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from www.studlife.com – While Sasha Grey is no longer slated to join a panel of current or former pornographic stars to headline Washington University’s upcoming sex week, the week’s organizers have signed or finalized contracts with three other adult entertainers.
The remaining panelists, Tori Black [pictured], James Deen and Lance Hart, are scheduled to appear in Graham Chapel on Feb. 8 answering sex-related questions collected from the student body.
Sex week organizer and junior Kate Cygan said that at least some students are taking the sexual awareness conversation seriously.
“We’ve gotten questions on rape culture in porn, opinions on prostitution, questions on sexual identity and sexual pleasure, also on the new condom requirement of [Los Angeles] porn, which is a public health law that was recently passed that James Deen is very opposed to. One of my favorites we’ve gotten is how the artists enjoy sex, both in their work and in their personal lives,” Cygan said.
“Of course, we’ve also gotten ‘how big is your dick’ and the Reddit horse-sized duck question of whether you want to fight a horse-sized duck or lots of small, duck-sized horses,” she added. “And I’m sorry to say they won’t be included.”
The Student Health Advisory Committee was given funding for a panel including four pornographic stars last semester, but negotiations over Sasha Grey fell apart over the few months since.
“We basically switched agencies,” Cygan said. “[Our new contact] quickly confirmed [Black] and said he was still working on convincing [Grey, who] had gotten some bad press for being a retired porn star—for example, she read to children a while ago, and there was general outrage that a former pornographer was interacting with children.
“The impression I have and have been led to believe…that [Grey] is trying to move away from her source of fame being her pornography,” she said. “We were interested in her because she is a retired porn star. We want to know how it has affected her life and her acting career.”
Cygan said that the agent suggested Ron Jeremy instead of Grey, but SHAC decided on a three-person panel instead.
Some students have voiced disappointment that Grey chose not to join the panel, but others said they are pleased just to know it will be happening.
“Even though Sasha Grey isn’t coming, I feel like Tori Black is good enough,” sophomore Steffan Seok said.
Cygan said that SHAC has not received nearly as much criticism as the group had expected.
“We expected more backlash to the panel than there has been,” Cygan said.
“There have mainly been good responses. I’ve had a lot of excitement and congratulations. Even people who oppose porn want to go and see what is said. I hope the panel complicates the way people think about an industry that is heavily discussed.”
“I really think that sex week can get at some things that people just don’t think about enough,” Cygan added. “And it’s kind of dangerous when people don’t think about these issues, because people get assaulted, people are hated on, marginalized, etc. and we’re trying to get less of that at Wash. U. and make it more sexually open and sexually safe.”
Sophomore Andy Lee said he supports SHAC’s decision to bring porn stars to campus for the conversations they will be able to promote.
“It sheds light on a very large industry that society is ideologically against, even though they also have interesting things to say and will have an open and interesting discussion on sex and sexuality,” he said.
“I think it’s cool. I mean, how often do you get the chance to talk to a porn star?” freshman Mira Hanfling said.
“I think it will be an interesting perspective from people that are not usually heard from, especially by college students,” freshman Peter Lansverk said.
Sex week will begin on Feb. 4. It will also feature a sex-in-the-dark-style discussion for LGBT students, a presentation on rape culture in the media, kink workshops and free testing for sexually transmitted infections. Free contraceptives will also be available throughout the week.
“I don’t know much about sex. I think this week should prove enlightening,” freshman Sam Schnabel said.
A representative for Sasha Grey said that the star declined comment for this story.