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Hooking Up Healthy Since 1970

Sex 101: Logistics of Sex

Hello, sexy bears! Last week, Sex 101 focused on logistics of sex and sexual health, microaggressions, and sex and aging, but for the sake of page length, we will be focusing on only logistics in this blog. Before we go over the details of this subject, we want to put out a disclaimer that we will be using the terms “male” to describe someone with a penis and “female” to describe someone with a vulva.

Some logistics that we focused on were fluids and sexual encounters amongst age groups. Firstly, male ejaculant contains on average around 100 million sperm in 2-5 milliliters of fluids and that female ejaculation and squirting are not identical. Female ejaculation and squirting differ on the concentration and force expelled from the urethral canal. Female ejaculation consists of a smaller quantity of fluid from the Skene’s gland while squirting requires a larger quantity of fluid (from the same gland) and is forcefully released from the urethral canal. The range of volume can be from a few teaspoons to a few cups!

Secondly, the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior recorded that more than 50% of surveyors between the ages of 18-24 said that their most recent sexual partner was a casual or dating partner, while all other age groups reported that their most recent sexual partner was a relationship partner. Did someone say Tinder or OkCupid?

In addition to our own presentation, our amazing DeCalers were able to present their Sexploration Projects! This was a chance for them to delve deeper into a topic that caught their attention during class and they were encouraged to present their knowledge in whatever form they pleased. Some people drew, wrote poetry, wrote erotica, made powerpoint presentations, wrote reflective essays, etc. and every one of them was FUCK-tastic! We could tell that our DeCalers really took their time to showcase their newfound knowledge and it was truly amazing to see them blossom into people who were comfortable enough with discussing ANYTHING. We’re dripping with anticipation to see what they have in store for us with their CUMulative Projects towards the end of the semester and thanks for tuning! Stay safe and sexy ❤

-Clitty Crystal

 

Ace 101

So, you’ve heard of the terms “ace” and “asexual” but what do they really mean? This blog aims to tackle common questions people have about asexuality and the Ace community.

First of all, what is asexuality?

According to the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, asexuality is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. This is different from celibacy because celibacy has components of sexual attraction but no sex. Other terms that are sometimes linked to asexuality is demisexual and gray-sexual. Demisexuals are people who experience sexual attraction only after forming an emotional bond, whether it be romantic or not. Gray-sexuals, gray-a’s, or gray-sexuals are individuals who identify with the space between asexuality and sexuality. It could be possibly because they experience sexual attraction rarely or at a really low level that it’s almost not there.

 

How about asexuality and relationships? Can asexuals have a romantic partner(s)?

Before going any further, let’s break down how attractions differ from one another so we’re not confused.

      • Aesthetic attraction: attraction to a person’s appearance without it being sexual or romantic
      • Romantic attraction: wanting to be romantically involved with someone
      • Sensual attraction: wanting to have physical but non-sexual contact with someone
      • Sexual attraction: wanting to have sexual contact with a person

Asexual people may have no sexual attraction, but they are perfectly capable of having a romantic relationship whether it be with another asexual person(s) or a sexual person(s). With the latter, communication is especially important because then everyone can know, understand, and respect the decisions or limitations made. Sometimes, the relationship is sexless while other times, the asexual person involved can engage in sexual activity with their partner(s). Asexual individuals are capable of having sex (and maybe even enjoy it) but may not desire it. Some asexual people experience aesthetic, romantic, and/or sensual attraction and can be heteroromantic/homoromantic/biromantic/panromantic/etc.!

Can you explain the ace symbol?

These two symbols represent the spectrum of sexual to asexual. The color black represents asexuality, gray demisexuality and gray-asexuality, white sexuality, and purple community. To sum up, this isn’t completely a symbol for the ace community, but it captures the range of sexuality (or lack of) beautifully.

 

What are some great resources out there about asexuality?

The Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (asexuality.org) is a great place to start! They’ve compiled general questions individuals have regarding asexuality, identifying as ace, concerns about identifying as ace, etc. and have amazingly thought out  responses! They also have forums where people can connect with others in the Ace community to have their questions answered or to hear others’ stories.Other resources are The Asexual Agenda and the Asexuality Archive. The former is an online blog community to discuss anything asexual. Anything that is interesting and asexual gets posted here! The latter is an online archive that maintains visibility for amazing information regarding asexuality.

