Hooking Up Healthy Since 1970

So Many Questions



Today, I gave out free condoms on Sproul to anyone on the UC Berkeley campus (that wasn’t a minor). I went into this assignment with excitement. I am a very social individual and I love meeting new people and putting a smile on someone’s face—this assignment was perfect! To my surprise, I found myself feeling a bit awkward standing on Sproul giving out condoms. Although I did this alongside an awesome classmate, I still felt a bit out of place.

            Honestly, I felt like a hypocrite handing out condoms while I myself don’t use them. I think this has something to say about how much this assignment meant for me. It allowed me to ask myself why I felt the way I did while doing the assignment and think deeper about it. I am very open when it comes to my sexuality and I find it easy to discuss the topic of sex, yet I felt awkwardness at the beginning of doing the task…why? I eventually handed out most of the condoms but I also want to think about why so many people rejected taking FREE condoms. So many questions that I have yet to answer.

Bring Out the Sex Positivity

My name is Teresa Yu and I’m part of the Sex 101 Decal in the Wednesday section. I passed out 30 condoms on September 27th for half an hour on Sproul Plaza. Initially, the idea of passing out 30 condoms seemed fun and quirky and I was super excited to do the assignment. However, I didn’t anticipate being nervous until actually showing up at Sproul. There were less people than I expected at around noon on a weekday so the emptiness of the location already started to make me feel nervous. It’s a good thing that I ended up partnering up with Nelly and we both felt the same way. We both had our individual bags of condoms and slowly inched toward the middle of Sproul Plaza as we got more comfortable.

People were not as receptive to having condoms offered to them as I expected. I expected more people to be excited that there were free condoms available. There were a lot of puzzled faces and concerned looks. One girl actually came up to us and asked for one, which was surprisingly nice. There were a number of people who gladly accepted and said, “Hell yeah, free condoms!” but there were many more “Ehh, no thanks”. Maybe people were too busy with midterms or the hot weather was making people less welcoming. We eventually got more comfortable with offering condoms and managed to get rid of the entire bag. The whole ordeal was super fun and got me out of my comfort zone. It’s also nice knowing that I was spreading sex positivity on campus.

Rubbers on Sproul


When you get a pack of condoms in a zip lock bag—you just have a mild panic attack. Not really, but really. I say this because I have never freely walked around with a bag of condoms, at most, I have had a solid three pack of Trojans stuffed into the back of my night stand. Even with those stowed away, I felt a lingering amount of constant anxiety in wondering how I would appear to be if someone found those in my drawer full of colored pencils and random panty liners. Nonetheless, now as this assignment was distributed, I took this time to reclaim my sexiness and develop a master plan of attack. It became a little side job for me, “hey want some of these goods”, as I flashed a Rough Rider to everyone I walked passed.

To say the least, as daunting as I first thought this assignment to be, it was not at all. The night I got my stash of rubbers, as I call them, I took so social media, Snap Chat to be exact, announcing that I had condoms and I would be passing them out on a first come first serve basis. Apparently I have one hell of a following, that the next day on campus—everyone bombarded me with the “Where ya at” texts. It was great. I walked through the Student Learning Center, the sides of Cesar Chavez, and finally I handed out my last couple of protective gears at my own student meeting. Half of my inventory was granted to those who found me themselves, and the other half was distributed to students I found throughout campus. When I first pulled out the plastic bag full of condoms, I felt as if I was insulting folks who were by standers—I felt as if I was causing them to feel uncomfortable in a safe space. But then it hit me, safe spaces, from my point of view, also cater to their inhabitants and making sure one practices safely happened to be one of my goals! However, I also encountered some people who were totally against receiving a condom, and I immediately made sure I understood the other person’s no, and did not keep persisting for them to take one. What I did notice was that I had much more luck handing out these condoms to females than males. I only had one male identifying student take a condom. Majority of the males I spoke to were hesitant and questioned me on why I even had a bag full of condoms. Hmm.

In a matter of one day on campus, I distributed 29 condoms, and ended up having one Magnum left for myself. The last Magnum was actually one I wanted to keep, until I partially scared myself thinking about how most guys do not really need the Magnum size anyway, and I do not want any slippage, so I gave it away as well!

The results from my RAS assignment were amazing, and it even gave me the external confidence to go up to someone and pass them a condom in public. (:

P.S. I also asked people how many condoms would they prefer just because I personally felt one would not have lasted a couple of rounds, and I wanted to prepare everyone for the weekend (or future since they expire in 2021).

