Four City College clubs team up to promote sex positivity

Sex + City campaign features four days of speakers and presentations on sex education

Originally published in the Feb. 4, 2014 print edition of the Sac City Express

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

During the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, a group of City College clubs will present Sex + City, a campaign of events promoting the sex positivity movement.

Sex Positivity is a social movement that “seeks to promote healthy concepts about topics related to human sexuality through a stigma-free educational environment,” according to the event’s official website.

Sac City Freethinkers faculty adviser and graphic communication Professor Don Button said the campaign is presented in a collaborative e ort of the Sac City Freethinkers, to Feminists, Queer/Straight Alliance, and the Sociology Club.

The four-day campaign will include three days of informational presentations and speeches from well-known authors Laci GreenDarrel Ray and Jaye Cee Whitehead and will culminate in a paid event on Feb. 13.

It is also supported by the Secular Student Alliance, City College’s Club and Events Board and the SCC Foundation, as well as Floppy’s Digital Copies, which pitched in to help with printing signs to promote the events, and Bianchi Sound, which offered discounted prices on audio equipment for the speaking engagements.

Button said the event’s planning began in fall 2013 as an idea suggested by a Freethinkers club member.

“It kept ballooning from there,” said Button. “It just kept getting bigger and bigger from there because there were so many ideas and so much energy and interest both from students and faculty to address sexuality in a new, progressive way.”

Button, who added that proceeds from the paid event on Feb. 13 and any leftover money will be donated to club-related local non-profit t organizations, explained that the clubs involved have an interest in promoting openness to new topics, especially ones that aren’t socially accepted.

“All four of these clubs find it important in their mission to challenge traditional views on things, like with religion in the freethinkers club or feminism with the feminist club or social issues with the sociology club,”said Button. “We all address these things in different ways in the shared interest of opening people’s minds and changing their perceptions of the differences in people.”

A member of the Feminist Club and event planner Mariah Kolbe, women’s studies and linguistics major, said she got involved with the event after speaking to club members at last year’s Club Day.

“We’re just trying to open people’s minds and take these topics that are not necessarily available to the general public and help them feel like people are free to discuss them in a non-judgmental way,” said Kolbe, who is hosting the Monday events, as well as helping to plan the Wednesday and Thursday events. “We want [people] to feel open enough to discuss [these topics].”

City College psychology Professor Gayle Pitman is also helping with the planning of the events and said she got involved to help people shift their views from thinking that sex is a bad or dirty activity.

“The anti-abortion exhibit that came to SCC last fall incited a lot of emotional reactions, and it got me thinking about free speech issues,” said Pitman. “About a week after the exhibit was on campus, Don [Button] approached me about collaborating on a sex positive event at SCC, and I thought, what a perfect way to utilize free speech in a way that’s educational and empowering, rather than upsetting and potentially traumatizing like the anti-abortion exhibit was for many people.”

Pitman also added that her field of study played a big role in her interest to help spread a positive message about sex.

“Given that I also teach Women’s Studies courses, I come at this from a feminist perspective as well as a psychological one,” said Pitman. “Very few people have access to accurate and comprehensive sex education, and very few school-based sex education programs address consent at all.”

Kolbe, along with Button and Pitman said they are most excited to hear the Feb.12 presentation from Janet Hardy, who Pitman explained is “one of the coauthors of the book, ‘The Ethical Slut,’ which has helped so many people understand how to navigate alternative sexual relationships in a safe, sane and consensual way,” but all three said they are excited for all of the speakers and activities.

“Even if you can’t spend the money to go to the Thursday event—which is not that much, it’s only $5 if you buy it pre-sale—just come to the [other free] events because it’s going to be fun,” said Kolbe. “We hope to keep it going for the next couple years so we would like to have a good turn out and make it successful.”

Events will be held daily from Monday, Feb. 10, through Thursday, Feb. 13, leading up to the Valentine’s Day holiday Friday, Feb. 14. For more information on the free Monday-Wednesday events, the paid Thursday event or to learn more about the overall campaign, visit

About Daniel Wilson

Daniel has been a writer for over 25 years and recently earned his Bachelor's degree in journalism. Portfolio:
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