By Brittany Kay Galan
What better way to inform SPC students of the risks of being in an intimate, healthy, long lasting relationship than with a chocolate fondue fountain? Well on Thursday, February 12th, in the SS building at the Gibbs St. Pete College campus, a Sex & Chocolate seminar was held to help students become aware of the risks of being in a relationship, intimate or not.
Chocolate? That’s right, there was chocolate involved at this seminar. The seminar began with 30 minutes of all you can eat fondue before Dante Ross, a Pinellas County health department specialist, began his path of enlightening the sugar induced highs of everyone in the room.
Following Ross’ presentation, Bernard Washington Jr. took the stage to discuss the relationship aspect of the seminar. Washington is an expert in the field of youth educational services. His goal is to educate students from ages 13-24 on the importance of a healthy relationship. Washington not only discussed what makes a relationship good, but also what makes it bad and how people can look for warning signs before getting into a relationship.
Washington did an interactive exercise where students in the room said what they look for in “Mr. / Mrs. Perfect”. Washington was able to exemplify the fact that we don’t always look for all of those quality traits in a person. “Just because it’s a first date doesn’t mean you can’t be choosy,” Washington stated. So, do be choosy, because every relationship is an investment. It’s important to have the right partner; one that is trustworthy and dependable when needed.
Intimacy seems to be a big part of relationships, so when couple do become intimate, it is important that each person knows if they are free of diseases. When people go to the Pinellas County Health Department to be tested for STDs, those that come up positive are noted by Ross, so he is able to investigate how many people in the area that are positive for the disease. Ross claims that he and his team of fellow workers at the CDC (Center for Disease Control) have worked so hard to figure the numbers for how many people are positive that in their database, they know the exact number-of people that have an STD on every block in all of Pinellas County. Ross emphasized the importance of safe sex and the consequences of those that are not practicing safe sex.
It’s hard maintain standards for a significant other when one finds a person he or she finds very attractive, but it’s essential to find a person that is able to treat his or her partner right and satisfy the mental needs of each other. When it’s time to get intimate, it’s better to be safe than sorry, open up with one another, and get tested before getting in bed.