Sex Week comes to Wake Forest

This week multiple organizations across campus united to promote sexual health and knowledge


Aine Pierre, News Editor

The Intersectional Feminist Collective (IFC), the Women’s Center and the Office of Wellbeing are hosting Sex Week Oct. 11-15.

Sex Week was originally planned for Spring 2020, but was postponed.

“We had funding approved, and we even got the t-shirts in and everything, but then because of COVID-19, we canceled it,” IFC President Pilar Agudelo said. “Then we were thinking about maybe doing it semi-virtually and semi-in-person last year, but that just wasn’t going to really happen. We thought that if we were going to do it for the first time, we wanted it to be really impactful, and the virtual methods weren’t going to be effective. So, we decided to do it this year.”

According to the IFC’s founder, senior Olivia Thonson, the idea for Sex Week came out of a discussion with outgoing Women’s Center Director Steph Trilling.

“We had thrown an event called Sex Ed Done Right: On the Verge of Orgasm, and it was super well- attended,” Thonson said. “Probably 150 people showed up, and we were all squeezed into DeTamble Auditorium, and Steph Trilling came up to us after and said, ‘This is so exciting! You guys should plan a whole sex week.’ And that started it all.”

The impetus for the original event, however, was the lack of sex education that many Wake Forest students receive before they walked onto campus.

“We really wanted to make sure that people are having conversations about safe sex and getting the education they needed, even if it’s not in the HES 100 class or from the online module that, frankly, no one really listens to,” Agudelo said.  “So we were trying to find a different route that was really engaging to get that information out to people.”

The two received funding and assistance from the Women’s Center, the Office of Wellbeing and even partnered with the LGBTQ+ Center.

Sex Week has garnered a large response in its first few days. A tie-dye event Monday about orgasms ran out of t-shirts to dye within minutes.

“So yesterday, we had planned our tie-gasm event to be from 3 to 5 p.m.,” Agudelo said. “And it was all of five minutes before all the T-shirts were gone. Everybody was actually super engaged with the pamphlets we made around pleasure, the orgasm gap and different types of orgasms, which was super cool. Everybody was saying, ‘Wow, this is such an interesting pamphlet, I never heard about this.’”

On Tuesday, an event about STI testing ran out of the doughnuts that were being offered to attendees, indicating that at least 100 participants attended, according to Agudelo. In addition to food and shirts, participants at events throughout the week have also taken safe sex supplies.

Agudelo and Thonson hope to channel the excitement over Sex Week into increased campus participation in focus groups and surveys regarding sex education. Those surveys will likely come from the Sexual Health Working Group, of which Agudelo and Thonson are members.

“Right now, we’re getting the conversation going so that once we start doing this research people want to be part of this,” Agudelo said. “That way it’s more engaging for people.”

The Office of Wellbeing fully supports the mission of Sex Week.

“The Office of Wellbeing feels it’s important to support Sex Week to foster a culture on campus where it’s normal to talk about sex and encourages students to both practice consent and get regular testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections,” Assistant Director of the Office of Wellbeing Marian Trattner said in a statement. “Sex Week accomplishes all of these things, and it makes talking about sex fun.”

On Thursday, there will be a consent resource fair on Manchester Plaza from 3 to 5 p.m. Additionally, Agudelo and Thonson also encourage anyone interested in safe sex materials to contact the Safe Sex Express.