A straight-shooting sex talk

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Bob Hall visited JSC to give a talk entitled “Non Violent Sexuality; Making Peace with Passion.”
The event was held Tuesday Feb. 12, in Bentley 207. Speaking out for nonviolent sexuality, Hall has visited over 900 college campuses in the U.S. and Canada.

Hall is also the founder of Learning to Live with Conflict, Inc., a company that provides both training and education for conflict resolution. “When you consider the way we, in this culture, have learned to deal with sexuality and conflict,” said Hall, “there are no mysteries as to why we have massive problems with rape and sexual assault, unplanned pregnancy, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. In fact, to a large extent we’ve actually set many of these problems up to happen, given the way we have chosen to deal with these two areas of our lives.”

During his college years Hall began to take notice of the disrespectful nature of the way his teammates were talking to women at parties. “I was just as curious and as horny as the next guy,” said Hall. “But the way they were treating those women was something I wanted to have nothing to do with.”

During the presentation, Hall noted that in our society sex is a “taboo” subject. “Health class gives you the biological facts, but there is more to it than that,” he said. Hall advocated that society does not equip us with the tools we need to have thoughtful discussions about sex. “Many consider sex education, and open, candid discussions of sexual issues to be somehow obscene,” said Hall. “I have a different definition of obscenity. I find things like rape and sexual assault, unplanned pregnancy, homophobia, and sexually transmitted disease to be far more obscene than open, candid discussions of sex. Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is power and freedom to make informed decisions. And, without educational armor against the barrage of sexual misinformation which exists in any society, we are all vulnerable to the damage which fear and ignorance can inflict.”

Hall used a couch as a prop to show that when two people are on a date, one moment they can be watching a sex-scene on the television screen, forming ideas for later in the evening, but when it actually comes to the two of them getting physical, there is no conversation beforehand because it is such a “taboo” thing. “Most of the sex we are exposed to through television, advertising, movies and music is designed to entertain us or to sell us something,” said Hall. “It’s what I call ‘good sex and perfect love.’ It’s not real.  And, although we are passively aware of this fact, these images still affect the way we treat each other and the expectations we set for our relationships.”

“Nobody has the right to force you to have sex,” said Hall in his closing remarks. “And just because someone is drunk does not take away their rights.” Hall urged everyone: “If JSC is going to be a safe place to get to know each other, it is the students who have the power to make it safe.”