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District of Columbia: Groups Spread Safe Sex Tips at George Washington University

October 31, 2007

On Oct. 22, George Washington University students were offered workshops on sex from two very different viewpoints. Psychiatrist Miriam Grossman, author of the book "Unprotected," spoke at a program sponsored by the GWU Republican Women. An hour later, Allied in Pride sponsored a workshop featuring a guest lecturer from the Whitman-Walker Clinic's Lesbian Services Program.

Grossman told the GWU Republican Women there is no such thing as "safe or safer sex." Random hookups have emotionally and physically harmful consequences, especially for younger women, she said.

According to Grossman, one danger of one-night stands involves the hormone oxytocin, which is released in women mostly during moments of intimacy, including sex, childbirth, breastfeeding, and even long hugs. Oxytocin promotes "feelings of emotional attachment and trust," she explained. Such feelings can be problematic in casual sexual relationships, where one partner -- often the woman -- may want more than just a physical relationship, while the other has no need for commitment, she said. "A condom doesn't protect you from this," said Grossman.

Lauren Wethers of Whitman-Walker's Lesbian Services Program held a workshop geared toward the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and questioning) community, with a focus on same-sex couples. She advocated using a variety of options, including traditional condoms, female condoms, dental dams, plastic wrap, and rubber gloves. Her advice to students was to "wrap it up," or use protection.

"It's not too nosy to ask your partner about his or her disease," said Wethers. "You deserve to have all the cards on the table, and they deserve the same from you."

Back to other news for October 2007

Adapted from:
University Wire
10.29.2007; Laura Treanor, George Washington Hatchet

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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