The community I chose – a group of some of my favorite people I spend a great deal of time with – was my coworkers, the Cal Rec Sports lifeguards. All who attended are undergraduates of all genders and levels in school, so I enjoyed the slight challenge of tailoring my presentation to people of all sexual orientations and experiences while also keeping it in a reasonable time frame and making the information worthwhile for everyone. I gave my workshops on sexual pleasure, safer sex, and STI/HIVs, which I think was the perfect combination of interesting, engaging, informative, and applicable to any person’s sex life. I was excited to get positive feedback from my lovely community, who said that they learned new things in both workshops and were happy to support me. Due to timing with midterms and essays, not everyone who came to the first could come to the second workshop, but some new people showed up as well. Given the timing and how busy I know we all are, I was really glad that people in community made the time to come, and the smaller groups felt more intimate.

I put a lot of work into my presentations: making sure the information was accurate, the slides were colorful, and the material was relevant and interesting to my audience. I think and hope my dedication was clear during the workshops! I was super nervous for the first one on sexual pleasure, but it was an excited-nervous feeling that hopefully manifested as passionate and engaged. Unfortunately, I can’t help but talk ridiculously fast when I’m nervous during presentations, though I tried to keep from losing clarity despite zooming. That is definitely something to improve on. By the second workshop, I was feeling much more confident and prepared, and though I had much more material to cover, it took less time to put together the slides after having practiced the week prior and gotten a feel for how to order and time everything.

I took time at the end of both workshops to promote SHEP and the resources that we offer through the Tang center, such as the Sexpert Education Clinic and Sex 101 Decal, as well as the Good Vibrations book from which I took a lot of the information that I presented. It was important to me to pass the message along to my community that our campus has valuable, accessible resources and I definitely hope they reach out.

~SHEPI Melanie