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SHEP Talk

Hooking Up Healthy Since 1970

Giving it to the Greeks

For my random act of sexiness I went to the fraternity house Delta Upsilon during a social event called “Big Sisters” on Tuesday September 20. I was able to hand out all 30 condoms to the brothers of Delta Upsilon and a small handful of girls in the following sororities: Tri Delta, Zeta Tau Alpha, Delta Gamma, Chi Omega, Alpha Phi, and Alpha Omicron Pi.  I was not surprised that boys were more willing to take the condoms than the girls at the event. When I would first ask if they wanted a condom I would normally get a weird looks and hesitation to answer.  I would then have to explain that I was apart of the Sex 101 decal supporting safe sex. After my explanation as to why I was handing out condoms they were more willing to take them. One of the boys I offered a condom to asked if he could have another and what different types I had, while I had multiple girls turn down my offer. I noticed that girls were more likely to turn down the condom if they were with a girl friend rather than a guy. Over all it was a good experience and I enjoyed it more than I expected!

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Erotic Fan Fiction

fanfictionWe’ve all seen adult books, whether it be in the back room of your local bookstore or on the best seller table in large chain stores, but what many people don’t know is that you can get erotic, well-written fiction for free on the internet! What I’m talking about is: fan fiction. If you have a favorite TV show, movie, or book, there is a good chance that someone somewhere on the internet has written about the main and side characters getting it on.
Porn works well for many people, but if you’re like me, you need more than the visual to get your engines going. There are many great parts of fan fiction: it’s free, it’s private, it’s virtually endless, it is made by people just like you, there are no professional fan fiction writers, and there is always a back story behind the action. There are seasons and series and books full of (mostly) well-crafted relationships and very little pizza man bringing a pizza with sausage. It is possible that the fan fiction you’re reading may well have one of the characters be a saucy pizza man, but you’ll know that character’s back story.
Another great thing about reading erotic fan fiction is that it is a safe way to explore your sexuality without having anyone be actually harmed in the process. There are a million kinks and a million ways those kinks can play out, and with fan fiction, you have a safe and judgement-free way of exploring them all. If you’re worried about supporting the porn industry, you need to look no further than a couple of thousand word foray into breath play, BDSM, praise kinks, and more.
It is important to remember that fan fiction, and erotic writing more generally, is not always accurate to real life. Characters will use ridiculous things as lube; in my experiences I’ve seen: baby oil, jam, spit, vaseline, nothing, and a fruit popsicle. I want to make it very clear that all of these things are not to be used for lubrication for vaginal or anal penetration. Just like porn, things are idealized. Virgins are comfortably able to accommodate huge toys or penises with very little preparation, and positions only gymnasts can achieve are described as if they were easy. People often jump into BDSM relationships without through discussions of safe words, limits (both hard and soft), or many other integral aspects of dominant and submissive relationships.
There are many places to get fan fiction, including sites like Archive of Our Own(archiveofourown.org) and fanfiction.net. If there are no series that catch your interest, romance sections of bookstores often have soft core porn sections. Romance novels tend to be either very white (or include uncomfortable racial stereotypes) and very straight, so this might not be the best format for many people. Fan fiction tends to have more diversity in genders, ethnicities, relationship types, sexuality, and levels of ability, so if you are queer, have disabilities, aren’t white or aren’t monogamous, I recommend finding some fan fiction to enjoy. I don’t pretend to have read all fan fiction or all romance novels, so there are probably terrible fan fictions and amazing and inclusive erotic novels out there. I hope this inspires you to explore both the internet and yourself!
– Arousing Andy

Just Your Friendly Neighborhood Genitalia

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“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.

Taking Over the Res Hall

I handed out the condoms in my residential campus at Clark Kerr. I handed them out on Friday September 23rd from 6-8pm. I was able to hand out all of my condoms, because at times, people did want more than one but I limited it to about 3 per person. I was able to explain that I was a part of the Student Health Educationimage Program and needed to convey the message of safer sex to about 30 people. I was able to engage in a conversation about the need to practice safer sex not just for birth control options, but for preventing diseases. I was met by a girl who refused to take the condoms because she was “already on the birth control pill.” I replied by saying that the pill does not protect against STI’s and she changed her mind about accepting them. I found that more people than expected refused to accept the condoms. But in general, those who did accept condoms were very enthusiastic and willing to listen to the cause.

Safe Sex is the Best Sex!

Alright, let’s do THIS!!! My heartbeat quickened as I stuck my hand in my backpack, feeling around to find the plastic baggie full of condoms. I could already feel my cheeks blushing. Excited. Anxious. Empowered even. I took my first step onto Sproul where all the different organizations set up their tables. I eyed every organization on the right side. Then I glanced at the organizations on the left side. I chose to deliver the condoms starting with the right side. I approached Colleges Against Cancer and asked the two student representatives, “Hey, would you like some free condoms? I’m passing it out for my Sex Health DeCal.” Immediately, without hesitation, the two individuals cracked a smile and extended their hand. No questions asked, just appreciative, good vibes. Whoa, that was better than I thought. Let’s try this next table: Delta Sigma Pi. There were three student representatives this time. I threw them the same 2-liner. However, this time, one student questioned the brand, while the two others kept quiet observing the student and I’s interaction. Once the first student nodded and accepted the condoms, the two other observing students were both game for free condoms too.

Woo! One more table and I’ll be out of condoms! I walked up to the final student group and they too warmly welcomed the free condoms and thanked me.

