After class on Feb 21, psychology professor John Michael Bailey hosted a guest lecturer for about 100 students in his human sexuality course. The presentation was called “networking for kinky people” and was given by Ken Melvoin-Berg, who is part owner of Weird Chicago Tours, and who discussed sexual fetishes such as bondage and swinging.
At one point, the students were shown a video on the female orgasm, but two other guest speakers, Jim Marcus and fiancé Faith Kroll, believed it wasn’t realistic. After the students, who were attending the optional post-class lecture, were warned, the couple went on stage. After Kroll took offer her clothes, Marcus proceeded to use a sex toy on her. They had initially only intended to show the toy as part of a discussion.
According to the Chicago Tribune the device “looks like a machine-powered saw with a phallic object instead of a blade.”
Upon learning of the exhibition, Northwestern president Morton Schapiro released a statement that the university would be launching an investigation. “Although the incident took place in an after-class session that students were not required to attend, and students were advised in advance, several times, of the explicit nature of the activity, 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.”
Professor Bailey defended the demonstration as educational. “The students find the events to be quite valuable, typically, because engaging real people in conversation provides useful examples and extensions of concepts students learn about in traditional academic ways,” he said in a Wednesday statement.
Kroll and Marcus also defended their explicit display. “What we did was not designed to titillate people, but to educate people,” Marcus told the Tribune. “I’m an exhibitionist. I enjoy the attention, being seen by other people. It was entertaining because there were a lot of curious minds, so that was cool,” Kroll added.
One student who witnessed the incident told the Tribune that it was certainly memorable: “It is probably something I will remember for the rest of my life. I can’t say that about my Econ 202 class and the material that I learned there.”