Reid Mihalko delivered a fascinating sex education seminar entitled ‘Non-Conservative Sex’ on Thursday in the Student Union, just in time for Valentine’s day. The world-famous founder of ‘Cuddle Party’ was invited to Stony Brook by the LGBTA because of his all-inclusive, humorous lessons on a subject that can be hard to talk seriously about.
Mihalko is upset because non-conservative sex- even sex in general – is considered taboo in our culture. He recalled a religious upbringing in which his parents handed him a Lutheran text in place of the birds and the bees talk.
“I’m not knocking the church,” he explained. He was, however, knocking parents who raised their children to believe that there’s one right way of having a relationship. Some of their kids could grow up to be different and unable to accept it.
The culture that Mihalko is describing isn’t that of primetime TV where sex comes in all forms all the time. It’s the culture found in churches, families, and health classrooms. It’s the culture that makes it hard for someone different to feel good about themselves. But his seminar was also for kids with parents that would support them no matter what.
To that point, he made a lot of jokes about “being anything he wanted when he grew up,” something his mother would say to him as a kid. Even the most supportive parents can have issues with what ‘no matter what’ means, especially if it’s cuddle parties.
The talk wasn’t all serious. Mihalko is a master of using humor as the spoonful of sugar to help the serious talk sink in. When students giggled at one of his favorite sex activities, he made them say it aloud. “Say it with me. Strap-on gang-bang.”
Mihalko’s ‘elevator sex speech’ strategy grabbed a lot of attention. He told attendees to give a brief summary of their sexual history and preferences to potential partners on the elevator, or way back to their room. According to Mihalko, this shocking honesty may be intriguing or endearing if the person is up to it.
The same principle should apply to non-sexual relationships, Mihalko said. “Your real friends are the ones who don’t run”
After taking a few anonymous questions, Mihalko decided to molest a cupcake. He did this to simulate the proper way of fingering someone. Throughout the demonstration, he stressed the importance of respect and acquiring permission to go further, especially in the early stages of a relationship.
A lot of what Mihalko described as ‘non-conservative’ sounded like what society has come to accept. Straight, monogamous sex was non-conservative according to Mihalko, if that’s what you enjoy. Even that values he preached during sex sounded like they could’ve been taught in school. The self-described polyamorous queer slut values respect. And honesty. And safety.
What made it non-conservative was the emphasis on accepting others, being comfortable and “feeling good about liking what you like.” And those values aren’t always associate with sex, but if Mihalko has anything to do with it, they should be.