Sex Week promotes awareness and discussion, offers self-care resources and sexual education

| Contributing Reporter

The annual Sex Week, which includes a new event this year called “Tea With A PHE,” will run this week from Feb. 13 through Feb. 19.

Sex Week—coordinated by the Peer Health Educator (PHE) program, a student group managed by Student Health Services (SHS) that is devoted to promoting varied aspects of health to the Washington University community—will feature different events related to sexual health education and awareness each day. All Sex Week events will feature free safe-sex supplies and information about campus resources for sexual health services.

Sophomore Emily Rapoza said she values the accessibility to sex-related information that Sex Week events grant.

“It promotes a sex-positive atmosphere and makes sure that everyone has the knowledge that they would need to have a healthy sex life. For whatever students choose to do, it’s important that they have the knowledge and means to be healthy,” she said.

Campus organizations, including Phi Lambda Psi Greek Women’s Health and Wellness Honorary, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, LGBT Student Involvement and Leadership in Campus Life, the Washington University School of Medicine and the Danforth University Center, are involved in putting on these events.

Sex Week will kick off with a free STI screening—performed by volunteers from Washington University School of Medicine’s “the SPOT” and Project Ark—in the DUC on Monday. This year, Student Health Services has ensured that screenings are free for all students and has expedited test result arrival, moving the timeline from 10-14 business days to seven.

A new event, “Tea With a PHE,” will give students the opportunity to ask questions about sexual health to members of the Peer Health Educator program in a confidential setting on Tuesday. Valentine’s Day crafting materials and chocolate also will be provided at the event.

An LGBTQIA* Sex in the Dark event featuring “sexpert” Lawrence E. Lewis from “the SPOT” at Washington University School of Medicine will happen Wednesday. This program, sponsored by the DUC, will feature a presentation and question and answer session to teach students how to have safer and more enjoyable sex.

Students can attend a kink lecture and discussion hosted by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion on Thursday.

Two events will be held on Friday, a meet and greet with a contraception educator from Washington University School of Medicine’s Contraceptive Choice Center in the Zenker Wellness Suite of the Sumers Recreation Center and Sexy Craft Night at Ursa’s Fireside.

Although Sex Week puts a spotlight on sexual health education each February, SHS offers many other resources year-round. SHS and the Wellness Suite provide access to information about lowering risks for unintended pregnancy, disease transmission, consent and effective communication strategies throughout the year.

Asia Brown, a master’s degree candidate at the Brown School of Social Work and SHS’s sexual health promotion practicum student, noted Sex Week’s ability to broaden campus discussions about sex and self-care.

“These judgement-free, fun and informative events attract a variety of audiences and get students talking about taking better care of themselves and their partners,” Brown said.