Contraceptives, a colorful work of art

Colorful art displays made of sex props and hundreds of condoms grabbed student’s attention Monday at the condom art show/competition on The Set of Florida A&M University.

Students couldn’t help but notice the colorful gallery of condoms, instructional diagrams and dildos as they passed by. Many stopped to admire the vibrant displays.

One that stood out to everyone was a dress made from an assortment of colorful condoms. Elissa Walker designed the dress. It won third place in a statewide condom art competition held Nov. 3 at the Capitol.

“Elissa designed the dress and had someone model it at the march for World AIDS at the capital Friday,” said Jacquelyn Massey, 21, a senior biology student from Pompano Beach.

In addition, there was a condom umbrella that was decorated with colorful condoms. After admiring the artwork, students were encouraged to take part in demonstrations of how to properly put on a condom. Students tested their knowledge and tried to put condoms on dildos.

Those who participated were awarded with the choice of a free backpack, flash drive or CD case. In addition, participants received knowledge about safe sex and safe sex methods. Students also received free condoms.

Taurus Jerelds, 28, a junior health care management student from Tallahassee, led the talk about proper condom use in a quest to dispel myths about condoms.

“There is a serious need for events like this, because just by being here, I heard so many of the myths people believe about condoms,” Jerelds said.

One of the myths Jerelds is referring to is that condoms break because they are cheap or too small.

“Condoms break- they have only enough lubricant for about 2-3 minutes of sex,” Jerelds said. “Latex condoms are latex condoms, to avoid ripping, use lubricant.”

Jerelds, who is an HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator for Minority Alliance Advocating Community Action and Awareness, warned students not to make excuses.

“The most common reason to not use condoms is that it feels better without it,” Jerelds said.

“There are over 72 different types of condoms, they come in all shapes and sizes so there is no excuse to not use one.”

Another hot topic of discussion at the art show was what to do if your sexual partner is allergic to latex. Courtney Surrency, SGA surgeon general, gave students valuable advice about this issue.

“Many people will tell you to use lambskin condoms if you are allergic to latex, but polyurethane condoms are a much safer solution,” Surrency said. “There will be campus-wide testing Dec. 4, and a health fair in the grand ballroom Dec. 5.”

Meanwhile, Shiela Morris, HIV/AIDS prevention and training consultant for the Leon County health department, displayed the proper way to use a female condom. She displayed it first for students, then let them try. She also discussed the pros and cons of female condoms versus male condoms.

“With female condoms, the bases are prevented from touching and it makes it harder for syphilitic sores to be spread between partners, where male condoms do not,” Morris said.

Also, Jerelds discussed other techniques for female condoms.

“The ring can be removed and used for anal sex and it can also be used as a dental dam for safe oral sex,” Jerelds said.

According to Morris, this art show comes to FAMU once every semester.

“We visit FAMU, FSU and TCC every semester and we have a great relationship with the university health departments,” Morris said.