For my project, my community was my dorm from my freshman year at Clark Kerr. I have always felt lucky to have a vast network of friends from the building that I lived in. 18 people showed up and convened in
my apartment living room. I ended up squeezing all three topics of introduction to sexual health, sexual pleasure and STIs/HIV. The entire workshop took about 2 hours and we had a 15 minute break. I was presenting to seniors so I provided drinks, brownies and chips to everyone. I wanted to make everyone feel comfortable so I provided a lot of snacks. I put a bunch of free condoms and lube in bowl for everyone to take if they wanted to. I appreciated my community for the long time commitment they were taking on to learn from my presentation.
My community received my presentation very well. I received feedback from my community during and after my presentation. I introduced myself as a SHEPI and how I became involved with SHEP as I gave my elevator pitch and talked about the services we provide. I talked about the extent of my own sexual health education growing up and how in middle school I didn’t learn very much. I felt like that was a good way to emphasize that a comprehensive sexual health education is lacking and is very necessary. In my workshop, I started off by asking my audience what sex means to them/what it is good for. Following that, I showed them an image of a cherry popping and asked them what that symbolized. This led into my topic of how in SHEP we like to think of the idea of virginity loss as a sexual debut instead. My community really liked being introduced to that idea since it is in a much more positive light and made them think about the connotations associated with virginity loss. My goal was to make my intro to sexual health more interactive before I went into certain topics that required more slides. We had a condom demonstration with “Woody” to which I instructed a volunteer on the standard and safe procedure of putting on a condom. We also talked about the importance of breast and testicular self-exams. Throughout my presentation, many of them were surprised to find out that a lot of the STIs I mentioned were asymptomatic. I talked about the physiology of sexual pleasure, erogenous zones and ways to enhance pleasure through communication, lubrication and sex toys. I included short videos which included the scene in Mean Girls where the PE teacher is teaching sexual health and says “if you have sex, you’ll die” and a Good Vibes video on “how to choose a dildo”. They appreciated certain points I mentioned about peeing after sex to prevent UTIs and sharing the different ways in which SHEP is sex positive.
When I started my presentation, I was a bit nervous as usual when it comes to public speaking for me. Once I got over that fear, I became more comfortable in presenting my slides and teaching my community about what I learned myself over this semester. It was my first time holding a workshop/presentation for as long as I did on my own so it was an exhilarating and fun experience to truly teach about a topic that I was passionate about. Whether or not the content of my slides was new to everyone, it felt good to know that I was able to fill in some gaps about their knowledge in sexual health. At the conclusion of my presentation, I presented myself as a SHEPI and offered myself as a resource to them in case they ever needed more sexual health information or had questions.