Condom demonstrations were part of the Sextival
The Sextival, a sexual health and education festival, took place at the North Dakota State Wellness Center Wednesday, Feb. 27.
The festival included booths that ranged in content from drinking responsibly to how to insert an internal condom, and several booths offered free condoms, both internal and external, and lubrication products.
Also offered at the event was free testing for sexually transmitted infections (STI), sometimes referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
Though this was the first time the event has taken place, Emily Hegg, assistant director of Health Promotion for Student Health Service, said it’s an important event, and it lined up nicely with the timing being before spring break.
Hegg suggested that if someone is sexually active, they should be tested for STIs every six months, though there’s no problem with being tested more regularly. “The more you get tested, the safer you are,” Hegg said.
She also talked about a program she’s been working on called “Junk Mail,” which will be coming out soon.
Junk Mail is a grant-funded program that aims to educate students on safe sex practices by mailing them a box with information about safe sex resources and safe sex supplies every month — free of charge to the student. To receive Junk Mail, a student must request the service.
The event also offered alcohol pour demonstrations instructed by Kim Heazlett, SHS Health Promotion coordinator, in an effort to educate students on how much they’re really drinking.
Heazlett encouraged students to measure their drinks, noting that when we free pour, “We don’t know how much alcohol is in our drinks.”
She also advocated for having a sober friend there with you to ensure you get home safely.
Another boother, Christopher Wegner, passed out condoms and talked about his work with the Rural AIDS Action Network. Wegner attended the Sextival with the purpose of educating students.
Wegner talked about the organization’s education work going to junior and senior high schools in the area to decrease the stigma surrounding sex and increase awareness and education. “Sex should be enjoyable,” Wegner said.
He also noted that minority populations have “unfortunately carried the burden and stigma of disease,” citing the targeting of gay men when we talk about AIDS.
In a perfect world, Wegner said he would like to see STIs and STDs standardized to the point where people aren’t afraid to talk about them.
NDSU student McKinley Solberg, who’s studying human development and family sciences, worked at a booth at the event as a violence prevention educator, and she also works to prevent domestic abuse on campus.
“I am very passionate to make sex less taboo … to make people take better care of their sexual health,” Solberg said.
The ultimate goal for SHS is to have the Sextival take place at least once a semester, according to Hegg.