I completed my random act of sexiness by handing out condoms on Sproul Plaza after my shift for National Condom Week (Wednesday, February 10th at about 2 P.M.). I gave out my 30 condoms plus some extras I got from the SHEP table. A wide variety of people took condoms from me. The largest group was college-age males (probably about 60 percent). College-aged females accounted for about 30 percent of the condoms I handed out. The other 10 percent were random older people who just seemed to be visiting Berkeley. All of these groups were quite diverse: each was constituted of people from a variety of backgrounds and identities.
Although most people took a condom and kept moving, some stopped to talk for a bit. I used these chances to inform them about National Condom Week, and how wearing a condom not only prevents against unwanted pregnancies, but also against sexually transmitted infections. I was surprised at how many people were not aware of how effective condoms are at preventing against STIs; a fair amount of individuals I talked to did not believe condoms could protect against STIs at all!
I had a few funny/awkward encounters with people throughout the course of handing out condoms. In one instance, a girl took a condom from me, then quickly handed it back while screaming that she was gay. She then ran away. Another gay female took a condom from me without paying attention. She was more civil than the first girl though: she laughed and talked for a while before continuing on her way.
In another instance a guy took a condom from me while saying enthusiastically: “Thanks, I’m going to need this tonight!” Right as he said this, two girls who he seemed to know appeared and gave him a weird look. They immediately turned around and walked the opposite way. The guy gave me back the condom and said he would not be needing it anymore, and went chasing after the girls.
Overall though, people seemed happy to get free condoms. I believe that this activity helped promote safer sex among quite a few partners.
~ Decal Student Spencer