One of the things that has plagued me throughout my life is my inability to plan in the long-term. That isn’t to say I don’t understand the benefit of setting goals and rolling them out into a path forward, it is just that I have never been the type of person to do it…and then follow the road. It’s not necessarily a bad thing.
I attended the health fair at Johnson & Wales University last week representing the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health. One of the main parts of tabling this type of event is to answer any questions people may bring about sexuality, health, pleasure, our mission, and, most commonly, “Is that a dildo?” One of the interns was with me, and we were switching off wandering around the health fair, getting flu shots and smoothie samples. Around 1:00, a flood of culinary students came through the space.
We were answering questions about lube, condoms, why one would include nail files in a safer sex kit…And then, when the table had cleared, a young man walked by, saw our vulva puppet, read the name of our organization and said, “So, what is this all about?”
I gave him the standard answer: The CSPH is an education and Advocacy organization dedicated to reducing sexual shame and challenging misinformation.
“So you guys are trying to make everything all Brave New World?”
This is where my inability to plan ties in. In a previous incarnation, I was on track to get a BA in English, with professional editing as my area of focus. Although I took the requisite literature courses–suffering through the Transcendentalists, the Faerie Queen, Beowulf (for the third time), Inferno, and more Shakespeare that I would have chosen to read–my literary heart belongs to the dystopian future genre. My copies of Brave New World, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451 are well worn. My favorite speedy read is Harrison Bergeron. I completely fucked my sleep schedule when I sped through the Hunger Games trilogy (in 48 hours). Reading people’s ideas of how things could go wrong if government or religion or consumerism are left unchecked fascinates me. One day, I will be sitting in a basement lined in Mylar wearing a tinfoil hat.
“We aren’t advocating for Orgy Porgy, we just want people to feel comfortable talking about sexuality and able to ask questions.”
“Wait, you got that reference? No one ever gets that reference!” We went on to have an interesting conversation about destigmatizing conversations around sexuality and what those discussions could look like. I know he might not be ready to walk into the sex toy lined Center, but I hope that the small connection allowed him to recognize there are people he can talk to if he is so inclined.
If it weren’t for my lack of planning skills, I wouldn’t have been there. I might have been slaving away at a dying print publication or teaching English in China.