On Friday April 5th at 12 o’ clock, (I’m not positive about the date and time) Alexander Chang and I grabbed a basket and filled it with over 60 items of traditional condoms, dental dams, lube, and insertive condoms and decided to walk along Sproul and give out safer sex supplies. We wanted to target a large and diverse audience so we decided that Sproul was our best option. Alex and I walked along Sproul handing out safer sex supplies to groups on campus and telling people about SHEP. We focused mainly on Greek tables to tell them about SHEP and about potential workshops that we could provide. When questioned about SHEP, Alex talked about how SHEP was a sex positive group on campus and listed the types of workshops SHEP offers. The day was sunny and everyone seemed cheerful receiving information and/or safer sex supplies. Handing out the supplies went by quickly, and soon we were skipping back to the tang center with an empty basket.
On Friday, April 19, I distributed 30 free condoms outside of the Clark Kerr dining hall as part of my Random Acts of Sexiness. Being stationed outside of my residence hall’s dining commons, I was guaranteed to get a variation of students to pass by me. After all, everyone needs to eat. This proved to be true as many students with differing reactions walked by. I found that the majority of students just ignored me as a I asked them if they would like a free condom. Most students were obviously embarrassed and ducked their head to avoid making eye contact with me. However, some students were more than eager to take one which definitely made my task more fun.
Ultimately, I found my Random Acts of Sexiness to be a really entertaining experience. I was surprised that so many students declined taking a free condom from me. Although I know that not all students choose to participate in sex, I thought more would be excited about the idea of not having to pay for protection. I tried to tell some hesitant students that it was better to be safe than sorry, but I was still turned down, showing that for most, their embarrassment overpowers their logic. Even though this fact made me somewhat sad, the enthusiasm from other students was thrilling and made me proud to be promoting safe sex!
I completed my Random Acts of Sexiness project on Friday, April 5, 2013 at 11 am on Sproul plaza. To let friends and others know when and where I’d be distributing condoms, I posted on the SHEP facebook page, and also had my friend instagram this lovely picture of myself with the information:
My experience giving out condoms for this project was much different and more difficult than during National Condom Week. I found that not only was it much more awkward doing it alone, but people in general were much more awkward about it and unwilling, or possibly embarrassed, to accept condoms from me. I think during National Condom Week, when it is much more publicized and there are many SHEP workers and students out there distributing condoms, it is a much more fun and engaging activity. Students seemed much more excited to receive free condoms and engage in joking, fun conversation in this environment as opposed to me doing it by myself. Perhaps they were less embarrassed doing so when there are so many other students doing the same thing.
In the hour that I distributed condoms, I only gave out 21 of the 30 condoms. I felt like that annoying “Sprouler” passing things out who every person that is walking through simply ignores. While I did meet a few engaging people who were excited to take some free condoms, the majority simply walked past me with an awkward smirk on their face.
What I did learn about this experience in general, though, is to be more respectful of Sproulers! I can definitely say that I always am that person that ignores people passing things out in Sproul, giving the rude smirk. Now that I know what it is like on the other end, I don’t think I’ll be doing that anymore. Overall, it was still a fun experience and I am excited to say that I was one of those people passing out condoms on campus. Can’t graduate from Berkeley without an annoying Sprouler at least once, right? J Here are two pictures from my experience (with two of the nice condom accepters that I met!):
I was pretty excited to do this project because I got a lot of enthusiasm from students the last time I handed out birth control during National Condom Week. We didn’t have any condoms that day, even though that was the number one reason people approached us at the table, so I was really happy to be able to pass out a common birth control technique many people use.
I started handing out condoms at North Gate on Friday, the 5th of April in the afternoon around 3:30, and then headed over to Sproul to pass out the rest. When I first started handing out condoms, I just yelled out “free condoms!” and was immediately welcomed by a group of students. As I passed them out, I checked in to make sure they all new the correct way to put one on. Most of them said yes, so I tested them on it—but many of them forgot important steps like checking the expiration date, moving the condom to the side of the package, and tying the condom after using it. I was very impressed with the number of girls that approached me as well. I love to see empowered women that take matters of birth control into their own hands. Overall, it was a great way to interact with people, and answer questions using all that I have learned in Sex 101.
