Search

SHEP Talk

Hooking Up Healthy Since 1970

Random Acts of Sexiness!

Jessica and I walked around Sproul and Sather Gate to complete our Random Acts of Sexiness. We attempted to target different “types” of people to see who would accept a condom happily and who would laugh and avoid eye contact with us. One thing we both noticed immediately were overwhelming majority of reactions that were made up of embarrassment and avoidance of us. Even though I am aware and have been convinced that Berkeley is a very sex positive environment, there were so many people that immediately became uncomfortable from the word “sex” or “condom”. But also I realized that since we have such a diverse range of cultures at Berkeley, it’s completely understandable that people from different cultures that don’t emphasize sex education or even talk about sex, would feel uncomfortable when a random stranger asks if they would like a free condom. Sex is such a natural human need and I feel like it shouldn’t be something that is spoken in hushed tones behind closed doors. These reactions made me realize that topics surrounding sex and sexual health need more attention and discussion. Safe, consensual sex should be celebrated and I think it’s really fun to talk about sex and share experiences with other people. I hope that through RAS, people that did AND did not accept condoms will at least think about sex and sexual health and become more open and comfortable to the topic. Another thing Jessica and I changed during the experience was to change the way we approached people from “Would you like a free condom?” to “Would you like a free condom, provided by the Tang Center?”. Then we would explain that we were in the Sex DeCal and promoting safe sex and sexual health. But people were more willing to accept a condom with the inclusion of the Tang Center because the condom’s seemed more reliable to take instead of seeming like they were taking really sketchy old condoms. All in all, Jessica and I had a lot of fun and laughed a lot completing our Random Acts of Sexiness. This experience was very insightful and eye-opening.

-Jiyoon

Randoms Acts of Sexiness <3

Hi,
Daisy and I passed out condoms in front of MLK. It was super chill and a lot of fun. We were lucky because we were there during a high traffic period where there was a lot of students, but still a lot of people weren’t really taking the condoms. People weren’t weird about it at all. There seemed to be a binary between people who wouldn’t take the condoms (the majority) and the people who wanted the condoms actually would want more. One of my guy friends I ran into while passing out the condoms commented that people probably wouldn’t take them if they were coming from him (just because he’s a guy) so I gave him a couple and we tried competing passing them out. People were just as accepting of his condoms as they were of mine. I think part of the reason people didn’t mind/weren’t weird about it at all is because people are used to be passed unusual things while out on sproul/in Berkeley in general.
There wasn’t anything particularly noteworthy about how people accepted condoms. I did feel a little awkward because I was basically standing out there in public very loudly asking people to take my condoms, but it was also really fun and funny and I think those kinds of experiences make me feel more comfortable with myself and being open about the topic of sex. People found the little comments on them really cute and funny and some people snapchatted them. There wasn’t a dramatic difference between the number of guys or girls who took my condoms.
This decal has been a lot of fun and I’m glad I could participate in these kinds of activities that push me outside of my regular activities and my comfort zone!
Best,
Kay

Random Act of Sexiness!!

Savannah and I were partners for this awesome project. I had known beforehand that frat parties were now required to conduct consent talks at the door. However, from what I have seen, this usually involved a rushed fraternity brother reading from his phone and some bored people waiting for him to be done so they could go get turnt with their friends. So, when we got assigned to this project, Savannah and I decided to take try to participate in these pre- frat party consent talks and hand out some condoms.

We knew some brothers in one fraternity not too far from our house so that weekend we went out and approached them at the door. They granted us permission to participate by handing out condoms and the night began! I think we upped the enthusiasm on their talks quite a bit and it seemingly made some people comfortable and others clearly less so. This is surprising to me because of all the places to be uncomfortable talking about sex- a frat party should be one of the last. Literally, five feet behind the door are people grinding and making out and potentially leaving together. Why is it somehow more acceptable to engage in or watch that happen but not to talk about it? It’s as if some young people don’t want to be confronted by exactly what they know they might experience. This made me even happier to be handing out condoms because I thought to myself, “if they don’t even want to discuss sex- did they think to bring protection out with them”?

