October 16 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 26  

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Fit to be tied: students at UVic get bondage seminar

By Dan Perry
Gazette Staff

Dave Picard/Gazette
A BONDING EXPERIENCE. A Gazette photographer got more than he bargained for on this assignment. Word is he skipped town post-shoot, destined for the University of Victoria.

Bondage — not a credit course, yet.

UVic Pride, a gay, lesbian, trans-sexed and bisexual students’ group at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, is hosting a bondage safety workshop next week, where students can learn to get as kinky as they want without actually hurting each other.

Christine Ambrose, a volunteer with UVic Pride, said the lists have been filling up since the workshop offer was made after several students expressed an interest following a popular sex toy workshop run by the Women’s Centre in Victoria.

“It’s basically about rope safety,” Ambrose said. “It’s to teach rope safety and to give people some ideas on how to spice up their sex lives; but there’s no sexual activity at the workshop. It’s just to give them some information so they’ll do it safely.”

While Western students currently have no similar courses available to them, the University Students’ Council does offer Carlie Brown University programs.

“A couple of years ago, [CBU] tried to offer sexuality,” said InfoSource senior staff member Kathy Ioannidis, adding the endeavour was cancelled because few people signed up.

CBU co-ordinator Jen Moskal-Collins reported many of Western’s less traditional courses have suffered the same fate, citing poor turnouts for past courses in wicca, tarot card reading and holistic sex , as examples.

“I don’t know if Western is just a more conservative university or what,” Moskal-Collins added.

Huron University College philosophy professor David Conter, who specializes in legal philosophy, has studied several cases where bondage and other unorthodox sexual practices have produced injury and further legal consequences.

“Some cases involving bondage do involve injury; even with consent, things do get pretty extreme,” Conter said. “You don’t want to injure someone; I assume you want to leave a feeling, but I [also] assume you don’t want to leave injury.”

Conter said another related issue is whether or not it is reasonable for such courses to be offered in a university. “A university is more than just an educational institution, it’s a community. It would be useful — if there was a serious interest,” he said.

Ioannidis did cite one course as very useful. “Human sexuality — 153 in [psychology] — is always full.



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