FemSex has become AllSex.
Facilitators for the peer-led discussion program, which meets in small groups twice a week to talk about issues of sexuality, made the switch in order to make the seminar more welcoming to all genders and sexual identities.
“We wanted to make the name be more inclusive for all genders and all people who want to focus on sexuality,” Olivia Klatch, BC ’17 and a facilitator for the program, said. “Originally, it was called FemSex because the emphasis was on female sexuality, but now we realize females are not the only subjugated sex.”
FemSex—which is in its sixth year on campus—has always worked to be more inclusive of various identities, Alejandra Oliva, CC ’15 and a facilitator for AllSex, said.
Last semester, Klatch led a section only for participants who self-identify as students of color. The group has always had an all-female section and coordinators are looking into a possibility of adding a section for those who are gender-nonconforming.
The name change has not brought many changes to the curriculum itself, Klatch said.
“It’s mostly just to rebrand,” Klatch said. “Before, it was uncomfortable for people who did not identify as women to be part of a group called FemSex.”
Even before the name change, participants in all sessions were asked to state their preferred gender pronouns. Previous reviews led facilitators to omit sections focused on menstruation and other topics specific to women.
Other past changes have included the addition of a section on mental health, a more gender-inclusive curriculum, and more interactive activities.
“We edit the curriculum each year to be as inclusive as possible,” coordinator Adina Cooper, BC ’15, said. “We wanted to name it to reflect what it actually is.”
Isa Johnson, BC ’16, who participated in AllSex last semester, agreed that the already-inclusive curriculum would not have to be changed with the name.
“If it [the name change] makes individuals more comfortable in that space, then that’s really important,” Johnson said.
The Columbia chapter of AllSex is not the only group previously called FemSex to change its name to be more inclusive. FemSex New York recently changed its name to GenSex, which Columbia’s coordinators said helped to inspire the change.