The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 42.0°F | Partly Cloudy

Safe sex video shoen outside dorms

By Reuven M. Lerner

Approximately 50 students attended a Wednesday night screening of Truth or Consequences: Safer Sex at MIT, a video that demonstrates the proper use of condoms, dental dams, contraceptives and other safe sex devices. Jill B. Soley '92, who co-produced the video, estimated that another 60 students attended last night's showing.

The presentations in 6-120 ended with a presentation by AIDS Response at MIT (ARMIT) member Sallie E. Israelit '92, who demonstrated correct use of condoms and discussed the relative safety of different sexual acts.

Soley, who produced, directed and narrated the video along with Aaron T. Curtis PhD '91, was not disappointed by the turnout. "I wasn't sure what to expect -- I figured we'd either have 10 people or 300," she said.

This was the first time the video was shown outside a dormitory, Soley said. "There have been two showings at East Campus, two at Bexley and one at Baker," she added.

Soley said, "As far as I'm concerned, it can still be shown in the dorms. Some of the housemasters and some hall tutors are interested" in showing the video. She showed the video in a lecture hall because "I was curious to see the reaction, and because I can't guarantee" students will be able to see the video in their dormitories.

Housemasters interviewed last night said they had not seen the video, and could not comment on it.

Video used live models

The video has been somewhat controversial because of its use of live models to demonstrate such things as donning and doffingputting on and taking off a condom, the use of a dental dam and using contraceptive foam. The models, whose faces were not visible, are members of the MIT community.

Soley defended the use of live models, saying that "we could have used bananas" instead of live models, but that "the purpose of the video is to educate people, and we figured the best way to do that was to show them what they'll see."

"If you can't handle seeing it on the screen, I don't know how you're going to handle seeing it in reality," she added.

Soley was optimistic that the video would be shown in dormitories. "As far as I'm concerned, it can still be shown in the dorms. Some of the housemasters and some hall tutors are interested," she said.

She admitted that "some of the hall tutors" did not want to show the video, adding that "they have no desire to see it because it's explicit, it shows naked bodies."

Charlotte L. Emoungu '92, who saw the video last night, felt it "should be shown to more students, obviously with the disclaimer that it contains sexual images. . . . I think people should have role models that are comfortable with nudity and comfortable enough with sexuality to talk about it intelligently, to talk about it practically."

Condoms distributed

during discussion

After the video was over, Israelit discussed the risk of contracting the AIDS virus, and methods students could use to avoid contracting the virus, including hugging, kissing, phone sex and showering together.

Emoungu said she was surprised to hear that one out of every 500 college students has AIDS. This made "the magnitude of the problem" much more apparent, she said. "The ARMIT discussion following [the video] was very informative," she added.

Israelit gave audience members condoms in order for them to "feel comfortable around them." She then demonstrated how to put on and remove a condom, using a tube of lubricant as her model, while some students inflated their condoms and tossed them around the room.