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.