Let's Talk About Sex! - September 2013

Welcome to the first column of SEXABILITY!

Based on feedback from the Healthy Relationships and Sexuality needs assessment we completed in the spring, we’re going to include a piece in the newsletter each month that addresses sexuality and relationship topics that you have chosen!  Your peers have told us these are important issues they are thinking about and want more information on, so there’s a good chance you do too!

Here are some important highlights from the survey:

Over 150 students completed the 64-question-survey and provided a generous amount of honest, sincere feedback.

42% of you “strongly agree” you know who you are in a romantic or a sexual relationship.

18% of you “strongly agree” you know how to ask someone out on a date.

53% of you have thought deeply about the qualities you are looking for in a romantic partner.

33% of you agree that you could envision a situation where you decide to have sex even if you don’t really want to.

41% of you agree that you know how to communicate to a sexual partner what types of behaviors you enjoy.

64% of you told us you would prefer online material in the areas of healthy sexuality and relationships!

So without any further ado, we would like to introduce the first column...and…..

Why don’t we talk about sex?

Many of us perceive sexuality as a taboo topic in our society-BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE!  And when it comes to discussions or research about sexuality and disabilities, there isn’t a lot out there.  But sexuality affects all of us and is part of who we are. Because sexuality may not be a topic we’ve talked a lot about,  it may make us feel uncomfortable or we may feel like we aren’t sexual beings or don’t deserve romantic relationships. Thanks to your interest and your requests, we hope our newsletter submissions on this topic will help change that!  

Here are some facts:

  • We have the right to sexual freedom
  • We have the right to sexual autonomy, sexual integrity, and safety of our bodies
  • We have the right to sexual pleasure
  • We have the right to sexual privacy
  • We have the right to sexual expression
  • We all have differing levels of needs for love, intimacy and belonging in addition to our sexual drives and desires

We’d love to hear from you about ideas for this column or topics to include.  We’ll keep feedback confidential and anonymous. The column initially will be authored by Betsy Basch, Psychologist at DRES, Kim Rice, Sexual Health Educator at McKinley and Jodi Thomas, Psychologist at the Counseling Center but we sincerely hope that as you become more comfortable talking about sex, YOU will be writing this column and talking to your peers who want and need this information about topics YOU want to hear about.  

If you are interested in writing a piece for this column, please let us know!  We want student voices and if you want to submit a question, topic you’d like to read more about, suggest a name for the column or give us feedback, email Susann Sears. We’d love to hear from you!

Future topics might include:

  • Meeting people
  • Sexual Intimacy
  • LGBT Topics
  • Romantic Relationships
  • Campus Resources

UPCOMING EVENTS!

National Coming Out Day is October 11th!

Dustin Lance Black (who won the best original screenplay for the movie Milk) will be giving a talk at 7pm in the I Room at the Illini Union on October 15th @ 7pm.