 

I’m not ace but would love to be an ally! How do I go about doing so?

  • First, inform yourself! You’ve already taken the initial step to becoming a spectacular ace ally, but understanding the community on a deeper level will provide you with more context as to how to help. Misinformation can be deadly, especially for marginalized communities, so the more myths you’re able to debunk for yourself, the more myths you can debunk for others.
  • Remember that the “A” in LGBTQIA doesn’t just stand for ally! Asexuality sometimes fades into the background because it is still fairly new identity, and that can cause a lack of inclusivity in not only the global community, but also the LGBTQIA community. “A” can also refer to aromantic, meaning that a person has no desire to have romantic relationships with anyone.
  • If someone identifies as ace, it’s okay to ask questions but remember that it isn’t an invitation to ask invasive questions about their sexual histories or anything similar. Also, keep in mind that saying statements such as, “Maybe you haven’t found the right person yet” may be said with good intentions, but it can be taken as invalidation by the ace individual.
  • Listen listen listen! Give ace individuals a safe space to communicate. Asexuality lies on a spectrum and one person’s story can be drastically different from someone else’s.
  • Know that sex doesn’t define the human experience. There are different forms of love and intimacy that can be fulfilling and sex isn’t a requirement to achieve that.

If you’d like to learn more, all the information from this blog is from the Asexual Visibility and Education Network. They strive to facilitate discussions about asexuality to gain public acceptance and to foster a growth in the Ace community. Under the tab “About Sexuality,” you can find the answers to more common questions people have about being ace, such as identification, fears, and past experiences! In addition to AVEN, this great comic from Up Worthy addresses misconceptions about asexuality and further delves into how anyone can support the Ace community. Click here to read it! I’ll see you next time with another fantastic topic ❤

-Clitty Crystal

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Trans* 101

Whenever introducing a topic it’s alway most helpful to begin with a definition. Someone who is Trans, or more formally known as Transgender, is an individual whose gender identity does not match the same as the sex they were assigned at birth. In explaining this, it is important to note the difference between sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. Sex is used as a medical definition and describes the actually human anatomy of an individual. Sexual Orientation speaks to attraction and who and what an individual is attracted to. Under Sexual Orientation such terms as Gay, Straight, and Bisexual can be found as they describe the sexual preference of a person. The definition of Gender Identity is concerned with how an individuals see themselves, regardless of whether biologically they are considered as Female, Male, or Intersex or even their Sexual Orientation. From these various facets of a person’s sexuality it is important to note that a variety of combinations can occur, and can especially be seen in a Trans individuals sexuality.

Upon identifying as Trans (and whatever else an individual’s wants to!) a multitude of choices are available to people in this community. Starting small, some Trans individuals may wish to adopt new pronouns instead of the traditional He/She ones used. Instead, people may opt for They/Them, Zir/Zim, Xir/Xim/Xe or other pronouns so it’s alway important to introduce people with their appropriate pronouns- you never know who will use what!

Moving on to the bigger decisions, Trans people can also decide to Transition, start taking hormones, or undergo a “sex-reassignment surgery” to match their biological sex to their chosen gender. Many sources say that this surgery is best described as “making you insides match your outsides”. This surgery is often very freeing to may individuals as they able to escape some of the stigma that Trans People face before they transition.

To begin the process of  medically Transitioning some patients start with hormone therapy to start making changes in fat deposits, depth of voice, and hair growth. Some people choose to have a variety of surgeries done, they can include Top Surgery, Bottom Surgery, Facial Surgery, and more! Top Surgery can either remove breast and fatty tissue from the chest of someone, or add implants, depending on how the person wants to present! Bottom surgery is more complex, it involves creating, modifying, or removing sexual organs.

In California to get Top Surgery, a person must have a letter from a mental health professional stating that they are in their right mind and feel dysphoria. To begin taking hormones, a person needs to talk to a medical professional and sign a waiver to state that you understand the risks of taking hormones. 

