Heart-shaped buckets filled with assorted condoms, sweet treats and dental dams occupied a booth set out at the Maxson Plaza by the Student Health Services Wednesday.
The Student Health Services took the opportunity Valentine’s Day to hold their annual National Condom Day celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“I think it’s important to share the importance of condom usage, not just using condoms but also promoting how to use them effectively,” said Allison Borwell, health education assistant mastering in public health. “We also are encouraging partner communication, and we’re really approaching sexual health from a sex-positive way.”
Students were greeted by bright red hearts and friendly smiles as they passed by the National Condom Day booth. Some stopped to participate, intrigued by the wellness warriors and peer educators flagging them down. Their attention was then directed towards the large heart and condom-covered wheel perched at the booth.
The wheel was a game: one where the player could spin, reads the number it landed on and answer a multiple choice question about condoms. If the player got the answer right they were rewarded with candy; if the player got it wrong, no serious repercussions follow and they too would receive candy.
“I think an event like this is great for students, [volunteers] are super friendly and it makes the condoms less scary,” said peer educator Annika Horvath, a senior majoring in women’s gender and sexuality studies. “It makes them like a fun Valentine’s day thing instead of a super scary sex-ed thing. Obviously a lot of people are going to get funky with their sig other but even if you aren’t we have a lot of stuff that you can use on your own.”
In addition to the wheel, students that were interested in the safe sex practices as well as free condoms were welcomed to come forward and take whatever they felt they need.
“[Volunteers] were really friendly, and I wanted to learn about STDs and sex-ed,” said Richard Mondragon, a sophomore majoring in business management. “[The event] allows students to learn the safe ways to have sex. It was very valuable, very interesting and very helpful. Especially for young adults like us that are sexually active, we definitely need to be informed how to properly be sexually active.”
Not only were there free sexual goodies to go around, but a large red dildo was proudly displayed, which Horvath and other volunteers used to demonstrate how to properly condom-ize a penis. Female condoms, dental dams and lubricant packets were also available to students.
“It’s something everyone can kind of relate to at some point in life,” said Jessica Elderkin, a senior majoring in Health Science. “It’s something taboo but that needs to be debunked. It makes it less scary, you have that peer-to-peer interaction and it makes it more comfortable.”
This year’s National Condom Day was accompanied by a small booth covered with pamphlets and flyers that advocated self love and body positivity.
“We are actively recruiting members for our [Body Positivity] series,” said Christina Goldpaint, a health educator at the Student Health Services. “We’re trying to promote self love, it’s important not to just love others, you have to love yourself as well, and that’s actually the first person you should love. So we are promoting self love and being your own valentine and doing something special for yourself today. I think a lot of times students get stretched really thin and self care gets neglected.”