Promoting healthy sexuality through sex positive education and activism

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Sex Out Loud is hiring for Spring 2015!

Hiring

Are you interested in sexual health? Interested in gaining valuable experience in peer-to-peer education? Looking for an avenue to develop your administrative skills? Look no further! Sex Out Loud has available positions to begin in January 2015.

Program Facilitator (10 hrs/wk, $9.19/hr)
Program facilitators implement Sex Out Loud programming in dorms, Greek life, co-ops, apartments, and student organizations on campus. They are responsible for being up-to-date on the latest sexual health info and presenting sexual health information to our peers on campus! Program facilitators will attend mandatory training January 13 -15. Program facilitators should be comfortable with public speaking and comfortable with discussing sexual health topics.
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Program Coordinator-in-training (Facilitator) (10 hrs/wk, $9.19/hr)
The program coordinator-in-training will fulfill all of the responsibilities listed above for Program Facilitators, but will also work closely with the Program Coordinator in preparation for taking on the role of Program Coordinator for the 2015-16 academic year. The Program Coordinator is responsible for training, supervising, scheduling programs, and providing continuing education opportunities to Sex Out Loud's team of peer educators. This position coordinates the internal and external communications of SOL's sex education programming on campus by acting as the liaison between SOL, UW-Housing, Greek Life, and student organizations. Strong candidates will have interest or experience in sex education and facilitation as well as strong organizational, leadership, and professional skills.
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Budget Coordinator (17 hrs/wk, $9.69/hr)
The Sex Out Loud Budget Coordinator handles all of the finances for Sex Out Loud’s nearly $100,000 budget. Duties include: creating and updating the Sex Out Loud budget; creating and delivering budget proposals in front of the SSFC; overseeing all purchases; paying all Sex Out Loud bills and invoices; overseeing staff payroll; attending mandatory SSFC and ASM finance meetings; meeting all SSFC, GSSF, and ASM deadlines by completing and delivering any required forms and paperwork.
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Applications, along with a resume are due by Friday, November 7th at 11:59 PM to Kat Lieder at sexoutloud@gmail.com. Any questions about application materials or hiring should also be directed to Kat. If considered for a position, all applicants must be available to interview on Friday, November 14th and Sunday, November 16th.

Location, Location, Location: Resources for all occasions!

Ever wonder simple questions like, “Is that supposed to feel uncomfortable?” “Does my birth control have long-term side effects?” or “What’s going on down there?” If you’ve answered, “yes” to any of those questions, don’t worry, it’s normal! Everyone, at some point in time, has a question regarding sexual health, intercourse, orientation, etc. and we’re here to help you answer those questions!

While the Internet can offer some help, it’s impossible to know the credibility of the person offering advice. So, instead of sitting down at a computer and terrifying yourself with that WebMD or Google has to say, visit a professional or ask someone who is trained to answer specific questions regarding sex.

If you feel uncomfortable asking a friend, you don’t want to rush into the doctor’s office and spend a bunch of cash on something that may not be that serious, or just don’t know where to start finding answers…Believe it or not, but there are multiple resources on campus that are easily accessible and FREE for UW-Madison students.

Some of the resources, with mostly free services, found on campus are:

Student Activity Center

- Sex Out Loud

- Women’s Center

- PAVE

- University Health Services

Red Gym

- LGBT Center

Dejope Hall

- University Health Services

East Campus Mall

- Walgreens

State Street

- Walgreens

Fortunately, these are only some of the resources available to you on campus. The city of Madison also has a ton of other fantastic options, with hundreds of experts all to help answer all of your questions. Some of them include:

AIDS Network

600 Williamson Street

A Woman’s Touch

302 S Livingston Street

Planned Parenthood Facilities

2222 South Park Street

3706 Orin Road

Public Health Madison & Dane County

2705 East Washington Avenue

If you ever have any questions but aren’t sure where to go, feel free to stop on by the Sex Out Loud office, Mondays-Fridays from 11am-6pm, and talk to one of our friendly staff members! Or, ask our confidential email address, ask.sexoutloud@gmail.com for a quick and speedy response. We’re always eager to help!

