By Bill Daley
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Organizers hope that the “SexuWellness’ Nights at the Rogers Park clinic create an “intentional” night and space for women. The goal is to help women feel comfortable and free to discuss topics that aren’t always easy to discuss.
“SexuWellness” is, well, kind of an unusual name for a sexual and reproductive health drop-in program. But then this program, targeted at women and open to people who are transgender or gender-nonconforming, isn’t your average dry, overly clinical sex ed class of old.
“Our angle is to create something exciting,” said Amy Miller, manager of Howard Brown’s Women’s Health Services. And they do, with topics like masturbation, queer sex and body positivity, and the participation of Early to Bed, the feminist sex shop, that sends its sex educator to take part in the discussions.
SexuWellness drop-in nights, at Howard Brown Health’s Rogers Park location, are designed to be safe spaces for attendees to learn, ask questions and get any health services they might need, from pelvic exams to mammogram referrals to birth control to testing for sexually transmitted infections.
“What I love about drop-in models is that we’re really bringing people in for the programming, and we’re creating, like, a community space where people feel comfortable,” Miller said, “and then while they’re there, they might get an STI test, or they might say, ‘Yes, I’m due for a Pap, and I feel comfortable enough in this space to do it.’
Because we’re seeing a lot of people don’t go out of their way for a medical appointment, especially women, especially queer women, who might not feel as comfortable in a medical setting or even are just not familiar with Howard Brown at all.
“Our angle is to create something fun and positive and exciting for people to come and participate in,” she added.