Bedsider in the Wild: USC Back-to-School Edition
In September of 2012, Bedsider launched its first-ever student-run programs at University of Maryland, University of South Carolina, American University, and Howard University. The Bedsider Campus Ambassador program takes birth control to college students in their natural habitat—the wild world of campus. You will spot Bedsider hosting trivia nights, showing fun movies, and dropping some birth control knowledge in the quad. And because this internet thing is here to stay, you can connect with all the campus programs on Facebook.
Out with the old, in with the new! To get us into the mood for Spring 2013, we thought we’d share some fond memories from last semester. Back in November (the 27th, to be precise), as an end-of-semester treat, we put together a Bedsider “Between the Sheets” Movie Night. It was the first big event that the University of South Carolina (USC) Ambassadors held as a part of the Bedsider in the Wild campaign, which aims to bring birth control to college students and other young adults “in their natural habitat.” Our movie night was open to anyone and we had extra help from The Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (who helped us get the room) and Students With A Responsible Message (SWARM), who were awesome enough to bring free condoms for everyone!
SWARM with their awesome condoms and mini lubes (yes, those exist!)
We started out the night with pizza and Bedsider Fact or Fiction videos, which were playing as people walked in. The videos definitely broke the ice and led to some pretty interesting conversations about common sex myths—like that you can’t get pregnant the first time you have sex or that certain positions can literally stop the sperm from working. Um, fiction. After everyone settled down with their pizza, we were ready to start Friends With Benefits. Because, seriously, who has hotter sex than Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis?
At the end of movie we passed out awesome prizes and free swag and answered questions about Bedsider. The first 10 people who signed up for our text reminders got a free Bedsider t-shirt—and trust me when I say there is no better prize for a college student than something that lets them put off laundry for another day (or two). The first 15 people who liked our Facebook page also got a Bedsider prize pack and at the end of the night we raffled off a $25 IHOP gift card to one lucky winner!
The good times didn’t stop there—we passed out candy canes on Greene Street and at Pendleton Bridge in the week between classes and exams. And let me tell you, nothing is better than the look on someone’s face when you not only hand them candy, but hand them candy that has the #1 tip for hotter sex.
Our lovely USC Campus Ambassadors at movie night!
PS: Want to know that #1 tip for better sex? Get on birth control!
Method Monday: Masturbation
Okay, we’re being a bit cheeky, but for many people masturbation is an important part of successfully pulling off the “Not right now” approach to sex and pregnancy prevention. And since May is National Masturbation Month, we thought it deserved some Method Monday love. So, what is there to say?
- It’s got perks. Charlie Glickman of Good Vibrations (the company that founded National Masturbation Month) listed some benefits for a Las Vegas Weekly article. “It’s fun. It feels good. It relieves stress. And it’s likely the safest sex you’ll ever have. Masturbation is also one of the best ways to learn about your body and discover what turns you on.” Need more evidence? Check out this article by Dr. Yvonne Fulbright on the health benefits of masturbation.
- Don’t believe everything you hear about it. There are many myths about masturbation, most of which were crafted in a world of pure imagination (and not the fun kind). Fortunately Planned Parenthood has a couple resources devoted to separating fact from fiction.
- Did we mention that, when used correctly, it’s 100% effective at preventing pregnancy? And by correctly, we mean instead of intercourse—not just to switch things up.
- There are tools (many, many tools) to make it easier and more fun. It’s a great time to be a sex toy user since manufacturers are now creating toys that are eco-friendly, safe, discreet, and chic. You can always shop online, or if you’re feeling up for an outing, check out our Frisky Friday with some excellent tips on how to feel confident walking into a sex shop.
- You don’t have to be alone. Mutual masturbation (a form of outercourse) can be a great option for couples who want to be intimate but don’t want to “go all the way” for one reason or another. It can also be a great way to learn about your partner’s likes and dislikes without putting yourself at risk of unintended pregnancy or STIs. Outercourse can even be an option for committed couples who want to have kids at some point and in the meantime just really don’t want to take any chances. Don’t believe us? Check out Jason talking about using “Not right now” with his wife until they’re ready to start a family: Remember, though, that some STIs can spread via oral sex or skin to skin contact, so “everything but” isn’t necessarily completely risk-free. And if you’re using “Not right now” with a partner but find yourselves moving closer to the “right now” or “sort of right now” end of the spectrum, it couldn’t hurt to look into some “right now” methods. You know, just in case…
Whatever masturbation means to you—whether it’s “rehearsing alone” or with a partner—we just, well, we really hope you enjoy the rest of your May.
“I believe in furidous masturbation” image by Dani Lurie.
