Sex Out Loud kicks off Sexual Health Awareness Week with Library Mall event The Badger Herald

University of Wisconsin student organization Sex Out Loud kicked off its Sexual Health Week with an event featuring PAVE on Library Mall on Monday.

The “Sex Carnival” was the first of many events planned this week to educate students about sexual health, said Jane Houseal, outreach coordinator for Sex Out Loud.

“We’re just trying to spread awareness of the resources we have on campus and have fun,” Houseal said.

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Sex out loud aims to provide students with accessible, comprehensive and pleasure-based sex education through a sex-positive platform.

Monday’s sex carnival included dildo races, free birth control and oral dams information stalls. The carnival also offered free STI testing through Vivent Health, Sex Out Loud President Ky Romero said.

“Free 20-minute results tests for syphilis, HIV and hepatitis C,” Romero said. “It’s practical, on the spot. They can get it between classes today.

While UHS offers free STI screenings, Sex Out Loud event coordinator Maddy Hu said many students don’t get tested due to the stigma associated with STIs.

Sex Out Loud also works closely with the Promoting Awareness student organization, Victim Empowerment, Romero said.

“We work very closely with PAVE in everything that’s done,” Romero said. “We think if we’re talking about sex, PAVE should always be in the conversation – or some sort of resource available to survivors.”

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PAVE is the UW chapter of a national organization dedicated to using education and advocacy to create a world free of sexual violence.

Last February, PAVE launched a campaign lobby for the UW to provide more resources to sexual survivors. The campaign came after several students reported having to wait weeks or even months to access UHS life support resources.

“Just like with sex you have to have the health aspect, I think you also have to have resources for survivors on campus,” Romero said. “While we can combine these things and talk about pleasure, consent and healthy, happy sex, we’re all students and it’s important to connect them wherever we can.”

Sexual Health Week also includes a birth control program and a yoga class on Tuesday evenings, a lecture on intersex on Wednesday evenings and a screening of “Moonlight” on Thursday evenings.

Joseph K. Bennett