By Melody Baliff | @kykernel
Not many college courses start class with Rihanna’s “S&M” music video. And probably even fewer courses would follow with a power point on bondage, transvestism and fetishism.
UK, however, offers just that. UK 131 “Sexual Health” or “Everything you always wanted to know about sex” is a new course at UK that is designed to promote sexual health.
The course is designed to help couples with their relationships by providing an understanding of each others bodies and gender roles.
“The most important thing is promoting sexual health … most of what we do is taking the ‘sex-positive’ approach, learning about oxytocin (the ‘trust hormone’) and dopamine which is a natural drug that makes you feel high … ocytocin causes couples to bond and feel loved, this is a process people don’t really think about and the attachment couples feel after sex is not imaginary, it is real,” said Dr. Richard Crosby, DDI Endowed Professor of Public Health and the course instructor. “In this class, students learn that the orgasm doesn’t just happen, it is achieved through receptive touch and students learn about parts of the body that many people never learned about, such as the clitoris.”
Tuesday’s class covered fetishism, transvestism, cultural differences in sex, how ideas of sexual identification have changed over time and sexually transmitted infections among other topics.
“This class is awesome,” senior social work major Kyrsten Weckman said. “This class normalizes what is a taboo topic in our culture. Obviously everyone has sex and here we can discuss it.”
Crosby’s class has created a laid-back atmosphere where students were comfortable discussing anything from “50 Shades of Grey” to pedophilia.
Crosby’s long-term goal of the course is to help students improve their set of relational skills for their future sex lives, whether it be a long-term or short-term relationship.
The class provides students with an understanding of tools that may allow them to better enjoy their relationships in a healthy way and avoid sexual issues that occur when couples do not understand each other, Crosby said Accounting freshman Steven King is enrolled in the course with his girlfriend Lauren Pennington, also an accounting freshman.
“This class helps us understand why a female or a male may act in a particular way,” King said. Pennington agreed that the class helps normalize a topic that has a tradition of being taboo to discuss.
“We have robbed our youth of a decent sex education because our society is afraid and embarrassed to talk about sex. We have been cheated out of things we need to learn and this course may make up for that lack of sexual education,” Crosby said.
He makes the point that books prove there are health benefits from sex but there is a mental set of pains and anxiety created by a society that is too afraid to use words like masturbation.
“This is a way for students to get the correct information in an environment where they do not have to feel embarrassed and studies show that programs like these even delay sex,” said Lindsay Stradtman, teaching assistant and 2nd year MPH student.