UCR students were full of excitement and laughter last Wednesday, May 9, in HUB 302 as Laci Green shared her four-step guide to “The Best Sex Ever.” The lecture, which was presented by the Associated Students Program Board (ASPB), complemented the WELL’s Sex Health Fair at the Bell Tower earlier that day. As attendees waited for the lecture to begin, many joined around tables where the Campus Health Center and Condom Co-Op offered free condoms and flyers centered on sexual health.
Green, a sex educator and self-acclaimed YouTube “edutainer,” has garnered over 21 million views on her Sex+ channel. Green is known for covering topics such as sexuality, relationships, body image and gender. She has also expanded her platform to Twitter, Tumblr and her personal website, where she spends time answering questions and exploring social issues in depth.
Music boomed while students filed into the room and took their seats. After the music faded, Green walked onto the stage with her stunning smile, prompting cheers from the audience. Judging from the enthusiasm, it was clear that the lecture would be unlike any ordinary talk on sexual health. “Best sex ever. These are three intimidating words. What does it even mean?” Green asked. She continued, “Since what we all see as the best sex ever is going to be different, I think that it would be more helpful to give you the tools that you need.”
Green had a four step plan to having the “best sex ever,” which she shared with the audience. Her visual presentation opened with an image of the gear stick of a car. Under the topic of control, she highlighted its importance in sexuality by drawing a parallel between bodies and cars. “When we’re talking about sexual health, it’s important that we understand ourselves first and how to drive our own car,” Green said. She focused on the female and male anatomy, dispelling misconceptions about how certain parts function. For example, in the female anatomy, the labia minora can vary in size from woman to woman. Green also described that the hymen cannot be broken, but is actually stretched. When roughly handled it may tear, resulting in bleeding and a need for the membrane to heal. When describing the anatomy of male genitals, Green revealed that the “neglected” prostate, otherwise known as the “P-spot” is an exocrine gland that is analogous to the G-spot in women. Thus, it can be identified in the same manner.
In step two, Green explained ways to be safe in preserving one’s sexual health. She asked what attendees think of when they hear “STDs (sexually transmitted diseases),” garnering negative responses about the significance of contracting one. Thus, Green introduced her theory on the matter, and said, “A lot of the symptoms of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are similar to symptoms of contracting the flu. A lot of the stigma that comes with them, however, is the fact that they are sexual and occur on the genitals.”
She picked out five STIs: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Herpes, Genital Warts and HIV/AIDS, discussed their symptoms and health complications. Chlamydia, for instance is the most common but treatable STI in the U.S. Like Gonorrhea, if left untreated, it could later contribute to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), affecting the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries and causing infertility. Herpes, on the other hand, is not life-threatening nor can it lead to infertility, but is incurable.
Green noted that while STI’s may sometimes involve health complications and certainly results in unwanted symptoms, safe sex is the solution to maintaining one’s sexual health. Preventative measures include the proper use of a condom from start to finish, STI testing for those who have been sexually active in any way prior to and after every new partner and annual STI screening. She also mentioned that the HPV vaccine is free for women in California. The vaccine protects against the development of cervical cancer and genital warts.
To complement her segment on safety, she engaged attendees in a trivia game in which volunteers answered questions concerning safe places to store condoms and specific details about particular STIs. She also helped a volunteer demonstrate the proper use of a condom on a banana. To reward volunteers, Green offered a plethora of sexual products such as vibrators and lubricants as prizes.
Green’s third step explored the definition of consent by brainstorming cues for consent and non-consent with the audience. For both parties to reach a consensual agreement, both must feel safe to “stop” at any time, be comfortable, be into their sexual interaction and most of all, share mutual respect. Thus, cues that impart fear or hesitation show that either one of the parties is not consenting. In a similar fashion, if one of the parties is uncomfortable, unconscious or drunk, they are also not consenting. Because of the health repercussions that Green described in step two, such social cues are a pivotal component of the social script, which not only applies at college parties, but later on in life as well. To reach a consensus and to preserve mutual respect, communication is crucial.
In the last part of Green’s discussion, she delved into the topic of sexploration and how to embrace one’s body. “For some people, getting into the sexual groove is a little more intimidating, and they may not know where to start,” Green said. “So I recommend fantasizing first. When you do, be comfortable with your fantasies because then you can communicate them to someone else.” In that way, individuals will be able to practice the skill of communicating what they want. Just as communication is crucial in establishing consent, it equally applies to enjoying the sexual experience. Green added, “Browsing through sex toys at a specialty shop can also be an adventure in and of itself, especially when you’re with a friend and you’re feeling nervous about people staring at you. You’ll find that it’s not that bad.”
Following her four steps, she opened the floor to a Q&A session that the audience did not shy away from taking advantage of. After the presentation, students walked out of the HUB abuzz with conversation. With her comical, yet graceful presence, Lacy Green explained that it is indeed possible to discuss sexual topics without a trace of discomfort. Rather, communication about sexuality can be sexy and fun with honesty. Ultimately, the secret to having the best sex ever is to be familiar with your own body, to treat others with respect and to practice safe sex.