Portland State’s Queer Resource Center concluded sex week Friday March 2, with a panel and information session on kink and sex outside the box. PSU students gathered in the QRC in Smith Memorial Student Union to discuss and ask questions about the panel speakers’ involvement in the kink community.
“We are here to celebrate all types of consensual play” said event moderator Olli. “We welcome you and we support you.”
Each of the nine panel presenters, all of whom, according to the Facebook event page, were “PSU students who are involved in kink communities and/or practicing kink in less public spaces,” stated their name and their kink, then discussed their own personal experiences within the kink community.
Questions ranged from all areas of kink, from fire play to explaining consensual bruises to healthcare professionals. Panelists offered substantial information for each question, detailed their own personal experiences and recommended solutions and ideas. The repeated theme from the panel was “do what you are comfortable with.”
The panel was originally planned for the end of February as part of the QRC’s annual sex week, a series of events—which spanned almost two weeks this year—intended to discuss sex and sexuality in queer and transgender communities.
Organizers rescheduled the event due to inclement weather. A student who wished not to be identified explained if the panel hadn’t been rescheduled, they would have been disappointed about waiting an entire year for the next one.
“The idea was presented by some of the students on the committee,” said Melanie Altaras, the QRC’s Content Developer. “We had a similar event last year, and some of the same students were organizing it. It was very popular.” Melanie added demand for the event appeared to be similarly high this year.
Organizers set up six tables explaining a different aspect of the kink world including Puppy-Play, Age-Play and Dominance and Submission. Additional tables presented safely utilizing rope in the bedroom, sex while disabled and the Catalyst event center, which hosts sex-positive events for individuals 18 years or older. Attendees could enter a raffle for a chance to win a subscription to Catalyst or a flogger.
The discussion maintained a casual tone, but panelists stressed the importance of feeling safe with sex partners. The speakers advised attendees to have fun and maintain healthy mental and physical well-being.
Additionally, panelists emphasized how no one should feel ashamed about their kink. The purpose of this event, they added, was to show anyone interested in kink that they are never alone and that no kink should come with guilt.
“If you think you’re alone in your specific kink,” said a speaker who goes by their FetLife username Love_ly, “you are not alone.”