Stay safe with the Sexperts



Emily Cole

While some aspects of the college experience can be difficult to talk about, one campus organization is doing their part to erase the stigma and begin the conversation about sexual health on campus.

The UK Sexperts are a student organization located in the University Health Center dedicated to educating their peers about sexual health and healthy relationships. Comprised of peer health educators with an emphasis on sexual education, this group is making their presence known all around campus. 

Although University Health Service offers many free resources to full time students, faculty advisor Blake Flaugher says that many students aren’t aware of them. 

“We found that seven out of 10 students in fall of 2015 reported sexual activity in the past year,” Flaugher said. “One out of five students reported never being tested for HIV and we need to make sure that everybody is getting tested and we do that for free here. A lot of students don’t know all the services available to them,” 

While Flaugher is heavily involved in the organization of the Sexperts program, he says that it is the student sexperts he is most proud of. This year, the student educators have partnered with the Late Night Film Series to put on movies like “Easy A” and “Lars and the Real Girl” for all of campus in addition to the presentations they offer. 

“We have a really great team of experts and I’m very proud of them but there is always room for improvement,” Flaugher said. “If anybody wants to partner with us to create some kind of sexual health awareness day on campus we hope to collaborate with more people in the near future. We go to different resident halls and events on campus and promote safer sex and sex positive attitudes. We recently became a Bedsider organization which we are very excited about.”

As a student ambassador for Bedsider, peer educator Megan Davisson promotes the resources that the organization offers for all college students. 

“Bedsider is a non profit organization that offers information about contraception for free,” Davisson said. “You can go on their website and sign up for reminders about your birth control and you can read articles about sex and relationships, too. They also tell you on an interactive map where you can go to get birth control.”

This year UK Sexperts are offering several different presentations to different groups on campus. Peer health educators will come to your sorority, fraternity, event, or student organization and teach important information about sexuality and communication. While this may seem like a flashback to sex ed class, the experts are committed to keeping their education relevant to the modern day student. One of their current programs is called “You Swiped Right..Now What?” and focuses on the use of dating apps like Tinder and Grindr. 

“We talk about how many daily swipes there are verses how many actual matches there are,” Davisson said. “It comes out to about a 1.8% match rate so we talk about how if you’re using tinder to look for love you’re probably looking in the wrong places. We also talk about the importance of communication and safety on apps like that.” 

The sexperts will be hiring more peer educators later this semester and hope to expand their program and erase stigmas about sexually transmitted diseases.