More generally, to be eligible for a GRS (Gender Reassignment Surgery), an individual must undergo a mental health evaluation to insure a person’s ability to deal with the emotional and physical stress that comes with a GRS, in addition to some other requirements that may be required by a hospital to ensure the patients safety. Typically after undergoing a year of hormone therapy, and passing all requirements a patient can then undergo the actual surgery which can be all encompassing, or broken into smaller procedures.

While Transitioning is often only seen as surgical procedure, it is important to realize that some Trans people are able to transition through simply wearing their chosen gender traditional clothes. Some people aren’t able to transition that easily and aren’t easily recognizable as their gender, this is where its incredibly important to respect what people say. If someone looks like a “woman” but says that they are a man, it is not your job to question that. There are many reasons for a Trans person not to transition and they don’t owe you an explanation.  

Whether you are Trans yourself or an ally of the Trans Community, it is important to always be respectful and understanding of someone’s sexual orientation and gender identity, and that throughout a person’s lifetime either of both of these can change! Stay Sexy Golden Bears! #ucbshep

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Much Love,

No-Problem Natalie and Arousing Andy 

 

For more surgical resources visit: https://www.genderconfirmation.com/

For more hormone resources visit: https://uhs.berkeley.edu/trans

 

Bowles Workshop Part 2

This past Wednesday Nick-Slip NIck and I gave a workshop at at Bowles Hall on my favorite topic Safer Sex! In this workshop we went over STIs, Consent, and of course Contraception.

At the start of the presentation, after introducing ourselves and the SHEP Program we had the audience engage in a quick ice breaker “Precocious Pick-Up LInes” which always seem to be a crowd pleaser. I was a little nervous at first that the audience was going to be a little shy but they were very excited to participate and we got some great pick up lines out of it! My favorite would have to be “I hate it when AirBears goes down, but with you I wouldn’t mind”.

After playing our icebreaker, Nikkilson took the lead on our talk STI section where we covered both bacterial and viral infections. There weren’t as many question in this sections as the other two but there were some in regards to the sister bacterial infections Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. The fact that these two STIs shred similar symptoms coupled with the high rates of asymptomatic carriers caused some alarm. Later in the presentation this came in handy though as it demonstrated during the contraceptive section how important it is to use a barrier method!

Next we moved straight it contraception and barriers methods which is always is a crowd pleasing topic to go over. As we covered this section we were able to demonstrate each contraceptive and barrier method, Nikkilson demonstrating while I gave the lecture. The audience was of course fascinated with the IUDs at the ready on key-chain in addition to the Copper IUD Model. I love showing that model because people are always fascinated that it can last up to 15 years! Including these we went over the various forms of barrier methods from condoms to cervical caps. It’s always interesting to see what form of barrier methods people have heard of because some are definitely more popular than others. For example the cervical cap coupled with spermicide seems to be on that is on the decline.

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Wrapping up the workshop we went over the forms of consent and the various way son how to make it sexy and easier to use in the moment. We accomplished this by incorporating consent into the concept of foreplay. Let’s make consent sexy again and end the horrible stigma that its anything that but that- sexy!

All in all the workshop was huge success and I had a great time facilitating the discussion on Safer-Sex and hope to do another one very soon. Stay Sexy Golden Bears!!

Best,

No-Problem Natalie       

 

Sexual Pleasure Workshop at Foothill

This past Thursday Sexpert Reyna and I arrived at the Hillside TV Lounge to facilitate a workshop on Sexual Pleasure! Being the peak week of midterm season we only had ten in the audience but the workshop did not lack in participation or enthusiasm! Graciously provided at the workshop by the Foothill Residential Association were bananas, strawberries, and mini chocolates to help us maintain the sexy atmosphere.

Starting the presentation off, Reyna and I introduced ourselves and then continued to encourage the audience to participate and create their own sexy names.

After getting the audience warmed up, we continued to build the inclusive atmosphere by playing “Acts on Backs” where participants each had a sexual activity tapped to the back of them and then going around with the helpful hints of others attempt to guess their word. This game is always revealing as it shows the variation of sexual preferences that exist and is an excellent introduction to community agreements as it requires everyone to have an open mind.

