Dupree launches sex club on the Hill
The Sex Club had its first meeting last Friday, Dec. 2. Club leader Eli Dupree ’13 said he formed the club to foster open conversations about sex and sexuality on campus.
“I felt there was a real need for it,” Dupree said. The Student Government Association (SGA) approved the club on Sunday, Dec. 4. Dupree first had the idea to form the club last spring after attending the gender, power and community panel. “We [panel attendees] were talking about silence on a lot of issues,” he said, “and I thought just the very fact of having sex was something that we didn’t talk about very much, or that people did talk about, but not in a healthy way and not in an open way.”
After Dupree attended Heather Pratt ’11’s thesis presentation this semester where issues of silence came up once again, the idea for the Sex Club came back to him. “In every story she told about sexual assault,” Dupree said, “the thing in common…was that nobody knew what they were doing…not knowing what they wanted, not knowing what was expected of them.” He noted that harmful misunderstandings could be precipitated by people not communicating what they wanted and feeling pressured to fulfill their partner’s expectation of sex.
Dupree emphasized that people should know and respect their own intimacy boundaries. “I think that’s a thing that is really key at Colby College,” he said. “People aren’t respecting others’ limits, and people aren’t respecting their own limits, and that’s something I want to address by forming the Sex Club.”
The club is meant to be an open discussion forum for any point of interest on the topic of sex and sexuality. At Friday’s meeting, the group discussed how to approach a partner in a way that is healthy and honest. “To me, when you talk about discussion, there’s no dividing line between discussion within the club, and discussion as a thing that the whole campus does,” Dupree said. He hopes to foster discussion not only within the one small group, but to instigate a larger dialogue. Dupree is still working out more concrete plans for the club, but he intends to put up posters and invite speakers on the topic of “sex positive,” which encompasses enthusiastic consent and an openness and honesty about sex. He is open to anything other people in the community may suggest. “One person was suggesting that I bring someone to train people in self-defense,” he said. “I am imagining someone who gets into the…emotional side of self defense.” While traditional self-defense classes prepare a person physically for an attack, Dupree is looking into training that prepares a person emotionally to ward off an attacker.
While Dupree does not plan to have another meeting this semester, as finals are approaching, he hopes to get the club going in January with weekly discussion meetings.