Northwestern Defends Sex Demonstration In Classroom

UPDATED 03/03/11 6:36 a.m.

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) – Adult content and maybe graphic pictures are to be expected for a human sexuality course, but at Northwestern University recently, more than 100 students watched a live sex demonstration.

As CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman reports, a few weeks ago, Professor John Michael Bailey brought in a guest speaker for an optional demonstration after class. The students who attended ended up seeing a woman lying onstage, in person, being penetrated by a motorized sex toy.

The guest speaker behind the Feb. 21 demonstration was Ken Melvoin-Berg, who is known locally for his weird Chicago tours, and his courses at the Discovery Center on Lincoln Avenue , which include “Bondage for Beginners” and “Networking for Kinky People.”

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At his appearance for the Northwestern class, Melvoin-Berg said, “We brought a variety of tools with us that we actually use in our personal lifestyle, including a sex saw.”

The device in question is described by the Daily Northwestern as “essentially a motorized phallus.”

Melvoin-Berg said the students who stayed after class were informed of the graphic content over a dozen times, and received more warnings before a man used the sex saw on his fiancée in the live demonstration.

“(The woman) got on stage and took her pants and her panties off. She lay down on the stage and put a towel underneath her,” Melvoin-Berg said. “Then (the man) plugged saw in. He brought her to orgasm right there on stage. That was the end of it, other than the fact that we had positive comments from everybody in the class.”

But an angry Northwestern parent who called CBS 2 wasn’t happy about the demonstration. She questions it’s educational value, and wants professor Bailey fired.

Not all students endorse the demo either.

“I wouldn’t feel like I would want to see that,” one student said.

But Melvoin-Berg denies that the demonstration in any way amounted to “porn,” as some have charged.

“These were all psychology students, and eventually they may be involved with people that are in sexual subcommunities,” he said.

In an e-mail, Northwestern defended the class and its professor.

“Northwestern University faculty members engage in teaching and research on a wide variety of topics, some of them controversial and at the leading edge of their respective disciplines,” said spokesman Alan Cubbage. “The University supports the efforts of its faculty to further the advancement of knowledge.”

Bailey also released a statement Wednesday. He pointed out that the demonstration was “entirely optional” and was not covered on exams.

When Melvoin-Berg proposed the live demonstration, Bailey said he was only briefly hesitant, knowing that many students would find it “inappropriate.”

“My decision to say ‘yes’ reflected my inability to come up with a legitimate reason why students should not be able to watch such a demonstration. After all, those still there had stayed for an optional demonstration/lecture about kinky sex, and were told explicitly what they were about to see,” he said.

He echoed Melvoin-Berg’s in calling reaction to the demonstration “uniformly positive.”

Read Bailey’s Statement

Bill Yarber, a researcher at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute and author of the widely used textbook “Human Sexuality: Diversity in Contemporary America,” said he’s never heard of a naked woman being brought to orgasm in front of a class of students.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

  • justin

    I’m transferring.

    • comments

      From where Justin, your high school?

  • George

    Im going back to college!

    • ShameonNWU

      try to get your GED first, George.

  • Norman H Riley

    Now that’s A Class I like

  • Kwick

    I didn’t have that in College.

  • Shari

    What was the objective of the class? No clear lesson plan objective here.

  • Larry Schaibley

    Students can’t get it on themselves, so they have to watch someone else do it. What a waste. Nothing is left to the imagination anymore. That’s why Viagra is going to be necessary for kids in their teens because they are going to be so saturated and bored with sex by that time, they’ll need all the help they can get.

    • Olivia

      I am pretty sure that’s not how Viagra works =P

  • Calvin Hunter

    Great! Now the TOY has an STD. And another bunch of College kids think of the ultimate act of physical expression “scientifically”.
    Way to spend the parent’s money… and Nice teaching, Northwestern! Thanks for your uplifting effort to improve the lot of all humankind. Sickos!

    • Kim

      why would the toy have an STD? Or, more precisely, why do you think the woman has an std? Because she enjoys sex?

      • ukidding

        I guess you didn’t see these sleazy greasy couple on tv. Even the talk show hosts who interviewed them admitted that was the first time they declined or avoided shaking hands with a guest.

  • Katie Valentino

    Seriously, Northwestern is going to hide behind being “cutting edge”? There’s nothing cutting edge about bringing Chicago back to the days of Red Light districts & world known as a town of porn/prostitutes. Northwestern is taking us back in time. There is no need for such a demonstration in a classroom other than to get into the news & make voyerism & public sexual activity accepted within the walls of a “classroom.” I’d be furious if I was spending that kind of money to be taught by a pimp/peep show agent hiding behind the prestige of academia. I only wish I was an alum with $$$ I could pull from them. Glad I chose smaller, classier

  • aaron

    So that’s why Asher Roth loves college

  • Southside

    That school costs what, 30 grand a year? I guess rich kids need a class to show them how it’s done.

    • northwasted

      55 grand. I go there and it was worth every penny

      • Roberta Waker

        You can get an experienced prostitute for a lot less and she will teach you things you can’t even dream of in the privacy of a room. Maybe you should donate $50K of your tuition to the poor people and do some good with it.