Afterwards the presentation shifted into the topic of Technique and went over tips and tricks for giving, receiving, and asking for certain sexual activities. For example, for fingering someone, the Giver should make sure to cut their fingernails whilst the Receiver should be sure to communicate their likes and dislikes to their partner(s). In all, we went over mastrubating, oral, anal, and penis to vagina sex.

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Wrapping up the presentation, Reyna and I delved into sex toys! This included anything from vibrators and flesh lights to furniture that was conducive to sex positions. Going over vibrators we received the most response from the crowd when going over the Bad Dragon Toys which on all accounts can be in unusual and exotic shapes. After everyone had their questions we ended the workshop, passed out free safer sex supplies, and pack up all the sex toys!

The workshop was very successful and I am very pleased to have had it as my first workshop experience! A big thank you to Reyna and the Foothill Residential Association for their part in making it a success. Keep it safe n’ sexy Golden Bears!

Much Love,

No Problem Natalie

Sex 101 Decal: STIs, Contraception, and Safer Sex!

This past decal may have been our most successful yet. With more students that added the class we have gained as many as ten new enthusiastic students who are very receptive to the material and are ready and willing to participate.

Staring the decal off we first did introductions and community agreements as always to facilitate an open environment as well as to get the new students on the same page as everyone else. While there were no new additions to the communitity agreements their were quite a few sexy names that took us by surprise. Some of my favorites were “Sam the Snack” as well as “Tasty Tammy” and “IUD Ivy”. Such creative names!

After finishing up sexy names we went ahead and did another group exercise to try and get everyone to feel comfortable- Fantasy Snowball!! The Sexperts instructed everyone to write down their secret fantasy dealing with an aspect of a relationship (could be sexual or just emotional) to everyone and then without writing their name, throw the “snowball” to the front of the classroom. After collecting all the snowballs and throwing them back to the students grins started appearing on the faces of the students as they opened theirs. The diversity of the fantasies were astounding! There was everything from “having sex at the top of the Campanile” to a fantasy that took place in a sorority where the participants would “get it on during a house meeting”. And of course how can I forget the fantasy that caused the most moans when read “getting a 4.0 at UC Berkeley”.

Once everyone got comfortable we launched into the presentation and began talking about STIs! We went over proper terminology and why it’s better to say STI rather than STD on account of the stigma that is held with having a disease. The STIs went over were HSV1/2, HIV, HPV, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Trichomoniasis dividing them up by viral and bacterial infections. There were only a few questions regarding the STIs as most of the students were content with the overview provided.

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For the last topic of the class, and to couple perfectly with STIs, various methods of contraception were presented as methods to prevent STIs and introduce safer sexual practices! While we went over IUDs, the Patch, Birth Control Pills, the Nuva Ring, and different types of barrier methods, which are all equally interesting in their own right, the most amount of questions received came from the topic of lube! Funnily enough the lubrication that came along with barrier methods was a source of confusion as many students were a bit confused with the difference between silicon and water based lube. In addition to verbally providing an explanation an “Exploding Condom” demo was used, although unfortunately it did not work.

All in all a very successful class with lots of active listening and participation! I anticipate that next week will be even more fun as we will cover the basis of health relationships! See you all then and stay sexy!!  

 

Much Love,

 

No Problem Natalie      

Healthy Relationships and Sexual Debuts

This week in decal the topic covered was Healthy Relationships and Sexual Debuts. With this topic we were sure to schedule activities and and have the students participate by adding interactive questions in the slide as when discussing relationships we had to include unhealthy relationships as well. As usual the class was very keen on participating and acted in a very respectful manner towards the facilitators

Starting the section off Gasper, Crstyla and I asked the students how they were doing to get a feel for the room. Last section we had the room felt a little tense since the majority of students were having midterms but this week the ambience was a bit more lively! Upon getting a feeling for the room we started our recap slides that followed up on questions that they students had that needed to be further expanded for the classes understanding. Among the questions there was one in particular that was especially interesting investigate- lube! As having the motto “Communication is Lubrication” I felt especially moved to deliver on this question and answer it to the best of my ability. The question, dealing with the various lube alternatives prompted a discussion about Vegan Lube and even the possibility of Weed Lube. Researching we found that even more options than that exist; Kiwifruit Lube, “Motion of the Ocean Lube” (based only on plants derived from the ocean like algae and kelp), homemade recipes for Weed Lube in addition to Aloe-Based Lube. Everyone had a good time with this bit of information and I think I even saw some people write down a couple of them!

