Sex in the Dark frees up frank talk

Alex Dursley, a member of the audience at the Sex in the Dark event at the Lakeshore Campus, with her blindfold and glow stick. Alex Dursley, a member of the audience at the Sex in the Dark event at the Lakeshore Campus, with her blindfold and glow stick.

Sarah Trumbley

Life Reporter

Humber students were offered several shades of dark to encourage participants to talk more freely about sex during the Sex in the Dark event.

Students were offered blindfolds, glow sticks and the freedom to speak anonymously about sex with sex expert Dr. Jess O’Reilly on Feb. 9 and 10, at Humber North and Lakeshore campuses. O’Reilly appears on Global TV’s The Morning Show every Wednesday.

The blindfolds were intended to give students the courage to ask questions and talk about sex without revealing their identity and avoiding any embarrassing moments.

Dr. O’Reilly hosted the Sex in the Dark event, organized by Humber Students’ Federation, where she handled all of the audience’s questions related to sex and relationships – without lights.

She is no stranger to Humber College. Dr. O’Reilly has hosted a number of question-and-answer sessions about sex in the past, said Ahmed Tahir, HSF vice president of Student Life at Humber’s North campus.

“But this is the first year we’ve put on the Sex in the Dark event,” he said.

Tahir said in the past not many students would ask questions during Dr. O’Reilly’s presentation because of nerves or embarrassment. They would rather wait until the presentation was over and talk to her one-on-one, he said.

“We wanted to hopefully eliminate the embarrassment people feel about asking sex related questions,” said Tahir.

It’s important for students to learn about sex in a safe and comfortable environment, he said.

“That’s why we wanted to do it in the dark this time, so people can ask their questions and hopefully get a response to things that they’re concerned about,” Tahir said.

“I think everyone can benefit from Dr. O’Reilly’s knowledge.”

O’Reilly specializes in human sexuality and does a number of live speaking events, television appearances, and workshops around the globe.

“I’m really trying to change the way people think about sex,” said O’Reilly. She said she wants to help people feel better about their current situation and empower them to make change as they see fit.

“I’m looked at as the expert but ultimately you are the expert in you, and my job is to help you realize that and be a third party to help you navigate,” said O’Reilly.

Alex Dursley, 21, said the event was beneficial to her.

“I always feel so awkward asking about sex, I get nervous that people will think I’m weird or stupid for asking certain questions,” said Dursley. The event gave her the opportunity to ask questions without any judgment, she said.

For more information on O’Reilly events, visit her website at or follow her on Twitter @SexWithDrJess.