I continue to be bombarded with countless untruths about what occurred during our lecture on February 21st, 2011 at Northwestern University. It has turned into a global game of telephone. The story has become so distorted and plucked out of context that it no longer resembles the reality of what happened that day. But that’s not the point of this post. You can read more about the truth and how I feel about the media’s take on this elsewhere on SunnyMegatron.com.
We are four people, while kinky in our private lives, are also intelligent, successful, contributing members of society. We agreed to speak with the students at Northwestern, as we often do with other small groups, because we are passionate about sex education and breaking down prejudices based on sexual preference. We didn’t sign up to be outed to the entire world.
Kink frightens a lot of people. Part of the reason we volunteer our time to talk about BDSM/kink/alternative sexual lifestyles to small groups is to help dispel those fears. Kinky people aren’t weirdos and perverts but more often, your successful and seemingly “normal” friends, neighbors and family members. I have many friends in the kink community who are very high profile individuals in their day to day lives; lawyers, doctors, celebrities and the like who would be ripped apart by scandal if found out by the general public.
Most individuals go to great lengths to hide the kinky side of themselves because they can be fired, arrested and targets of hate crimes if found out by employers, neighbors and family.
Being outed by the media has caused the four of us a tremendous amount of friction in our personal lives. Some of our careers may be at stake, family members are upset and we’ve lost friends. We certainly didn’t ask for that. We’ve collectively spoken on these same topics in smaller groups for years without issue. On the same token, however, we’d be hypocrites if we hid our heads in the sand and felt ashamed of what transpired at Northwestern University.
How many of you like your hair pulled? A spank on the butt? To be tied to the bed post? Do you like to use toys during sex? Enjoy dirty talk? Anal sex? Prostate massage? Get a little pang of excitement when you feel that little bruise a partner left during sex? Do you enjoy rough sex? Do you like to role play or dress up? Have you sought out a threesome with a committed partner? Are you homosexual? Bisexual?
Many of us can likely answer “yes” to more than one of these questions. If you did, then you, my friend, may be considered kinky. You’re “not normal.” Furthermore, according to American psychology and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) some of you may actually have a mental disorder.
Sound ridiculous? To put things in perspective, homosexuality wasn’t removed from the DSM until the mid 1980’s. Most rational folks today would think considering homosexuality a metal disorder to be preposterous. However, only 25 years ago it was.
It seems the only acceptable sex is in the dark, missionary style, vaginal, don’t talk to your partners about it, committed relationship, male orgasm focused sex. And if we have any other sort of sex, which most of us do, we should feel ashamed of it.
The ins and outs of alternative sexual lifestyles are what the four of us came to Northwestern to speak about. This is what we spent 95% of our time there discussing. We gave students the opportunity to ask us nothing–is-off-limits personal questions in order to get the point across that most kinky folk are not sketchy, drug addicted deviants. We succeeded at that and received nothing but overwhelmingly positive feedback. Female g-spot orgasm/the 3 minute demonstration was an important topic that came up on the fly and we made an on-the-spot decision to quickly address it. This has been totally lost in the media. The only people that have a problem with our presentation were people who were not there.
As Jim so eloquently said in our March 3rd, 2010 Chicago Tonight interview, “you never really know what you’re going to be forced to stand up for and when. It happens without you knowing about it. And the fact that we’re being forced to stand up for the ability to demonstrate freely sex to people who are interested in sex is something I never thought we’d have to stand up for.” The four of us didn’t ask to be the center of controversy; we were trying to help dispel myths and prejudices about sex and human relationships through education. Unfortunately, that made the details of our personal lives and ourselves the subject of ridicule, judgment and prejudice from around the world. It may even end up costing some of us our livelihood.
This controversy has taught me we have much more to worry about than whether a 3 minute demonstration was appropriate for an audience of legal, consenting adults. As a society we have much bigger fish to fry. Why are we so afraid of sex? Why do we feel so compelled to judge and discriminate against others based on their sexual preferences? Why do we feel so ashamed of an act that is so simply and basically human?
Furthermore, what does this debate say about intellectual freedom? Look back through history, challenging existing norms and assumptions, even when it incites controversy, is what has allowed us to learn and grow. Just because something is unpopular to some does not mean it isn’t academically valuable.
