Is it common to not be as sexual as my peers seem to be?

Yes – it’s totally normal. According to Health Promotion’s “Do You” program, “most college students have had 0-1 sexual partners in the last year, but think that their peers have had 2 or more. So it seems to be that everyone thinks everyone else is having a lot of sex, but that’s not necessarily the case. Your sexuality is what’s normal to you. The “Do You” page is a great resource that validates reasons you may or may not decide to have sex.

Can men get HPV? Is there an HPV vaccination for men?

Yes, men can get HPV. HPV may cause genital warts on men and women. However, men may also get penile or testicular cancer from HPV as well. More recently, men have been diagnosed with HPV related oral cancers. The FDA has approved the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, for use in young men.

What supports are there for LGBT sexual practices at Cal?

The Gender Equity Resource Center at Cal (located in 202 Chavez) is a great resource for LGBT students. GenEq offers a safe space for you to talk to someone about issues you’re facing as an LGBT student, and this includes your relationship. There is a lot of information, as well as other LGBT resource referrals.

There is also the Pacific Center in Berkeley ( which is a space for youth LGBT to talk about mental health.

Are one on one advising/counseling regarding sexual health issues available for students? What is the cost?

Yes! SHEP offers Peer Education free of charge for students to come with any sexual health/relationship issues and questions they have. If you have a question but are afraid to come talk to a educator, you can submit questions anonymously through this blog.

Are condoms available at campus either Tang Center or some other organization and if so, how much do they cost?

Yes, condoms and dental dams are both available at Tang Center pharmacy. The price ranges from $2.00-$2.50 for 10 depending on the type of condom you buy – so it’s much more affordable than buying in the store. You also don’t need to have SHIP insurance to buy them at the pharmacy.

What things should I know about my partner before intercourse?

Before you and your partner decide to have intercourse, it’s important to communicate STI status and also related, sexual history. It would also be necessary to talk about what ways you would protect yourself from STIs and pregnancy. This could include a dialogue about getting tested together, barrier usage, and birth control.

Is “deep kissing” really considered sex?

“Sex” may mean something different to many people. For some “deep kissing” may be considered sex. “Sex” is such a subjective term that it’s important to be specific about what you and your partner are communicating when saying “sex” and be as specific as possible.

When is a good time to use flavored vs unflavored condoms?

Flavored condoms are meant to be used on a person with a penis during oral sex to protect against STIs. Flavored condoms are not recommended to be used during vaginal or anal intercourse – that’s when you would use an unflavored condom. You can also unflavored condoms during oral sex, but you might want to use an unlubricated kind.  The same is true for dental dams.

What are the benefits or pro/cons to masturbation?

There are a lot of benefits to masturbation! For one, masturbation is a great way for a person to learn more about their body and what they find pleasurable. In addition, it is a great way to relieve stress. Masturbation has been shown to be beneficial for a person’s mental, physical, and emotional well being. The cons of masturbation are really relative to each individual. Luckily, for most individuals there are no cons! However, if someone feels guilt/shame associated with masturbation or finds that masturbation is getting in the way of their daily life and responsibilities then it might be good to reach out to talk to someone about those concerns. You can also always schedule a clinic appointment with a SHEP intern to talk more about masturbation! Here’s another good sexual health website that deals with the questions of masturbation:

What do men do after they ejaculate? I know they are limp, but do they clean up their penis?

After men ejaculate and are going limp, there’s usually not too much clean up involved but it depends on the type of sex someone was having! If someone has fluids or lube on their penis, they can easily clean the area with water and some tissue.

How many nuts is it possible to bust in a day?

I am assuming that by busting nuts this person is referring to male ejaculation. In which case, the number of ejaculations a person can have in a day varies from person to person. Some males experience a refractory period (a period of time after ejaculating in which they are physiological incapable of achieving an erection) that lasts for minutes while others may last for hours or even days in some instances.

What is the biological basis behind threesomes and other kinky sex? In terms of survival, it doesn’t make sense to me.

I do not know of a biological basis behind threesomes and other kinky sex. However, I believe that monogamy is a social construction that has prevailed in the US for an extended period of time, creating a norm. To this end, research shows a positive correlation between level of education and willingness to experience sexual behavior not considered the norm.

How does bestiality come about?

There is no clear cut answer to this. However, many people who engage in bestiality are raised on farms or in more rural areas. It is suspected that due to lack of available human partners some people form relationships and/or have sex with animals to satisfy sexual desires.

Do tampons negatively affect your vaginal wall?

Research has shown that tampons do not negatively affect your vaginal wall. However, there is some concern regarding tampons containing asbestos. The concern is that asbestos may make some women bleed more than they would if this ingredient were not included.

What precautions should you take before having anal sex for the first time? What about for hygiene?

For a person having anal sex for the first time start with anal massage. The anus has voluntary and involuntary sphincter muscles. Trying to force the anus before it is ready can be painful. Anal massage will help the anus relax. To facilitate anal massage, use a thicker based lube and rub it in a circular motion around the opening to the anus using a gloved finger. When the anus has relaxed and is ready to be penetrated, the finger will slip in. It is helpful to start with small fingers or objects before inserting a penis or phallus shaped toy. Once you’ve penetrated the anus, you’ll want to gradually stretch the anus increasing the size until you are able to insert the penis or phallus of your choosing. The more and thicker lubrication used the better.
For hygiene purposes, the person planning to be anally penetrated should resist releasing their bowels within the hour prior to having anal sex. This should prevent the presence of fecal matter during the experience. However, if the person is seriously worried or concerned with the presence of fecal matter, an anal enema can be used to clean the anus before anal sex.

