Northwestern University Defends Use of Pornography in Kinky Class


pornNorthwestern University has long been known for academic excellence, but a new class in a titillating field has recently raised a few brows. Professor John Michael Bailey taught a special after-class presentation on “networking for kinky people.”

The class was supplemental to Bailey’s human sexuality class and entirely optional. The curriculum included a demonstration of a woman being pleasured by her boyfriend with something called a “f***saw.”

Professor Bailey told on Wednesday: 

The demonstration, which included a woman who enjoyed providing a sexually explicit demonstration using a machine, surely counts as kinky, and hence, as relevant. Furthermore, earlier that day in my lecture I had talked about the attempts to silence sex research, and how this largely reflected sex negativity ... I did not wish, and I do not wish, to surrender to sex negativity and fear.

If there has to be a class on human sexuality (because college kids don’t do enough of their own exploring?), and it has to have a supplemental section on kink, how hard is it to describe the process rather than show it? Is nothing sacred anymore? Is refusing to show hardcore pornography really, as Professor Bailey says, surrendering to sex negativity and fear?

Is this a sign of the times? Do we no longer have a sense of decency? What if the students were encouraged to engage in hands-on participation? As the line of sexual complacency moves further out of the privacy of our bedrooms, how far will it go? 

How far away are we from a world envisioned by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World, where children are encouraged to sexually play with one another and any reluctance or indication of shame is branded as abnormal? If this idea seems preposterous, imagine going back in time 100 or so years and telling the Victorians that college students in 2011 will be getting visual instruction on how to use sex toys. They would refuse to believe it.

It's one thing to be comfortable in your skin, your relationships, and your sexuality. It's another to promote promiscuity and culturally mock chastity.


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buffa... buffalove23

It was an optional extra of the class. This is college where people see sex all the time (actual sex and those showing off their sexuality). This isn't the downfall of society, its one class. Personally I don't see a problem with it, but some people are just more liberal and openminded then others. Personal choice I guess

sweet... sweetcherry_59

How do you figure this class was mocking chastity? It was an optional class, it's not like they forced this people to watch it.

Googie Bergdorff

Personally, I don't care if the students in the class all fist each other. But seriously, there is nothing educational about this. Any kid who can get into Northwestern and is curious about sex machines can bring up a million online videos in a matter of seconds. Come to think of it, a ten year old kid could too.

Googie Bergdorff

I don't see a problem with it, but some people are just more liberal and openminded then others"


Right. It's the liberal open-minded academics who get fraternities thrown off campus all the time if word gets out that they hired a stripper. It's liberals in academia who painted the Duke lacrosse players as spoiled perverts for hiring a stripper and convicted them in the court of public opinion  for rape. This isn't about open-mindedness. It's just titilation fused with the rather juvenile political sensation that they're doing something which would offend others.

buffa... buffalove23

No its the conservative rich upper class men who say they'll pull their money if frats don't leave. It was a learning experience, but everyone knows by midnight this woman will be out of a job because of over reactions from people who think its wrong to explore.

Googie Bergdorff

That is delusional. It is the liberal academic establishment which throws fraternities off campus for hiring strippers. Are you so afraid of the truth that you have to lie as if you know what you're talking about to save face?

sophgro sophgro

I fear that context is key, and there isn't enough for this story for me to answer any of those questions.  The sex act was done in front of a knowing audience? Was this a class that is for sex therapists or other professional studies?  Not just any student can take such classes if they are for a degree only, which is the case for many upper level classes.  See... not much context. 

Your bias about chastity and this sex act being seen as promiscuity is immature.  Were they consensual adults?  Students have free will, they can leave or refuse to attend any time.  For your information, while Victorians were prudes, they were having loads of sex.  It was just shameful to be public about it, and often it was homosexual, extramarital, and sometimes forced sex.  Shame is a very powerful feeling.  Don't promote it please.  His view is only backed by your bias and negativity.

I don't know if I judge or agree with these faculty member's choices, not enough info, but I do however think that with a litigious society and the need to keep high paying donors coming back, this was irresponsible. 

nonmember avatar Sarah

"Optional" does not make this particular class any less offensive--in fact, it speaks to the fact that said Northwestern professor knew it had to optional in order to be taught. How else can he openly teach about/show off porn? It has to be optional. What a convenient and euphemistic way to get away with base titillation.

This is offensive mostly because it asks students...what? What exactly are these college kids learning from exploring "kinky" sex?

I argue that the answer is not only are they learning nothing worthwhile, they're also learning that sex can be as lurid and as public as each individual chooses. Sex is sacred. It is also meant to be private. Whether or not people agree with that is their own choice, but one thing IS certain: no one benefits from learning about kinky sex. Period. It destroys its inherent value, and especially puts women in a low and belittled light.

That is not something any university should support or endorse, especially when it is directly shaping and directing the young minds of its students. Whether they choose to go or no.

buffa... buffalove23

Yeah I'm lying? Okay whatever...when you work in a college alumni office you call me. Money talks.

Anyways, I think the point here is that all in all anything that has to do with sex outside of procreation is going to be controversial. Maybe that was the point if it? But what everyone keeps missing is it was OPTIONAL. Whether you agree with it or not, it was a learning experience.

Googie Bergdorff

You are lying because you don't have any idea what you're talking about. The left in academia isn't remotely open-minded in the manner in which you foolishly suggested. Sure they'll sanction something dopey and of dubious educational value such as a stripper getting off on a sex toy. But the moment the context changes to, say, a bunch of guys hiring a stripper, then it's about sexism and female subjugation rather than female empowerment. A rather incoherent brand of open-mindedness I'd say.

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