Reply to Galen: Condoms

Mon Jul 21 13:07:56 PDT 1997

> Date sent:      Mon, 21 Jul 1997 09:00:00 -0500
> From:           "Mitchell, Paul T" <MTCHPTAA at>

Pardon me while I delurk....

> Galen of Bristol here.

Eowyn ferch Rhys here.


> 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.

Unfortunately sex is something that "happens"  quite frequently 
without forethought at many of our events.  I am not saying that this 
is a bad thing and I am not saying that this is a good thing.  I am 
being totally non-judgmental.  But due to the excesses of many, sex 
"happens".  I for one do not go to an event expecting to have sex.  I 
go to an event to fellowship with others of like mind.  I do not 
carry condoms with me, however, I try not to put myself in a 
situation where I will regret my decision not to carry said objects.
I believe that I am mature enough to maintain this ideal.

> 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 agree with you Galen that SCA officers have enough to worry about 
without taking on the added responsibility of worrying about the 
health of our members.  However, as a Texas Department of Health 
employee, I worry.  I have worried previously about the 
indiscriminate sex happening at events.  I do not think we can change 
peoples behaviours, but I, as a responsible employee of the Texas 
Department of Health, can at least help by providing "equipment" and 
education about this unsanctioned activity.

> If condoms must be distributed at SCA events, I suggest someone
> other than Chirurgeons should be the ones.  <snip> (This paragraph 
has been an exercise in satire.) > 

I don't believe that anyone one person should be the contact point 
for condoms.  The following suggestion emanates from a co-worker here 
at the Texas Department of Health:  Place a supply in the rest areas 
(port-a-johns and restrooms).  I would like to supplement that idea 
with pamphlets about STDs.

> 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".

However, Galen I must disagree with the above paragraph.  As an 
employee of the Texas Department of Health, I cannot allow 
misinformation that pervades our society as a whole to go unchecked.  
This is not a slam against you Galen, your statements above are widely 

Using a condom is responsible.  While condoms are not 100 percent 
perfect, they are very effective in preventing HIV, other sexually 
transmitted diseases, and pregnancy if they are used consistently and 

HIV is a virus.  Condoms are latex.  However, the pores in the latex 
*are* too small for the virus to penetrate.

Condoms can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease.  If 
used properly, the condom can provide excellent protection against 
gonorrhea and NSU (non-specific urethritis), and good protection 
against syphilis, herpes, and veneral warts.  The condom provides no 
protection against pubic lice or scabies.

> 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".

While I agree with everyone having the right to express their 
opinions, I do not believe that anyone has the right to harrass 
people who do not live up (or down) to their moral standards.  If 
anyone has the right to harrass people for their morals, who next, 
someone who dresses differently?

However much I dissapprove of unprotected promiscuous sex I will not 
barrage someone with my opinion.  However, as a responsible friend I 
might try some friendly counselling.  As a responsible employee of the 
Texas Department of Health whose mission is to protect and promote 
the health of Texas, I would offer condoms without a side order of my 
personal feelings.

As an aside.  If anyone has questions that you would like to ask 
about STDs, HIV, AIDs, condoms, or anything along that line.  I would 
like to refer you to a professional who works in the STD/HIV 
department with Texas Department of Health.  All messages and 
conversations are held in the strictist of confidence.  You may e-
mail Valerie at vcarson at

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

Back to lurking....

 Phyllis L. Spurr
aka Eowyn ferch Rhys, Elfsea

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