When I was 19 and in my first year of college, I took a class called «Intro to Public Speaking.» I enrolled because at the time, I thought I was going to major in communications. This class required each person to give 2 speeches, each worth over 30% of our final grade. I used to be, and still am, kind of terrified of getting up in front of a bunch of people and talking to them, so taking a class in public speaking was not my idea of fun.
I gave my first talk about how plastic bottles are terrible for the environment. It was not very interesting and it went overtime since I have issues with making things short and sweet. I think I got a B for that talk because the teacher was really nice and could tell I made an effort.
As for the second talk… well, here’s what happened. Everyone’s speeches were scheduled on a calendar at the beginning of the semester. The class was held two times a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I knew which week I was scheduled to go on, but clearly, I was not as organized as I should have been…
It’s Tuesday of that week. Mr. B starts the class, then announces the people who are giving their speeches today. «Okay, so we have John, Simone, Andre, Anna…» Wait, what? No way. I have on my planner that I’m supposed to go on… oh, right. Crap. I’m a huge procrastinator so I hadn’t even started preparing anything and was planning to do it all on Wednesday. Uh-oh.
When John gets up from his seat and starts to set up his PowerPoint presentation, I ask Mr. B if I can talk to him for a second. He says sure, and we stand outside by the door. I’m like, «I uh, seriously thought I was supposed to go on Thursday, and my speech isn’t.. totally ready. Is there any possibility I can go on Thursday instead?» He says, «Sorry Anna, the schedule is the schedule. If I push you back, everyone else will also get pushed back and we might not have time to finish all the speeches before the semester ends.» Fair enough. «Okay, would it be okay if I went into the empty classroom next door, finish my speech, and then go last?»
He says that’s fine. So I grab my stuff, go into the other classroom, and I’m like omg/fuck/shit what can I come up with in less than an hour that I know enough about to talk to in front of a whole class? Fuck, I’m going to fail this class. I think about it for about 10 minutes, and then I come up with the idea of sex. I can talk to them about safe sex, the different type of STDs floating around, and why it’s so important to wrap it up. Yeah. Why do I know anything about this topic? I’d spent the previous semester as a peer sex ed counselor, and they’d given us two days of intensive training about safe sex, birth control, and all the different types of STDs, accompanied by colorful photos.
This can work. I get on my laptop and get a refresher course on herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia and the rest. Then I run like the wind and go to my apartment (just off campus) to grab some condoms and a few other things as my ‘props’. I run back to the classroom, just as the second to last person is finishing. My heart is racing, both from the running and the fact that I’m about to give a talk worth 30% of my final grade about something I came up with less than an hour ago. Oh my god.
Mr. B says, «And now it’s time for our last speech of the day. Anna, are you ready?» He’s raising his eyebrows at me. I nod, walk to the front of the classroom, and my adrenaline is going nuts. As it turns out, that kind of thing can actually help you in cases like this.
«Today I’m going to talk about safe sex and what can happen if you choose not to protect yourself.» Everyone in the class is now looking at me. I’m pretty sure they’re thinking wtf? Isn’t this the quiet girl who sits in the back who gave a boring-ass speech about plastic water bottles? Oh yes.
So I’m talking about different types of condoms, and how I know they don’t feel as good as using nothing, but there are many types on the market and you just have to find the right one for you. Fits too tightly/small? Yeah, you and every other guy out there. I feel surprisingly comfortable talking about this stuff. I think everyone else’s discomfort is making me feel more at ease, because at least if they’re uncomfortable, they aren’t actively judging me.
So then I get into the STDs. There were a lot of jocks in this class. You know, comm is one of those majors. The only thing I vividly remember about the STDs talk is gonorrhea, because I recall the jocks’ reactions. I’m like, «This is what gonorrhea looks like,» then turn my laptop around to show them a picture I’d loaded up before. «Would you like to know how they test for gonorrhea? They take one of these (pause, hold up a Q-Tip) and they stick it inside your urethra (make thrusting action with Q-Tip). That’s your pee hole.»
The guys in the class are like «Uggghh,» and some lean back in their chairs, like *I’m* about to test them for gonorrhea right there and then. Heh.
So the way this story ends is that the speech went well. I didn’t go overtime, I spoke confidently, and I gave away a few condoms at the end as a final touch. Mr. B said it went a lot better than my first talk and gave me an A. Fuck yeah.
To conclude, an overall message to all guys: Wrap your dicks up unless you’re in a monogamous relationship where you’ve both been tested and trust each other. STDs are not worth the pain, infecting others, or having a Q-Tip jabbed into your pee hole.
I’ll be posting soon about the best condom I’ve come across through my years of trial and error. Condoms were *not* all created equally (though using one is ALWAYS better than not using one at all).