Gettin’ Freaky at Northwestern University
Gettin’ Freaky at Northwestern University
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   03.04.11
Reading Time: 5 minutes

**WARNING — Graphic and Disturbing Content**

By now you’ve likely heard about Northwestern University professor, Dr. J. Michael Bailey’s invitation to “members of Chicago’s fetish community,” including an exhibitionist, to “educate” undergraduate students on the finer points of fetishism and sex toys.

With over one hundred students in attendance, the 25-year old female exhibitionist disrobed below her waist, thus enabling her 45-year-old fiance to insert into her a mechanical sex device and stimulate her to orgasm.

On WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, the exhibitionist, her fiance, and one of the lecturers from Weird Chicago Tours explained that when they arrived at Bailey’s class “a film was playing. It was a very graphic representation of a woman masturbating…. There was a woman’s vagina, probably ten feet tall on the screen. There was moaning. It would be porno, basically.” They shared that they had talked with Bailey about “doing a demonstration to show that the g-spot orgasm is actually real.”

One wonders how the United States flourished as a nation with so many young people having graduated from college without such an illuminating “education.”

Bailey’s chicanery likely won’t surprise Northwestern’s administration: apparently, Bailey’s been providing porn to students under the guise of “education” for years. Alice D. Dreger offers the following description of another sexcapade that Bailey offered his students, this time involving a male-to-female “transsexual” whose birth name was Chuck Kieltyka but who now goes by “Anjelica.”:

Kieltyka also arranged with Bailey opportunities to present to students in his Human Sexuality class herself, her history, and her understanding of transsexuality. She says her ”lectures were an opportunity to do ‘outreach’; to educate AND entertain” As in the case of other guest speakers, these presentations took place after the regular class session and were optional but heavily attended; between 1994 and 2003, a total of several thousand Northwestern University students saw Kieltyka’s annual appearances; In these presentations, held in a large auditorium to accommodate the class size, Kieltyka showed and explained a series of still images using overhead projection….Kieltyka also presented a short video compilation she had made….

No doubt to the surprise of Bailey’s students, that video compilation actually begins with a pornographic segment Kieltyka had made for herself pre-SRS. In it, as Donna Summer sings ”Love to Love You Baby” in the background, Chuck appears as a nude woman through use of prosthetics, including false breasts, a glued-on vulva (with his penis glued up inside his body), a female mask, and a platinum blonde wig.

The woman whom Chuck appears as masturbates through simulated finger-clitoral stimulation and through the use of a dildo attached to the floor; she straddles the dildo and thrusts up and down so that it looks as if the dildo is going in and out of her vagina. (It was actually going in and out of Chuck’s anus.) Kieltyka overlaid an audio clip from a porn video in this segment to provide the sound of a woman reaching orgasm. Immediately after this segment, the compilation cuts to a postop scene of Anjelica standing topless in a bikini bottom and moccasins, looking radiant and being dramatically bathed in a Rushing water fall. She brushes back her long dark hair with her hand and motions to two nearby women unknown to her to also take off their tops. They decline.

Bailey had this to say about his recent decision to allow a live sex show: “My decision to say ‘yes’ reflected my inability to come up with a legitimate reason why students should not be able to watch such a demonstration.” Any adult who is “unable” to come up with a legitimate reason not to host a live sex show for students is a moral ignoramus and unfit for teaching.

Bailey describes his students as “open-minded grown ups rather than fragile children.” Does Bailey seriously think that opposition to live sex shows in class grows out of the notion that college students are “fragile children”? Is he really that intellectually bankrupt? Or is this further evidence of his moral bankruptcy? Without making an explicit assertion, he is trying to divert attention from his corrupt and execrable decision by hinting that opposition derives from overprotective or puritanical impulses.

Most people believe “grown-ups” are distinguished from children in part by their maturity and wisdom. Bailey demonstrates the maturity and wisdom of an adolescent. Only someone lost in spiritual darkness, as Bailey clearly is, could defend this.

In his explanation as to why he proceeded with this controversial event, Bailey said he “was not in a mood to surrender to sex negativity and fear.” Apparently, he feels no obligation to provide evidence for his suggestion that opposition to public acts of perversion — in a classroom — is motivated by “sex negativity and fear.” A good argument could be made that it is “sex positivity” that drives opposition to live sex shows. Wisdom and respect for the sanctity of sexuality dictate that, among many things, sex acts are private acts.

Four questions pop into my fragile, fearful, sex-negative mind:

  • What kind of perverse ideas did Bailey weave into classroom lectures and discussions?
  • Does he bear any moral culpability for undermining the moral development of the young people whose parents paid thousands of dollars for a Northwestern education?
  • Does he bear any moral culpability if this live sex show contributes in even a small way to a current or future porn addiction in one of his students?
  • Is Bailey complicit in the exploitation, degradation,and objectification of the obviously troubled young woman who demonstrated this act in front of scores of strangers?

Bailey reports that “‘student feedback was uniformly positive.'” No surprise there. The burnished legacy of Alfred Kinsey and his cultural progeny, the sexual revolutionaries of the 60’s, burns bright at Northwestern University. The “Northwestern University independent student newspaper,”North by Northwestern, has included some articles that surely must warm the cockles of Bailey’s darkened heart. For example, there is the articlein the March 11 edition that offers suggestions for “eco-friendly fu**ing,” which include “showering together” and using natural lubricants.

And then there was the 2009 article that suggests students have sex to de-stress during finals week. The author of that article was kind enough to include a link to a porn website that provides diagrams of and instructions for a variety of sexual positions.

But that’s not all from one of our most esteemed academic institutions. There’s also SHAPE, which is, according to their website, a “student organization affiliated with Northwestern University Health Service that provides education, organizes events, and generates dialogue about sexual health and sexual assault. SHAPE’s mission is to increase students’ comfort surrounding sexuality, encouraging them to learn and adopt sexually healthy behaviors and to recognize and address unhealthy and dangerous behaviors and attitudes regarding sexuality.”

SHAPE members have contributed a sex column that appears in the North by Northwestern. In it, they have offered tips for having sex during menstruation; tips on how to make intercourse for virgins comfortable; explanations of bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism; help for college-induced decreased libido; descriptions of orgasms; instructions on how to prolong ejaculation, whether to swallow semen, and how to make dorm rooms more conducive to sex.

An initial feckless statement from the vice president for University Relations (no pun intended), Alan Cubbage, appeared to defend Bailey:

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

But perhaps wiser heads will prevail. On Thursday, Northwestern President Morton Schapiro issued this statement:

I have recently learned of the after-class activity associated with Prof. Michael Bailey’s Human Sexuality class, and I am troubled and disappointed by what occurred.

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.

Northwestern faculty members engage in teaching and research on a wide variety of topics, some of them controversial. That is the nature of a university. However, in this instance, I have directed that we investigate fully the specifics of this incident, and also clarify what constitutes appropriate pedagogy, both in this instance and in the future.

Many members of the Northwestern community are disturbed by what took place on our campus. So am I.

Our nation’s best and brightest deserve better. They deserve an academic experience worthy of Northwestern’s motto: Quaecumque Sunt Vera, which comes from the New Testament and means “Whatsoever things are true.” Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Northwestern should recommit to their motto, and dump Bailey.

Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins was the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008 through early 2023. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years...
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