Colgate University features sex toys, porn recommendations at ‘sex museum’

On September 22, Colgate University put the concept of 'sex positivity' on full display at an event described as a 'Sex Museum.'

Posters encouraged interested students to 'Embrace [their] Sexuality' and experience 'The Twilight Zone of Joy,' decorated with smiley-faces holding handcuffs and whips.

On September 22, Colgate University, a liberal arts college in Hamilton, New York recognized as among the top in the country, put the concept of “sex positivity” on full display at an event described as a “Sex Museum.”

According to the event’s advertising materials, the “Sex Museum” was sponsored by the Office of LGBTQ+ Initiatives, in partnership with Colgate’s Health Services, Counseling Center, and other organizations.

Campus Reform obtained exclusive photos of the event and associated materials.

Posters, hung across the campus, encouraged interested students to “Embrace [their] Sexuality” and experience “The Twilight Zone of Joy.” The posters were also decorated with smiley-faces holding handcuffs and whips.

The advertising campaign also consisted of a post on Colgate’s “Get Involved” website (a student portal intended to promote student involvement in extracurricular activities). The listing for the event boasted of opportunities to learn about “sex toys,” “various types of sexual stimulation,” “ethical porn and joy,” as well as the promise of “free stuff.”

The “museum” primarily consisted of student-run tables focused on a variety of sexually charged topics, with particular attention being paid to “ethical pornography,” BDSM, and “kink.”

Most tables were paired with a game or trivia element for attendee participation.

[RELATED: University's 'Let's Talk About Sex' event invites students to 'play games,' discuss 'pleasure']

Also displayed prominently at the event was an assortment of sex toys, including butt-plugs, anal beads, and egg-shaped masturbators. Attendees were invited to scan QR codes below each product linking to further information.

Several fliers and informational sheets were offered as well. One such flier listed the “6 best ethical porn websites,” citing a blog from Netherlands-based sex toy manufacturer, "Biird."

Laudits for pornographers on the list included praise for “[diving] into all forms of fantasies and sexual desires,” and “featuring queer individuals, trans individuals, people of color, people with disabilities, and older individuals.” 

Even controversial subscription-based platform OnlyFans made the list, credited for allowing performers “complete autonomy over their content.”

It is unclear whether the catalog of recommended porn websites is endorsed by Colgate University or any of the six organizations that sponsored the event.

The event also featured a display dedicated to “Asexuality & BDSM,” about “how BDSM culture can validate and empower asexual spectrum identifying people.”

[RELATED: ‘Sexually explicit 'women's empowerment' event features 'LGBTQ Inclusive' analysis of pornography’]

Campus Reform spoke with Dr. Lyosha Gorshkov, Director of LGBTQ+ Initiatives at Colgate University and primary contact for the event, about what students might gain from the event.

“My ultimate goal is to educate the campus on sex and body positivity and sexual life, and students can get some tips on how you can conduct yourself in a very respectful way, and at the same time, enjoy not being ashamed of sexuality or being ashamed of your body,” he said.

Dr. Gorshkov continued, “Probably, you know, this campus is really conservative towards sex and sex education, so that’s basically what we are doing here, trying to educate the campus, that you have to be yourself regardless.”

Asked about the role of BDSM at the event, Gorshkov explained that this was the third event in its series, this time with a deliberate emphasis on “kink.”

“Every single museum [event] has a topic, and this, in particular, is not BDSM-oriented, it is kink-oriented, right? So, basically, a lot of people have some preferences in sexual activities, so we are trying to provide information how, if you are into that, how to do it safe, how to respect their partner, how to get consent,” Gorshkov explained.

“I understand it’s kind of controversial, because society is closed-off, society is very conservative, but people do that, and sometimes it ends up being very violent…so we’re trying to approach that in a very safe and joyful way.”

Campus Reform contacted the ALANA Cultural Center, SHAW Wellness Institute, HAVEN, Colgate Student Health Services, and Colgate University’s Counseling Center, all co-sponsoring organizations, for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.