FemSex, a controversial student workshop launched by Marquette University, will feature topics such as “Gender and Identity,” “Masturbation, Orgasm, and Pleasure,” and “Sexuality and Spirituality.” The Wisconsin-based Catholic college tried to work this sex education initiative into the school’s curriculum last year; however, mounting pressure and disapproval from alumni, students, and faculty caused the administration to discontinue the program.
“FemSex provides a safe space for exploration, encourages honest dialogue, and facilitates collective learning, It engages and grapples with the social forces that inform individual experiences, and seeks to build allyship,” the workshop’s syllabus states.
Among the workshop’s take-home activities, “Cunt Coloring” has garnered the most attention. The exercise calls for the students to “color an anatomical picture from the “The Cunt Coloring Book.” Other take-home exercises include “Pleasure Point,” in which the student is asked to find a “pleasurable activity” and write about it.
The decision to give FemSex a second shot came from University Honors Program director Amelia Zurcher. Although the honors program provides official sponsorship for the workshop, it does not contribute to funding.
“FemSex empowers (participants) to understand, respect, and appreciate their own sexuality, and use it in just and healthy ways,” Zurcher told the The Marquette-Tribune. “The venue it creates helps foster a more inclusive, respectful and intellectually curious environment on campus.”
The sex ed workshop is already a part of the University of California, Berkley’s curriculum and is being adopted by Brown University and Columbia University this fall. A good portion of Marquette’s faculty is at odds with the university’s decision to reintroduce FemSex, including associate political science professor John McAdams.
“It’s bad judgment on the part of the Honors Program to sponsor it,” McAdams explains on his blog Marquette Warrior. “If there were some actual technical expertise involved, it might be more of a legitimate academic exercise."