New FemEx DC Class: Orientation this Week!

For the last 16+ weeks, I have been meeting with a group of women for a discussion group/class called FemEx DC.  They are hosting a spring class starting soon.  There will be two informational meetings this week.  Please consider checking it out if you are a self-identified woman in the DC area.  Here's the info:

Lovely DC friends,

You are invited to join DC's fifth round of FemEx (the Female Experience)! 

FemEx is an adaptation of a women's empowerment class that is taught at UC Berkeley, Harvard, and Brown.  This 16-week course is designed for women by women to create a safe environment where women can discuss and learn from the diverse viewpoints of their peers.  Please see below for the complete course syllabus.

Two open house/info sessions will be held from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on Monday, January 24 and Wednesday, January 26 at the Watha T. Daniel-Shaw Library: 1630 7th St. NW.  This is next door to the Shaw/Howard Metro Station on the Yellow and Green Line when you take the exit towards Shaw. 
During these info sessions, interested potential participants are encouraged to come whenever they can, stay however long they want, and have the chance to speak with the organizers and ask any questions.  We will also go over the course syllabus.

Round 5 will start the week of February 21 and will end the week of June 13.  Each class will meet once a week (likely in the evening on a Sun-Thurs) for about 3 hours.  Please come with an idea of your availability on these days during this time.  The number of classes, class times, and class locations are pending participants' availability.  Any suggestions on a regular meeting location are also welcome. 

Please RSVP to so we know how many people to expect.  You must attend an info session in order to participate in the class. Those who cannot attend the info sessions, but are still interested in taking the class, can set up an outside time to meet with one of our facilitators. Feel free to email this invitation to friends, co-workers, or other amazing people you know.  The info session is open to all.

Femsexy love,
the Femex Facilitators

Female Experience Syllabus 

Section A: Introduction

We will review the course procedures and requirements, create a safe space, draw up a class contract, as well as create a forum for discussion regarding what students hope to obtain by taking this course.

Section B: Anatomy, Sex, and Gender

Topics covered: sexual anatomy, intersex, transgender, transexuality, and discussions on gender v. anatomical sex.

Section C: Communication

We will discuss the importance of honesty and communication in relationships and group dynamics. Topics will include communication inhibitors, methods of effective communication, and asserting/respecting boundaries.

Section D: Power & Privilege

We will look at the power and privilege inherent in identity, as well as the role "-Isms" play in shaping societal viewpoints.

Section E: Women's Health and Menstruation

We will discuss the structures of western medicine and non-western approaches to women's health, as well as the following: breast self-exam, pelvic exam, yeast infections, urinary tract infections (UTI), toxic shock syndrome (TSS), menopause, mental health, the possible carcinogenic and negative affects of commonly used female products (tampons, douches, etc.), and the concept of women's genitals as "dirty." Discussion of cultural stigmatization of women's menstrual cycles. Women's health resources shared.

Section F: Contraception and Sexually Transmitted Infections

Topics covered include the pill, barrier methods, and safer sax methods, as well as STI's.

Section G: Body Image & Portrayals of Women

We will look at how women view themselves and each other; what shapes our self-image and how this affects our lives. We will discuss cultural variables for body image, as well as eating disorders and body dysmorphia. We will also begin to explore how women's sexuality is portrayed in different forms of popular media (magazines, television, films, music etc.) and how such portrayals influence the ways women and the public at large view women's sexuality, including influences such as age, race, class, etc.

Section H: Reproductive Choices and Motherhood

We will take an in-depth look at the variety of women's reproductive choices. We will discuss cultural, ethnic, societal, religious, and political factors that affect women's choices. Topics covered will include pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, birth, and motherhood. We will also discuss effects pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood have on sexuality.

Section I: Sexual Practices and Orientation

We will look at how society views sexuality, and factors that shape our sexuality including heterosexism, religion, culture, and ethnicity. Topics discussed: a variety of sexual practices, the spectrum of sexual orientation, and the expression of one's own sexual desires.

Section J: Masturbation, Pleasure, and Orgasm

We will look at different models of the sexual response cycle as well as discuss the physiological and psychological factors of orgasms, including childhood sexuality, cultural variables, and medical factors involved in the inhibition to orgasm. We will also discuss self-love, erogenous zones, female ejaculation, and negative and positive views of masturbation.

Section K: Pornography, Erotica, and Sex Work

We will discuss pornography and erotica in a variety of mediums, as well as various forms of sex work, and their effects on the women's sexuality and different views of sex work. We will also discuss the taboos that surround pornography and sex work.

Section L: Relationships

We will discuss the importance of honesty and communication in sexual relationships. Topics will include monogamy/polyamory, useful communication techniques.

Section M: Violence Against Women

We will take an in-depth look at violence against women. We will read, analyze, discuss and share resources.

Section N: Women's Empowerment & Final Projects

Topics discussed include boundary building, woman-to-woman support, community building amongst women, and women's individual empowerment. The last week will also be devoted to presenting final projects/papers and closure.