis Aqualounge, which bills itself as “an adventurous place to sun, soak and explore your sexuality.”
Located a stone’s throw from both Church and Wellesley and St. George campus, the SEC hopes students will “come out and enjoy all the amenities of Toronto’s best sex club.”
Although the event starts at 11am, clothes must remain firmly affixed until seven pm. In response to a Toronto Star inquiry, external education and outreach coordinator Dylan Tower stated, “there is not any type of ‘you should be having sex when you’re here.’ It’s very much, come and enjoy the space. There’s not prodding or pushing in that [sexual] direction.”
As an affiliate of the U of T Student Union, the SEC commands a 25 cent levy from undergraduate student fees. The club delivers educational talks and provides workshops and counselling, in addition to free safe-sex supplies. According to their website, their principal mission is to provide a non-judgemental space in which positive sex conversations can be held.
Some conservative observers are beginning to question whether the Oasis event is taking a step too far in the SEC’s quest for de-stigmatization. National Post columnist Barbara Kay goes so far as to refer to the event as “tarted-up promotion of voyeurism.” Similar voices are wondering whether the groups official funding entails a duty to uphold some sort of social norm. Holding a nude event is one thing, but could permitting (and by extension, encouraging) sex at the event cross the line?
In response to a second question posed by the Star regarding U of T’s stance on the event, a spokesperson for the SEC responded “the University will not attempt to censor, control or interfere with any group on the basis of its philosophy, beliefs, interests or opinions expressed, unless and until these lead to activities which are illegal or which infringe on rights and freedoms.”
Corey Scott, current U of T Students Union VP-internal and former VP-internal coordinator for LGBTOUT, a U of T student group aimed at supporting varying sexual identities on campus, asked in an interview “Why are people focusing on concerns of there being an orgy? The event was initially shaped to take a closer look at the stigmatization of certain sexual identities.” Citing a mistake that most people seem to adopt when made aware of the permissibility of sexual acts at Oasis, Scott insisted that the event is precisely about “removing the social rhetoric that hurts people with varying sexual identities.”
The field trip to Oasis Aqua Lounge takes place on Monday, January 21. Admission is $5. 19+
- Subtitle: Sex Education Centre to hold Awareness event at local sex club