There has been quite a stir recently about the question of how far is too far?
Northwestern psychology professor Dr. Michael Bailey has gotten into some really hot water recently as a live sex act was performed in an after-class optional lecture for the students in his widely popular Human Sexuality class. About 100 of the 600 students in the class stayed after to witness a naked woman having a dildo (attached to a chainsaw contraption) inserted in and out of her by her male fiance – who often publicly speaks about kinky sex (though obviously not so often in public university settings). You can read the article here; which also has an exclusive video interview with Bailey.
The fall-out from this ordeal has been intense, to say the least, as you can see here. My thoughts? I know Michael Bailey personally. He is a great guy (which for some doesn’t necessarily make what happened right) who is literally concerned with only two things:
1. That his students get a real life education about sex, sexuality and all of the things that 99.9% of the people in a university classroom setting won’t touch with a ten-foot pole (PS – Just because the majority is scared to breach such topics don’t mean they’re not real or happening everyday!)
2. That he researches those things that no other researchers will touch with a ten-foot pole because they think it will cost them all of their precious funding.
Worldview enhancement. He’s all about it. And it’s hard for people to grasp Michael’s work because they are looking at him, his research and his class through their lens … not his. In all of my life I don’t know if I have ever met a more what-you-see-is-exactly-what-you-get person than Michael Bailey. For that, I am truly grateful for the genuineness and authenticity of who he is.
Two things I would like to point out though, just in case you don’t read the full article: 1) Not one student complained after the fact to either him or his Teaching Assistants before during or after the fact; 2) Bailey didn’t know this act was going to be performed before the presentation started. He let it continue because he questioned himself, why was his initial reaction when the act started of nervousness as well? Was it because the act is taboo or because he was scared he would get in trouble? I honestly believe Bailey’s intentions are true.
So what do you think? Was it right of him to allow such a thing to take place at Northwestern University? How far is too far in your mind?