SBI brings clinical sexologist, certified sexuality educator to UB
Students discuss sexuality during Sex Week event
Imagine walking into a room and the first thing you see are flexible coil restraints, anal beads, an under-the-bed restraint system, a flogger, feathered nipple clamps and a vibrator shaped like an ice cream cone. These were a few of the prizes Megan Andelloux gave away when she came to speak at UB this week.
"Please feel free to take as many lube packets and condoms that you want, otherwise I have to go home with them," Andelloux said.
Andelloux is a clinical sexologist and certified sexuality educator. She founded the non-profit Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health (CSPH) in Pawtucket, R.I., an organization devoted to reducing sexual shame for education.
"I like to describe it as a magical land filled with dildos and a cat," Andelloux said.
This week was "Sex Week," an event thrown by SBI Health Education, a division of Sub-Board, Inc. The organization helps provide UB students with sexuality education, services and support and also free condoms, pregnancy tests and counseling.
Jane Fischer, the director of SBI education, said she reached out to Andelloux because she was highly recommended and respected in national sexuality education circles and is qualified and effective in her education and presentation approaches.
"We looked over her perspective and her offerings and thought she would be a good addition to Sex Week, as we've not hosted anyone like her in recent times," Fischer said.
Andelloux spoke about ethics in terms of sexuality.
"Ethical sexuality means that you actually have to know what you want and you have to be able to communicate about it which is really f***ing difficult for most people," Andelloux said. "If you do engage in some kind of sexy thought, sex behavior you might get labeled as a sex addict, a pervert."
Andelloux said there are stigmas associated with prioritizing sex and recognizing it as a healthy component of our lives, but "there's not much that actually supports it."
Someone in the audience commented, "Most people are afraid to communicate about what they want when it comes to sex because society wants it to be natural."
Beata Skonecki, a graduate student, attended the event.
"I think that issues of consent and sexual assault and sexual health aren't talked about enough in our society, and I feel that we need to talk about it more and not treat it as taboo to encourage more sexual health in our society," Skonecki said.
College years can be thought of as a time for experimentation, figuring out what a student wants not only in his or her career but in sexuality as well.
"I suggest that hookups are very beneficial if people want to engage with others," Andelloux said. "People engage in more safer sex behavior during hookups than when they're in romantic relationships. That doesn't get reported."
Andelloux's biggest piece of advice is "everyone needs direction." She said people often set unrealistic expectations because they are unsure of what the other person wants.
"Vulnerability is courageous and we don't give it enough props," she said. "We talk about it as being a weakness, but vulnerability is how you start to figure out what it is that you actually want and what you're afraid of, and that's really important to have a sex life that you want to have."
Shayla Benson, a Ph.D. student focusing on human sexuality at Widener University in Chester, Pa., hopes to follow in Andelloux's footsteps.
"It is a topic that I am very interested in and I really enjoy Megan's presentations and all of her visuals," Benson said.
Andelloux expressed the difference between shame and guilt.
"Shame is about who we are as an individual and guilty is about feeling bad about your actions," she said. "Communication is key."
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