Taking Sexiness to the Streets of Berkeley
Apple-Bottom Aimee, Jeni Juggs and I decided to take our random act of sexiness to the students out and about on a Thursday night. Starting our adventure in Pappy’s around 9:30 PM, we decided that we would reach more students if we took a stroll around Berkeley. Students walking around Durant, Piedmont, and Telegraph were in for a treat and it didn’t take long for students to empty out our wide variety of free traditional condoms. Together we had 90 latex condoms—ultra sensitive, pleasure shaped, ribbed, studded, and magnum—and every last one of them was gone within an hour. We also brought with us a supply of water and silicone based lubes and some flavored dental dams for those looking for more than just traditional condoms.
While walking around it was great to see people getting excited about free and easy access to safer sex supplies. More than a few students said that we had made their nights and that we were doing a great service. When picking between the various types of condoms, I had the opportunity to talk to a few folks about various types of textured condoms and quickly went over how to properly put on a condom. Though some people ignored us or looked the other way, it was overall a really pleasant experience interacting with the students out on this Thursday night.
Our last stop on this sexy stroll was the large line of people that always forms around CREAM. While people were waiting in line they were eager to talk to us about our supplies and were curious as to why we were doing it. Of course, our response was that we are trying to spread safer sex and sex positivity throughout the Cal campus community. Using up the last of our supplies at exactly 10:30 PM, we finally called it a night.
Until we meet again Thursday night adventurers.
Random Acts of Sexiness was a success‼ Three gals in my decal class joined me on a nice sunny afternoon, we decided that it would be a good idea to distribute the condoms while the bands White Fence and King Tuff played a free concert on Upper Sproul. What makes a free concert better?? FREE condoms and lube‼ “Horny” Hillary, “Erotic” Elizabeth, “Everlasting” Eva and I met up in front of the Savio steps and decided upon what types of condoms we each would be handing out, Hillary got the ribbed condoms, Eva got the pleasured shaped condoms, Elizabeth handed out the Trojan Magnums, while I distributed some insertive and XL condoms. It was nice and sunny outside, the crowd was enjoying the music, and eager to see what was in my bag. The timing couldn’t have been better and the variety of condoms was a plus. Some even joked and said that he would try to “catch em’ all”. I was asked once why I was randomly handing out condoms (everyone else was too busy enjoying the music) and I was more than happy to tell her about SHEP, she had never heard about us but was really happy there is a group on campus eager to stock them up with free safer sex supplies. Mission Accomplished.
Before heading out to distribute the condoms I thought that it was gong to take me about 20 minutes to distribute the entire bag, but once I was saw that there was a big crowd I realized that it wasn’t going to take me very long. I was honestly out there for five minutes and all 30 condoms and the Lube samples were gone! My only regret was not taking MORE‼ Good thing I wasn’t alone. The part of the crowed I wasn’t able to reach was taken cared of by the other gals. I was able to go home happy while my poor brown bag sat empty in my hand.
For my random act of sexiness, I passed out condoms on Sproul Plaza with two other amazing SHEPers, Sultry Summer and Eat-Me-Out-Ellis! It took all of 30 minutes to distribute 90 condoms, which I thought was impressive considering it was 9:30am on Thursday March 21st. The experience was truly memorable, especially with Ellis decked out in the SHEP penis costume. Most of the students seemed shy to approach us, but that did not stop them from taking condoms when we offered them out. It was great to see that many people were excited about the penis costume and a few even took pictures with it; this little trick may be the secret key to giving out so many condoms in so little time. Overall, I loved my random act of sexiness experience! Despite the slow beginning, students eventually warmed up to us and before we knew it, our task was complete.
