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Safer Sex Kits: Respect Your Bodies Today

Everyone having sex nowadays should be familiar with safer sex practices. But really, there are few places that offer "safer sex classes." How are people supposed to learn how to maximize their safety through proper condom usage, for instance?
Safer Sex Kits: Respect Your Bodies Today
By Kirsten Anderberg (www.kirstenanderberg.com)

Everyone having sex nowadays should be familiar with safer sex practices. But really, there are few places that offer "safer sex classes," and most of the places that do, you will not stumble upon in the mainstream. How are people supposed to learn how to maximize their safety through proper condom usage, for instance? Certainly that class my son had in high school that had teenagers put condoms on bananas is not enough. The instructions inside the condoms are minimalist and lacking much information. I have seen men fumble with condom usage during sex, and I think we need to talk about safer sex options with more openness and more often. This article is about safer sex. Do not read on if you do not want to hear about safer sex for all genders.

When I first started dating conscious men who brought a safer sex kit with them, and knew how to use it, I was a bit freaked out. I was not sure if them coming so prepared should be interpreted as presumptuous. Or that them being so prepared and nearly professional about safer sex made them too slick. Then I dated a guy who did not have a clue. First, he never had the condom thing together and always had to run to the store last minute, and then he would buy the first ones he found. They were too big, too small, some had N-9 on them, etc. I found his ignorance about how to protect his own body and mine to be repelling. I had to tutor him in condoms, and he is the one with a penis! So, I realize there is a great need for this type of education, and I implore people to encourage their lovers to come prepared with safer sex supplies, and to realize that is really respectful that they come prepared, it is sexy because it is respectful. Do not let society's mores make something very honorable into something awkward. When you prepare a safer sex kit and take it with you places you may encounter a sexual situation, you are respecting your partner, yourself, and any other sexual partners either of you may have down the road.

Thoreau said, "I lose my patience for the man who can make the mystery of sex the subject of coarse jest, yet, when you speak earnestly and seriously on the subject, is silent." And I often see people who are always joking about sex, become dead silent when we talk about safer sex, sex education, STD's, and birth control. So where does one learn about safer sex? There are many places to get access to safer sex supplies and instructional information that are a bit off the beaten path. Seattle and San Francisco have been leaders in getting safer sex information out to the public in a consciously non-shameful manner. The Rubber Tree, is a non-profit organization which started as a very small store in Seattle decades ago, and had a nice all-gender-inclusive atmosphere, with an emphasis on gay male supplies, as well as general sex supplies. It was the first place I ever saw safer sex supplies displayed in an educational mode, rather than looking like a porn shop. They have an excellent article at  http://www.rubbertree.org/condom.html which every person interested in safer sex should read. The article discusses how to choose a condom, the difference between novelty and FDA-approved condoms, the problems with natural skin condoms, etc. They talk about the variations in latex condoms, such as shape, texture, colors, lubrications, etc. They tell you HOW and when to use a condom. They discuss proper storage of condoms, and more. They also have a wide selection of condoms, lubes, dental dams, and keychain safer sex kit pouches you can order online.

Another place to find safer sexuality supplies is Toys in Babeland (www.babeland.com), another store that started in Seattle, Wa., and grew to a national level with stores in New York, and elsewhere, now. Toys is an unusual store, as it does not have that trademark lecherous gross sex store vibe, but rather a fun and informational vibe. They simply want you to have better sex, and they want to talk openly with you about it. Run by two lesbians, it also has an all-gender-inclusive atmosphere, which adds to its respectful environment. Toys gives workshops on sex at its retail stores, including safer sex workshops. They also sell tons of different lubes, condoms, different colored gloves, etc., as well as the popular "Party Pump" lube. Another excellent source of safer sex information and supplies is Good Vibrations, based in San Francisco, Ca. ( http://www.goodvibes.com). Good Vibrations sells a "Safer Sex for Lesbians" pamphlet, by C. Madansky and J. Tolentino Wood, in English or Spanish, for $1.50. They also carry their infamous "The Good Vibrations Complete Guide To Safer Sex," by A. Semans and C. Winks, which is the best book I have ever read on sex education and technique. It is used in classrooms nationwide, and has amazing information on anatomy, physiology, erotica, and much more, while remaining all-gender-inclusive. With clear illustrations and an informative narrative, this book is a must have for anyone serious about superior sex knowledge. Good Vibrations also offers a wide supply of condom and lube samplers, so you can find out what works best for you, rather than just grabbing what is left at the 7-11 late at night. A little conscious preparation when it comes to your health and sexuality seems a reasonable investment of time and energy. Certainly having an STD, HIV, or a child, will take up much more time than the time you would have invested researching proper fitting condoms.

To find free or low-cost condoms and birth control, you can go to www.plannedparenthood, and they can locate their nearest office from your zip code, area code, or city and state. They also have a safer sex information page at  http://www.plannedparenthood.org/sti/sex-safer.htm. Most health departments give away free condoms also. For information on how to obtain the emergency contraception pill, in English, Spanish, French or Arabic, go to  http://ec.princeton.edu. Thebody.com has a wealth of information about STD's, HIV and AIDS. They have a safer sex page in English and Spanish, and have a question and answer forum where you can ask questions about STD's, etc, in English, Spanish or French. You can see past questions and answers on the site also. There is also a National STD Hotline to ask questions at 1-800-227-8922.

The best and most concise safer sex information I have seen on the web is at the Society for Human Sexuality, www.sexuality.org. Their Safer Sex Page includes detailed information about condoms and STD's. They recommend "Safer Sex Kits: It's helpful to get a little hip pack for your safer-sex supplies, your smaller bottle of water-based lube, and anything else you commonly use. You might also want to pack a portable toothbrush and a travel-sized toothpaste tube in case you end up staying overnight somewhere." Many people act as though being prepared for safer sex is weird. Yet I have to say I find it much sexier when a person is prepared for safer sex, as compared to relying on fate, or me, for that all the time. The above resources are full of great suggestions for homemade safer sex kits that will protect your health, show you respect yourself, and also, show consideration for your lover. Make a safer sex kit today. And take it with you, don't be afraid. "Let no man entice thee to say or do whatever is not profitable for thyself." - Pythagoras.

homepage: homepage: http://www.kirstenanderberg.com
address: address: seattle, Wa