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SEXtival promotes sexual health awareness

Lube. Condom containers. STI Guess Who?
The only place on campus to find those was last weekend’s SEXtival.
The event was hosted at the Markin Family Student Recreation Center last Friday night by Bradley Help, Empower and Teach. It was a carnival-themed sexual awareness program meant to teach participants about staying safe in terms of sex and relationships.
“SEXtival is sex education in a carnival atmosphere,” said senior elementary and special education major Casey Stark. “The whole idea is to teach people safer sex and how to have healthy relationships but having fun while they’re learning.”
Stark, the sexual health chairperson of H.E.A.T., said SEXtival is a new idea for Bradley.

“This is the first time we’ve done something like this,” Stark said. “We’re trying to keep it fun while keeping an educational spin on it.”
SEXtival was composed of a variety of stations that participants could visit.
One station, called the “KY Challenge,” involved placing KY lube on the back of the participant’s hand and having the participant guess whether it was men’s or women’s lube.
Another station allowed participants to decorate tin containers meant for condom or birth control storage.
While some stations were meant for fun, many of the stations were educational as well.
One station involved practicing the placement of condoms on a wooden penis. This station had detailed instructions on how to use the condom correctly.
Another station, “STI Guess Who,” was similar to the standard “Guess Who?” board game. A number of the faces had sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or abstinence assigned to them, and participants had to guess which faces their partners had through process of elimination.
“Fertility Beads,” a station that represented techniques used by Natural Family Planning (NFP), allowed women to create a necklace of beads, with certain colored beads representing what days they were or were not likely to get pregnant.
Stark said she hoped the variety of games and stations educated participants about different lifestyles.
“The reality of it is, not everyone is sexually active and not everyone is abstinent,” Stark said. “We try to cater to people who abstain, who are considering being sexually active, who are already sexually active and to those who want to use NFP later.”
Some students said they thought SEXtival did a good job educating them about safe sex and relationships.
“It’s so informative,” said senior criminal justice and sociology major Matt Afryl. “I learned so much. The carnival format makes it more tolerable than a lecture.”
Devon Bates, a freshman electrical engineering major, said she enjoyed SEXtival.
“I really liked decorating the condom boxes, and I made some for my friends who weren’t there,” Bates said. “It was a really clever idea … all in all it was really fun. I’d definitely go again.”
H.E.A.T. is hosting sexual education classes at 8 and 8:30 p.m on Wednesdays and 3 and 3:30 p.m. on Fridays in classroom 38 in the basement of Markin.