Samantha Emily Evans shares with us what happened, and what is happening, in the fantastic and informative event that is SHAG Week. 


 

‘Let’s talk about sex,’ no but really. Let’s talk about sex, this week specifically. It has been talked about this week, and it should continue to be talked about – that is why we started our ‘Love, Sex, and Relationships’ section. This week is currently SHAG Week – or Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance Week. SHAG Week is run by the Wellbeing Committee and is in its second year. It is a national week that is taking place at universities across the United Kingdom.

 

And for those of you who are thinking, but what about PULL? Why can SHAG Week make a sexual joke, but a night at the Student Union can not? Miriam Chappell, the Wellbeing Officer, clarifies with three points:

  • SHAG is a sexual acronym describing a week which is about exploring sex and the topics surrounding it – sexual health, sexualities, healthy relationships, and education. PULL is a sexual acronym which is irrelevant both to the words it stood for and to the way that most people are spending an average night at the Union.
  • SHAG Week is a nationwide campaign recognised across the UK – there is no such precedent for naming a club night PULL
  • This isn’t about personal opinion. PULL was changed partly as a response to many, many complaints – these complaints were not about the name causing discomfort because it was sexual, but rather because it was irrelevantly and unnecessarily so. This was the theme of the vast majority of them. This was brought to the Sabbs, fulfilling the representative side of my role on SRC. Not one complaint mentioned SHAG Week.

After that clarification, it’s time to get into what has been and will be happening for SHAG Week 2015 – the big finale is Friday night.

From an intense Consent Workshop from StAnd Together that was surprisingly attended by mostly males to a night of sexual games at Capture the Cock Ring in Club 601 – SHAG Week covers the serious and the silly. Their goal is to talk about sexual health, and whether one is sexually active or not, interested in sex or not, to host an event that will be fun and informative.

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This year they focused on healthy relationships, LGBT rights and positivity, and creating an environment where people can talk about sex (and have a laugh!) without it being a big deal. For the last focus, I can personally vouch. I attended the Erato open mic, and performed. The room was so positive, and a number of people performed. From an act by organizer Hannah Kate Risser singing Beyonce to a Penis Envy spoken word piece by yours truly to a medieval romance poem by Callum Douglass, the performances were diverse and entertaining. There were plenty of laughs, with a reading an excerpt from Rough and Ready by Sandra Hill.

 

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Tonight, Friday October 2nd is the last night of SHAG Week. At 6pm in the Union Performance Space, Mistress Megara is back! The internationally renowned dominatrix, Mistress Megara will be talking about her work as a dominatrix and discussing the taboo topic of BDSM, with a workshop on knot-tying. Check out our review from last year to get a preview.

The last event of the week is Rainbow Karaoke hosed by the the St. Andrews LGBT group. Make sure to come at the ready to sing some LGBT tunes, or just have a drink, an interesting conversation, and sing along with the rest of the crowd. It is open to all, regardless of gender or sexual identity.

Finish off Week 3 with flair, and talk about sex! Sex! Sex! Sex!

Samantha Emily Evans 

Photos featured taken from Facebook events by SHAG Week 2015