SCA Purchases

Mitchell, Paul T MTCHPTAA at
Mon Jul 21 07:00:00 PDT 1997

Galen of Bristol here.

Late as it is, I'm going to chime in on this one (courteously, I hope)...

I don't believe the SCA Chirurgeonate has any obligation to distribute
condoms or other birth control, nor do I feel it appropriate to do so.
Condoms are not first-aid supplies.  I wonder how many other   
_are_ distributed by SCA Chirurgeons, but I don't wonder so much that
I've taken the time to ask my good friend, Baroness and former
Kingdom Chirurgeon Zarazina about that.  I tend to doubt that many
preventatives other than sunblock are carried.

To contradict Aquilanne, sex is not something that "happens".  It's
not like sunburn or accidental injuries.  Sex is something that
people decide to do.  For many people, condoms are equipment
for a particular activity.  Generally speaking, the SCA doesn't
provide equipment, except for those new to the activity.  I hope no
one's advocating we distribute condoms to minors the way we loan
armor to new fighters.  And sex isn't even an SCA activity, even so
much as brewing is, let alone fighting, which is uniquely SCA.
Yes, sex is practiced at SCA events.  So is automotive repair.

I don't believe that the SCA's officers need to take responsibility
to equip adults for non-SCA activities which they may choose to
engage in at SCA events.  I don't place condoms in a category
with band-aids.  I place them in the same category with motor-
cycle helmets:  a device intended to make a risky activity
slightly less risky, but by no means safe.

If condoms must be distributed at SCA events, I suggest someone
other than Chirurgeons should be the ones.  Aren't they usually set
up at a central point during the _day_?  Haven't they usually gone
to take part in other activities when the fighting is done?  Or should
they be asked to man Chirurgeon's Point from dusk to midnight,
as well?  Better it should be seneschals.  Or perhaps some new
officer with a suitable title, "Minister of Responsibility", or something
equally Orwellian.  Perhaps they could distribute other equipment
for the amorous, such as vibrators (why should we discriminate
against those who _haven't_ "gotten lucky"?) and more ... esoteric
devices.  Rope, for those who... whose tents need setting up!  (Yeah,
that's the ticket!)  They could also set up their point on Sunday, to   
motorcycle helmets for the bikers who've forgotten theirs, and new tires
for those whose tires have gone bald.  I can't wait to see the first   
for this service.  (This paragraph has been an exercise in satire.)

Finally, much as been said to equate the use of a condom with
being "responsible".  Given condom failure rates, and their unreliability
in stopping the transmission of viruses (a virus is far smaller than
the sperm a condom is designed to stop -- latex is a _porous_
material), I am forced to question the assertion that a condom
constitutes "protection".  I can't agree that a decision to have
sex with a partner whose history you don't know, and with whom
you don't intend to pursue an exclusive relationship is made
"responsible" because a condom is involved.  Sex has consequences,
and nothing can change that.  Reckless driving is not made
responsible with the addition of seat belts.

I would encourage people who disapprove of unprotected
promiscuous sex to show a little disapproval of it, rather than
finding some way to assuage their conscience by making
it "safe".

 - Viscount Galen of Bristol, KSCA
Central Regional Seneschal
formerly Kingdom Seneschal
pmitchel at (hm), paul.t.mitchell at (wk)

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