A relationship is more than just a 'glory hole'
By Cameron White
Bowie State University’s Miss Senior and Mr. Bowie State University hosted the program, "I Am Not a Glory Hole: The CLIMAX," on April 10 in CLT 102 to discuss ways to improve communication between men and women in sexual relationships.
The program opened with greetings from Miss Senior Kellye Beathea and Mr. Bowie State University Matthew Riley III who introduced guest speakers Dr. Pamela Love Manning and her husband, Dr. Manning.
Dr. Pamela Love Manning, a former associate professor of social work at Bowie State University, is a certified professional coach, inspirational speaker and author of the book "I Want My Vagina Back."
To open the discussion, Beathea asked everyone in the audience the definition of “glory hole.” Various meanings and definitions were given by students. All agreed that it is a hole in the wall between public bathroom stalls or adult video arcade booths for people to engage in anonymous sexual activity.
The theme of the discussion focused on bettering communication between people engaged in sexual relationships by questioning their own motivations, stereotypes and preconceptions about sexual activity.
Most of the people who attended the program said that they were in a relationship. However, they acknowledged that they did not know everything about their partners. The discussion resulted in some participants realizing that they sometimes did not stop to ask if their partners truly loved them or if they were just looking for something purely sexual.At one point in the program, the audience was divided by gender so that both the men and women could have small group sessions.
At the end of the allotted time, both groups were brought together to discuss the questions and comments raised in the sessions, including:
· What influences our sexual choices and emotions?
· Why is it a badge of honor for men to sleep around, but women are labeled as "whores?"
· What keeps most people in relationships from being open and honest with one another?
During the women's group discussion, Dr. Love Manning mentioned how the roles for men and women in relationships and sex seem to be switching up. It used to be the males who might want to have only sexual relations with no strings attached, but in today’s society it is becoming common for women to want the same thing, she said. Women are now wanting and/or accepting the “friends with benefits” kind of relationship where they seek no love.
Dr. Love Manning spoke of women who have their “kept men,” meaning that these women are very busy with their jobs and separate lives, however they have their different men around solely for sexual pleasures.
It was also discussed how different messages are being communicated by parents and/or peers about having sex and not having sex. Dr. Love Manning said studies and parents are reporting that not only are younger children in schools talking about how to perform oral sex, but they are actually acting on it. Children are wearing different color bangles or bracelets now that represent what sexual act young girls are willing to perform.
Dr. Love Manning said that through the media and music, sex is being praised and exposed to youth at younger ages. Thus, parents should to talk to their children early on about sex and its dangers and risks.
During the open discussion it was stated that 1.2 million people in the United States are HIV positive and that only one in five are aware of their status. It was also stated that one in 32 women are expected to contract the HIV virus.
Participants talked about the cycle of “angry mindsets” that begins and continues when one person feels that someone gave him or her the HIV virus and did not care or have any remorse for their actions. Therefore, the next person who was affected by their partner’s selfish decisions repeats the same action.
In concluding the event, participants agreed that there are unwanted repercussions for casual or anonymous sexual encounters. It is also important for individuals to know who they are as a person before they begin a relationship with another person so that expectations are clear.
When considering sexual encounters, individuals need to keep in mind that their choices and actions can have a long-term effects on themselves and others, participants agreed. Before engaging in sex, individuals should ask themselves: “How powerful am I as a sexual being? Am I emotionally mature enough to manage my sexual feelings?”
“Make your choices, but make them wisely and just know that your choices have consequences," advised Dr. Love Manning. "When you start a new relationship with a partner, go into that relationship being fully responsible for yourself as well as your decisions.”