Comprehensive Safer Sex 3: Take it to the next level
As part of STD Awareness Month, Jenelle Marie of The STD Project is contributing a three-part series to our tumblr (along with an article for Bedsider.org) sharing her experiences with STIs and her suggestions for how to have the safest sex possible. This is the final post of the series.
Always bring a raincoat even if you’re not expecting rain. Image source: George Eastman House
When thinking about a comprehensive safer-sex regimen, it helps to keep in mind things that are not considered part of safer-sex too, because it’s really easy to get overwhelmed or a bit confused when you’re trying to be as responsible with your sexual health as possible.
Although sex comes with some hefty implications for your health and emotional well-being, it doesn’t have to be all business and no play. In fact, adding humor to your safer-sex plan can make those steps seem less cumbersome. When you can laugh about the things that seem a bit awkward, you lighten the mood and open the opportunity to explore and learn together.
This shouldn’t be a deal breaker for a partner. In fact, it should be very sexy to them that you’re conscientious and careful. If it’s not, you should ask yourself if this is the right person for you. Someone who cares about their body and their health is also more apt to care about you, your body, and your health. Do you really want to get intimate with someone who doesn’t place safer sex on their list of priorities?
At the end of the day, you and your partner have to decide which risks you’re willing to accept, and how you’re most comfortable negotiating them together. Whether it’s for a long-term relationship or just for a night, it should be the responsibility of both partners to talk about safer sex and prepare to be sexually healthy in the bedroom.
If you’re already living with an STI…
We talk about STIs in depth on The STD Project and provide a lot of the basic information you can find on sexual health websites alongside the grey areas most people are afraid to talk about—how to live with and have healthy relationships with an STI, when to tell someone you have an STI, how to tell someone you have an STI, and more.
Whether you’re living with an STI or doing your best to educate yourself about how to avoid them, a comprehensive safer-sex approach is the sexiest and safest way to be sexually healthy.
College Week, Day 3: BedsiderATX On Feminism and Pornography at ‘Week of Women’
As part of College Week, we asked our ambassadors what their most memorable events were this past year. Here’s what the Longhorns at BedsiderATX remembered best.
Everything really is bigger in Texas, including Bedsider tabling events.
Women are an important part of Bedsider, which meant participating in the Texas Orange Jackets’ Week of Women was both fun and meaningful for the BedsiderATX team. Week of Women occurs every year, March 18th through 22nd, on the Texas campus as a celebration of womanhood. The theme reads “Inform, Empower, and Celebrate” and, to put these themes into action, the Orange Jackets (OJs) set up events all week to inform the University student body about women in modern society.
In addition to letting BedsiderATX in on the fun, OJs paired with: Texas Union Theater to kick off the week with a screening of Bridesmaids, Voices Against Violence (VAV) for their production of “Get Sexy, Get Consent”, Professor Robert Jensen for a discussion about pornography and masculinity at the Tejas house, and The Vagina Monologues. In addition to this, the OJs held a Texas Tea Party on the Main Campus lawn and a panel entitled “Can Women Have it All?” with several local female leaders. BedsiderATX was lucky enough to participate in The Texas Tea Party, the Tejas discussion, and The Vagina Monologues.
Without a doubt, the most intriguing part of the week was Dr. Jensen’s discussion. The event was cozy and close, with an almost tangible sense of inclusion and wonder. Jensen hit on hot topics such as the rampant sexualization of women in the pornography industry and the paradox of masculinity in modern American society. Most notable was his appeal to the men of the audience to adopt the feminist viewpoint both as an antidote to the impossibility of portraying the stereotypical male bravado and as a stepping stone to the solution of gender imbalances in society. A feminist himself, Professor Jensen illustrated the ills of the social and internal disenfranchisement of both sexes and the need for equal standing—not just as a verbose claim, but as an actualization.
BedsiderATX was present as a representative of contraceptive empowerment and a source of information for women (and men!) present at this event. It was an experience that we were more than happy to be a part of, and we remain hopeful that there will be more of these kinds of discussions across college campuses and beyond.
I would tell the next generation of Bedsider ambassadors that there are three things they need to be successful: time, passion, and the ability to be comfortable talking about sex in front of large groups of people. The last part they can learn along the way! Apart from that I would tell them to always be creative and to never stop challenging themselves.
College Week, Day 1: Never Ask Your Sex Educator About Her Favorite Sex Position
Today’s “College Week spotlight” is on the never-shy go-getters of American University. Bedsider ambassadors from the University of South Carolina interviewed them about their experiences as sexual health crusaders.