The gender dynamic was also an interesting things to observe. Many of the men didn’t want to take condoms, I think this was at risk of looking too forward or “creepy”. In a way, I do understand that. If I went out to a party with a guy I was maybe interested in and he grabbed like 4 free condoms as we were walking in, I might be a little weirded out. (Which I know is crazy- better safe than sorry!!!!) But, there is no denying that this stigma exists. Women often cited not having pockets as a reason they couldn’t grab one- to which we hinted just to stick them in the side of your bra or dress or anything else to ensure you don’t get stuck without one.

Overall, I think that it is shocking to see how shy people are when talking about sex even in an environment filled with sexual acts happening. Even more so, people are ashamed to admit that they might be having sex later than night even if they are potentially thinking it. I think it might have been more effective to just stick a bowl of condoms in the bathroom or something- ending the stigma around sex is hard and people are more likely to take one when nobody’s watching. I almost can’t believe frats don’t already do this, condoms should be as essential to any fraternity party as franzia boxed wine!

-Sex 101 Decaler Charlotte

Healthy You, Healthy Sex Life

Many understand, or have been told relentlessly, the importance of a healthy diet, but did you know your diet and nutrition can affect your sex drive and performance? For example, blood flow to the sex organs is essential when it comes to sexual arousal. A diet consisting of high saturated fats over time can cause plaque build-up in the arteries. Moreover, something very important to note, plaque can start building anywhere! If it starts to build around the pelvic region, one might begin to notice the decrease in blood flow into their sex organ.

The next example, which I will go into more detail later, involves having high blood sugar. Now many people, myself included, enjoy eating sweet treats for various reasons. But did you know, they are also great to “sweeten up” one’s sex life? However, for those who have high blood sugar, the high concentration of sugar in the blood can cause nerve damage over time, which can lead to less sensation.

At the moment, this blog does not seem so fun. Let’s talk about things you can consume that can help your sexual experience. Vitamin E and Vitamin B3 (Niacin) can help with blood flow and circulation, which can improve sensation and performance. Vitamin E is abundant in almonds, spinach, sweet potatoes, and avocado. Niacin can be found in meat, peanuts, and mushrooms. In addition, niacin and magnesium are known relaxants and can even prevent premature ejaculation. Other helpful nutrients include vitamin A, which is essential for production of sex hormones; and zinc, which promotes the production of testosterone. For those looking for a harder erection or more stamina, foods like watermelon, chili peppers, apples, ginger, bananas, oats, garlic, dark chocolate, beef, and spinach have claims on helping with sexual performance. The effects range from decreasing stress, improving blood flow, helping with erectile dysfunction, or increasing certain nutrients that I have mentioned.

Now, for the best part, what are good foods to having while getting it on? First thing that comes to many minds is chocolate! Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can help with relieving stress. If you or your partner are a little anxious, this may help decrease some tension so you both can perform at optimal levels, if not better. Another popular food that can come to mind are strawberries or chocolate covered strawberries! They aren’t abundant in the vitamins or minerals I mentioned before, but they are loaded with vitamin C, which is important for your immune system. When you’re engaging with your partner, you will be exposed to the germs and bacteria on or in their body. Having a strong immune system can help prevent you from getting sick, especially if your partner is sick. Now don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I’m talking about a cold or something in that nature. If you’re trying to prevent STI’s from being transmitted, Vitamin C isn’t going to cut it. I recommend a barrier method like condoms. Last thing I would recommend is water! It would not hurt to have some water with you during sex. It is a physical activity and becoming thirsty is natural (pun intended). Hydration is most important in keeping your body elastic and helps the vagina to stay naturally lubricated.

If you are interested, try some of these helpful tips to improve your sex life. It may or may not work for some people, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. Also, remember to consume everything in moderation. I hope you all enjoyed this little blog. Thanks for taking the time to read it!

 

Stay sexy,

Magic Mike

Sexpert Alum, Magic Mike and Ms. Robin Sex Goddess

Sexual Health Awareness Week with Mariya

For Sexual Health Awareness Week (SHAW), I helped table on Sproul on Wednesday’s Asexuality Awareness themed day!

