“Not all heroes wear capes”…some of them wear fleshy penis costumes and hand out condoms during peak school hours. Dressing as the SHEP penis during outreach events has made me realized that that is my true form; I feel like a superhero with the power to spread sexual positivity and sexual health education. I think one of the most important things to take away from any SHEP event (besides free condoms and lube) is learning how break down the taboo that surrounds the conversation of sex. Communication is not only the best lubrication at an individual level, but also at a societal level. Being able to freely discuss issues relating to sexual and reproductive health at a larger scale is essential in breaking down the harmful barriers society has constructed. As sexuality and sexual health impacts everybody in some way, an international discourse on topics such as STD/STI prevention and care, healthy relationships, safer sex, contraception and abortion, gender and sexuality, and comprehensive sexual education is imperative in ensuring a healthier state of well-being. If such issues are talked about at a community level, free of intolerance and stereotypes, then I think this openness concerning sexual and reproductive health and positivity will transcend to a state, national, and hopefully international level. As Sexperts and SHEPies, we hope you leave the SHEP table not only with a condom, dental damn, and/or an educational leaflet, but also the urge to openly and positively talk about the realm of sexual health with your friends, classmates, and family. Too often when I talk openly about sex in the dining hall, walking to campus, or in MLK, I get strange looks because I am talking openly about sexual health issues, my own sex life, or am just perusing through an article talking about the G-spot. People are surprised, even shocked (or mortified), about my willingness to talk about sex in public, and while I do like being unapologetic about sexual empowerment, I wish this wasn’t seen as unthinkable to do in the public sphere. If people want to hand each other condoms in a way so as to promote sexual health during a study break, power to them!

That being said, if you’re interested in how to reach as many people on Sproul in spreading sexual health education tips and giving out condoms through SHEP, here are my secrets:

-Dress as genitalia

-Don’t be afraid to yell/chant/sing while dressed as said genitalia. Some of my favorites are “Safe sex is the best sex!” “Wrap it before you tap it!” and of course “Free condoms”

-If you catch people sneakily videoing/Snapping you, I suggest saying “If you’re going to videotape me you have to take a condom.” While I appreciate the free press, I also appreciate people partaking in safe sex.

-Don’t offer condoms to minors. Do offer them to older people. I once got to hear an 70 year old’s offer her masturbation advice. Life. Changed.

-Get used to being famous and feeling like a Disney™ character.

-Be shameless. Be fierce. Be excited. Be proud.