For years, I have been aware of the annual (except for COVID) Sex After Dark event IUSB Residence Life hosts. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I agreed to serve on the panel. I am usually speaking about sex to couples who are at least in their 30s. I wondered what college students these days are grappling with. In so many ways they are far better off in education and awareness compared to when I went to school. Pleasantly, I learned that are indeed better off than students of the 90s. And, yet, the questions and concerns are very much the same. How does one develop and communicate boundaries while still being open to new experiences and emotionally vulnerable in a moment of intimacy? How do we recognize power differentials that are unhealthy or potentially dangerous? What can we do for a friend who is in a bad relationship? Wonderful questions from vibrant, discerning young adults.
Perhaps the greatest delight of the evening was hearing from and sharing views with the other panelists. From different disciplines, our answers and opinions converged nicely in a pro relationship, sex-positive, and gender-affirming posture. The event ran long. The topic of sex is energizing and fascinating. I was tempted to stay even later as the discussion remained vibrant well after the scheduled end-time, but family life and other duties were waiting for me. On the drive home I enjoyed a feeling of peace and warmth arising from having shared with such caring and thoughtful professionals. I guess I felt connected and comforted knowing Dr. Betsy Lucal and Teresa Dobrzykowski, RN are doing such good work in our community. I also felt hopeful and encouraged being with thoughtful college students who had the courage to attend a panel discussion about sex.