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Update: Northwestern President 'Troubled' by Prof's Sex Toy Demo, Promises 'Full Investigation


Sex show cost the university "several hundred dollars"

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP/The Blaze) — Northwestern University president Morton Schapiro said he was "troubled and disappointed" Thursday after news surfaced that a professor concluded a discussion of bondage and other sexual fetishes in his human sexuality class by having a woman take off all her clothes, climb on stage and graphically demonstrate the use of a sex toy, the school has acknowledged.

In response, Shapiro said in a statement that there would be a "full investigation" into wrongdoing on the part of psychology professor John Michael Bailey.  Although the incident took place during an optional session, "I feel it represented extremely poor judgment on the part of our faculty member."

"I simply do not believe this was appropriate, necessary, or in keeping with Northwestern University's academic mission," Schapiro said.  "Many members of the Northwestern community are disturbed by what took place on our campus.  So am I."

The demonstration took place Feb. 21 at the conclusion of Prof. Bailey's class on human sexuality. According to guest lecturer Ken Melvoin-Berg, after the students were told that a couple would take part in a demonstration involving a sex toy, the students were warned about a half dozen times that "what was about to happen would be graphic."

With that, Jim Marcus and his fiancee Faith Kroll climbed on the stage in front of about 100 students and demonstrated the use of the motorized device with a phallic object attached to it, as students heard about issues such as safety and consent, Melvin-Berg said.

"It is probably something I will remember the rest of my life," said senior Justin Smith, 21, one of the students who stuck around voluntarily after class when students were told about what they were about to see.

"I can't say that about my Econ 202 class and the material that I learned there," Smith told The Chicago Tribune.

The university will pay several hundred dollars to Melvoin-Berg, the co-owner of Weird Chicago Tours, for the lecture demonstration. He said that neither Kroll nor Marcus — "exhibitionists" who are happy to have people watch them have sex — would be paid.

Melvoin-Berg said the demonstration was not planned, and Marcus said that he and Kroll brought the device to show to the class but had not planned on giving a live display of how it works.

That changed, said Marcus, after the students finished watching a graphic video that he thought was unrealistic.

"It seems like a human sexuality class is a smart place to dispel some of the mistakes that we saw in the video," he said.

So they started dispelling.

"We were watching a video on sexual arousal," Smith said. "The main guy, Ken, said, 'Are you ready for the live sex show?' We were like, 'OK.'"

Kroll said she enjoyed the demonstration and Marcus said it was all designed not to titilate the students, but teach them.

And Bailey said he didn't know yet if he was sorry about the demonstration. But, he said, "I have no regrets concerning Northwestern students, who have demonstrated that they are open-minded grown-ups rather than fragile children."

Evanston police say it will be up to the school to determine if the demonstration violated any local ordinances.

Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage said no one has filed a police complaint.

"Northwestern University faculty members engage in teaching and research on a wide variety of topics, some of them controversial and some of at the leading edge of their respective disciplines," Cubbage told the Sun-Times. "The University supports the efforts of its faculty to further the advancement of knowledge."

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