On Wednesday, October 1st Sather Gate handing out condoms. I have to admit that I was a little nervous about this, simply because I thought it was going to be pretty awkward. I have seen a lot of people making useless attempts to hand out fliers, and the thought of being the weird girl desperately trying to give away condoms scared me. However I was surprised of how willingly people accepted the free condoms. The random act of sexiness was not awkward at all, and most people were very grateful for my generosity. I noticed that guys were in general more exited about the condoms than girls, but I’m not sure why. I have a feeling that guys tend to be more open about their sexual life than girls, but for all I know this could be very wrong. I handed out all of my 30 condoms in the late afternoon (around 5:30) and it took me I found myself beside about 40 minutes – way more quickly than I expected. Being able to make people more aware of safety around sex as well as being open about the topic to make it less taboo was a lot of fun. I felt like I was being part of a little movement – a tiny step in the right direction. Obviously, sex is an important part of college life for many people and it is very important that people have the knowledge they need in order to be safe, healthy, and have fun. My random act of sexiness was a great success and I’m glad to have made a lot of people happy.

Having planned to meet with the girls from class on Friday at noon across the way from Memorial Glade. As I had a class to attend at 1240, I waited until about 1215. Mustered up the courage, busted out my pack of multicolored , rainbow condoms and began offering them up like samples at Costco. The reactions ranged from different all throughout the spectrum. There were people who gladly accepted a condom, with no shame to the art of sex safe, and there were some who wanted nothing to do with it. The only difference was when I addressed people directly, saying no was a a lot harder! You had the coy and embarrassed no, the “you-should-be-ashamed-of-yourself” no, the silent but deadly no, oh and my favorite, the “I-want-to-but-it’s-embarrassing” no, among many other no’s.
At least 200 people must have passed me by and I only gave out about half of the condoms. Given I was only out handing out condoms for about 30 minutes, I just assumed that more people would be willing to accept a condom, in the spirit of safe sex. When people say that sex is taboo, it is often taken out of context. The word taboo comes from the term Pacific Islander term, “tapu” which means sacred; to be treated with respect, and may be forbidden to people who cannot handle its power. Going back to biblical references, it is a sin to engage in sex before marriage because it is considered sacred and treated with respect. Sex being taboo does not mean it’s bad or forbidden it is simply means that sex should not be engaged between people who cannot handle the powers and responsibilities that it brings.

Location: Sproul Plaza

Date: Friday Oct 3
Time: 3:00pm
Last Friday Lucia (Lucy Boobs) and I were distributing condoms around Sproul Plaza. As students were walking by to get to their 3pm classes Lucia would gracefully walk up to students yelling “You can never have too many condoms” which is debatable, nonetheless students would take one. As I approached students I would say “Hi! Free condoms, we’re promoting safe sex, here take one!” In a matter of 15-20 mins we completely ran out of condoms to hand out. I felt like many students took it pretty well, they understand that we’re in college and sometimes you need a condom when you least expect it. I would say it was pretty easy, even the girls would take the male condoms and stash them away in their purses. I love seeing the reactions of some guys because they gave me the impression like they’ve never seen a condom before, which is plausible here at Berkeley. I did have the fortune of seeing one of my teammates come by and take a handful.

My favorite part of the experience was the sheer act of being able to shout the words “Practice safe sex” it made me realize that no one should ever be ashamed of ever doing this, we’re all mammals that wanna have sex. Sex is why we are here! it’s the only reason more there are more people everyday. So its very important to keep in mind that sex causes reproduction if you don’t take the simple step of protecting yourself. Impregnating someone during college or before could be devastating, as it is a huge responsibility. Why not put all that fear away and wear a condom or a protective measure like bc. Great experience I would do it again, with the penis costume on, and when it’s not 90 degrees outside.

I thought this experience was a fun way to get out of my comfort zone.

Yes, I have to say that I had a hard time handing out the condoms to

random people. But as I succeeded the first time, I was able to gain

confidence and have fun handing out the rest of them. I went to Dwinelle

Hall since there are always a lot of people even at night. I did not want

to do it in the morning or afternoon since there are too many people.

And I don’t have any classes on Thursdays, so I was able to relax and

calm down before going out to hand out condoms. I think it was a great

experience but I was scared to meet any of my friends or anyone that I

knew since it would be embarrassing. And I spent an hour distributing

the condoms because not all of the people wanted one. Thankfully, my

first try was a success, if it was not; I would probably have chickened

out and went home. The first few tries were success, but when I was

denied, I sat down on the bench for few minutes. I wanted to finish

distributing all the condoms so that’s why it took me a long time. Since I

did it by myself, I had to take a selfie with a random person. It was

more comfortable for me to take a picture with an Asian so as soon as I

gave the condom, I asked if I can take a selfie with him for my class. He

was cool with taking picture so I gave him another condom. Although

some people were hesitant and even denied receiving condoms, I had a

fun night distributing those condoms. Although I would not like to do it

again, it was a great experience.

