Let’s Talk About Safe Sex

By Jeremy Wall, Staff Writer

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Pictured above from left to right are peer advocates Laura Infield, Marc McAlinden, Paola Cordoba and Kayla Tozzi.
Jeremy Wall | The Montclarion

For the past few days, over 190 students have attended the campus’ Safe Sex Week events. Annually run by the office of Health Promotion, the department dedicates the week after Thanksgiving to educate students on safe sex.

Kicking off the week was Masturbation Monday. Peer advocates gathered in the Student Center lobby with a table containing vibrators and a factual poster board to help students better understand sex toys.

“We’re educating students on various sex toys, lubes and masturbation facts along with benefits,” said Laura Infield, a junior peer advocate.

Students could spin a wheel at the table and the number the arrow stopped on was the question the advocate would ask the individual. Once the individual answered the question, they would select a prize. The prizes ranged from t-shirts to stress balls.

“I think it’s important to have safe sex,” said junior psychology major Mark McAlinden. “It’s not talked about a lot in our society. This teaches it.”

Hoping to attract bigger crowds, the advocates set up a table in both the Student Center lobby and Sprague Library on Tuesday. The event for that day was Where Can I Get Tested, which gave students the opportunity to learn more about sexually transmitted diseases and both male and female condoms.

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Peer advocate Jenifer Kartelias educates Art Education Major Demi G. on safe sex facts during the Health Promotions Masturbation Monday Event.
Jeremy Wall | The Montclarion

“It’s important to learn this stuff so you don’t get infected,” said Djenny Therlonge, a sophomore biology major.

Although each event is trying to display a specific message, safe sex can have a different impact on everyone. To freshman computer science major James Dolanji, the topic wasn’t just about learning the aspects of sex but following them as well.

“We live in a society where everything is fast and loose with Tinder and stuff like that,” said Robert Getz, alumnus and an employee for the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health. “I think it’s important to understand you can be intimate with someone, but you must practice it safely. Otherwise, you can be living with some transmitted disease or pregnancy you did not plan for.”

Students are not the only ones feeling the impacts from this.

“I think it’s where they can definitely ask questions,” said Montclair State adjunct professor Marc Perez of Access Services Department. “This is an added bonus for a place with a higher education. The young adults are going to do this. It’s a natural human reality.”

Health Promotion will host Safer Sex Wheel on Wednesday and Safer Sex Olympics on Thursday. If anyone missed any of the events, they will also be teaming up with the Student Recreation Center on Friday for Sex Toy Bingo. Students will have opportunities to win different types of sex toys at this event. To conclude the week, on Saturday peer advocates will host an event for students to decorate their own condom case.

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