Taboos at TU/e: from sex toys to condom etiquette

Addicts, underage parents, swingers, gangbangers, drug dealers and porn directors: he’s spoken to all of them. If anyone’s an authority on taboos, it’s Jurre Geluk, who you might know as a presenter of such television shows as ‘Spuiten & Slikken’. Last Wednesday, he came to campus to answer burning questions on taboos from TU/e students and staff.

photo Maud Staassen

The Blauwe Zaal was filled to the brim. Minutes before the start of the program, the people of Studium Generale started collecting as many chairs from backstage as they could in order to improvise a few extra rows of seating. In the end everyone was sitting somewhere and the interview could start with only a slight delay.

Taboos at TU/e

“Sex. Drugs. Why are you drawn to these things?” is the question with which Marle de Jong, program creator at Studium Generale, opens the interview. “Sex, most people do it. And drugs, a lot of people do it,” Geluk responds. “What I found particularly appealing in Spuiten & Slikken (TV show that discusses these topics, ed.) is that we show everything. The fun sides, but also the bad sides.”

In talking about taboos at our own TU/e, De Jong brings up Spar’s recent range expansion. Besides cornflakes, cheese and bread rolls, as of last month the supermarket also sells sex toys. When the room is asked who thinks this is a good development, a third decisively raise their hand. “We checked with them how many they’ve sold and they thought about five per week,” De Jong reveals. “Especially at night.” Nonetheless, sex toys and sex in general are still a taboo subject for many people. “Which I understand,” Geluk says. “Because it’s something personal, or maybe the fact that you need a toy makes you insecure. But then it helps to realize that a huge number of people have one on their nightstand.”

In addition to sex toys, contraceptives also came up. The audience was able to send in questions anonymously using an online platform. One of these questions was: ‘How do you make the moment where you’re reaching for a condom less sexless or awkward?’. Geluk hadn’t found a solution for this himself either. “I think that you’re putting a certain amount of pressure on yourself if it needs to be sexy,” he says. “You don’t have to be all fancy and put it between your teeth or whatever. It’s just a condom, part of the deal.”

Many unanswered questions

“We still have many questions online and I don’t think you’ll be able to answer all of them,” says Liza Gloudemans, program creator at Studium Generale, more than five minutes after the scheduled end time. Only four questions from the audience have been answered. Due to the delay at the beginning and the relatively long interview about Jurre himself, not a lot of time was left for the taboo questions from TU/e students and staff.

To humor the audience, videos were recorded after the interview, in which Geluk answered a number of the remaining online questions. One of these videos is available on Studium Generale’s Instagram. If your question wasn’t included, why not have a look at Spuiten & Slikken’s YouTube channel? There’s always a chance you’ll find the answer there.


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