Solot and Miller Keep Colgate Sexy

Students who walked into the Hall of Presidents (HOP) last Monday night heard the energetic “hand-picked sex song collection” of professional sex educators Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller. The HOP was filled with excited students, eager to hear what Solot and Miller’s lecture, entitled “Sex Discussed Here,” would actually be about.

Junior Eugene Riordan introduced Solot and Miller, both nationally known sex educators who have been featured on multiple TV shows and in a variety of magazines. He described them as two people who “advocate positive sexual relations.”

Solot and Miller spent the first half of the program discussing general tips, and the second half answering anonymous questions from the audience that students wrote on notecards.

Solot and Miller’s five background tips were: (1) “Great lovers educate themselves about sex,” (2) “Great lovers stay safe,” (3) “Great lovers aren’t drunk,” (4) “Great lovers have just the right words” and (5) “Great lovers are sure their partner consents.” Their bonus tip was “Great lovers use lube.”

Solot and Miller strongly believe that learning more about sex results in making better, safer and healthier decisions, an idea that manifested itself in their discussion of all five of these background points.

Much of the audience especially appreciated the discussion of the fourth tip, “Great lovers have just the right words.” Solot and Miller recommended the audience ask two questions: “Is this okay?” and “Which feels better?”

Beneath the humor and lightheartedness that was characteristic of Solot and Miller’s presentation, they covered a lot of important material and acknowledged the seriousness of issues such as sexual assault and STD prevention.

They were also incredibly inclusive of audience members and related information that would be useful for people having sex, people not having sex and people of all sexual orientations.

“[Solot and Miller] did a good job of saying knowledge is sexy,” senior Matt Muskin said.

Muskin also noted that the presenters made sex seem like a comfortable subject.

Solot and Miller themselves are a smart, dynamic couple, which was made apparent in their constant back-and-forth dialogue. They met in college at Brown University — both already interested in sexual education – and began giving workshops at conferences together about sex. Soon, students began asking them to visit their schools.

Solot mentioned that some schools are hesitant at first to ask them to present, but once they realize that the presentation will be tasteful and informative, most schools do not have a problem.

There are only a handful of other people who teach sex education in the manner that Solot and Miller do, as their presentation is decidedly positive, whereas most professional sex educators tend to focus more on sexual assault and other, more serious (yet equally as important) aspects of sex education.

Solot and Miller grow serious at some points during their discussion. They directed some of the conversation to guys, reminding them that true consent is not the result of badgering. They also recommended books of healing to people who had been sexually abused, and described college as a great place to overcome the abuse of one’s past.

The second part of the lecture, the question-and-answer portion, proved just as interesting as the first part. Questions ranged from “Is bigger really better?” and “Is anal sex healthy?” to “Where is the G spot?” and “Does sex hurt the first time?” All of these questions were answered honestly and often involved help and reactions from the audience.

Solot and Miller have been touring schools for nine years now, and in all their experience interacting with college students and talking about sex they have come away with the lesson that there is truly incredible diversity when it comes to sex. According to Solot, everyone has different experiences and stories, and sex education needs to be taught in a way that addresses that diversity.

Solot and Miller’s visit was the first event in Colgate’s ongoing series entitled “Keep it Sexy, Colgate.”

“Keep it Sexy, Colgate” is the product of a variety of student groups, individual students and staff sponsors who are bringing events to Colgate in order to, in the words of Muskin, “support healthy relationships, and a healthy dialogue about relationships at Colgate.”

A stamp of a pair of red lips on posters around campus identifies events that are part of this “Keep it Sexy, Colgate” series. There is also a website for this series-turned-movement:

Riordan, like most of the people who helped establish this series, noted that there are a lot of stereotypes in navigating the Colgate sex scene, and that this series is a powerful tool to overcome and talk openly and inclusively about those stereotypes.

Solot and Miller were especially impressed with Colgate’s “Keep it Sexy, Colgate” series and expressed their belief that what Colgate is doing is truly cutting edge. They said they had not seen many collaborations like it at other schools.

Interestingly enough, the audience at “Sex Discussed Here” was predominantly female, mostly underclassmen. The students that did attend came mainly out of “curiosity” and in response to a rumor that the discussion would be funny.

Solot and Miller’s presentation last semester, “I Y Female Orgasm,” was received enthusiastically and according to senior Doneisha Snider, was funnier and even more energetic, though less educational, than this presentation.

The majority of boys in attendance were first-years who were either “dragged by her” (as a table of boys pointed to a female first-year), or were advised to go by their resident advisors.

The question regarding why more males did not attend the lecture is an interesting one. According to senior Arpitha Peteru, boys are supposed to seem like they know more about sex in our society, and going to the lecture might have been seen as a weakness.

The males who did brave the stereotyping felt that they benefited from the lecture, and that first-years had the most potential to truly benefit from the lecture because they were just beginning to experience the Colgate sex scene.

First-years (most students wished to remain anonymous) claimed that the lecture gave them better tools for navigating the sex scene, and left feeling that sex was less of a taboo and more of a relevant topic that can be discussed frankly.

Students were especially appreciative of the facts that Solot and Miller gave relating to the percentage of students having sex on campus, which, according to their surveys, is surprisingly small.

If nothing else Solot and Miller’s lecture prompted interesting discussion in Donovan’s Pub following the lecture. Circles of first-years argued over what “hook up” really means, and why so many students at Colgate feel pressured to do it.

Solot and Miller’s lecture seemed to entertain, enlighten and enable interesting discussion.