What do you know about love, sex and relationships?

Rashad Muhammad

After the dramatic life of high school, men and women think that life couldn’t get any more complicated. Actor, artist, and filmmaker, Chris “Kazi” Rolle, helped offer a different perspective to this belief. During the last weeks of Black History Month, he hosted a number of social events. One of the events included members of Mesa as well as those from the community. This highly insightful forum addressed the aspects of “Sex, Love, and Relationships”.

Kazi didn’t give a three-hour speech to a hundred men and women. Instead, his responsibility was to direct and manage consistent dialogue between members of a diverse group. The workshop was an intense, and at times, controversial discussions between people of different races, genders, and ages. In order to effectively approach the topics addressed, the women were asked to sit on the right side of the room, and the men on the left.

After contemporary jazz instrumentals helped to create a more amiable atmosphere, Kazi asked the women about the standards society places on them, and subsequently, men were asked the same. Women’s responses typically accused men of holding double standards and men’s responses generally denied such allegations. After both groups addressed some mistakes made by their respective gender, the discussion moved towards the topic of sex.

During this segment students were asked “When d id you learn about sex?”, “Are hook-ups ok?” and “Does size really matter?”, men and women began to approach the area of taboo.

ASG President Mason Walker was in attendance during the two-day seminar. Walker was asked how the workshop approached the subject of sex.

“On Friday there was a part when we talked about “injaculation” as opposed to ejaculation and I thought that was a pretty powerful concept. You often only hear things in Cosmopolitan or Maxim about learning sexual things since it’s kind of taboo to speak about in public, so I thought it was pretty fascinating that we talked about this openly on campus.”

Black Studies Professor Starla Lewis was among the many women who addressed the topic of sex.

“You can put a condom on your penis, but you can’t put a condom on your emotions,” said Lewis.

Elaborating on this statement, she discussed the post-sex anguish women face and how it also applies to men. Throughout the sex segment of the workshop, she confronted the biological, psychological, physiological aspects of sexual intercourse.

After deliberating the topic of sex, the definition of “love” was debated. Another professor attending the workshop was Thekima D. Mayasa. She defined love as “unconditional boundless acceptance”. Many students and community members used their own personal experiences to help define their personal meaning of the word while some members admitted to never being “in love”.

The idea of “settling versus compromising” was proposed as a limitation of love, denouncing it of its unlimited boundaries. The older generation mainly discussed what it meant to settle for someone while contesting the younger generation’s version of “compromising”. Trust and loyalty were the most discussed in reference to the extent of love.

Mesa student Vairee Mapp gave her view of the highly buzzed forum.

“My favorite part of the workshop was being able to ask men questions that I always wanted answers to,” Mapp said. “Their advice will hopefully help me in future relationships. This has changed my view on relationships and guys in general.”

During an interview, ASG President Walker stated what he learned during this seminar.

“Huge disparities between men and women are trust and communication. In order to be in a successful relationship, we have to trust ourselves before we can trust others. Men have to talk about their emotions and women have to be more concise.”

Rolle had the most high-profiled position in the room, but during this social event, he was as ordinary as the person sitting across from him. In this workshop, everyone equally exchanged their opinions and experiences regardless of religion, race, or age. This experience showed that dialogue amongst students, teachers, and members of communities is necessary to effectively deal with issues involving society.