Sex Week is upon us.
Beginning Sunday, March 2, Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee will be hosting its second annual Sex Week. The 32 events scheduled to take place throughout the week promote sexual empowerment, health and pleasure at UT.
"We have definitely learned a lot from last year," said Kevin Brown, member of the Sexecutive Board for SEAT and junior majoring in public relations. "We are still trying to accomplish the same things and fighting the same battles, but this year we have gotten a lot more student support than we got last year."
This year, programming has been adjusted to satisfy student feedback from last year. In addition to resurrecting student favorites like the "Drag Show" and "Religion and Sexuality Panel," SEAT has incorporated new events to satisfy a broader range of students.
"We are trying to make it even more inclusive and have even more of an open dialogue with as many different opinions as possible," said Jordan Achs, SEAT member and junior majoring in journalism and electronic media.
Sunday night will mark the kick-off for Sex Week 2014 featuring an "Aphrodisiac Cooking Class" and guest speaker Reid Mihalko's "Stay the Night: Hook-up Culture" event. The evening will close with a "Sexy Oscars Party."
Achs and Brown agreed that the Hook-up Culture event is expected to be one of the most popular events of the week.
"It's so interesting with Tinder and Lulu and Grinder and all these apps to see how they are impacting the way we 'hook up,' and the way college is starting to get structured as far as relationships go," Achs said.
SEAT has also partnered with UTK Cru this year to co-sponsor the "Longterm Intimacy: Commitment & Sex" event, and the "Religion & Sex Panel." Lambda Student Union is a co-sponsor for Thursday night's drag show.
This time around, Sex Week will also be including more events relative to the LGBQT community.
"A lot of people hear about the L and the G, but not a lot of people hear about the rest of the letters," Achs said. "Those populations are represented at UT, and we want to make sure that they feel included as well and that people understand them better."
Brianna Rader, co-founder of SEAT and senior in College Scholars, said she feels that, overall, programming will be greatly improved this year.
"Last year, we were in crisis mode and so focused on just trying to make Sex Week happen," Rader said. "This year, we have more time to put towards the actual events."
Recent attention garnered by Sex Week from the Tennessee State Legislature is causing challenges when reaching out to more cautious students on campus, Rader said. SEAT has been especially careful this year to concentrate on making Sex Week a respected image.
"It's hard to make Sex Week seem like a comfortable place for shy students to attend," Rader said. "It's been extremely frustrating that people speak for us."
However, Achs said she can appreciate the positive effects of such publicity, asserting that no amount of legislative attack could ever stop or slow down SEAT.
"We've still pushed forward, and we've still done everything like we would regardless," Achs said. "We haven't let it slow us down.
"... It's definitely been a factor in how much attention we have gotten, which is partially a great thing for putting our name out there."
Ultimately, Achs said, SEAT wants to encourage students to attend Sex Week events with an open mind.
"College is definitely a time where people try to find themselves," Achs said. "It's a time when you realize what your beliefs are and what you think, what you feel, who you love, and we want to help people who may be confused about some of that stuff.
"We are just trying to make it easier for people to live their lives."
To see the full schedule for Sex Week and learn more about specific events, visit their Facebook page.