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Tuesday, March 08, 2011:
Northwestern U's Fucksawgate: a supporter's perspective

One of the things I like to do at this blog is to talk about subjects that interest me, whether they are popular or not. Especially if it deals with women's issues. This would definitely fall under that category. And I think there are tmes when it's vitally important to speak up, even if it's about a topic even your closest friends will disapprove of. This may be one of those times. For those of you who have known me for years, especially as a reader/blogger in the romance community, you know what I am really all about, and I should hope you keep an open mind yourself and share your thoughts if you are familiar with this issue. Thank you.

Many of you may have heard about the recent event that took place on February 21st at Northwestern University as part of a human sexuality class that has many people up in arms. Having been following the story closely myself for a few reasons, I can't help but feel dismayed at the outrage and negative feedback this has generated.

I first heard about this story on Twitter from local people I follow, some of whom are actually friends of those involved in the demonstration. And because it was a local story, I started reading the articles and watching the news stories being broadcast. And it became extremely evident that the media was on some sort of witch hunt, with their accusations of lewd live sex acts and deviancy and vulgar behavior. For those not fully informed, it wouldn't have seemed wrong to join in the witch hunt. But that's when I saw this WTTW interview and realized just how far off the mark most of the major media is. Instead of taking this opportunity to educate readers and viewers about the real intent behind he demonstration, it's become a rant about some kind of perverted act of exhibitionism, most specifically aimed at those active in the kink community.

The thing is, we're all adults, or at least we should be acting like it. And one of the things you do when you are an adult is to find out the truth, perhaps do a little research, and not go off on a tangent after the first blurb you read or see. Because these days, I don't know about you, I really don't trust most of what I see on television. Even once respected news programs have become sensationalized and money-hungry gossip rags who talk more about Charlie Sheen and #tigerblood than they do about the real problems we face in our country.

What bothered me about the Northwestern story is the references being made to "porn", and the fact that many people are disturbed by the fact that the four individuals that participated in the demonstration are involved in Chicago's kink community. True, the word "kink" drums up all kinds of lurid images of weird, unnatural, scary sexual acts that make people feel uncomfortable at best, but usually generate a stronger - more negative - reaction. I won't lie. I do get that. Believe me, I have had my own strong thoughts on the subject over the last several months, but I've also educated myself quite a bit since then and discovered that truly, the majority of us are kinky on some level, whether it's something they've known all their lives or ahem it's a more recent discovery. And my belief is, as long as you are being smart, safe, using protection and not involving kids, animals or doing anything truly nonconsensual, I don't care if you wear an actual monkey suit when you do it (truly, no FurCon pun intended).

I mean really, would it have truly made a significant difference if the demonstrators had been dressed in their best church attire while preaching the gospel and insisting this is God's will? That would be rather hypocritical (although damn funny!) Besides, some of the kinky people I do know are extremely intelligent, interesting, successful, more opened-minded and accepting of others, the kind of people I actually want to meet, and you'd be fortunate to count them as your friends. And guess what? They really are just like anybody else, so let's stop focusing on their sex lives and focus more on the message that this demonstration was actually trying to send: one that was about celebrating female sexuality and dispelling some myths about female orgasm that are very alive and thriving today. Hell, as a woman I thought it was fantastic that this demonstration took place. And we all have something to learn, whether we're 19 or 39 or 99. I say bring it on.

Now I understand and respect that most people don't want to broadcast their sex lives and talk about explicit details with their closest friends much less in an open forum of several hundred people, but this class was built around the principles of sharing ideas, engaging in frank discussions and looking all all areas of sexuality, from swingers to BDSM to the sexual practices of different cultures, and the intent was to open up people's minds and prove to them that there are ways women can enjoy orgasms that they may have never thought were possible before. I'm all for that! It's a learning experience for men just as much as for women, and I am proud of the students, and anyone else, who supports the demonstrators because they know that the intention was not to shed a bad light on the university in any way. In fact I believe the reason this even was brought to the attention of the media was due to the complaints of students and parents that weren't even in attendance and had no idea what was going on. Shame on them for turning what was supposed to be an educational, positive experience into an embarrassing and out of control game of "telephone". At this point, I shouldn't be surprised anymore how the media tends to turn topics like this into an eye-rolling Beavis & Butthead spectacle.

