Ottawa Inuit program uses Jeopardy with a sexy twist

Monthly event teaches sex education, harm reduction


A group of Inuit living in Ottawa gather to play Sexy Jeopardy, an educational exercise run through the Alluriarniq program at Tungasuvvingat Inuit. (PHOTO BY COURTNEY EDGAR)

A group of Inuit living in Ottawa gather to play Sexy Jeopardy, an educational exercise run through the Alluriarniq program at Tungasuvvingat Inuit. (PHOTO BY COURTNEY EDGAR)

Special to Nunatsiaq News

From what the Bs stand for in “STBBI” to how peeing in public can be regarded as exhibitionism in Canadian law, Jennisha Wilson of the Alluriarniq program at Tungasuvvingat Inuit is making adult sex education not just accessible, but also fun.

On Wednesday, Wilson hosted her third Sexy Jeopardy game: a monthly event held in the front room of TI’s Laurier St. office.

Scheduled right after a screening of The Journals of Knud Rasmussen and a community lunch, the dozen men and women in attendance stuck around to play and learn.

The Bs stand for “blood-borne” and not “by butt,” which was what one young woman playing the game answered to a roomful of laughter.

To be fair, no one else in the room knew the correct answer either.

Some of the questions were easier. How might someone end up as a sex worker? What is an example of risky sexual behaviour? What is human trafficking?

Wilson separated the participants into two teams and projected a colourful PowerPoint game grid on the wall with five categories: facts and resources, terminology, taboos, sex work versus human trafficking, and sexy risk.

Each category has a 10-, 20- and 30-point question. And just like in the original game show Jeopardy, one at a time, each participant chooses a category and point level.

However, in TI’s Sexy Jeopardy, if the person cannot answer on their own, they can ask their teammates for help.

At the end of the game, the two people with the most points are the winners and each goes home with a prize.

In the last game, the winners took home grocery store gift cards. This time, winners got two movie passes plus free cinema snacks.

The tougher questions—like “If a man has sex with another man does it mean he is gay?” or “If I have sex with someone who has HIV will I contract it permanently?”—opened the floor up to rich dialogue among both teams.

A question on the nuances of sexual abuse, BDSM and consent got people talking the most.

“The main thing about sexual domination is that both parties have to consent,” Wilson said.

“Engaging in using handcuffs, being tied up, using restraints is perfectly fine but you have to make sure that they are aware, not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and can say yes, it is perfectly fine.”

“And have a safe word!” added Ruth Gustaw, TI’s anti-human trafficking and youth in transition worker.

At the end of the game, after the winners were announced and the prizes distributed, Wilson had the contestants talk about what they had learned and what kind of questions they would like to learn more about for the next month’s game.

One young woman said she had not known that there was a medication to take daily for 30 days after sexual exposure to someone with HIV.

The medication can fight off the infection. It’s one reason why contracting HIV is no longer considered a guaranteed death sentence in this day and age.

A few people said they appreciated learning the difference between sexual abuse and consenting BDSM.

One man really liked learning the fact that just because a man has sex with another man, it does not necessarily mean that he is gay.

Sometimes people are forced into sex or are just curious. Sometimes they consider themselves bisexual or another orientation, and some people just engage in survival sex because it is their only option.

That each person determines their own orientation was something new that a few people in the room had not known before Wilson’s Sexy Jeopardy.

“I always thought if you did it with men you were gay,” said Tristan Webster of Iqaluit. “I didn’t know you could do it and not call yourself gay.”

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