By Ashley Harrison, Iris Shipley, Grace Prust & Rianna Jones
Sex in the Dark is back. Monday, February 20, 2023, was the first time the University of Wisconsin — Green Bay (UWGB) had done the event, Sex in the Dark, since 2017.
The school had put on the event for many years before 2017, but it was something that slowly died out. People had been asking the school to bring back the event.
Sex in the Dark is an event organized by the Healthy Choices task force that allows students to talk with professionals anonymously about sex, and it gives students the opportunity to learn more about safe sex. During the event, students gathered in Rose Hall and were given pens and notecards. Students could write on the note cards any questions they had, and then the event staff collected all the notecards. The lights are then dimmed, and the professionals begin answering the questions they read on the notecards.
Kenny, a Psychology and Theatre Major at UWGB and also an intern at the UWGB pride center, attended the event alongside some of their friends. “…I didn’t really know what to expect, but like, I’m not disappointed,” said Kenny.
At the event, students submitted questions about STI concerns, pregnancy, consent, and other personal questions related to intimacy. Another student who attended Sex In The Dark thought that the event was helpful to her and her peers. Kenny gave feedback on how the event could improve in the future. “…[T]his was definitely helpful to other students. I wish there was more gender inclusivity.”
According to Wisevoter.com, the state of Wisconsin is ranked 30th in the US for STIs. Specifically, this means that about 640 per 100k are diagnosed with an STI. According to the National Survey of Family Growth, administered by the U.S. government’s National Center for Health Statistics, in the US, about 28.9% of people reported having sexual intercourse with one sexual partner. Statistics regarding UWGB students’ sexual encounters and STIs were collected At UWGB, with 77% reporting having only one sexual partner. However, not all college students are sexually active. According to the National College Health Assessment, 35% of undergraduate students reported having no sexual partners within the past year.
Students played a Kahoot at this event, and one of the questions was, “what percentage of your peers do you think are sexually active?” The answers were all across the board. 9 people voted 0-25%, 21 voted 26-50%, 12 voted 50-75% and 7 voted 76%+.
Rachel Scullion is a nurse practitioner who works in the Wellness Center on the UWGB campus and was one of the panelists. After the event, she commented, “I think knowledge and education are very important… It’s nice to have someone who has a medical background to give some context from the information students are seeing from friends and google.”
Lissa Balison, a counselor from the Wellness Center, commented on the turnout. “Years in the past, there were more, but students anticipated it because it had been year after year. For not happening for several years, I think it was pretty good.” There were over 50 students who attended the event in Rose Hall.
Both panelists said they would return to answer students’ questions if the event was put on again because of the importance of student wellbeing. Balison said, “It’s a fun program to do and can be difficult, but it’s powerful and good for students.”
Statistics found here:
“STD Rates by State 2023.” Wisevoter, 30 Jan. 2023, https://wisevoter.com/state-rankings/std-rates-by-state
Skwarecki, Beth. “Here’s How Much Sex (and What Kind) Everybody Is Having.” Lifehacker, 7 Feb. 2022, https://lifehacker.com/here-s-how-much-sex-everybody-is-having-1795561168