Savannah and I were partners for this awesome project. I had known beforehand that frat parties were now required to conduct consent talks at the door. However, from what I have seen, this usually involved a rushed fraternity brother reading from his phone and some bored people waiting for him to be done so they could go get turnt with their friends. So, when we got assigned to this project, Savannah and I decided to take try to participate in these pre- frat party consent talks and hand out some condoms.
We knew some brothers in one fraternity not too far from our house so that weekend we went out and approached them at the door. They granted us permission to participate by handing out condoms and the night began! I think we upped the enthusiasm on their talks quite a bit and it seemingly made some people comfortable and others clearly less so. This is surprising to me because of all the places to be uncomfortable talking about sex- a frat party should be one of the last. Literally, five feet behind the door are people grinding and making out and potentially leaving together. Why is it somehow more acceptable to engage in or watch that happen but not to talk about it? It’s as if some young people don’t want to be confronted by exactly what they know they might experience. This made me even happier to be handing out condoms because I thought to myself, “if they don’t even want to discuss sex- did they think to bring protection out with them”?
The gender dynamic was also an interesting things to observe. Many of the men didn’t want to take condoms, I think this was at risk of looking too forward or “creepy”. In a way, I do understand that. If I went out to a party with a guy I was maybe interested in and he grabbed like 4 free condoms as we were walking in, I might be a little weirded out. (Which I know is crazy- better safe than sorry!!!!) But, there is no denying that this stigma exists. Women often cited not having pockets as a reason they couldn’t grab one- to which we hinted just to stick them in the side of your bra or dress or anything else to ensure you don’t get stuck without one.
Overall, I think that it is shocking to see how shy people are when talking about sex even in an environment filled with sexual acts happening. Even more so, people are ashamed to admit that they might be having sex later than night even if they are potentially thinking it. I think it might have been more effective to just stick a bowl of condoms in the bathroom or something- ending the stigma around sex is hard and people are more likely to take one when nobody’s watching. I almost can’t believe frats don’t already do this, condoms should be as essential to any fraternity party as franzia boxed wine!
-Sex 101 Decaler Charlotte