I stepped foot onto Sproul with the expectation that I would receive weird looks in response to passing out condoms. I realized through this activity that the students I approached were more comfortable to accept condoms in front of others, rather than act embarrassed and decline. I previously thought students would be embarrassed to accept the condoms because 1) I am a stranger and 2) sometimes one’s sexual activity is kept hush hush/ spoken only with close friends/sexual partner(s). Although I reached a smaller pool of students than I expected (7 students total), I still enjoyed this activity immensely. Contributing to a culture of healthy sex behavior and being able to provide resources to encourage safe sex/ sex behaviors made me happy from top to bottom. As I walked away, my older sister’s voice echoed in my mind: “Safe sex is the best sex!”sdgfsdg

‘Sure, Condoms are Dope!’

Hello, I’m the DeCal-er who goes by Ross. On Tuesday 9/27, I initiated a Random Act of Sexiness for Sproul passers-by.

20160927_121200Initially, my promise of `free condoms’ didn’t seem to interest anyone. Many Berkeley students (myself included) will go to great lengths to avoid folks who want their attention on lower Sproul. I soon adapted my sales pitch to: `Can I interest you in a free condom?’ Instead of actively evading my pleas, some recognized what I was offering and responded with an embarrassed giggle. Finally, I arrived at: `Support safe sex; take a free condom!’ Which received moderately more positive responses.  When people defended their lack of interest, the most common reason was: `I don’t even have sex!’ Fair enough. Of the positive responses, my favorite was: `Sure, condoms are dope!’
By the numbers: responses were 50% `I don’t want to talk to you’; 40% `hehe, you said condom’; 5% `I don’t even have sex!’; 3% `I already have LOADS of condoms’; and (finally) 2% `Sure, I’ll take a free condom.’ I was surprised by the general Berkeley population’s lack of interest in free contraception. Only a handful of students reacted positively, and I wonder in hindsight whether I was the problem. In other words, perhaps Berkeley students are happy to accept free condoms in general, but are averse to condoms offered by me. Would my experience have been different if I identified differently or if I were in a more diverse group? I don’t have a cogent explanation, but I suspect folks would be more likely to take free contraceptives from a friendly group of guys and gals than one stiff-looking white dude.

Third Times the Charm

My name is Yummy Yasmin and I did my random act of sexiness on a Tuesday (October 20th) at Sather Gate. I started at approximately 2:00 PM, I figured I might as well complete it during my hour and a half gap in between classes. I was honestly so pumped for this, I’ve never put myself out there like that before, and I was more than open to the new experience! I didn’t have any prior flyering-esque experience, but I was confident I would have no problem with handing out condoms to the students on campus. After all, who wouldn’t accept free condoms? I thought it might be, at most, a little bit awkward at first, so I wasn’t prepared for how nervous I actually got. I had asked a friend to take the photo for the blog post, so I wasn’t alone, but I still felt super uncomfortable. I was there for a good 5 minutes trying to start but I had the hardest time! Turns out it wasn’t as easy as I had thought it’d be, when it came down to it. Even with my friend there, encouraging me, I couldn’t help but feel anxious. I finally convinced myself to start, and this first person I approached didn’t accept them – He said he shouldn’t because they would make him too optimistic, whatever that meant.

img_0453I was kind of discouraged but I just kept trying, and the third person finally accepted them. After this point it just got easier and easier. The first few rejections were hard, but the more practice I got, the more comfortable I was. I found myself mostly approaching girls though, and my friend encouraged me to start asking more guys that passed by so I did. I found though that most guys really wouldn’t take them. I took a break after about half an hour, having handing out a little more than half of the condoms– I had 13 condoms left. But even as I was walking off campus I would offer them to people as I passed by, at this point the phrase, “Would you like free condoms? It’s for my Sex 101 DeCal” seemed natural.  When I came back on campus, around 3:20 PM, I started handing them out closer to Sproul Hall, and I was definitely a lot more relaxed than the first time, and was able to give out the remaining condoms more quickly than the first time. Overall, I had a great time! I was nervous at first, yeah, but as soon as I just threw myself in there and started, it was easy sailing after that. I couldn’t believe how genuinely nonchalant I was at the end; I didn’t feel constrained or nervous. Even my friend was surprised, she would ‘dare’ me to go up to certain people and I would, no problem. I would definitely do this again, this is exactly the kind of experiences I was looking forward to for this class!

Birthday Vibes

img_1182Hi, my name is Veronica Landeros but you can call me Veronica Vibes* and I am in the Sex 101 DeCal. I had the pleasure of doing a Random Act of Sexiness (RAS) as I passed out 30 condoms in Unit 2, Davidson Residence Hall in all eight floors at 7:00 pm. I decided to pass out the condoms in the dorms because I felt students would be feel more comfortable accepting a condom if they were surrounded by other people or roommates and not feel awkward about it.

This experience was very enjoyable to me because I knew I was doing something good to promote safe sex to college students. At times students would be uncomfortable and they would decide not to have a condom and that was fine. Although, for the most part all students where very thankful and sometimes even surprised when I offered them condoms. The look on their faces was priceless. Overall this was a rewarding experience that I would enjoy doing again.

Meet Masochistic Melanie

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-6-00-39-pmHi everyone! My name is ~masochistic Melanie~ and I am in my fourth year here at Cal studying astrophysics/physics and German as a minor. This semester in SHEP I will be in clinic, which means I will be doing HIV testing as well as the Sexpert education clinic most Fridays throughout the semester. I am super excited to be involved with clients this semester! We did our first round of HIV testing at the Tang Open House, and while I was a little nervous, I found it so rewarding to be able to have a conversation with clients about HIV and safer sex. I think sexual education is so important and having these one-on-one conversations will be fun this semester. Sexual empowerment as a theme is so important for a college campus. I hope that soon, everyone will feel entitled to the sex that they want and deserve – it is overdue!

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