With Future of Yale Sex Week in Limbo, Harvard Starts Own Version

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Ivy Leaguers, can’t you all get along? Must you compete in every arena of life? Is it not enough that the scions of the 1 percent compete to see which will attract more of the nation’s top high school graduates? Is it not enough that you get to compete with one another in your own sports league called… what else, The Ivy League? 

Now you have competing Sex Weeks in the works? What’s next; comparing penis sizes? Alas, this is really happening, with an element of intramural competitiveness also in play, as evidenced by the Harvard Crimson article posted Wednesday by Kristiana C. Laugen, with the title, “Too Much Porn at Yale Sex Week.”

Though ostensibly about Yale, the post is really about the planned Sex Week at Harvard College, which is scheduled to take place the week of March 25, 2012, and will be coordinated by the Harvard student organization, Sexual Health Education & Advocacy throughout Harvard College (SHEATH).

In her post, Laugen wrote, “Although ‘Sex Week at Yale" had a similar mission, after reevaluating the actual content of the events, Yale determined that the content of "Sex Week at Yale" had strayed from its original mission. In fact, Yalies complain the week has become more about porn than sexual issues, claiming about one third of the events are hosted by people involved in the adult video industry.

“But before you knock Yalies for being too prudish,” she added, “it might do to remember that Yalies traditionally have a higher average number of sexual partners than Harvard students—2 for Yale compared to 1 for Harvard within their four years according polls conducted by their respective newspapers. Well, at least Yale is good at something.”

Despite the good-natured snark, the perceived focus on porn that developed at the Yale event was certainly on the minds of Harvard Sex Week organizers.

“There are things that Sex Week at Yale does really well, there are also things that Sex Week at Yale could do better,” said SEATH co-founder Samantha A. Meier who graduates next year. “We’re interested in providing programming that Harvard students are going to like and that will serve as a launching pad for more discussion.”

According to an official announcement in the Crimson, Harvard Sex Week organizers will collaborate with various Harvard organizations to sponsor individual seminars and workshops that address topics such as the hook-up culture of college, and that try to foster better sexual communication on campus.

“Our role is connecting groups that are already doing amazing work on campus and making sure they have a platform and the ability to work in conjunction with other groups,” said Meier. “This isn’t just our vision for Sex Week.”

Brown University also has a Sex Week, reminded Meier, who added that she and fellow SHEATH founder Abby Sun have already been in touch with organizers of Sex Week events at both Yale and Brown in order to learn from the successes and failures of those events while meeting the special needs, whatever they may be, of the Harvard, Cambridge and Boston communities.

Assuming Yale gets the green light to continue its venerable Sex Week, we look forward to the inevitable Ivy League Sex Week—which in our imaginations will combine all three events, complete with jaw-dropping sex-themed competitions, during some splendiferous and verdant New England weekend—even if adult companies are no longer invited to participate.