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Special Topics in Global Health (390-0-22)


Beyond Porn: Sexuality, Health, and Pleasure


Noelle Sullivan
1800 Sherman Ave, Suite 1-200, #1-102, Evanston

Meeting Info

Annenberg Hall G15: Mon, Wed, Fri 12:00PM - 12:50PM

Overview of class

Threesomes. Squirting. Vibrators. Butt plugs. Multiple orgasms. You may have seen them in pornography, but have you ever wanted to study and talk about sex, and specifically, how to have a satisfying sex life? Many people look to pornography not just for entertainment, but also for education about what satisfying sexual encounters look like. Unfortunately, much of what people learn from pornography doesn't lead them to healthy and satisfying sexual encounters and relationships. This lecture class isn't actually about pornography. It goes beyond many presumptions about sex and pleasure depicted in pornography and popular culture, in order to equip students with information that can lead to more satisfying and healthy sexual experiences across their lifespan, regardless of how they identify, or who or what they like. The course also familiarizes students with a wide spectrum of human identities, practices, and attitudes towards sex and sexuality. Topics covered include: physiological and biological sex; gender; sexual orientation; homophobia and heterosexism; navigating sexual risks in a sex-positive way; sexual health disparities; sexual desire, arousal, and response; solitary sex & sex with others; sex toys; unconventional sexual practices; intimacy and effective communication; sexuality & aging; sexuality, disability & intimacy; sexual problems and solutions; sexual pleasure as part of sexual health; sexual harassment and violence; selling sex; and yes, a brief unit on problematics and possibilities in pornography.

Class Materials (Required)

All required course materials will be available on Canvas.