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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Sexologist speaks at the ICC

Published: September 21, 2007
Section: Arts, Etc.

Women's Sensual Empowerment Specialist and clinical sexologist, Dr. Charley Ferrer, conducted a workshop entitled, “Sex Ed: The things mami didn't mention” as part of Hispanic Heritage Month Dr. Ferrer commenced the talk with the “happy dance” where the participants stood, holding hands and jumping around together. This exercise left participants feeling more relaxed and with large, embarrassed smiles on their faces.

Now Dr. Ferrer deemed participants ready to discuss sex. In the center of the room was a large board emblazoned with the phrases “90 Day Rule,” “Communication,” STDs,” “Sexual Dysfunctions,” “Alternatives,” and “Q & A.” These were the wide range of topics that she would cover over the course of the next two hours, but first each person had to contribute a question about sex written on a note-card.

As Dr. Ferrer is quick to tell you, she knows “a lot more about sex than [she] ever wanted to.” She has her own private practice and is involved in the Love Start Program, a home for four disabled married couples to help them to lead their own independent lives. Dr. Ferrer is also featured on Caliente, the first bilingual sex show which is filmed in New York City.

She began her lecture by explaining her “90 Day Rule” which suggests a person commit him or herself 100 per cent to a relationship for 90 days and then, once that period is over, reassess the relationship to be sure that he or she wants to remain in it. This rule, she argues, prevents getting caught in the popular cycle of “break up-make up.”

Dr. Ferrer then spoke about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Here, she made it clear to all those present what it meant to be a strong woman.

She discussed her requirement that all her partners get tested for STDs. She stated that she has heard every possible excuse for not getting tested and that no matter what, if he would not get checked for her, that she would tell him not to let the door hit [him] in the ass.

This is one of the many times that Dr. Ferrer mentioned the empowerment of women in relationships. She discussed the machismo attitude of some of the men in Latino community and that women should never let such an attitude make their decisions for them.

She also discussed HIV and its prevalence in the female Hispanic and Black communities. She wants to publicize facts like this since only about half the people with an STD know they have it. For Dr. Ferrer, information is the best way to protect oneself from STDs.

This was part of the reason why she wrote The Latina Kama Sutra, a book about sex and sexual information written with the Latino culture in mind.

This informative workshop centered on the importance of knowing the facts and using them to empower oneself. At the end of the discussion, Dr. Ferrer answered questions from the audience.

Hispanic Heritage Month events will continue with a Latin Beach Party tomorrow at the Intercultural Center.