5 Handy Facts for STD Awareness Month
When we think of April, two things come to mind—rain and STD Awareness Month (not necessarily in that order). We recommend an umbrella (or a romantic spirit) for the first and our friends over at GYT for the latter. You’ve probably heard the stat—one in two people will get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) by age 25, and most of them won’t know it. The GYT campaign aims to reduce the spread of STDs (which, BTW, we at Bedsider refer to as STIs for sexually transmitted infections) among young people first through information (and prevention), then through testing and treatment as needed. On their site you can find a testing center, get tips on talking to your partner and your provider, and read about STI prevention, a.k.a. condoms. You should head on over there right after you check out these 5 handy facts we put together for your STI-awareness-raising arsenal.
1) Going for your routine pap smear/check up is really important, but don’t assume because everything is normal with your pap that you’re in the clear for STIs. Generally you have to ask to be screened for any STI you’re concerned about. (And if you’re nervous about bringing up sex with your doctor, we’ve got tips for making that less awkward, too.)
2) HPV is really, really common. Still, there are things you can do to reduce your odds of getting it like getting vaccinated, being selective in terms of partners, and using condoms. Screening to make sure you don’t have it, or to keep an eye on it if you do, is also super important.
3) We hear nasty rumors sometimes about the pill causing infertility, but science has shown that to be the stuff of myth. Actually, if you’re worried about your fertility—current or future—the best thing you can do is get screened for STIs. Take Chlamydia, for example—somewhere in the neighborhood of three million Americans are infected with it each year. STIs like Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, if left undiagnosed and untreated, can cause scarring in the tubes connecting your ovaries and uterus and make it hard to get pregnant later.
4) Some STIs don’t have any symptoms, so you can’t always tell if you (or someone you want to sleep with) have one. Do you see where we’re going with this?
5) Oral sex is not a free pass. Or rather—oh, puns!—it can be a free pass to STI transmission. So always use a condom or a dental dam for oral sex if you don’t know your partner’s status.
Speaking of knowing your partner’s status, there is actually (would we joke about this?) an app for that. In fact, we know of at least two—Qpid.me and ChecMate—that help make sharing your status easier.
If this is all old news for you, pass it on to a friend. Don’t feel like scrolling up? Here’s that GYT link again. And check back here for our next Method Monday—we’ll be posting about that magic method that protects against both pregnancy and STIs…condoms.
Can you tell if someone has an STI just by looking?
Happy National Condom Week!
As if national condom week weren’t exciting enough in its own right, some of our favorite folks ever—the ones over at Get Yourself Tested (GYT)—are running a sweepstakes this week giving away Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and a trip to NYC for two. To enter, all you have to do is tweet your answer to @MTVact’s question of the day. All the questions—and yes, that means just two more for the week, unless you’re really fast tonight—can be answered by checking out the GYT party interactive video. So basically it’s a win-win (or a win-win-win?) proposition—you get to watch an interactive video, learn about STIs, and possibly win prizes. (You know, besides the prize of being better informed about STIs…)
And while we’re on the subject of condoms and STI prevention, we just happen to have a new Fact or Fiction video for your myth-busting viewing pleasure.The question at hand: Can you get STIs from oral sex?
PS—Have you checked out Lucky Bloke yet? While you’ve got STI prevention on the brain, you may want to see whether their monthly condom subscription service—which also offers female condoms, dental dams, and lube for good measure—could be of interest…
Doesn’t matter how many orgasms he has. He is an unstoppable sperm machine. Every. Single. Time.
Ever heard someone say they can’t use condoms because they’re allergic to latex? Fewer than 1 in 10 people in the general population are (depending who you ask—some say it’s as little as 1%) and those few aren’t off the hook where condoms are concerned either. In fact, there are plenty of alternatives.
Keep in mind that not all the alternatives protect against STIs, so do your homework when you’re choosing a material. And if you’re looking for a more personal perspective, YouTube star Kicesie has a video about her favorite non-latex condom. Go forth, be sexy, be safe!
In honor of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month (January), we’re re-posting our Fact or Fiction on pap smears for the viewing pleasure of any who missed it the first time around (or who just want to relive fond memories;).
We also have a Provider Perspective article on the causes, treatment, and prevention of HPV, which is the most common cause of cervical cancer. If after reading you think it’s time for a visit to a health provider, you can use our clinic finder to get information on nearby clinics, or the list of free and low cost pap test locations in the U.S. on The National Cervical Cancer Coalition’s website.
The good news is that the latest guidelines on pap smears say most women only need to get one every 3 years (instead of annually). But if you haven’t had one in a while, or if you haven’t had the HPV vaccine, you know what they say… No time like the present, a.k.a. January.
Did we mention that dudes are allowed to buy emergency contraception?
Well, this isn’t the first time we’ve posted this video, but we felt it needed to be a shared again in light of yet another report of a pharmacy (CVS) refusing EC to guys. Seriously, folks, guys are allowed to buy EC. It says right here in our Fact or Fiction video.