Also, the Sex Out Loud office has a ton of FREE safer sex supplies for the taking! We hope to see you soon!

The Ins and Outs of Insertive Condoms

At Sex Out Loud we’re often asked what the ‘best’ insertive condom is. Some claim its Trojan brand condoms, some really like Durex brand. The fact is, there is no ‘best’ condom. The World Health Organization has set certain manufacturing standards for all condoms made on this earth. Each government also has certain standards with which they hold factories that make condoms. These standards are a bit too long to go over in this blog post, but those curious can do their own research. The standards are called: ISO 4074, ASTM 3492, and EN 600.

Condom manufacturers are required to put their products through certain tests that determine if they’re effectiveness of preventing pregnancy and STIs (sexually transmitted infections). These tests include an electrical conductance test, an air test, a water test, and a tensile.

Electrical Conductance: This is the standard test that all condom manufacturers perform on every condom that is made in their factory. The condoms are dipped in a conductive solution and placed on a metal rod. They are essentially ‘zapped’ to see if electricity passes through the condoms; if the condom has tiny holes in it, the electrical current would pass through. If no current is measured then the condom is determined safe to use.

Air Test:  Ever made a condom balloon? Well, there are people who get paid to do this every day. This is done to random samples out of a batch of condoms. The condoms are filled with an amount of air, usually more than enough to fill a basketball, until they pop. The air pressure and amount of air inside the condom is measured at the time it pops to determine quality.

Water Test:  This test is also done on a random sample of condoms. They’re filled with water while hanging vertically and visually inspected for water leaks. The condoms are then rolled, by hand, on absorbent paper to further check for leaks.

Tensile Test:  A section of condom, chosen randomly from the batch, is cut off and stretched by a machine. The machine measures the strength of the condom, the force required to break it, and how far it’s stretched when it breaks.

When it comes to condoms, they’re technically all the same. However, everyone has their preferences as to what condoms they like using. Remember, at our office we have thousands of condoms (for free) in a bunch of different varieties so you can find the one you like the most.

Passion for Pornography!

Did you know that 68% of young people with penises and 18% of young people with vaginas use porn at least once a week? In fact 85% of young phallused folkes and nearly half of vagined people watch porn as a monthly activity.  This means that a whole lot of people are watching other people get it on, and that is awesome!  Considering the large amount of people choose to watch porn it is not all that surprising that more and more people are becoming interested in making their own amateur pornography.  Before we all find some friends and grab a camera let’s cover some legalities and rules for making porn.

1) CONSENT.  Everyone involved in the making of the porn must give consent, to not only whatever sexual acts that will be performed on and with one another, but all parties must consent to being recorded or photographed whilst taking part in said sexytime.

2) Laws on pornography vary from state to state.  The majority of states have consensus for certain types of porn that are illegal which include beastiality and child-pornography.  The UK has a law banning “extreme porn”.   Extreme porn makes pornographic materials illegal that involve harm to an individual such as rape, include a human corpse, beastiality, and anything with children.

3) BEWARE OF THE CLOUD.  There has been a great deal of talk in the media about celebrities private images being hacked into and spread all over the internet.  A movie starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel came out this past summer called “Sex Tape”.  It is the story of a couple who makes a sex tape together and then they discover that it has accidentally been sent to people.  Point being, if there is a picture or a video there is always the chance that someone could see it.  If we choose to make an explicit video, people will see it.  Once it is on the internet it will forever be out there somewhere in the world of data.

In short, porn is rocks.  We can learn a lot and enjoy ourselves.  Plenty of people watch porn, and if we choose to make our own, we need to follow the guidelines above and be smart about what we do.

START YOUR YEAR OFF RIGHT WITH SEX OUT LOUD

So it’s a new school year, and that means it’s a time of new classes, new people, and a new you! Now is the time to get that crazy haircut you’ve been dying to get, to finally nail down those awesome study habits you’ve been promising yourself you’ll adopt, and, most importantly, time to join that super cool student org on campus you’ve been thinking of all summer. That’s right: Sex Out Loud is looking for new volunteers, and that means you!

