University of Delaware

March 2012

Sexologist urges students to find joy in personal sexuality

By John Rohan

March 20, 2012


Sexologist and sex educator Sari Locker encouraged students to discover their sexual identities during her lecture “Free Sex: How to Freely Express Your Sexuality and Enjoy Your Sexual Choices” Wednesday night in Kirkbride Hall.


“There is so much pleasure in discovering who you are sexually,” Locker says. “Learning how to please yourself sexually and learning how to share that with a partner, when you are ready. But when people feel pressured or confused or inadequate or insecure, it takes the pleasure of sex and instead it turns it into confusion, stress and turmoil.”

Senior Colleen Dougherty, president of Haven, says the event was part of Haven’s first full week of sex education events. Other events during the week included a panel of university students and alumni who fielded questions about sex education on March 12.

Dougherty says Haven wanted to do something different by inviting Locker to campus.

“We wanted to bring some real truth to sexual expression and identity,” Dougherty says.

Locker enrolled at Cornell University when she was 16 years old and graduated with a degree in educational psychology. She received her master’s degree in sexuality education from the University of Pennsylvania and currently teaches adolescent psychology at Columbia University, where she received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology.

The fourth edition of Locker’s book, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amazing Sex,” was published last December, and she often speaks on network news about sex and on talk shows to give advice about how people can improve their sex lives.

Locker, who knew she wanted to be a sex educator when she first enrolled in college, says her close, open relationship with her parents is one of the reasons she is comfortable talking and teaching about sex.

“The most important thing parents can do is share their morals,” she says. “Parents should really be the first sex educators of their children.”

At the event, Locker spoke about the power of parents, the media, politics and popular culture on sexual expectations. She says she is glad the media now accepts less heteronormative topics like being a transgender person, but is frustrated by how gradually these changes take place.

She also says she believes technology is negatively affecting how college students view sex.

“College students can benefit from face-to-face dates, face-to-face hanging out—not texting,” she says. “If you are texting someone you have a crush on, who lives across the street from you on campus, instead, why don’t you just stop by?”

Students who attended the lecture were able to submit questions anonymously for Locker to answer. Questions ranged from how to properly use a condom to the logistics of different positions and types of sex.

Freshman Tanner Gore says she did not know what to expect from the lecture.

“I saw that banner that said ‘Free Sex,’ and I didn’t know if it was going to be serious or funny,” Gore says. “I hoped it was funny.”

She says she enjoyed the audience participation, which included a demonstration of how to properly use a condom to a three-person model of the female genitalia.

“It was educational and funny,” Gore says.

Amanda Sachs, 22, a resident of Delaware County, Pa., believes in the important of sex education and says events like these are helpful for the community.

“Every student should know more about sex,” Sachs says. “It just makes things easier.”

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