A bizarre new guide published by the Student Wellness Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill provides students with an instruction manual for proper condom usage and sexual activity.
According to the guide, there are actually 21 steps involved in sexual activity, and it is important they are followed in order. Students will likely be surprised at the specific order of the steps, as they are awkwardly arranged.
For instance, the guide instructs students to first “check expiration date” of the condom, then obtain “affirmative consent,” and only then begin “kissing.” After following these steps, “arousal” will take place, followed by “erection.” While it is important for both parties to provide uniform consent, it seems bizarre that participants would be encouraged to check the condom expiration date as the first step. This appears to imply that it is acceptable to look at the condom before being intimate with a partner, a practice that may offend some.
The guide goes on to list a series of steps for males to place the condom on properly, and then instructs students to engage in “Vaginal, anal or oral intercourse.” Following the completion of sexual activity, students are instructed to dispose of the condom and “savor the afterglow.”
The guide also includes a number of discussion points for students to consider before and during sex, which includes asking about the female orgasm, as well as “the consideration of sexual satisfaction for all parties.” Additionally, the guide discusses the importance of using dental dams, a device designed for safe oral sex.
While the UNC student guide reinforces a number of important points regarding human sexuality - the most important of which is obtaining consent from both parties - it is patently absurd to expect students to follow a cookie-cutter guideline for 100 percent proper sexual activity. Additionally, encouraging students to begin their experience by looking at a condom expiration date directly before being intimate with a partner will likely be a turnoff for a number of individuals, as this action may be interpreted as 1) being more important than the person you are spending time with or 2) an assumption that sex is to follow before ever obtaining consent.
However well-intentioned the guide may be, it's certainly awkward and very well may kill the mood.
John Patrick (@john_pat_rick) is a graduate of Canisius College and Georgia Southern University. He interned for Red Alert Politics during the summer of 2012 and has continued to contribute regularly.