Jodi Cohen and Lisa Black, Chicago Tribune, March 3, 2011
Northwestern University acknowledged that an unusual demonstration was held on campus last week in which students observed a naked woman being penetrated by a sex toy.
The sex act was performed in front of about 100 students in psychology professor John Michael Bailey’s human sexuality class. The demonstration occurred after class, and attendance was optional.
The university will pay several hundred dollars to guest lecturer Ken Melvoin-Berg, co-owner of Weird Chicago Tours. His Feb. 21 discussion of bondage, swinging and other sexual fetishes was arranged by Bailey, who gets extra funding from the university’s College of Arts & Sciences for lectures and other activities he routinely holds after class.
After an initial discussion at Ryan Family Auditorium, the class was told that a couple was going to demonstrate the use of a sex toy and female orgasm.
The woman undressed and got on stage with her male partner, who used a device that looks like a machine-powered saw with a phallic object instead of a blade. Melvoin-Berg said the couple are exhibitionists who enjoy having people watch them have sex, and they were not paid for the demonstration.
Jim Marcus said he and his fiancé hadn’t planned to show off the sex act at first, but decided to do so after the class watched a video on female orgasm that he thought was unrealistic. They already had brought the equipment to show as part of the discussion.
He said the demonstration with his fiancé, Faith Kroll, was different from a live sex show or pornography.
“I was more than happy to. We have fun with it,” Kroll said. “I’m an exhibitionist. I enjoy the attention, being seen by other people. It was entertaining because there were a lot of curious minds, so that was cool.”
“What we did was not designed to titillate people, but to educate people,” Marcus said. He said the demonstration was accompanied by a discussion about safety and consent, for example.
Melvoin-Berg called it an educational experience for the students, and said it lasted about three minutes. “We wanted to share not only our lifestyles and talk about it, but demonstrate what we do in our personal lives,” he said. The students, he said, “seemed to be incredibly pleased. We had a number of them that got closer and closer.”
Melvoin-Berg said he typically earns $300 to $500 for an hour-long lecture, and that Northwestern had agreed to pay in that range.