June 20, 2024

Co-founder of UT Sex Week talks upcoming events

Co-founder of the University of Tennesee’s Sex Week talks about the new schedule and added events to this year’s installment.

In 2013, volunteers helped promote Sex Week by passing out stickers, programs and health pamphlets on Pedestrian Walkway.
In 2013, volunteers helped promote Sex Week by passing out stickers, programs and health pamphlets on Pedestrian Walkway.


On Monday, Jan. 27, Sex Week released its 2014 schedule of events, which will begin March 2.

“Most of our events are new,” said Briana Rader, senior at UT and co-founder of UT Sex Week. “The only repeats are the drag show, the religion & sexuality panel, sex & the law, trivia, transgender seminar and health events.”

This year’s events will cover subjects not discussed in the previous year, like ethics and pornography.

“We didn’t address porn last year, and we wanted to be sure to address the ethics of pornography this year,” said Rader. “Tristan Taormino, a feminist author and pornographer, will be discussing the ethics and politics of the porn industry.”

This years’ subjects include hook-up culture, women’s health, commitment and sex, and abstinence.

“Hook-up culture is our kick-off event,” said Rader. “We didn’t address that much last year either.”

Other events leading up to Sex Week include a performance of the Tony award winning musical “Rent” by UT students. The performances will take place on Jan. 30-Feb. 2 at the Lab Theater on campus.

“RENT is an event that addresses many of the overall issues Sex Week focuses on: AIDS, Love, Relationships, LGBTQ,” said Rader. “It’s also a very popular musical for students in my generation because we grew up with the film.”

Performances from Jan. 30- Feb. 1 will be held at 8 p.m. and will be at 2:30 p.m. from Feb. 1-2. Admission is free, however reservations are no longer available. There will be a wait-list every night.

Sex Week plans to screen the film “For Colored Girls” on Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the UC Auditorium. The film features Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson and Phylicia Rashad and touches on issues that impact all women, such as HIV, rape, abortions, infidelity and sexual orientation.

Sex Week is sponsored by Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee, or SEAT, and strives to foster a comprehensive and academically-informed conversation about sex, sexuality and relationships. The UT student body and the Knoxville community approaches sex education through innovative, collaborative, and entertaining programming and events.

Last year, Sex Week faced controversy before its first event which resulted in a loss of two-thirds of its funding. However, SEAT recovered the funds with 36 hours of private fundraising. This year, Sex Week is being funded by a combination of sources including private donations, t-shirt sales, the Ready for the World Grant and student activity fees.

“We care about quality over quantity, and our main goal is to spark dialogue, but we want our attendance to be strong,” said Rader. “We impacted a few thousand attendees last year, and we hope to do the same this year.”

Rader also encourages those who are skeptical to attend events.

“I would urge people who are still skeptical of Sex Week to look at our website in detail,” said Rader. “We have programming for individuals of varying belief systems. We want students to leave Sex Week with a comprehensive understanding of sexuality, and they can apply the knowledge to their own lives. We must provide this information to our students.”

Over 4,000 attendees came to Sex Week last year and Rader encourages more to attend.

For more information, visit Sex Week’s website by clicking here.

To ‘like’ Sex Week on Facebook, click here.

To follow Sex Week on Twitter, click here.


Edited by Nichole Stevens