I distributed 30 condoms at Cory Hall on Friday at 1:00 PM, September 4th. My experience handing out condoms was very interesting. The location was Cory Hall located in the north side of the UC Berkeley Campus. This is the building for the Electrical Engineering department, the majority of students here are Asians and Caucasians. However, there is difference in gender population, about 70% males, and 30% women. As I was handing out the condoms, some students would accept it and some would denied or simply ignored me, in particular women. I think in general, the engineering department is not too interested to explore their sexuality, and have an active sexual activity. They are already too busy with the school work that there is no time for distractions, at least while they are in the school semester. My experience was very easy, I had no shame handing out these condoms. In fact, it was really fun see the facial expression of the students and hear different opinions from different students. Some students would joke with me about it, and say that they do not need them because they would first need to find a woman. Other ones would say that they simply are not into sex at the moment. Other ones would laugh, say “No, thank you” and walk away. Very few students would take one, and thank me for doing this. I also tried to hand out a condom to a faculty member, however he declined to receive one because he said that he was too old for that but I can give it to my grad student. It was really funny how he reacted to the condom offer. I did it intentionally to see what he reaction was going to be and it turned out to be really funny moment.

This past Wednesday I decided to hand out my 30 condoms at upper sproul. I

figured that if I wanted to complete the task with the odds in my favor I would have

to pick a location where a lot of students walk by, and I mean, most people walk

through sproul to get to class. So I located myself in the middle of sroul with the

ziplock baggy in hand and a smile on my face. I also told myself that I would try my

hardest to approach individuals who would shy away.

I think it was somewhat funny seeing the reactions of people. Especially

when a person laughed and blushed. I noticed that men had less of a shocking

reaction compared to women. At one time a guy called his friends over and they all

shook my hand and called me a “good man.” Another pattern I noticed was that

when I approached a group of individuals if at least one person reached out and

took the condom the rest would follow. Something like a sign of acceptance that

allowed all of them to be okay with it.

Overall I thought it was a good experience. Also, it was a lot simpler than I

imagined it would be. I got rid of all 30 condoms in under 15 min. I kind of wish I

had more condoms to distribute because a lot of people were happy to take them

and thankful. It was rewarding too because I know that condoms can be pricy and

we college students don’t have money to be spending on latex. Maybe I’ll table again

next semester if its offered.

I decided to hand out my condoms on Tuesday (September 30th) at 11pm after my dance team practice at Lower Sproul. Since my dance team was a regular, decent-sized group I met every week, I figured that it would be most convenient for me to give them the condoms.

Once I whipped out the bag of condoms, I instantly had reactions from all across the spectrum, from “typical Andrew” to “ew that’s so gross” to laughing. Before I was going to hand out the condoms, I sort of knew who would be giving me what reaction. The people who gave me the “typical Andrew” response were people who knew me for being that one friend that was always thinking about sex (which is not true; I just think about it more than them). Therefore, it came as no surprise when I ended up distributing condoms to all of them. I also expected the “gross” response from a few of the younger, more immature members of the team. Because I still receive this sort of negative response of disgust, I felt that the Random Act of Sexiness was even more important as part of fostering a sex-positive environment. It just doesn’t make much sense logically that our society makes sex a taboo topic when it’s something that’s super central to almost everyone’s existence, and it’s something that almost everyone will partake in. I do believe it’s one of those oppressive values that stem from our country’s Puritan roots, but that’s more for a sociology paper. It takes a lot of effort to dismantle the negative reactions that your parents and other adults have taught you to show every time someone mentions sex or anything sex-related. This is why I don’t hold any poor opinion of those who gave a negative response because they were taught to react this way. My only hope is that whatever I said about safer sex and being open and mature to protecting yourself went into their heads. Finally, the people who just smiled or laughed definitely openly received the condoms, and I specifically handed quite a few to this particular couple on my team just for fun (I had some hand in their matchmaking!).

I received a similar spectrum of responses when I was handing out condoms for SHAW the next day. That’s why I think it’s important for me to help create open and mature discussion for my peers so that we can be in a more sex-positive culture. It’s nothing to be ashamed of!

Today I handed out condoms for the very first time. I was pretty excited yet nervous

since I didn’t know how to approach people and hand them the condoms. I was also

worried about their reactions toward receiving the condoms. But it turned out to be great

eventually. I started handing out the condoms this morning right in front of Sather Gate

around 10:30am to 11:00 am. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hand out a lot of condoms because

there weren’t many people at that time and some people were not interested in getting

free condoms. I wasn’t very successful for the first time, so I told myself that I would try

again after my class; hopefully it would be better. When I got out of my class at 1pm, the

lower Sproul was busy at that time and I thought that was a good sign to give out condoms.

