Sex Ed Boot Camp: ‘Erotic enlightenment’

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Megan Swett , Assistant Editor for News

For Dr. Joni Frater and Esther Lastique, sex isn’t just part of life; it’s a way of life.

The two women – both trained sexologists – are bestselling authors and “relationship gurus,” according to their website sexedbootcamp.com. The heavily-consulted educators travel around the country, touring college campuses and talking to students about the realities of sex.

“There are only 26 states in this country that require any kind of sex education, and only 13 states require that that information be medically accurate,” Lastique said, “… it’s really George W. Bush’s fault … George W. Bush passed a law under the Social Security Act that said that all schools under college level … if they taught anything other than abstinence until marriage, they could risk losing federal funds.”

Since Reagan’s era in the 1980s, various efforts have been made to federally fund abstinence-only sex education and nothing else.  These efforts include the Adolescent Family Life Act (ALFA), the Community Base Abstinence Education program (CBAE), and Title V, Section 510 of the Social Security Act.

Lastique and Frater work to combat the misinformation perpetuated by these programs and the education they promote.

“We’re living in a world where a lot of people do use PornHub as their education tool,” Frater said.

“A lot of people really don’t know anything, and that’s where they’re going for their information,” Lastique responded. “And that’s terrifying.”

Frater and Lastique frame their presentations around having an honest, adult conversation about sex and sexuality. Frater noted that much of what people see in media – in movies and on television – is an unhealthy lie.

“Most of what they’re doing is assault,” Frater said. “They’re not having any consent or any conversation … and that’s when things happen to people that they don’t want to happen.”

The two sexologists make it a point to personalize their presentations to each campus and to make everyone feel as welcomed as possible. They encourage people of all sexualities, sexual experience, and cultural backgrounds to attend the workshop.

“We honor abstinence as a choice,” Lastique said. “We honor virginity, we speak to that … and if you’re part of the hook-up culture, you need to make sure that everyone you’re playing with is down for that, too.”

“And we try to [present] in a way that is not completely heteronormative,” Frater added. “We’re a little different and a lot more inclusive.”

During the event, Frater and Lastique will discuss topics of sexual health, consent, the anatomy and physiology of sex, as well as the role both romantic and platonic relationships play in sexual experiences.

“You can’t have great sex in a crappy relationship,” Frater said.

The two women explain that their goal for the presentation is “erotic enlightenment,” as they hope to work through the misinformation and mixed messages college students have been fed throughout their lives.

“We take a very awkward topic for most people, and make it as fun and funny as possible. And we do it in a really comprehensive way.” Frater said. “We just have a really honest conversation about a lot of topics that apply to college students.”

Frater and Lastique will be presenting in the LRH Greatroom on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.