Giving it to the Greeks

For my random act of sexiness I went to the fraternity house Delta Upsilon during a social event called “Big Sisters” on Tuesday September 20. I was able to hand out all 30 condoms to the brothers of Delta Upsilon and a small handful of girls in the following sororities: Tri Delta, Zeta Tau Alpha, Delta Gamma, Chi Omega, Alpha Phi, and Alpha Omicron Pi.  I was not surprised that boys were more willing to take the condoms than the girls at the event. When I would first ask if they wanted a condom I would normally get a weird looks and hesitation to answer.  I would then have to explain that I was apart of the Sex 101 decal supporting safe sex. After my explanation as to why I was handing out condoms they were more willing to take them. One of the boys I offered a condom to asked if he could have another and what different types I had, while I had multiple girls turn down my offer. I noticed that girls were more likely to turn down the condom if they were with a girl friend rather than a guy. Over all it was a good experience and I enjoyed it more than I expected!


Erotic Fan Fiction

fanfictionWe’ve all seen adult books, whether it be in the back room of your local bookstore or on the best seller table in large chain stores, but what many people don’t know is that you can get erotic, well-written fiction for free on the internet! What I’m talking about is: fan fiction. If you have a favorite TV show, movie, or book, there is a good chance that someone somewhere on the internet has written about the main and side characters getting it on.
Porn works well for many people, but if you’re like me, you need more than the visual to get your engines going. There are many great parts of fan fiction: it’s free, it’s private, it’s virtually endless, it is made by people just like you, there are no professional fan fiction writers, and there is always a back story behind the action. There are seasons and series and books full of (mostly) well-crafted relationships and very little pizza man bringing a pizza with sausage. It is possible that the fan fiction you’re reading may well have one of the characters be a saucy pizza man, but you’ll know that character’s back story.
Another great thing about reading erotic fan fiction is that it is a safe way to explore your sexuality without having anyone be actually harmed in the process. There are a million kinks and a million ways those kinks can play out, and with fan fiction, you have a safe and judgement-free way of exploring them all. If you’re worried about supporting the porn industry, you need to look no further than a couple of thousand word foray into breath play, BDSM, praise kinks, and more.
It is important to remember that fan fiction, and erotic writing more generally, is not always accurate to real life. Characters will use ridiculous things as lube; in my experiences I’ve seen: baby oil, jam, spit, vaseline, nothing, and a fruit popsicle. I want to make it very clear that all of these things are not to be used for lubrication for vaginal or anal penetration. Just like porn, things are idealized. Virgins are comfortably able to accommodate huge toys or penises with very little preparation, and positions only gymnasts can achieve are described as if they were easy. People often jump into BDSM relationships without through discussions of safe words, limits (both hard and soft), or many other integral aspects of dominant and submissive relationships.
There are many places to get fan fiction, including sites like Archive of Our Own( and If there are no series that catch your interest, romance sections of bookstores often have soft core porn sections. Romance novels tend to be either very white (or include uncomfortable racial stereotypes) and very straight, so this might not be the best format for many people. Fan fiction tends to have more diversity in genders, ethnicities, relationship types, sexuality, and levels of ability, so if you are queer, have disabilities, aren’t white or aren’t monogamous, I recommend finding some fan fiction to enjoy. I don’t pretend to have read all fan fiction or all romance novels, so there are probably terrible fan fictions and amazing and inclusive erotic novels out there. I hope this inspires you to explore both the internet and yourself!
– Arousing Andy

Just Your Friendly Neighborhood Genitalia



“Not all heroes wear capes”…some of them wear fleshy penis costumes and hand out condoms during peak school hours. Dressing as the SHEP penis during outreach events has made me realized that that is my true form; I feel like a superhero with the power to spread sexual positivity and sexual health education. I think one of the most important things to take away from any SHEP event (besides free condoms and lube) is learning how break down the taboo that surrounds the conversation of sex. Communication is not only the best lubrication at an individual level, but also at a societal level. Being able to freely discuss issues relating to sexual and reproductive health at a larger scale is essential in breaking down the harmful barriers society has constructed. As sexuality and sexual health impacts everybody in some way, an international discourse on topics such as STD/STI prevention and care, healthy relationships, safer sex, contraception and abortion, gender and sexuality, and comprehensive sexual education is imperative in ensuring a healthier state of well-being. If such issues are talked about at a community level, free of intolerance and stereotypes, then I think this openness concerning sexual and reproductive health and positivity will transcend to a state, national, and hopefully international level. As Sexperts and SHEPies, we hope you leave the SHEP table not only with a condom, dental damn, and/or an educational leaflet, but also the urge to openly and positively talk about the realm of sexual health with your friends, classmates, and family. Too often when I talk openly about sex in the dining hall, walking to campus, or in MLK, I get strange looks because I am talking openly about sexual health issues, my own sex life, or am just perusing through an article talking about the G-spot. People are surprised, even shocked (or mortified), about my willingness to talk about sex in public, and while I do like being unapologetic about sexual empowerment, I wish this wasn’t seen as unthinkable to do in the public sphere. If people want to hand each other condoms in a way so as to promote sexual health during a study break, power to them!