I thought it would be an easy task and I assumed many people would love to take free

condoms. (Why not? It’s totally free. ) But it turned out that I was completely wrong. It

was way harder than I expected. I tried to approach a few people but what I received back

was the indifference from those passing people. I could only hand out 5 condoms for that

morning. I felt a little discouraged, but then a brilliant idea came to me. What if I handed

out the condoms to those who really need them and would be likely to use them? And the

answer popped up in my head that FRAT HOUSE would be a perfect location.

Then, I left the campus and went on my frat house searching journey. I went to

two frat houses and it was a huge success. They welcomed me and they got excited when

hearing about free condoms. One of the guys there shouted out excitedly: “FREE CONDOMS,

GUYS. This is so cool.” After I finished handing out condoms at two frat houses, I couldn’t

continue my journey because I had some stuff to do. Then, I went back to my dorm later at

night and handed out the remaining condoms to my friends.

In short, I had some hard time handing out the condoms at the beginning but it

ended really well. I successfully handed out 30 condoms at different locations such as

Sproul, Frat houses, and my dorm. It was really hot today, and wandering from one frat

house to another frat house made me sweat like hell but I really enjoyed the task.

My experience

my experience handing out condoms was really enlightening, and i think i learned a good deal about myself. my friend and i sketched out late at night after my bio midterm, and i was worried that giving off the whole flyer vibe, but with condoms and in the dark, would be creepy. i tried to mask this effect by introducing myself and saying i was part of the Sexual Health Education Program and asking firmly but politely if the younger teenagers, couples, students, and faculty students who walked by were interested in free condoms. every time i had a nervous lilt in my voice, people fled. when i was confident, people usually scrambled uncomfortably and pretended to be in a hurry – the falseness was transparent. i cut off the introduction and began the mantra “free condoms?” some people said yes, some people no. i was trying desperately hard not be creepy, and sometimes people who gave off a super funk liberal vibe would act really proud to be accepting condoms from a stranger at night – very pretentious. not as irritating as the other extreme where people acted judgmental and snickered, as if i couldn’t hear their animadversion from 10 feet away. the stigma around sex positivity and sexual openness is alive and well – this is a generalization, i know, but i am feeling it. my friend alondra stopped by looking innocent with a white dress and a pure smile. i handed over my bag of condoms to her. almost everyone accepted them from her except really awkward people who acted rude – like she was a freak. almost everyone acted like i was a freak. is it because i am a guy? is it because it’s night? am i nervous? do i come off as perverted? are people just not okay with flyers? not okay with sex? condoms? but in my heart of hearts, i know it’s all of these things. and i have never felt more compelled to keep learning about sexual health and stay involved. i know it’s worth it.

The week of SHAW was a very hectic week for me, so my hour of handing out condoms on campus was a 45 minute gap between a class and study group. This gap was on Tuesday from I would estimate 6:40ish to 7:30ish (pm). I had decided on Kroeber plaza, partially because I believe it’s an underrated place, partially because I’m an anthropology major (I’ve spend many an hour in Kroeber Hall). Sadly, this time of day deemed inopportune for finding willing students. Most people who passed through seemed to be nonstudents, or in an obvious hurry. I was rejected many times, and those who accepted seemed to hesitantly. At the end of this time gap, I had only handed out 12 condoms. Along with the poor time I chose, I also blame this on my composure. While I tried to be happy, the stress I was feeling certainly brought down my demeanor. So I decided to try again.

My last stressful item of the week was Friday night, so I decided to try to hand the rest of them out Saturday. Where/when would I find large amount of students in need of condoms on a Saturday you may ask? Where other than frat row at night. I began at 10:30pm, and had them all handed out by 11. I approached groups (2 mobile groups of girls, one mobile group of guys, and one group of guys sitting on their porch), and in all of them all accepted. They were accepted with laughs, and one guy (in the stationary group) commented on how I had set a good omen for his night in terms of getting lucky (which was followed by more laughs).
What I learned from this experience I believe can be found by comparing the two different times I tried. It seems that people are only comfortable talking about sex in an environment they believe is fun and laid back (like frat row/my happy demeanor vs on campus/my stressed demeanor). Hence, I learned that any future mentions I make of safe sex should be in a comfortable environment.
*NOTE~ I’m so sorry for the late submission!! I had it in my mind that it was due at midnight, then when I went to make sure my post would meet all the requirements, I saw that it was due at noon! I am so sorry for any inconvenience this may has caused and if there are any lost points, I’m more than happy to make them up some way if possible (lil research paper, time helping TANG, etc). *


Health related information posted on this page should not be used for diagnosing purposes or be substituted for medical advice. UC Berkeley, University Health Services Tang Center, assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequence resulting directly or indirectly from any action or inaction taken based on the information or material on and/or linked to this site. For specific health care concerns, contact your primary healthcare provider. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of University Health Services or the University of California.

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 734 other followers