Certainly by now you've heard about how awesome it is to be a student at Northwestern. Prof. John Michael Bailey teaches a human sexuality course that, as expected, ruffles feathers and straddles the sensational line.
His class caused an especially noteworthy feather-ruffle the other day that has got Gawker, Huffington Post and all sorts of sex blogs buzzing.
Northwestern President Morton Schapiro offered this statement today, showing his lack of support for his possibly inappropriate faculty member:
I have recently learned of the after-class activity associated with Prof. Michael Bailey's Human Sexuality class, and I am troubled and disappointed by what occurred.
Northwestern faculty members engage in teaching and research on a wide variety of topics, some of them controversial. That is the nature of a university. However, in this instance, I have directed that we investigate fully the specifics of this incident, and also clarify what constitutes appropriate pedagogy, both in this instance and in the future.
Many members of the Northwestern community are disturbed by what took place on our campus. So am I.
But that's sex. In order to delve deep enough into a carnal corner in order to learn something, you've gotta get your fingers dirty and your feet wet (that means you're doing it right). And Bailey and about 120 students did just that when they hosted a kinky demonstration involving a pants-less woman and a fucksaw.
Prof. Bailey responded last night to the droves of criticism with a lengthy statement sharing exactly what went down on stage, and it's a lot less sensational than you might think. Though the envelope it did push.
The demo was part of an optional after-class event that students were told was completely OK to skip if they felt uncomfortable or weird watching. And many did. Those who remained seated were informed and prepared for what happened next.
Ken Melvoin-Berg was invited to speak, and has done so in the past to shed light onto fetish play and other parts of the kink lifestyle for Bailey's class without the use of static PowerPoint presentations and monotone lectures. It's sex for Pete's sake. Let's get real.
The day's topic was female arousal and ejaculation, and Melvoin-Berg asked Bailey if a physical demonstration could be performed for the class. He happened to have a willing woman carrying the necessary tools with her, and after contemplation Bailey OK'd the act.
The woman essentially Jilled off on stage using what mainstream sex-nervous websites call "a motorized phallus."
From Bailey's statement:
My decision to say "yes" reflected my inability to come up with a legitimate reason why students should not be able to watch such a demonstration. After all, those still there had stayed for an optional demonstration/lecture about kinky sex and were told explicitly what they were about to see. The demonstration, which included a woman who enjoyed providing a sexually explicit demonstration using a machine, surely counts as kinky, and hence as relevant. Furthermore, earlier that day in my lecture I had talked about the attempts to silence sex research, and how this largely reflected sex negativity. I have had previous experiences with these silencing in attempts myself. I did not wish, and I do not wish, to surrender to sex negativity and fear.
(NBC Chicago has the full statement.)
Yeah that's definitely a particularly graphic way to show a group of people how a woman's vag responds to action, but it's the only way to figure that out. From the outside alone, the vulva's got confusing folds, flaps, twists and turns and navigating the vagina ain't easy when you're a dude who a) Has never before been that close to one; b) Doesn't want to admit he doesn't know her clit from her knee cap; c) Is secretly grossed/creeped out by the intricate body part; or d) All of the above.
If only the gentlemen of my alma mater had the chance to see the process first hand, I would have been saved from countless embarrassing half-nighters and certainly several UTIs and a bruise or two.
And same goes for the ladies - I know several women who still to this day (and they're approaching their 30s) have not held a mirror up to their crotches and checked out what their vulvas look like. One of them has never even masturbated.
I can understand, as there's an element of fear and uncertainty involved. And I was not a "normal" child, so I'm not encouraging you to send your 13-year-old niece a hand mirror for her Bat Mitzvah. I spent a lot of time as a youngin staring at myself in the mirror and wondering what would happen when I flicked this or poked that.
But it takes two to tango and I'll leave you with a story from sophomore year at college as my closing argument for why these types of optional human sexuality demos probably do more good than harm.
I went to one of several beer pong parties on a Friday night and to my delight there was a guy visiting from the University of Vermont who was hot, a little short, but really good at eye contact. So I made it my mission to hook up with him ASAP. I was goal oriented.
Once the deal was sealed, his bro-mate gave us the keys to his room down the hall so we could have privacy. And we went at it, making out, fondling and awkwardly figuring out how to remove each other's clothing with the lights off. I was in the midst of a neck-tie-as-a-belt phase and it took more than a few minutes to untie the stupid knot I had been so proud of earlier that night.
Then he stopped and told me he didn't want to have sex because he was a virgin. I breathed an internal sigh of relief as I felt the same, and we agreed that everything BUT penis-in-vagina was good to go.
So he proceeded to explore my nether regions with his pointer and middle fingers, but rather than fiddling around for my G-spot he dove right in and essentially stabbed me with his digits. He bent his fingers, added his ring finger to the mix, and proceeded to scratch and prod. Each time I made a noise or shifted position he just went deeper and faster as though I had given him a thumbs up and a green light.
But rather than say, "Hey asshole, clip your nails and get out of my vag," I went along with it, an awkward 19-year-old who thought she could handle the issue by moving on to a more desirable sexual act. I figured I could save my vagina with the offer of a blowjob.
But just as I got ready to make the move, he commented, "Wow you're so wet," and before I could sexily murmur in agreement he looked down and saw his arm - and the bed -covered in blood. My blood.
He jolted, freaked out (understandably so) and ran out of the room. I looked down and sighed, knowing I was about to leave a serious crime scene for my friend-of-a-friend-of-an-acquaintance to find.
I ducked into the bathroom and cleaned up, then went back to the party to tell my gal pals we needed to jet immediately. My hook-up failure wasn't in the room, as he was likely still burning the evidence from his skin. The rest of the party looked at me with, "Heh, we know what you've been up to, giggity goo" faces while slapping me high-fives with their eyes.
If only they knew the truth - and where a girl's G-spot is.
I learned several weeks later that the guy - and all of his friends he'd been visiting - didn't realize that the blood had come as a result of hacking away at my poor vagina. His fingers had broken my hymen and caused enough lacerations on my vagina's sensitive skin to make it painful to masturbate for a week.
The consensus was not that he had been abusing my lady parts, but that I had been so enthralled by ecstasy that I didn't care to tell him I had been on the rag. They all believe I had started my period all over the place, and the only responsibility he had in the matter was opening my flood gates with his manual prowess.
But the best part? Everyone had been so tanked that night - myself included - that they couldn't remember which chick was the culprit. This I learned weeks later when I found myself at another dorm gathering, this time circled around a hookah, when the conversation steered to "that night."
"I can't believe the bitch had her period the whole time and didn't say anything," said the owner of the bed on which I had bled all over. "And no one remembers what she looked like?"
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I shook my head, "No," along with the rest of the clan and casually made my exit.
"I've got to, uh, wash my hair. And a book report diorama is due tomorrow or something OKgottagobye."
I found new friends with bigger parties, more intelligent conversation, and, fortunately for the rest of my sophomore year, much better handjobs.
Besides, smoking's bad for you anyway no matter how vanilla-y the tobacco tastes.