The Happy Trail

Sex educator gives unoriginal lecture

As I walked into Kilworth Chapel last Wednesday for Jay Friedman’s “J-Spot” lecture, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” was playing over the chapel sound system. “Ahh,” I thought. “This will be a great opportunity to hear about the ‘Blurred Lines’ problem from the perspective of a sex educator! This should be good!”

Unfortunately, Friedman never touched on the “Blurred Lines” issue. In fact, the lecture seemed to lack any profound insight on any issue regarding sex and relationships.

Friedman opened with the poetic story of what seemed to be two lovers lying together at sunset. Although I must admit that I was uncomfortable for a moment, due to the fact that it seemed our lecturer was reciting erotica on stage, it turns out that it was simply a story of a mother holding her nursing baby. He used this opening to stress how sex-centric our minds are (although it did seem like a pretty obvious trick in retrospect.)

For the next thirty minutes or so, Friedman told us about his own background, regaled us with anecdotes from his time traveling and lecturing, and promised big, life-changing tips to come later. Unfortunately, his lecture failed to live up to the hype that he had created himself.

It was obvious that his lecture was a male-focused lecture. Which to be honest, as quite refreshing. There aren’t nearly enough sex-positive male role-models in our culture. Unfortunately, there were a grand total of four men in the audience. This created a disconnect between he and his audience that made Friedman appear out-of-touch.

For example, Friedman often generalized by saying things like “Us guys have a lot of issues when it comes to…” or “Women usually prefer this kind of…” that left the audience feeling a little uncomfortable.

One of the most uncomfortable moments of the night however, was during the short Q&A intermission. At a certain point during the lecture, Friedman had used the phrase “intact hymen” and during the Q&A, one question asked what he meant by that (FYI, the Hymen is a small membrane inside of the vagina that can cover part of the opening.) He seemed caught off guard, but explained that that was just the word he had used to describe a hymen that had not been stretched/moved/properly lubricated or warmed up. However, the student kept pushing with a barrage of one-sided questions, to the point where much of the audience was feeling uncomfortable.

Despite the uncomfortable moments, Friedman actually provided a lot important information that I think all people should hear. He talked about why masturbation is good and America’s “sex-phobic” state of mind.  Unfortunately, the lecture was still disappointing.

Friedman ended with a wonderful sex-education video from Sweden that is shown to all middle school students, before leaving us with his biggest tip that “guaranteed” to improve our sex lives!

That tip: do your kegels.

Although Friedman’s lecture brought up a lot of important issues that many students should know (and perhaps this is the jaded sex-column writer in me talking) it seemed as though Mr. Friedman failed to provide the audience with much information that the Puget Sound community hadn’t already heard.