The Office of Gender Violence Education and Support will host an October 22 virtual discussion with Jennifer Gunsaullus ’95 about sex and sexuality in the time of COVID-19.
Gunsaullus says that social, emotional and physical connections with others are important for our overall well-being and development. During the time of COVID-19, making these connections may look different but can still be safe and impactful.
During her talk, Gunsaullus will provide students with concrete suggestions and advice for balancing their needs and the choices they make with safety. Learn more and attend the virtual discussion.
Q: If there were one piece of wisdom you'd wish to convey about healthy sexuality today, what would it be and why?
Sexual interactions and dating feel really vulnerable…and that is actually a good thing!
I think we’ve developed a belief system in our society that if something feels “bad” or “uncomfortable,” we should change or avoid it. But I teach college students how to develop the courage to move towards these discomforts. Otherwise, we’re always running from our fears or embarrassments. And this means there’s no opportunity for growth, getting to enjoy authentic connections with others, or access to the nuances of pleasure.
There can be anxious feelings around all of these activities because that is part of “caring” when experiencing intimacy with another. It requires courage and strength to open yourself up to others. It’s common to want to numb those kinds of feelings through pot or alcohol, or to avoid intimacy all together. Even though it can be hard, building emotional resilience and choosing to be vulnerable with the right people is the pathway to genuine happiness, healthy relationships, and good sex.