Sextion: What’s on a door?

Last week, we learned that Brown came in at #2 in Trojan’s annual Sexual Health Report Card, just behind University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We Brunonians clearly love sex. And that’s great! But I fear with SPG and Consent Day behind us, Brown students will not have another opportunity to be handed a free condom until Sex Week in the Spring. And that’s SCARY.

So where does a Brown student go when in search of safer sex supplies?  To answer this question, I had intended to do a bit of sleuthing, but in actuality did not have to go very far. I just went down the hall to my friendly, neighborhood RPL’s door! From what I understand, most of Brown’s RPLs (Residential Peer Leaders) supply safer sex materials on their doors: the freshman Residential Counselors (RCs), Woman Peer Counselors (WPCs), and Minority Peer Counselors (MPCs), as well as the upperclassman Community Assistants (CAs). A lot of acronyms, ResLife. Seriously.

So, to honor our near victory at college sexual health and the RPLs who (occasionally) restock their safer sex supplies, I have decided to highlight the items that RPLs put on their doors, from the standard lubricated and non-lubricated condoms, to the more specialty items such as dental dams, flavored condoms, and lubricant. RPLs often differ in the items they give out, and receive a lot of questions and confusion about some of the items on their doors. So to clear some of this up, here is a guide to the RPL’s door:

The Lubricated Latex Condom: The most popular and highly used item taken from the RPLs’ door, the lubricated condom is your first line of defense against unwanted pregnancy and STIs, and is a must for many sexual acts. The lubricant removes some of the friction of sex, which prevents the condom from breaking. Lucky for you freshmen, just this year Health Education began supplying Trojan condoms to the RPLs, as opposed to the crappy ONE condoms of lore. The circular ONE packages were quite nice to look at, but were harder to open and, from what I have heard, were more prone to breaking. So yay for Health Ed and yay for Trojans! Warning: these condoms are latex and contain lubricant, both of which can cause allergic reactions to those with sensitive skin.

The Non-Lubricated Latex Condom: This item has actually sparked a lot of confusion and controversy. Why the non-lubricated condom? My initial thought would be that it’s used for performing oral sex, as well as in the situation that one partner is allergic to the lubricant used on the lubricated condoms. These condoms are Trustex brand and come in fun colors!

The Flavored Condom: Few RPLs that I have met have these condoms on their doors but can be made available if desired. These are Fantasy brand, and come in banana, vanilla, strawberry, mint, grape and chocolate flavors. And the colors of the condoms match the flavors. They are latex condoms and contain water-based lubricant, which could cause allergic reactions. But if you’re looking to spice up your oral-sex life, you can always give these a try. I don’t know if this brand’s condoms contains sugar, so do your homework before attempting to have any type of penetrative sex using these condoms. Could cause infection. Eek!

Silicone Lubricant: Another rare find on the RPLs’ door, but one that I think should get a lot more attention. This Pjur brand lube is GREAT and is a MUST for several sex acts, including, but certainly not limited to, anal sex. So I would highly recommend all RPLs to begin supplying these packets for your residents. This highly concentrated silicone lubricant is a great go-to if you’re in a lube fix. Though a little goes a long way, you may want to pick up multiples of these tiny packages. You may just fall in love. Safe to use on latex condoms, yay! Warning: non-contraceptive or spermicidal, the lube itself does not protect against STIs or pregnancy.

And finally, the most confusing and controversial safer sex material on the RPLs’ door…

The Dental Dam: Affectionately referred to as “The Tarp” by my cohort of lesbian friends in high school, this sheet of flavored latex acts as a “barrier when engaging in oral/vaginal and oral/anal sex to help reduce the transmission of bodily fluids, harmful germs, and sexually transmitted diseases.” See, the concept is not so hard! Simply place this sheet over the intended orifice and have at it! While I truly do not know many individuals who use this particular method of STI prevention, I prefer that people know about the dental dam’s purpose rather than using them for sling-shots, as has been known to happen in my freshman-year hallway. A few tips about the dental dam: use only one side, do not flip over and continue use. This will only expose you to the risks that you were attempting to avoid in the first place. Also, do not shift from one orifice to another using the same dental dam, this spreads germs that are not meant to be spread. Also, if you are in a dental dam fix and don’t have one, you can cut off the tip and down one side of a latex condom and make your own! These too are latex, so be aware of allergies.

Clearly, if you are allergic to latex, you are flat out of luck finding safer sex supplies on your RPLs’ doors, but go to Health Ed on the 3rd floor of Health Services and they may be better able to help you out. Many RPLs have a good selection of products when they remember to restock. So now you know about the mysteries of the RPLs’ door. Feel free to try out any of the products mentioned and send feedback to me at monicabruinsky@gmail.com.

Also, I’d LOVE to hear about your SexPowerGod experiences. Did SPG live up to your expectations? Let me know!

Until next week,

Monica

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