Lena Chen

is a reluctant sexpert, a feminist and queer activist, and a walking case study on bad publicity. Once called the "self-appointed poster girl for ... brainy girls gone wild", she authored the blog Sex and the Ivy about her misadventures and sexcapades as a Harvard undergrad. Her reputation has never quite recovered.

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On Campus & On Camera

Lena has talked about sex and relationships on- and off-camera with audiences throughout the country. She hosted shows for&nbspthe National Campaign To Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy and Alloy Digital’s guRL.com (as their resident sexpert). As an activist, Lena has organized collaborative initiatives such as the Rethinking Virginity conference at Harvard as well as the now-national Feminist Pride Day. Her workshops and presentations are engaging, unpretentious, and never entirely appropriate for polite company. She offers a perspective based on personal experience and research on topics like:

  • casual sex and the college hook-up culture
  • the history of virginity and the American abstinence movement
  • slut-shaming and sexual double standards
  • the role of social media in progressive activism and the new media future of feminism
  • careers in sex-positive writing and social justice

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Lena Chen in the documentary “How To Lose Your Virginity”

Past speaking engagements have included:

2014

Oxford Union, Formal Thursday Debate, "This House believes promiscuity is a virtue not a vice" (Oxford, UK)

Center For Sex & Culture, audience Q&A for screening of "How To Lose Your Virginity" (San Francisco, CA)

University of Pennsylvania, Kelly Writers House, Feminism/s Presents: Sex In Journalism (Philadelphia, PA)

2012

Pomona College, Faith & First Times: Sex, Society, & Religion (Claremont, CA)

Yale University, Sex Week At Yale, Writing Sex: A Panel On Sex Positive Writing (New Haven, CT)

Ustream, XOXOSMS Internet Premiere (Virtual)

SXSW, Interactive, Sex in the Digital Age (Austin, TX)

Rutgers University, Sex, Love, & Dating Conference, Workshop: Slut Walks, Walks Of Shame, & Sexual Double Standards | Workshop: Hooking Up & Getting Down: The State Of Casual Sex & The College Romance (New Brunswick, NJ)

Pomona College, Writing Sex Positively: A Discussion With Lena Chen (Claremont, CA)

Sex::Tech Conference, Authentic Relationships and Online Identities Panel & XOXOSMS Screening (San Francisco, CA)

Stonehill College, Feminism 3.0: The New Frontier Of Media Activism (Easton, MA)

2011

Stanford University, "Am I A Virgin If …?": Deconstructing The Myth Of Sexual Purity, (Palo Alto, CA)

Women’s Media Center, An Evening With Gloria Steinem & Young Feminist Leaders, (Herbst Theater - San Francisco, CA)

Brown University, Sex Week At Brown, "Am I A Virgin If …?": Deconstructing The Myth Of Sexual Purity, (Providence, RI)

Harvard University, Activism & The Feminist Blogosphere (Cambridge, MA)

Rutgers University, Sex, Love, & Dating Conference, Workshop: Hooking Up & Getting Down: The State Of Casual Sex & The College Romance (New Brunswick, NJ)

Yale University, Yale In New York: A Conversation With Lena Chen (Antibes Bistro - New York, NY)

Ain’t I A Woman: Race In The Feminist Movement (Galapagos Art Space - Brooklyn, NY)

Yale University, Feminism 3.0: The New Frontier Of Media Activism (New Haven, CT)

2010

Cornell University, Sex Columnists Bare All (Ithaca, NY)

More Magazine, Naomi Wolf Talks With Feminism’s New Leaders (92Y Tribeca - New York, NY)

Harvard University, Undergraduate Gender Research Conference, The Social Transformation of Sexual Norms In America, Senior Thesis Presentation,(Cambridge, MA)

Harvard University, Rethinking Virginity Conference, Toward A Sex-Positive Vision Of Abstinence (Cambridge, MA)

2009

Harvard University, Asian American Awareness Week, Interracial Dating Panel (Cambridge, MA)

Harvard University, Asian American Awareness Week, Female Sexuality Panel (Cambridge, MA)

Western Washington University, Is Sex Positive Feminism Still Relevant? (Bellingham, WA)

2008

Harvard University, Asian American Women In Leadership Conference (Cambridge, MA)

Harvard University, Lena Chen vs. True Love Revolution (Cambridge, MA)