By Rachel Surman
Without the use of her legs, sex with Loree Erickson can sometimes tire her partner(s) out before they’re ready to finish. But she doesn’t let that interfere with her sex life; instead, she often uses her disability as an excuse to pull out her sexiest possessions, pink vegan bondage cuffs.
“When they get tired they can just throw my legs up,” said Erickson.
Self-described “poly queer femmegimp porn star academic,” Erickson, was one of the facilitators at the Queering Sex Ed event held in the Thompson Lounge last Tuesday as a part of RyePride’s winter Pride week. She, along with Andii Bykes, a 27-year-old transgender heath centre worker, worked with students to recognize and break down stereotypes about ‘appropriate’ expressions of sexuality.
“We’re just working to shift ideas around cultures of undesirability and desirability,” explained Bykes. “Like, who gets laid and who doesn’t get laid and why that is. We’re just beginning to talk about that.”
Some of the activities involved breaking down stigmas surrounding all types of people and learning to be “sex positive”— meaning open to all forms of sexuality as long as there is protection and consent.
In the first activity, participants wrote an offensive stigma or stereotype on a piece of paper and put it into a box in the middle of the room. Bykes passed the box around and each person pulled out a piece of paper, reading it to the group before changing it into a positive message.
One card read, “Girls don’t want guys who’ve had dicks in their bums.” The reader made this positive by pointing out that girls want guys who are confident with themselves sexually, so if they’ve have a penis in their bum, so be it.
The felicitators also asked the participants to name who is sexually inspiring to them and what they need for a good sexual experience.
Not surprisingly, Beyonce Knowles and Ryan Gosling were among those who turned them on. But the diverse group of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) and straight students needed an assortment of things for a good sexual experience.
Comfortable bedding, privacy and dominance were among the answers discussed, but kinky fan fiction was a favourite of one student, 18-year- old first-year Jayden Scott*.
“Fan fiction is this wonderful, wonderful thing where people who are fans of anything, like The Avengers or Harry Potter, make the characters do whatever they want them to do,” Scott said. “So the biggest pairing in Harry Potter — pairings are the characters that are in relationships — is Draco Malfoy and Harry. It’s amazing.”
Scott is self-described “queer polyamorous” to her friends on campus, but not yet to her traditional Muslim family. While she’s curious about queer sex, Scott said she has yet to have sex.
“I just didn’t feel like it I guess. Its’ not so much about my religion… I just don’t want to deal with the drama with my family,” Scott said.
Polyamory — where individuals can have numerous sexual and emotional partners without the guilt of cheating — is a practice best suited for Scott because she said she likes that she can be dominant in one relationship, while still having completely separate relationships and power dynamics in others.
This sparked a heated discussion with a monogamous student who prefers to have one partner at a time. But many students came to the defense of polyamory because of its freedom and cultural significance. Erickson and Bykes also revealed that they both identify as polyamorous.
While both views were expressed and understood, many of the discussions at the workshop touched on conflicting thoughts of love, sex, and intimacy and how difficult it can be to combine the three.
“I hope that folks feel inspired to share stuff that they learned. Either informally with people that they live with or with the folks in their community,” said Bykes.
*Name has been changed