So I did send messages of support to two of the individuals involved, and quickly received replies back from both of them. I mention this because I wanted to share that they were both gracious and lovely, and more interested in educating others about sex and having open dialogue with other like-minded individuals than they were in making a name for for themselves and creating scandals. The last I'd read, some of them may be in serious danger of losing their jobs due to the way this whole situation has just gotten so widespread. I think that's a shame because THEY. DID. NOTHING. WRONG. But once again, the media and small-minded people are attacking, out for blood. I am ashamed of living in a country where sensationalism is more important than the truth. Go back to watching fucked-up Charlie Sheen, people. I for one would rather find out more about those G-spot orgasms.

Some related links:

Neil Steinberg's

Jim Marcus' rebuttal

And be sure to check out Sunny Megatron's website for updated posts and information about the now infamous "Fucksawgate".



  1. Great post, Stacy!

  2. Thanks, Stacy, for addressing this topic on your blog. As you know, it is one that is near and dear to my heart as a member of Chicago's kink community and friend of the presenters, as well as a Northwestern alum and parent myself. To see the great outcry induced by the media (sex sells!) and how the story has been twisted so dramatically out of perspective by the media has been saddening to say the least. On top of this, it is a great reminder to me that this world is still not ready to accept a sex-positive mindset. It is a reminder to me that there is still a very good reason for me to continue to lead two separate lives and hide behind a pseudonym for the sake of my career and family, and that saddens me all the more. Thank you for being supportive and saying your piece. The world needs more people like you. :)

  3. fabulous post, Stacy! people seem to also be forgetting that this was a college class with college age students, not a kindergarten classroom full of 5 year olds. the people objecting are quite possibly the same people who object to sex education in high schools, wanting instead to insist on abstinence. while a good idea in theory, a more realistic view should be taken. (sorry for soapboxing, it's a matter of severe annoyance to me)
    as far as this particular situation, in the words of my BF, "there's an ass for every seat" aka to each his own. whatever turns you on. kinky, FTW! =)

  4. I love your so direct! It's true!

  5. Thank you so much for your support and effort to put the truth out there in the blogosphere. The 4 of us have been overwhelmed with the wonderful support we've gotten. Thank you!!!!

  6. Thank you so much for having the courage to address this topic the way you have. It saddens me to see how violently oppositional people can be simply because they don't understand or feel uncomfortable.

    I have to agree with you about everyone having a bit of kink in them. Those in the BDSM community are just honest with themselves about it. Kinky people are some of the most intelligent, honest, accepting and self-aware people I know. Being able to count myself among them has opened my eyes in ways I can't begin to describe. But not everyone is ready for that, as this media circus proves. There will always be those who prefer to wear blinders or attack things that scare them rather than taking a good hard look.

    The real kicker here is that the subject matter was something as simple as a female orgasm. Bravo for the demonstrators! And I also applaud that professor for tackling something he knew would be controversial, but felt the need to teach anyway. I think everyone could benefit from time in his class.

  7. They mentioned this on the radio the other morning... I think it's entirely fucked up that they're so up in arms about it. Like you said, they're all adults, and I'm certain there was a disclaimer beforehand. Besides, it's a freaking human sexuality class! What did they think was going to happen? They were going to have tea and discuss the Bible? No. They're going to talk about (and sometimes even witness) the human body and it's entirely natural sexual functions. If that teacher gets fired I'm going to be PISSED.

  8. Great post, Stacy. I think that as you say, people jump to conclusions based on a small article and blow things out of proportion.

  9. I hadn't heard about this.
    Glad you posted.
    And I agree with all your points.
    This country is so prudish.
    If I remember correctly, this attitude towards sex being dirty and wrong is based on a religous heresy centuries ago. Most of the points of that cult offshoot died out expect for its views on human sexuality, esp. regarding women.

    Frankly, the way this country glorifies violence yet gets all in a tizzy over sex is stupid.

    ::shakes head:: anyway, thanks for the great post.

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