1. Q: What’s been your favorite event this year or semester?
My favorite event this year was definitely the viewing party we had at Gen’s apartment. We had about 12 girls there watching the movie The Pill and it was really great to talk to girls in an informal and relaxed setting about our sex lives and the importance of us as young ladies being on birth control.
2. Q: Have you ever done anything crazy at a Bedsider event?
The craziest thing that I’ve ever done was at a pub trivia event we held at the tavern. About 10 frat boys participated in pub trivia and for one of the questions I had two of them show me the lotus sex position. During the same event, I used a microphone to promote the event shouting “do you know what the number one tip for hot sex is?!”
3. Q: Has working on the Bedsider campus ambassador program changed your outlook on sex, relationships, or life?
It’s given me a wider network to talk about safe sex, relationships, and different forms of contraception than before. It’s a great resource for me as someone who has been on the pill for a long time and is now looking for a new form of contraception and the [Bedsider] website with each type of contraception’s pros/cons and testimonials has been super helpful making me a more informed person in choosing my form of contraception.
4. Q: What is the most awkward/embarrassing question someone has asked you at a Bedsider event?
Someone once asked me what birth control method I use and I also got asked what my favorite sex position was!
5. Q: What do you think are some benefits of having Bedsider on your campus?
It’s great to have a large network of people to talk to because we can provide that friendly face to a brand for college students our age who are either looking for a new type of birth control or just a conversation!
6. Q: Is there any advice you want to give the next generation of campus ambassadors?
Make sure that you always communicate with one another so that everyone is on the same page. Also, remember that there are always opportunities to promote Bedsider. I always carry chapstick or postcards with me, in case there’s a chance for me to do some sort of shameless plug.
The arsenal of a Bedsider UMD Ambassador.
Today marks the beginning of Bedsider’s College Week! April 15th through 19th we’ll be featuring the amazing work of our ambassadors from American University, the University of Maryland, the University of Texas, and the University of South Carolina (mostly in that order).
Do you know everything you need to know about STDs? …Are you sure?
The Middle Ages had courtly love, punishments for doing anything but the missionary position, condoms made from animal bladders, and fashionable gigantic codpieces to bring attention to a man’s winky.
Sex and Song: MELT-BANANA, “Dog Song”
You don’t need to be a musician to appreciate the connection between sex and music. Still, we thought it would be fun to hear what they have to say about it. In our “Sex and Song” series, curated by drummer and producer Katy Otto, musicians share a song about sex, love, or both, and what it means to them.
I heard MELT-BANANA for the first time 10-plus years ago, when I was about 20 years old. After that, all things involving music were never really the same for me. I have never been let down by anything I have heard them do. Ever. As far as my standards go, whatever they are doing, they are doing it right.
But a couple years ago, they released a live album titled MELT-BANANA Lite Live: ver 0.0 that blew my expectations to bits… MELT-BANANA Lite is just like your normal MELT-BANANA, except sans guitars and with waaaaaay more effects, samplers, synths, distortion and so on. I fell in love/lust with it in a more intense and different way than any other albums by them—or anyone else.
This album turns me on. Like, a lot—and pretty much every time I hear it. It also motivates and inspires me, making me excited and ready to take on the world—maybe clean my room, play some more “music” of my own, and then fuck around.
It’s loud and totally abrasive, but in a safe, consenting way. It’s all over the place and a total chaotic lay of an album. It takes a break and slows down, but only for a second when it wants to. And it was recorded live!! Sometimes, when I’m listening, I pretend like I’m there. Makes for some adventurous imagining. I’m listening to it right now and might just have to hit mute to finish writing how I feel about it…
There is so much to this record when it comes to sex and safety for me. It’s not a man screaming at me through a microphone. It’s not what I think most people would consider normal. It’s weird, it’s powerful, it’s fun, it’s diverse, it’s totally chaotic…and a little creepy at times. Those are all ways I’d like to describe the sex I’m having too.
Why “Dog Song” in particular? The woofs and other barking sounds! If you know me, you know I am a total femme puppy at heart and that shit killlllllllsss me in the best Dog-Damned way…
Thanks MELT-BANANA, that was real nice… Round two???
gregdean! is in a world of her own most of the time. It’s surrounded with dogs, rats, friends and music that is way too loud. She frequents the space in front of a wall of speakers with her band +HIRS+ and is the comic relief for her other band XANAX.