      • ShameonNWU

        sure you do, northwasted.

    • comments

      They don’t all pay 50g a year. Many of the students are low income and their tuition is paid by federal and state grants. That means we are paying for Bailey’s live porn show through our taxes.

  • me

    That’s it, I’m going back to school!!!

  • Northwestern defends live sex demo in classroom

    […] defends live sex demo in classroom…-in-classroom/ "You wait for a strike, then you knock the tar out of it." — Stan Musial, on hitting […]

  • Tanya Livingston

    Par for the course. This is the same institution that employes Bernadine Dorhn, the Weaherman Terrorist in it’s law school and that Holocaust denier in it’s physics department

    • Evergreen

      Well at least you have to admit they’re equal opportunity as far as political extremes.

    • Karen Therese

      Your just jealous because your obvious lack of English skills show that you probably barely graduated high school. You don’t go there, so don’t worry about it!

      • Vicky

        It’s ‘You’re’, not ‘Your’. Nice ‘education’.

  • Hugh

    For the tuition they charge everyone in the class should have gotten a little piece wouldn’t you say?

    • Vicky

      Definitely! They should have just had an o R G y and save the cosy of hiring the…..’performer’….

  • deadcatbouce

    Monty Python’s was still a lot better. I liked their sex ed class better

  • Matt Jeka

    Do they do this at Notre Dame?

    • griffith

      NOTRE DAME is a Catholic university.

      You’re obviously not college material MATT.

  • S. Rothchild

    This should be the #1 National News story. I’ve lived 52 years in various countries and have NEVER heard of this type of “demonstration” being performed live for college students. That fact that NorthWestern condones this class content is all the more startling! WHERE DO WE SIGN UP FOR THAT CLASS?!?! ;-)

    • TMI

      In France they probably do it all the time and write bored critiques. They just never asked you to see.

  • Bobby M.

    I’m from Iowa but have been living here in Arkansas for four years now. I’m telling all my friends up in Iowa to move to Illinois and every Arkansan that I know to move to Illinois and go to college. Free Porn! Free Sex! …Sweet!!!

  • rosie

    I know NW is a lliberal democratic bastion, but now I must add gross and immoral to the mix. Check out this professor. Sounds like some type of criminal charges may apply to this “randyman”. Let’s hope the Alum will raise a firestorm over this incident.

    • Roberta Waker

      I agree – this is totally out of control. These students probably know more about sex than this speaker and all this “demonstration” did was arouse them. Let’s hope there’s enough self control to not rape some innocent child because they can’t control themselves.

      • truth

        The demo Aroused Professor JOHN BAILEY more than the male students.

        That’s why BAILEY had them do it, he couldn’t help himself.

  • Roberta Waker

    This is sick. Tell me that these students weren’t aroused when they saw this “demonstration”. What’s next? How to rape a child? This professor should be fired. This is just too much.

    • Alpha

      How did you come to this conclusion, just wondering?

      Where are children mentioned anywhere in this article pertaining to the demonstration?

      Arousal isn’t ‘sick’. It’s a human bodily function.

      Why would they teach child rape in a human sexuality course? There is nothing psychologically logical about child molestation.

    • Meghan Ferguson

      You’d best be trolling.

  • mj

    This is a SO WHAT story , people do this kind of activity all the time , it was un-necesary to demonstrate it in the classroom , but it really is no big deal .. Maybe the couple would have been better off having one of those Adult Toy parties at a local Hotel conference room .

  • Amy

    Really now? Then a course on crime and murder should demonstrate what? –

    • Alpha

      How does this compare to this article, exactly?

  • Hiroshi

    This is a great idea. Having a class with live sex acts. Students would be so glad to participate and learn. This is the objective. To learn on how not to get AIDS. People around the world are dying by the millions of sexual transmitted deceases. So, this is a great opportunity to see objectively and empirically how things are done and how toi avoid getting chlamidya or shiphylis.
    My mother in law told me to be careful with strangers specially women who are carrying the HIV virus.
    Did the profesor used condoms to make the point or he just show them how to do it? Condoms are not safe. They have so many points of entry the virus would get sick anyone who comes in contact with.

    • Alpha

      PLEASE do some research on the transmission of HIV and other STDs because this is embarrassingly incorrect.

    • Hiroshi Schmiroshi

      Your “mother in law” told you to “be careful with strangers (sic) specially women who are carrying the HIV virus”???

      Your mother in law isn’t concerned you’re out having sex with different partners than your wife? And “specially women”?? So you’re having sex with guys too? Please get a better hold of the language…and spelling!

  • Vicky

    Psychology is a steaming load anyway.

  • Billy

    Wow, Northwestern kids parents could have saved themseles a lot of money and just let the kids stay home and watch porn on TV. We never had this when we were in school…..I feel I missed out somehow.

    • TMI

      You probably didn’t attend any school as an adult – at which age students attend college (with rare exceptions)

      • comments

        You go tell em, TMI…because you finally got your GED as an ADULT.

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