MEADVILLE, PA â€" Allegheny Collegeâ€™s Ford Memorial Chapel was transformed into a boudoir of sorts Wednesday night, as professional sex educators advised students in attendance how best to touch themselves and their partners to reach orgasm in what was billed as an educational seminar.
The chapel, built and dedicated in 1902, is where Catholic mass and non-denominational services are conducted every week at the private liberal arts college in northwestern Pennsylvania. But all that took a back pew to Wednesdayâ€™s festivities, dubbed â€śI Heart the Female Orgasmâ€ť and hosted by a variety of student groups on campus.
The two sex educators, Marshall Miller and Kate Weinberg, talked students through a variety of masturbation techniques during the event.In statements to The College Fix, the collegeâ€™s chaplain defended the eventâ€™s location, calling its theme â€śresponsible,â€ť and a campus spokesperson said it offered a â€śgreat message.â€ť
While the chapel is hosting services in conjunction with Lent, on Wednesday the building turned into a sexual marketplace of sorts, as student groups sold buttons, t-shirts and hats bearing the programâ€™s name inside the chapel itself after the event concluded. They also sold the book written by program coordinators Marshall Miller and Dorian Solot titled â€śI Heart Female Orgasm: An Extraordinary Orgasm Guide.â€ť
Meanwhile, the sex educators had also told students masturbation is not a sin.
â€śSome people figure out masturbation and orgasm as teenagers, some people figure it out later than that,â€ť said Weinberg, describing her lifelong fascination with pleasuring herself. â€śAnd some people figure it out earlier than that. Like preschool age. I was part of that last category.â€ť
Weinberg also weighed in on a portion of the Book of Genesis in regard to masturbation.
â€śSo this primary anti-masturbation story is about this guy, Onan. â€¦ And Onan refused to sleep with his brotherâ€™s wife, so he spilled his seed on the ground â€" thatâ€™s how itâ€™s defined â€" and for that, God struck him dead,â€ť she said.
But Weinberg said she believes that because Biblical scholars debate the exact meanings of many portions of the Bible, it permits a wide variety of sexual activity.
â€śA lot of Bible scholars say thatâ€™s the primary anti-masturbation story, but I donâ€™t really see it,â€ť she continued. â€śOnan wasnâ€™t struck dead for masturbating. He was struck down for not sleeping with his brotherâ€™s wife. So the masturbation wasnâ€™t the sin. So obviously, you know, the Bible is something that is interpreted in a lot of different ways.â€ť
Weinberg later held up two books titled Iâ€™ll Show You Mine and Petals, encouraging students to flip through them after the program: â€śWeâ€™ve got two amazing books up here with pages and pages of art photographs of vaginas and vulvas.â€ť
The event was hosted by Alleghenyâ€™s student government and Allegheny Collegeâ€™s Reproductive Health Coalition, along with Young Feminists and Queers and Allies. It was funded by student activities fees.
NOTE: Some of the graphic text was deleted because of its offensive nature. And the church okay-ed this on campus and in the historic church.