In order to educate the Lawrence community about kinks, the Student Alliance Against Sexual Harassment and Assault (SAASHA) hosted a kink workshop on Feb. 11. SAASHA is an official Lawrence University Community Council standing committee committed to ending sexual violence on campus by facilitating discussion, education and awareness about issues of sexual misconduct. Members of SAASHA aim to connect students with vital resources and implement programs to carry out their mission statement.
The kink workshop was held in Youngchild Hall 121 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday night. Like last year’s workshop, this year’s event included a presentation from Hudson, an employee at Tool Shed Toys — an erotic boutique in Milwaukee. He summarized what kink is, its history and how to safely practice kink. The main message of the evening was how kink is pertinent to consent.
As Hudson explained, due to the taboo nature of kink, communication is vital. It is important to talk about the nature of the kink to ensure that everyone is comfortable. At the end of Hudson’s presentation, members of the audience could pose anonymous questions via slips of paper.
Members of SAASHA were grateful for this presentation due to its relevance to their message of sex positivity and how that interacts with consent. The group also promotes practicing sexual activity safely and in a healthy way.
Following the question and answer session, there was a raffle for a sex toy giveaway. Roughly 20 sex toys were given away, including the coveted prize of the sex toy coloring book.
Inspired by the event, some Lawrentians participated in a “munch” over reading period. A munch, according to Hudson, is an event that people arrange where they eat together and have an open conversation about kink.
Aside from the kink workshop, SAASHA was present on campus in other ways during the week of Valentine’s Day. Members of SAASHA could be found tabling in Warch throughout the week, encouraging members of the Lawrence community to write what love meant to them. This included platonic love, romantic love, self-love and other forms of love. Participants wrote their messages on paper hearts, which were then hung on the Warch stairs.
During the week of Valentine’s Day, SAASHA also distributed condoms to all of the residence halls and lofts across campus. Condoms were provided by the Wellness Center, where members work closely with Director of Wellness and Recreation Erin Buenzli.
In the near future, members of SAASHA are planning a week of activities for their event called “Take Back the Night.” Members of SAASHA also look forward to collaborating with different organizations on campus in the future.
To become involved in SAASHA, students should join the email list and attend meetings. Meetings are held at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays at Sabin House.