The pink posters lined each wall with words written in thick, black print.
"Intimacy," one read. "Sex," "pornography," "love," "oral sex," "identity," "wholeness."
Tuesday night was not a night of mincing words.
"We want to be able to talk about the hard issues that we all deal with," said one event coordinator, Becka Lewis, to a crowd of women that filled Weter Hall.
In a forum titled "Let’s Talk About Sex," a panel of senior and graduate women offered testimonies on their sexual experiences and hosted a time of question and answer for SPU women.
The testimonies ranged from a woman who has never been kissed to one who has had premarital sex.
While the testimonies differed, the message was the same.
"It’s not necessarily achieving purity, it’s glorifying God," Lewis said.
It’s also realizing that women struggle with common issues, said the women on the panel.
"It’s great to hear other people’s stories and know that other people struggle too," said Lewis during her testimony. "I don’t have to carry it on my own."
Ashlea McLaren, a freshman in the audience, agreed.
. "I thought it was nice that everybody gets horny, you know, everybody struggles with the same thing!"
The hosts encouraged the women to not only realize that they deal with sexual issues, but to celebrate sexuality.
Some women were confused on celebrating without sinning.
"How can I be a sexual being without having sex?" said a member of the audience. "I read a book once that told me to channel my sexual energy into knitting!"
Several panelists endorsed finding personal boundaries for each relationship, and within that there could be celebration.
"It’s a gift-we should enjoy it, take pleasure in it, but keep boundaries and save the best for last," said panelist Laura Jackson, a graduate. "As your emotional intimacy increases in depth it makes sense for your physical intimacy to follow."
The celebration came after confession. The panelists frankly discussed their sexual pasts, which included sex, pornography, lust, and masturbation.
For many students, the issue is not adequately discussed on campus.
"I think it’s something that’s never been addressed on campus and it’s getting more and more suppressed," said Kaytee Ober, a junior coordinator of the event. "
"On our campus there’s an eating issue for women and a sex issue for guys," said junior Cassie Adams.
Bringing the issue to SPU began months ago. According to Ober, she began meeting with interested women in November, and every Sunday following they planned for the event.
The evening focused on healing for those who felt they needed it.
"I think there are a lot of girls who have gone through things in the past dealing with boundaries dealing with sex and there needs to be healing," Ober said.
"Scripture talks about bringing things into the light," said panelist Laura Partridge, Ashton’s Residence Life Coordinator. "The freedom you will experience by bringing these things to the light is profound and totally worth it."
The panel hopes to plan similar events for spring quarter.
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Title: Women talk about sex | Author: Abby Berger | Section: News | Published Date: 2004-02-25 | Internal ID: 3806