Reply to Galen: Condoms

Mitchell, Paul T MTCHPTAA at
Tue Jul 22 07:59:00 PDT 1997

>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.

Interesting.  But we are intolerant of many things people do without
forethought.  Failure to call blows, temper tantrums on the field -- or
off -- angry replies to people who've said something we don't like,
these are just the first few things I've thought of, I'm sure you know

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.

Eowyn, I have not observed you to be such a non-judgemental person.
In the SCA, we strive to be judged as honorable people, if only judged
so by ourselves.  But most of us are pleased to be judged worthy of
some honor by the nobility and royalty who rule us.  We judge the
quality of those rulers largely on how well they make such judgements
about the worth or quality of people's efforts, and even judgements
about their character.  Like when I gave you your AoA.  Our entire
award structure is based on being judgemental, and I say that's a
_good_ thing.

But due to the excesses of many, sex

So did the public temper tantrums of a couple of former kings, but
I demanded better of them.  Someone indulging in what you've
described as "excessive" behavior is not automatically to
be tolerated.

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.

You are.  No doubt.

>> 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.

Welcome aboard, I'll take what agreement I can get.

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.

I don't particularly want the State of which I am a citizen and to
which I pay taxes to do that, either, but my State Rep. knows that,
so we needn't get into public funding issues here, at least.

>> 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.

So you're content to distribute condoms to minors without even knowing
who or how many?

>> Finally, much as been said to equate the use of a condom with
>> being "responsible".  Given condom failure rates, and their   
>> 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.

No, responsiblity is about facing consequences.  Using a condom is
cautious.  A little.

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.

We're not in major disagreement here.  Condoms are much better
than nothing, or other options, to making sex less reckless.  But
they don't make it safe, and neither of us is asserting that it does.

>> 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?

The SCA has many modes of dress that are widely considered
unacceptable.  If I stopped wearing costumes altogether, and attended
events in jeans & t-shirt without even attempting a costume, I'd get
harrassed.  Would you tolerate Star Trek style costumes at an
event where you were seneschal or autocrat?  A lot of people are
bothered by bunny-fur bikini barbarians.

And who says my objection to promiscuous sex is based in
morality?  Besides, I routinely harrass people for violating my
moral standards.  Discourtesy to ladies, dishonesty, and failing
to live up to commitments are only some of the things people
hear from me about.  I also spend a lot of time letting people
know when I think they're doing well.

>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
>Back to lurking....
>Phyllis L. Spurr
>aka Eowyn ferch Rhys, Elfsea

Later!  Thanks for such a courteous and considered response.

 - Galen of Bristol
pmitchel at
paul.t.mitchell at

Liberals!  Might as well learn to live with them, there're too many to   

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