That being said, if you’re interested in how to reach as many people on Sproul in spreading sexual health education tips and giving out condoms through SHEP, here are my secrets:

-Dress as genitalia

-Don’t be afraid to yell/chant/sing while dressed as said genitalia. Some of my favorites are “Safe sex is the best sex!” “Wrap it before you tap it!” and of course “Free condoms”

-If you catch people sneakily videoing/Snapping you, I suggest saying “If you’re going to videotape me you have to take a condom.” While I appreciate the free press, I also appreciate people partaking in safe sex.

-Don’t offer condoms to minors. Do offer them to older people. I once got to hear an 70 year old’s offer her masturbation advice. Life. Changed.

-Get used to being famous and feeling like a Disney™ character.

-Be shameless. Be fierce. Be excited. Be proud.

Taking Over the Res Hall

I handed out the condoms in my residential campus at Clark Kerr. I handed them out on Friday September 23rd from 6-8pm. I was able to hand out all of my condoms, because at times, people did want more than one but I limited it to about 3 per person. I was able to explain that I was a part of the Student Health Educationimage Program and needed to convey the message of safer sex to about 30 people. I was able to engage in a conversation about the need to practice safer sex not just for birth control options, but for preventing diseases. I was met by a girl who refused to take the condoms because she was “already on the birth control pill.” I replied by saying that the pill does not protect against STI’s and she changed her mind about accepting them. I found that more people than expected refused to accept the condoms. But in general, those who did accept condoms were very enthusiastic and willing to listen to the cause.

Safe Sex is the Best Sex!

Alright, let’s do THIS!!! My heartbeat quickened as I stuck my hand in my backpack, feeling around to find the plastic baggie full of condoms. I could already feel my cheeks blushing. Excited. Anxious. Empowered even. I took my first step onto Sproul where all the different organizations set up their tables. I eyed every organization on the right side. Then I glanced at the organizations on the left side. I chose to deliver the condoms starting with the right side. I approached Colleges Against Cancer and asked the two student representatives, “Hey, would you like some free condoms? I’m passing it out for my Sex Health DeCal.” Immediately, without hesitation, the two individuals cracked a smile and extended their hand. No questions asked, just appreciative, good vibes. Whoa, that was better than I thought. Let’s try this next table: Delta Sigma Pi. There were three student representatives this time. I threw them the same 2-liner. However, this time, one student questioned the brand, while the two others kept quiet observing the student and I’s interaction. Once the first student nodded and accepted the condoms, the two other observing students were both game for free condoms too.

Woo! One more table and I’ll be out of condoms! I walked up to the final student group and they too warmly welcomed the free condoms and thanked me.

I stepped foot onto Sproul with the expectation that I would receive weird looks in response to passing out condoms. I realized through this activity that the students I approached were more comfortable to accept condoms in front of others, rather than act embarrassed and decline. I previously thought students would be embarrassed to accept the condoms because 1) I am a stranger and 2) sometimes one’s sexual activity is kept hush hush/ spoken only with close friends/sexual partner(s). Although I reached a smaller pool of students than I expected (7 students total), I still enjoyed this activity immensely. Contributing to a culture of healthy sex behavior and being able to provide resources to encourage safe sex/ sex behaviors made me happy from top to bottom. As I walked away, my older sister’s voice echoed in my mind: “Safe sex is the best sex!”sdgfsdg

‘Sure, Condoms are Dope!’

Hello, I’m the DeCal-er who goes by Ross. On Tuesday 9/27, I initiated a Random Act of Sexiness for Sproul passers-by.

20160927_121200Initially, my promise of `free condoms’ didn’t seem to interest anyone. Many Berkeley students (myself included) will go to great lengths to avoid folks who want their attention on lower Sproul. I soon adapted my sales pitch to: `Can I interest you in a free condom?’ Instead of actively evading my pleas, some recognized what I was offering and responded with an embarrassed giggle. Finally, I arrived at: `Support safe sex; take a free condom!’ Which received moderately more positive responses.  When people defended their lack of interest, the most common reason was: `I don’t even have sex!’ Fair enough. Of the positive responses, my favorite was: `Sure, condoms are dope!’
By the numbers: responses were 50% `I don’t want to talk to you’; 40% `hehe, you said condom’; 5% `I don’t even have sex!’; 3% `I already have LOADS of condoms’; and (finally) 2% `Sure, I’ll take a free condom.’ I was surprised by the general Berkeley population’s lack of interest in free contraception. Only a handful of students reacted positively, and I wonder in hindsight whether I was the problem. In other words, perhaps Berkeley students are happy to accept free condoms in general, but are averse to condoms offered by me. Would my experience have been different if I identified differently or if I were in a more diverse group? I don’t have a cogent explanation, but I suspect folks would be more likely to take free contraceptives from a friendly group of guys and gals than one stiff-looking white dude.

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