I had a lot of fun tabling with other sexperts and some decal students. Some students tried on the vulva and penis costumes, and it was quite the experience for one of them to embrace wearing the penis costume. 🙂

We also handed out lots of lube, flavored lube (mint, vanilla, and chocolate), and dental dams. Our dental dams got a lot of attention! Many of the people who stopped by our table had seen me waving around a purple grape-flavored dental dam and didn’t know what it was – it was great getting to tell more people about dental dams, since a lot of people don’t know they even exist.

Dental dams are an awesome barrier method for oral sex on a vulva or anus. Many people don’t think about barrier methods of protection for oral, and if they do, it’s usually a flavored traditional condom for penises. Other forms of oral sex can still lead to STIs though! If you don’t have any on hand, it’s super easy to make one out of either an exam glove (latex or nitrile – just make sure there aren’t any allergies to the materials) or a traditional condom.

For a glove, just slice off the fingers and cut up the side (cutting the thumb off is optional, as it can be a convenient sleeve for the tongue) – you should end up with a square-ish piece of the glove. For a traditional condom, slice both ends off (the closed tip and the ring) and cut up the side. Voila! That’s it!

You can also use clear cling/saran wrap if you have nothing else on hand. Just make sure it’s not the microwavable kind – those have pores that would still allow STIs and bacteria to pass through! It’s also easier to make bigger pieces for dental dams with cling wrap, or you can even try your hand at some mummification play (perfect for Halloween!).

Make sure to write a non-reversible letter on the side you’re using so you don’t accidentally switch sides (for instance, if you lose positioning or drop it). If you end up using the side for your partner, then the point is moot. Stay protected!

To increase pleasure/sensation with dental dams, just apply some lube on the side of the receiver. It’ll transfer heat better and decrease the amount of friction!

As always, come see us in the Tang Health Promotions Office on the second floor on Fridays 12-3pm if you have questions! You can also message us on Facebook or email us at calsexperts@gmail.com.

Stay safe and sexy everyone!

The obsession with sex without actually talking about sex

Our society’s obsession with sex, but not sexual health, is clearly seen in the hypersexual advertisements and mass social media. Sex is portrayed in various means from TV commercials, billboards, magazines and newspaper. So, why is it that the sex is used to sell everything from a hamburger to a car, yet there is no space for a dialogue on sexual health? Why is it that as a society we are obsessed with sex yet cannot communicate with our family, friends, partner, or even ourselves about sex?

As a society, we have created taboo around sex and thus made it increasingly difficult to have open discussions about sex. This can be observed in schools, families, and on a individual level. There are many factors to why we are so uncomfortable to talk about sex, one of those reasons are a lack of knowledge. The controversy regarding sex creates an unsafe environment where young adults are deprived of learning accurate medical facts concerning sex, safe sex practices, and lack accessible affordable resources. Many schools nationwide lack adequate sexual health education, and majority of schools do not provide any sexual health education or only provide abstinence-centered education. Sex-Ed classes that only focus on abstinence reinforce the idea that “sex is bad” thus creating a taboo atmosphere around sex which results in a lot secrecy and shame around the subject of sex, even within the partners practicing sex. This taboo culture also results in adolescents’ reluctances to go for help until it is too late in cases of unwanted pregnancy, STDS, or an unhealthy relationship. The lack of adequate or no sex education also disregards the need to educate about consent, and further creates an unsafe environment for young adults to make informed, healthy decisions. It is imperative that consent is a vital segment of teaching sexual health, and that there is a clear understanding of consent among young adults so they are informed on how to ask for consent, how to give consent and how vital both these steps are. The lack of open communication about sex also prevents the access of resources like STD tests, birth control, counseling, and much more that is imperative to sexual health. The access to reproductive and sexual health is essential in the grand scheme of health and needs to be addressed. Sex is not only a token used to benefit the advertising industries but needs to be a topic that’s accurately taught in our schools, homes, and openly discussed.

There needs to be a transition from the obsession of sex to actually talking about sex in a positive, healthy manner.

So Many Questions

 

sex101-2

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

img_3854

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).

Up ↑