Moving into the actual presentation we started to discuss the definition of a healthy relationships and how the best means to improving and maintaining one is with communication. To practice this we had the students group up and practice rephrasing sex-negative phrases and questions into sex-positive ones. The students enjoyed this activity and had a laugh at some of the statements posted as they were quite blunt. After practicing communication for a healthy relationship Gasper took over and explained unhealthy relationships and the signs to recognize one. With this topic the mood of the room shift a bit as sensitive subjects were addressed. How to be an active bystander as well as sexual assault was covered. An important question was also asked regarding how to help a peer recognize and leave their own unhealthy relationship. In that moment we responded that ultimately that it’s the friend’s decision to leave the relationship, but that also as there friend you should be their for them and continue the relationship so that when they do decide to leave they can rely on the friendship for support.

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The last topic of the section was covering the different types of relationships that people could have. This is always a fun topic as many people are unfamiliar with this topic and are often full of questions. In this the 100 mile-pass, polyfidelity, polyamory, open relationships, and consex. Consex is always one of the lesser known ones as it is essentially a relationship dynamic in which partners are allowed do whatever they want at a convention.

The decal, as usual, was a success and I felt that both the students and the facilitators walked away with a valuable information and skills! Stay sexy n’ safe y’all!

Much Love,

No Problem Natalie  

Clark Kerr Workshop

I had the wonderful opportunity to co-facilitate a workshop with Gasper! We presented on intro to sexual health and safer sex. The presentation was in Clark Kerr and it seemed that most of the people there were freshmen. I was glad to see a few health workers and resident assistants there as well.

There was a great turn out and everyone was attentive. Gaspar did an amazing job at presenting on consent. We emphasized the importance of communication and enthusiastic consent. In addition, for the first time ever, I was able to show people how to turn a latex glove into a dental dam. I have never done this demo before (usually because I forgot to pack scissors) and it turned out to be successful. I appreciated how the residents were excited about the workshop.

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Additionally, it was really nice to hear some positive feedback from the personnel that invited us to present. Not mention that we also got free snacks! Overall, a great experience. I always enjoy workshops on introduction to sexual health and working with Gasper was great! Keep it safe and sexy y’all!  -Jizzmoan Jasmin

Bowles Workshop 3/14

Hey this is Nip-Slip Nick again to talk about how a workshop on Safer Sex at Bowles Hall went. Overall since it was a general topic I was always at odds with myself on what content to put and how in depth the workshop would be since I cannot fit all the information in one hour. Luckily my co facilitator Natalie was more than happy to help guide me through on my first workshop. We definitely prepared everything beforehand which paid off at the end since it made the presentation go by smoother. In regards to the actual workshop I think it went really well considering it being my first time. Less than the expected amount of people came but that did not diminish participation from the audience.

I was a real big fan on how Natalie and I weaved in presenting and activities throughout the session which made it much more engaging. Another thing to note is that casual use of language definitely pays off because students in our age group can relate better if we couple slang terms with the technical ones we learn in seminar. One thing we could have improved on is maybe add the emergency plan B pill with the contraceptives section, but hindsight is definitely 20/20. At first we thought the crowd was going to be unresponsive, but they turned out to be more open to asking questions and talking about these issues than they first presented themselves to be. The health worker was definitely a big help in setting up the presentation and also taking part in our activities.

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During the presentation we notified people that we are recruiting for fall and two people actually came up to us at the end to ask us how. I look forward to adding them into our program. In regards to me I feel like I should talk a little bit slower and make more eye contact as opposed to having unfocused eyes. The information I gave out was definitely accurate, but the delivery could have used a little bit more work. Overall, I would definitely say it was quite successful and I hope turnout at future events will increase.

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