Why do women only ejaculate sometimes? What is that liquid? I know it’s not pee, so why is there so much?   

In most cases, female ejaculation is associated with g-spot stimulation. Generally, it is thought the after 20-25 minutes of sufficient g-spot stimulation some females release a fluid commonly referred to as female ejaculate. This fluid is chemically similar to male ejaculate without the sperm. The amount released varies. Some females ejaculate quite a bit of fluid, while others may only dribble the fluid out.
While g-spot stimulation is often associated, many other females have reported ejaculating with direct clitoral stimulation as well.

Do you go out and present about sexual health to fraternities and sororities?

SHEP does offer sexual health workshops to fraternities and sororities! A SHEP intern will plan and co-facilitate a workshop with a representative from the fraternity or sorority. We offer workshops on the topics of sexual debuts, safer sex, healthy relationships, sexual pleasure, intro to sexual health and STIs/HIV. In addition, there is the option of SHEP in a Box. Given the limited number of interns, we have developed an option for representatives from an organization to meet with a SHEP intern and plan a workshop that the representative can then themselves put on for their organization.

If you are interested in either of these options, please check out the link below and fill out and submit a SHEP Resource Request Form:

We hope to hear from you!

Does birth control get cancelled out by alcohol or antibiotics?

Alcohol itself does not lower the effectiveness of hormonal birth control methods. However, the hormones present in hormonal birth control options can reduce your liver’s ability to metabolize ethanol which might speed up the effects of alcohol (so be careful!). However, if you throw up due to alcohol intake shortly after taking a hormonal pill this could lower the effectiveness of your birth control. If that happens then it is suggested to use a back up method for a week.

Go Ask Alice! is another great resource for sexual health information and you can check out the response given to a similar question here:

In terms of antibiotics, it is suggested that people use a back-up method during your entire course of antibiotics. It has been shown that some antibiotics can lead to the increased break-down of estrogens in the body or lead to decreased circulation of estrogens in the body, both of which would decrease the effectiveness of a hormonal option that contains estrogen. Nevertheless, it is still recommended to use a back-up method during the course of antibiotic if you are on any hormonal birth control option just to be safe.

Besides pineapple, what else makes cum from females and males taste better?
There are a few suggested ways to make semen and vaginal fluids taste sweeter. As you mentioned, eating fruits and drinking fruit juices is one way to sweeten these bodily fluids. Among these pineapples and apples are commonly mentioned. In addition, incorporating more greens and vegetables into your diet can improve the taste of semen and vaginal fluids. Overall, things that improve the taste of bodily fluids tend to be healthy food options. Some things that can give body fluids a more potent taste include meats, dairy, deep fried food, alcohol, coffee, and asparagus. If you are interested in sweetening the taste of bodily fluids you might try staying away from some of these products. Everyone is a little different so you can explore which options work best for you and your lifestyle!

How do you safely tea bag? Condoms don’t cover testicles, so what does?
Unfortunately, there is not a barrier method designed specifically for the testicles. However, an option could be to cover and wrap the testicles using non-microwavable seran wrap. It is important to look for non-microwavable seran wrap to assure that the material does not have pores. This can be a convenient way to assure that all part of the testicles are covered. Once you’re done you just want to be sure to throw the seran wrap away and get new seran wrap for each sexual act.

Planned Parenthood is an awesome resource for more safer sex information.
Though tea bagging is a lower risk activity than other sexual acts, you would still want to think about things like CMV, herpes, HPV, pubic lice and scabies. Communicating with your partner about testing and making sure you have seran wrap handy can help you safely tea bag!

Where do I get the free condoms at?
Check with your local Planned Parenthood Clinic or County Health Department, as some may give out free condoms. If you are currently attending a University, check to see if there is a Sexual Health Education program. Usually these programs receive large donations of condoms to hand out to the student body for free.I would also check with your school’s health center. Though they may not have free condoms, you can more than likely purchase a decent amount for just a few dollars. Lastly, you can request free samples by visiting the official websites of various condom companies. Hope that helps!

Does a condom always work or does it only stop spreading diseases?
When used correctly, condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections and diseases. However, typical use of condoms makes them only 85% effective. Here are instructions for the proper use of condoms to maximize you and your partner’s safety:

1) Check the expiration date. NEVER use an expired condom.
2) Squeeze the center of the package. If you feel an air bubble, then it is safe to assume that the condom has not been punctured and is acceptable for use.
3) Gently push the condom to one side in the package and carefully open the package, making sure not to tear the condom.
4) The condom should resemble a “sombrero” rather than a “beanie” prior to rolling it onto the penis or phallic object. This means that the edges of the condom should be rolled over and not be rolled under.
5) Pinch the tip of the condom so there is a reservoir to collect ejaculation and prevent breakage.
6) Roll the condom down so it covers the entire penis. If there is a foreskin, pull it back before rolling the condom down.
7) You may want to add lubricant to the outside of the condom or to the areas of penetration. Never use oil-based lube with latex condoms as oil degrades latex! Try water-based or silicon-based lubes.
8) After sex, hold the base of the condom and pull the penis out before it becomes soft. Tie and throw away!

Notes: -Use a new condom for every different sex act/site of penetration
-If the condom is initially put on incorrectly, throw it away and use another one.
-Condoms can also be used on sex toys and are particularly recommended if the toys are being shared or used by multiple partners. Make sure each person uses a new condom and that condoms are changed for each site of penetration.
-You can add a drop or two of lube inside the condom prior to putting it on for increased comfort and sensation.