We’ve always been taught the western world’s sexual revolution was won in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The events of the last few days have indicated to me the new sexual revolution has just begun.
For more perspective on what really happened that day, Rabbit White conducted a lengthy interview with the four of us. You can read Rabbit White’s article here.
Fucksaw at Northwestern University: The REAL Story
Jim Marcus Responds to Sun-Times re: Northwestern Fucksawgate
All I Know About the G-Spot I Learned From My Fucksaw
Thanks, again, Sunny, for addressing this issue. It still blows my mind that the world remains so close-minded, so uneducated about sex. And it is endlessly disappointing to me that there are so many misconceptions out there surrounding kink. We are normal people. We are upstanding citizens who have families and successful careers. It is a shame that we have to live in fear that our own families or employers will someday find out, and I despise having to lead two separate lives. My thoughts and support are with all of you as you weather this media storm.
Thanks for this great post, and for commenting on what I wrote on the Sex Week blog! I was as surprised as you were that this blew up into such a controversy. I really hope none of you face any negative repercussions because of this, but I know that, unfortunately, that’s not how the world works. Best of luck to you and thanks for sticking up for what’s right.
Support from normally adjusted people in NJ coming your way! Hang tough, and don’t let the prudes get you down.
Have you sent any of your links to Jezebel? They’ve been covering the story and there’s been a lot of disagreement among the posters, so they might be interested in linking to your posts here.
After reading countless stories about this, I have a few comments to make.
First of all, how beneficial was this exhibition to the class? It was said that viewing the woman (Faith) while she was being “fucksawed” was obstructed by her boyfriend. It was also said that Faith enjoyed having having sexual relations in front of other. It seems to me that this was not so much about “education” as it was “fantasy fulfillment” for Faith, as well as the other lecturers.
Did the students learn anything about the female orgasm and/or ejaculation from this? I think not. I believe this was more about the subjects gaining notoriety for their kink lifestyle.
I also question the University for hiring NON-ACCREDITED lecturers. Who are these people? Mr. Berg operates a tour company, which leads me to believe he is an entertainer, not a respected member of the medical or educational field.
New sexual revolution? I think not. Get off your high-horse, Ms. Megatron. A way to draw attention to yourself? Yes These lecturers made a choice, now they will have to live with the negative ramifications as well as the positive attention they have received.
This was last week’s news – let’s all move on to more important subjects.
I just sent them, Julie. If any of you want to send this off to various places, please feel free! Thanks!
I don’t feel this lecture was about self-promotion, especially as the participants were invited to speak in a panel as representatives of the local kink community, not as health-care or psychology workers. This was intended to be a Q & A session for those whom were interested in getting more information AFTER CLASS.
While I consider myself pretty vanilla, I have no problem with the demonstration, the ‘educational value’ issue set aside because:
A.)I did not, for a variety of reasons, chose to attend the demonstration, an option everyone had &
B.)I am not enough of an ass to believe my choices should be everyone’s choices, then deride, shun, and ostracize them if they don’t comply with my views on behavior.
As for the educational value, I think that is coming more from the fallout than from the 3 minute demo you could have seen any night of the week on cable. It is being made VERY clear to all of these young adults that sexually, Americans have not strayed as far from their Puritan roots as we have been led to believe. Fear and judgment are still mainstays of the sexual dialogue in this country, & as long as they are VD, unwanted pregnancy, LGBT violence, and under-reporting of sex crimes will continue.
Who is surprised that close-minded people don’t want the pleasurable aspects of sex explored, when they won’t even discuss sex to protect their families & communities?
Everyone who attended was an adult at an optional lecture & demonstration.
Seriously, America, grow up.
you’re right about ONE thing, that is, I can’t believe people are so uneducated about sexuality SO MUCH SO that people think they need classes on it!!! There’s no fucking mystery! Sex classes are unnecessary.
People using sex toys, BDSM, voyerism, group sex, whatever people like, is all cool but doing it live on public grounds and masquerading it as “educational” is what pisses people off.
You couldn’t have shown a video? If you wanted to do it the way you did, you should’ve done it at someone’s home in private. BTW, if you need sex classes you’re dumb. Maybe if you were out fucking you wouldn’t need to take a stupid class about it.