Anonymous questions about everything from birth control to bondage can be slipped into Horny the Sex Box, a vessel set up to educate students at Fort Lewis College.
Fort Lewis senior Matisse Monty responds to the questions with facts blended with humor on Instagram through an account called @hornythesexbox. Monty, a public health and sociology major, manages the box mostly on her own with occasional help from her friend and fellow student Kaidee Akullo.
The two have received 150 questions since the box was set up in December and, as might be expected, not all questions are serious, Monty said.
“People hide behind humor because sex is just a weird, taboo thing to talk about it,” she said.
When the students get silly questions, they try to make sure to get some sex-positive education into the answer, she said.
In response to a question about the speed of sperm leaving the body, Monty deftly parlayed the real answer, 25 to 35 mph, into a brief lesson on using condoms.
In another case, Monty expertly handled the question, “I wanna have sex, but my boyfriend has cooties ... What should I do?” by responding that cooties are not real, but if the inquiry refers to sexually transmitted infections, the couple should discuss testing options and transmission prevention.
Monty also answered questions about anatomy, gender, eroticism, sex toys, attraction to animals and fetishes.
FLC Title IX Coordinator Molly Weiser had the idea for the box. But Monty took it over as part of a class project and has continued to run it this semester. Monty and Akullo learned how to field difficult questions while working as interns for Planned Parenthood.
Monty said she has enjoyed the freedom of running the box without oversight.
“I don’t think we should be restricted on how we talk about sex and the conversations we are having,” she said.
Some students may not have received sex education in middle school or high school, and if they did, it was likely specific to heterosexual relationships. The box may be a way for them to receive answers to all kinds of questions, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.
Kendra Gallegos Reichle, coordinator of FLC’s Student Wellness Initiatives, said she is happy with the work the students have been doing to educate their peers, including using humor appropriately to keep students engaged and taking on topics in a nonjudgmental way.
“Nothing is too silly or weird or embarrassing,” she said.
While students can use the internet to find answers to their sexual questions, Monty and Akullo bring expertise to the work because of their Planned Parenthood experience, she said.
The information is also applicable to students’ lives. About 80 percent of the student body reported having sex in the latest health survey assessment, she said.
When Monty graduates, the responsibility of running Horny the Sex Box will likely be passed on to other students.
Gallegos Reichle doesn’t anticipate finding a new keeper of the box will be a problem. The Instagram account has 111 followers, growing every day.