by ALLISON LECAIN
Back in the day, sex was so taboo and considered to be a hush-hush topic. Now that has all changed.
Sex is openly expressed in artwork, music and slam poetry, ranging from being conveyed as sensual to exciting. It’s a subject we can all talk about now, and there are organizations and events that strive to do so.
Beforeplay.org is a safe sex resource in Colorado that has information on birth control, protection, pregnancy, and much more. What sets it apart from other organizations is its approach.
“We wanted to create a space that allowed people to get accurate information and recognize that there’s a whole huge range of sex and sexual activity and behavior and choices, and they’re OK,” said Family Planning Supervisor Greta Klingler from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
Klingler explained that many of the resources out there are very dry and much more on the clinical side, sometimes making it hard to understand. Others seemed very judgmental, like the organization was pushing a certain agenda, whether that be freedom of choice or the opposite. Beforeplay.org aims to make safe sex education fun and relatable to young people.
“You do what feels right for you, as long as it’s consensual, and really our goal is to get people talking about it,” Klingler said. “Whether it’s talking about how to be safe, or some new, crazy thing you want to try, talk about it. You know that it’s OK – it shouldn’t be taboo.”
The approach that Beforeplay uses is much different than other sex education organizations. Their ads say things like “Safe is sexy” and “Do you have a raincoat for your sailor?” Ads like these have gotten a huge response from young people. They also have a blog where questions that people send in are answered.
“[The blog] allows people to look at the information that people are actually looking for and making sure we’re addressing it,” Klingler said. “We’ve also just started to bring in guest bloggers from other sexual health advocates to bring in different voices to make sure we’re representing everybody in Colorado and all the different perspectives.”
It’s truly a honest, open space when it comes to safe sex. Beforeplay has tons of talking topics online, with tips on how to get started with a specific conversation, whether that’s getting tested with your partner or discussing what type of birth control is right for you. It’s all about making sure each partner is on the same page, Klingler said.
Klingler suggests when trying something new with a partner, talk about it first and decide on a safe word if things get out of hand. She said sex should be consensual and there’s no harm in talking about plans and taking precautionary measures. It shouldn’t be an embarrassing topic.
Beforeplay has advocates all over Colorado that go to events to promote. They go where there’s a lot of young people and hand out information or condoms and hopefully start those conversations with people.
“It’s really fun to see the questions that those people have and how eager they are to talk about it once they realize it’s OK,” Klingler said.
A Safe & Sexy Fashion Show
Check out the celebration of Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center’s 40th anniversary on November 8. This fundraiser will feature local, original designs using unwrapped, colorful condoms and will promote safe sex and sex positivity.
General Admission $20
VIP $100 (incl. beer and wine & hors d’oeuvres) VIP Reception 6-7p.m.
Doors open 7p.m. Show starts 7:30p.m.