Blush, frown or squirm in your seat but the audience was ready and waiting for Claudia Lux’s entertaining and informative Nerd Nite sex talk titled, “In Case You Didn’t Pay Attention in High School: Honest Sex Ed for Grown Ups.”
With a focus on methods of birth control Lux, a sexuality educator and reproductive health activist, gave a dynamic hour long lecture about as she put it, “the art of not getting pregnant,” covering birth control methods ranging from abstinence to Female condoms.
Covered during the first part of her talk as a behaviour based method of birth control Abstinence is the only method that is 100 percent effective. Along with the Withdrawl method, also known the Pull out Method, she explained that behaviour methods can be very effective but they’re not entirely fool proof. The withdrawl method can work she explained but it does not protect against diseases transmitted in pre-cum. “Pre-cum does not have sperm in it, it’s true, it’s been proven,” she said, “But, pre-cum does also have germs in it, so that means STD’s are still an issue.
The atmosphere was festive and the drinks were flowing as the talk became increasingly interactive and she started asking questions to the audience and throwing prizes like glow in the dark condoms, that were donated by Good Vibrations, to the people who shouted back answers the loudest.
Lux was sassy and droll and presented the subject as an almost ongoing open discussion that became part of the talk. As she moved on to talk about hormonal methods of birth control covering some of the more commonly known methods like the Pill and The Patch she also discussed options like NuvaRing, Depro-Provera, and Intra Uterine Devices such as Mirena and Paragard. Running down the plusses and minuses of each method she explained that everyone will have their own preference according to their comfort level and their body. She even covered some misconceptions about the female anatomy. “I get this question a lot, is it going to get lost up there?” she said in reference to the NuvaRing, “I just want to be clear, the vagina is not a never ending cavernous hole. It’s not a storage unit, it’s is pretty much going to stay where you put it.”
Finally, she spoke at length about the most common barrier method of birth control, the condom which is the only birth control method that also prevents against STD’s. She explained that there are a couple different types of condoms available. Sheepskin, which she did not recommend, as well as latex and polyeurothane or latex free condoms. “When used properly these are 97 % effective, that’s pretty good.” she said, “When not used properly these are super ineffective.”
One of the highlights of the night was her condom demonstration which she performed with the aid of a clear, pink plastic water gun shaped like a penis. “When was the last time any of you have seen a condom demonstration?” she asked laughing as she juggled the props before she began. Starting the demonstration she ran down a checklist instructing the audience in everything from how to check the condoms before use, to what to do if you put it on backwards (throw it away and start again).
“For storage. You do not want to keep them anywhere that’s too hot or too cold, you don’t want to keep them anywhere where it’s going to smooshed, poked or prodded.” she said, “So that means get them out of your wallets, out of your purses, out of your back pockets… you don’t want them there.”
The question and answer session was one of the best parts of her talk. People had good questions like, When is the male pill happening? What is female ejaculation? and What is the Rhythm Method? and finally an audience member asked, “Can you talk a little bit about enthusiastic consent?”
Lux was very excited about the request. “Thank you so much for asking about that because that is SO incredibly important… Consent is HUGE! The absolute first thing you want to do before you even touch that condom is… you want to makes sure you ask that question; Do you want to have sex?” and you can’t ask it once, and then not ask again for two years. You want to make sure it’s asked.” said Lux,”That’s the first thing you wan to do. …. and a lack of “No” is not a yes… and that’s really really important. Because, if you want to be having sex with someone then you should want to be really really enthusiastic about it.”
There was a lot covered and a lot to know in her 55 minute lecture, and of course if you want more information about any of this I would recommend you talk to a healthcare professional.
But it was an absolutely fantastic and fun talk and I think there probably could not have been a better or more excited audience for a sex talk than the Nerd Nite crowd. Lux was a charming, energetic speaker who really engaged the crowd and encouraged them to open up. Even though she had done her talk before for different age groups ranging from junior high school students to senior citizens it did not diminish the importance of the information she shared. The evening was topped off with a audience member volunteering to perform a “pop quiz” condom demonstration blindfolded, and using the penis water gun, in front of the cheering crowd.