A random act of sexiness: defined by SHEP as the giving of 30 condoms to college students over the course of an hour at any time and location of the givers choosing.
This was my assignment . To be honest, this was not a challenge for me. My comrades and I did a loop around campus starting at Pappy’s walking up to frat row, down to the Units and ending at C.R.E.A.M. We encountered a whole range of people with a broad spectrum of reactions from enthusiastic and thankful to dismissive and disgusted.
For 3 years I have been giving out condoms to complete strangers (and some friends) and this night was no different. You can decide whether or not outreach is going to be awkward. Much like standing at the edge of a diving board the challenge is all in making that first jump, offering that first person a condom, and the rest is easy. A cheery “free condoms?” and an outstretched hand, that’s all it takes to plunge into a random act of sexiness.
Because this wasn’t necessarily a challenging exercise I had time to contemplate how distributing safer sex supplies has impacted me as a college student. A condom is a beautiful thing really. And walking around with a fanny pack full of them is oddly powerful. They are so neat and contained in their little packets with their serrated edges. The feel of the air bubble that ensures the package is uncompromised, the way they slide back and forth nice and slippery from lubrication. If you hold enough condoms you may come to appreciate these details. Or at least I have. More than just a condom, that little packet holds potential. The potential for a sexy, consensual adventure that perhaps you only ever dreamed of. So for one night for an hour I got to pass out potential to people, a key to unlocking their desires without fear of consequences.
After an emotional and empowering evening participating in the Open Mic portion of Taking Back the Night, I decided to continue my sex-positive conquest along with Inventive Ianto in this year’s Bigger Queer Event. The Bigger Queer Event took place in 155 Dwinelle at 7pm.
Many people who attended TBTN were also at Bigger Queer Event. The only reason I knew that was because those people were the same people who gave me hugs after my open mic piece, and they gave me more hugs at the Bigger Queer Event. It was a day I definitely saw the love the Berkeley community has to offer!
I had about sixty traditional condoms with me, but I made sure to pack a couple insertive condoms, dental dams and silicone and water-based lubes as well! I had forgotten the following sign:
A lot of people don’t know how versatile the traditional condom can be! So, it was difficult to pass out the traditional condoms at first, but people were excited to take the dental dams. The dental dams I gave away were made out of latex, and I pretty sure they didn’t know that they could essentially get the same product through a traditional condom.
Anyways, Ianto grabbed half of the stash and headed off to pass them out while students were registering for the event. I tried to give traditional condoms and other supplies to people who were passing by or sitting down eating the free pizza that was given out before the event began. Most people were very shy at first and I wasn’t on my condom-passing game either because I was still a little shaken up from the open mic piece I did earlier. After everyone began to go inside, I had Stephen, Ianto’s awesome buddy, help me out pass out the rest of the supplies.
It was proving to be difficult for the both of us. The event was held in an auditorium-like classroom, so it was only possible to give safer sex supplies to people who were at the end of aisles. So, I decided to have Stephen stand at one end of the aisles, while I passed the bag of safer sex supplies at the other end of the aisle. I told people to take a two and pass them down. It worked very well! People were less shy in taking supplies and were happy to see such variety. One person in particular asked if I had any non-latex options. I said yes, we had insertive condoms, but his smile quickly turned to a frown of concern. I reassured them that the name they possess, “female condoms,” did not do them justice. I let him know that this non-latex option is safe for both vaginal AND anal sex. I told him that since the open-ended ring has to stay on the outside, it protects more tissue from skin-to-skin contact infections than the traditional condom, such as HPV. He rejoiced and took an insertive condom and a couple samples of lube. Eventually, I got rid of the samples and it only took me about 20 minutes in total. I didn’t stay for the remainder of the event, since I had a movie screening to catch, but the community in 155 Dwinelle that night was filled with excitement and anticipation for the performances by professional drag queens and other amazing people from the Berkeley community.
With SHEP-Sexxxy Love,
“Mas! Mas!” Monica