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Ew, why would I volunteer my time to help people when there’s nothing in it for me?” Well, there are actually a lot of perks to spending some down time helping out at Sex Out Loud.

First off: the staff. Sex Out Loud is chocked full of fun and outgoing people that are super open to talk about whatever. Whether you want a friend to talk about your sex life with or you just want to bitch about the three papers you have due next week, the staff at Sex Out Loud is always around the office to chat about whatever. Not convinced? Just check out the “About Us” section of the website to see some bios on Madison’s coolest sex educators.

Plus, volunteering with Sex Out Loud is an enriching and educational experience. Because of the open environment that Sex Out Loud facilitates, you will constantly find yourself meeting people of different backgrounds and beliefs, which can help you grasp a new outlook on things. That paired with Sex Out Loud’s new mentor program, allowing volunteers to work side-by-side with staff on research projects associated with everything from sexual health to pleasure, volunteering with us is guaranteed to educate you, or at least teach you a few new dirty words.

Last but not least, and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but Sex Out Loud hosts some awesome events on campus, and volunteering is a great way to assure that you get yourself a front row seat at all of our events. We always need help setting up on big event days, and being there right as the event starts can set you up with the best seat for the movie screening or even some one-on-one time with some awesome sexual health experts.

Needless to say, volunteering with Sex Out Loud is definitely worth your time. But don’t take it from us, come in and see for yourself.

About Edible Aphrodisiacs…

Oysters. Chocolate. The horn of an African Rhino. The list of aphrodisiacs goes on and on, but even in the 21st century the jury is out on which ones work, if any. Well, dear readers, after thousands of years of edible enhancements, we’re here to give you the skinny on all things aphrodisiac.

First, let’s break down the definition: It’s named after the Greek goddess of gettin’ it on, Aphrodite. Good ol’ Wikipedia defines it as a substance that increases sexual desire. In other words, an aphrodisiac is some sort of a stuff that makes us horny. Pretty straightforward.

So what sorts of things are thought to be aphrodisiacs? Turns out there are some common themes. Throughout history, especially back when globalization was a relatively new fad, when people came across new foods from foreign lands, they were commonly thought to increase arousal. Past examples include basil, pomegranates, chocolate (which persists to this day for other reasons), and potatoes. That’s right, folks. Potatoes.

Historically, it was also trendy for people to try things that resemble naughty bits, and sometimes naughty bits themselves (see: tiger penis, fish eggs). The former often includes phallic and vulvatic (coined that word just now) foods such as carrots, rhino horns, and oysters. Yummy.*

Finally, there’s chocolate, and other foods that are just plain delicious. A common thought seems to be that if you stimulate your senses and tingle your taste buds, other things might get tingly as well.

Great. Now that we know the classic examples, what does the science and evidence say about their efficacy? It turns out that… no. No foods have really been shown to increase libido in any capacity. Nor do they affect fertility very much. But then how is it that people have relied on these things for centuries? There’s got to be something behind it all.  Well, let’s think about it.

Firstly, eating can be sexy! Chocolate covered strawberries, anyone? Lots of sexy time happenings can involve our mouths, and if we’re in the mood, our imagination can take that [INSERT FOOD ITEM HERE] and go nuts with it. Maybe the carrots and oysters nudge the imagination in the right direction, or maybe the sight of fried chicken and kumquats just gets us all hot and bothered. Either way, it’s a win for everyone involved!

Secondly, we’ve got the power! So here’s a fun fact: the biggest predictor of having a fun sexual experience is whether or not the parties involved want to have sex.  If we’re using an aphrodisiac with our partner for the purpose of gettin’ down with the get-down, then it follows – actually, it precedes – that we in fact want to have sex with said partner. And if we really want to do it, and we take the time to feel comfortable and happy with our partners – given a few specific exceptions (e.g., erectile dysfunction, inebriation, hormone therapy) –  we and our partners will make it happen.  So in reality, the aphrodisiac is actually more of a product of our desire as opposed to a cause or “stimulant.” QED, we’ve had the desire and ability in us all along! Huzzah!

 

* This is of course, a joke. We all know carrots are overrated, mussels >> oysters, and rhino poaching is bad, m’kay?