Joys of Toys: Campus Hosts Sex-Ed Workshop

Cy Burchenal, Staff Reporter

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On Wednesday, Apr. 10, Whitman hosted Amory Jane’s workshop “Joys of Toys,” covering topics ranging from consent to STI prevention. This topic, some may have thought salacious, offered a mature and broad look at the role of sex toys in relationships, as well as the importance of taking necessary safety measures when selecting a toy.

 

Portland-based sex educator Amory Jane, offered numerous insights into a widely known but rarely discussed part of culture, the sex shop. Dispelling many common misconceptions, Jane detailed how the modern sex shop is not necessarily the seedy, sleazy, alley retailer many anticipate. Jane also pointed out that there is no profile for the type of person who owns a sex toy, stating that people from all walks of life and relationship statuses own and use sex toys.

Illustration by Nathaly Perez

 

Her highly entertaining and seriously informative presentation included a mammoth list of toys, materials and other marital aids. They served to inform the attending Whittie about what and what not to buy. Due to the lack of FDA regulations on adult toys, consumers must be mindful of what they purchase. Toxic chemicals are rife in the sex toy industry, and Jane placed strong emphasis on the importance of credible retailers and product research. In spite of this, Jane’s presentation was an engaging, and at times hilarious, look at her line of work and the impact it has on the lives of others.

 

I think the program has committed to bringing these kinds of speakers because as great as it that Whitman has the Green Dot program and those other consent-based education that first years do, there’s not a lot of talk about sexual health and pleasure in those kinds of events. So in general, we wanted to make the space for conversations about sexual health and pleasure and give people a chance to learn about sex, in a more positive light, from someone who is willing to talk and answer questions,” said Ree Robson ‘20, a LGBTQI+ intern.

Many who attended the talk came away with important information on a topic many would consider too taboo to normally discuss.

 

“It was very informative, but it was also really entertaining. It didn’t feel like it was taking it too seriously, but at the same time it was genuinely informative,” said Allison Luck ’21.

 

The presentation is part of a broader need for open discussion of sexuality on campus.

 

Personally, I think the benefit of hosting workshops like this is more about lessening the shame around talking about sex and giving people a better understanding of ways to be sexual beyond what they’ve seen in media or in porn, which are very skewed visions of sexuality,” said Robson.

 

Amory Jane’s presentation was racy, but not salacious, informative, but not preachy, and entertaining, but still serious. There are certainly joys to toys.

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