How To Have Sex May 14th, 7:30pm, at The Citadel - Zeidler Hall Tickets Here
A few months ago, I was reading yet again another infuriating article about sexual assault and slut shaming. Anger coursed through me, then hopelessness.
Rape culture permeates every space.
I thought back to last year, when I had to deal with a staff member who, for whatever reason, thought sexual assault was funny. I didn't fire this person. Why lose a perfect teachable moment?
I took time to compile a list of educational resources that included information about trauma recovery and sexual assault in Canada. I mandated some courses about sexual violence and followed it up with conversations.
We discussed sexual assault statistics in Alberta, rape culture, and victim blaming.
This discussion was revelatory. There are actually people who think rape is separate from sexual assault. Who think sexual assault only includes troublesome behaviours like catcalling, touching people who do not want to be touched or sexual harassment, and to them catcalling/ harassment is apparently "not serious" enough.
By the end of the discussion, this person genuinely seemed sorry about the unchecked laughter a few weeks back. There was a promise shared to mindfully resist friends when they made offensive comments that had now been read and discussed. There was an earnest promise not to engage in bystander behavioureither. At the very least, this person knew what sexual assault actually means.
So, as I am reading infuriating article number 30043949729 about sexual assault, I think back to the effect that education had on my staff member.
I think to myself Ribbon Rouge should have a Sex Show! Yes. That is the lever I can pull on to educate Edmontonians-- A Ribbon Rouge Sex Show!
We should have a show that teaches people ...How To Have Sex?
When I floated the idea around, people took me seriously! Rapid Fire Theatre said, "Hell Yes! We'll have a Sex Show". HIV Edmonton opened their doors, Megan Dart took time out to meet with me, and we talked to these generous women living with HIV. We told them that we would bring their stories to Edmonton and offer critical vision and encouragement to people through their stories. We wanted to know what they wanted to educate the public about as related to Sex.
You know what we learned the most challenging sex related question for people living with HIV actually is?
It’s how you actually have sex when living with HIV.
How do you have sex when almost the entire world is judging you? How do you tell them you have this thing, when they'd hate you for it? When they'll condemn you for it?
Like the exploration of rape culture in Alberta, it is my hope that education can help fight the stigma of HIV.
We want to activate your thoughts to form new ideas and new concepts. We want to start the slow burn in the formation of an audience that is not passive, an engaged audience who feels capable of being protagonists of their own stories...who are not bystanders.
We want to provoke, to challenge denial, to voice stories, to bridge differences, to imagine the future, to soothe, to provide context for conversation and dialogue.
We want you to laugh a lot and search your soul often.
Written By Moréniké Ọláòṣebìkan
How To Have Sex
May 14th, 7:30pm, at The Citadel - Zeidler Hall