Being an undergraduate at Ohio State University, I’ve begun to realize how far I’ve come in my self-education. Not just in academics by any means, but as person most importantly. I’ve learned about maintaining your mental health, staying physically fit, and just learning how to relax and enjoy college. The biggest thing that I didn’t think I would ever learn more about is sexual health. Sounds a little out of the ordinary right? Once I went to one of my First Year Experience events that are held at my university every so often, I learned twice as much as I thought I would and I also learned how uniformed I was about this topic. The person who presented this topic was a funny and amazing gay man who knew his stuff and knew how to keep the audience engaged. Of course, he spoke like he knew this topic extremely well given the fact that he is in the Department of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. A department that I never knew existed until yesterday, but this department is truly amazing and well-informed so I would encourage anyone to check out this department and learn more information. Since these F.Y.E. events are also required for freshman to fulfill and I didn’t like the first one, I wasn’t counting on this event to be informative, especially since I had been running around campus all day and had no desire to go anywhere.
Ultimately, I had no idea what was going to happen since sex seems to be an awkward topic for most people, especially me. I never had much exposure to this topic either since the last time I took a health class and really talked about sex was my freshman year of high school. I knew I didn’t have nearly as much knowledge on the topic as I should already but the more he spoke made me realize how uninformed I really was. In his presentation, he talked about the goals of what he was trying to achieve like ending rape, having control over your own body and health, and being able to get happiness and fulfillment out of sex that most people desire. He broke the ice by saying that he would use words such as “vagina”, “dick”, “uterus”, etc. as we saw the sex toys that were on the table behind him.
After he mentioned his goals for the presentation and broke the ice, he talked about how sex is sex. No matter what your sexual orientation is, sex is sex. He mentioned this to us because many straight people often think that sex is supposed to be between a man and a woman. I had no idea that people thought of sex as that way since I always thought that sex is sex and your sexual orientation shouldn’t matter. After this, he talks about STI’s, one of the most prominent being H.I.V. and A.I.D.S. He talked about the misconception of H.I.V. and A.I.D.S. since most people often think of them as the same thing. Rain check, they’re not! A.I.D.S. is the physical state someone’s body is in after the H.I.V. has done it’s work. Even though H.I.V. is an S.T.I. that is very hard to treat and let alone cure. He gave us some very useful information on how to prevent H.I.V. and how to prevent H.I.V.. First, he talked about this thing called Plan B of H.I.V. called P.E.P.. It is not a cure to H.I.V. but it is a course of antiretroviral drugs to stop H.I.V. from becoming a life-long infection. Also, there is P.R.E.P. which is a daily pill you can take to prevent H.I.V. if you fear you are at risk. Both of these items are available on campus at the OSU Student Health Center which is amazing information. Then he went deeper into something called forced sterilization. He talked about how women of color were forced to be sterilized in the past because they were seen as unfit to have children. This was a big shock to me that racism goes as deep as forced sterilization. There was pregnancy protection made back then but it was only for the benefit of the white patients. I also learned that women can use a Nuva Ring to prevent pregnancy. You need to insert the Nuva Ring in your vagina three weeks at a time to not have a baby. You can also use an I.U.D. that doctors place in your uterus that lasts about 3-10 years. When he talked about how condoms had expiration dates, I almost fell out of my seat because that is definitely something I never would have known in my life. Overall, the presentation was spectacular and extremely informative. He even talked about how having sex should be a comfortable experience and not one that is harmful. So I really encourage anyone to go on their website: go.osu.edu/sexed to learn more information. I know a lot more about sex than I did before and this knowledge will help me exponentially on any future encounters I have that are sex related.
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