Goldsmiths Students’ Union for many years has been able to provide students with free condoms and sexual health items.
This post is intended as an information guide to what we have, a place to find some answers to some frequently asked questions and some lesser-known sexual health information.
- HOW DO I GET FREE CONDOMS/LUBE/DENTAL DAMS AT GSU? DO I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE?
Our condoms, lube and dental dams are all readily available from the Student Union building. They are down the ramp to the left of the reception desk on the wall.
You do not need to speak to anyone or ask for permission and you can’t be seen from the reception desk or the Sabbatical Officers’ Office.
- WHAT ITEMS DO YOU HAVE?
Currently (though this may vary), we usually stock condoms from Durex, Mates, and Pasante. These are available while our supplies last and we can’t guarantee everything we offer will always be available.
As well as supplying standard condoms, we try to make sure we have latex-free condoms, a range of sizes (small and larger), and textured (ribbed, dotted, etc.) and flavoured when available.
Our dental dams are from Pasante and come in Flavoured (strawberry, mint, chocolate, vanilla, blueberry, banana) and Latex-Free.
If you need anymore specific information please don’t be afraid to get in touch.
- WHAT ARE DENTAL DAMS AND HOW ARE THEY USED?
Dental dams are small, thin, squares usually made from latex (though latex-free dams are available) that can be used during oral-vaginal or oral-anal sex. The square creates a barrier that keep vaginal and anal fluids that contain bacteria and viruses away from the mouth.
Before using the dam, check it has no holes or tears, then place the dam upon the vulva or anus of your partner before engaging in oral sex.
Only use ONE SIDE of the dam; do not flip it over for another round–it will transfer fluids from one area to another and defeat the
DON’T use the same dam to alternate between vaginal and anal oral sex.
- WHY DO YOU SUPPLY LATEX-FREE CONDOMS/DAMS?
Many people have allergies to latex. As such, we provide alternatives to latex condoms and dental dams.
- WHAT IS NONOXYNOL-9 AND DOES THE SU CARRY ANYTHING THAT CONTAIN IT?
Nonoxynol-9, or N-9, is a spermicide that in the past had been added to the lubricant of many condoms, but is now discouraged; N-9 has been shown to not only cause internal irritation for partners who are penetrated, but the N-9 in the lube has also been known weaken the material of the condom itself. These two things in combination actually increase the chance of STIs being transferred.
NONE of the condoms or lube that GSU provides contain N-9.
- WHY DO YOU HAVE SMALLER AND LARGER CONDOMS?
It’s important that condoms fit the user as well as possible. While condoms do stretch, if they’re too tight there’s more chance of them peeling back during intercourse. Likewise, if the condom is too large then slippage during intercourse is a possibility. To help with this, we try to provide a range of sizes.
- IS THERE ANY INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON SEXUAL HEALTH AND LOCAL CLINICS?
Yes, the hanger which holds the condoms, lube and dental dams also has literature on local STI clinics, sexual health advice, as well as pro-choice options if you or your partner is pregnant.
- I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE CONFIDENTIALLY ABOUT SOMETHING RELATED TO SEXUAL HEALTH
Contact me any time on firstname.lastname@example.org. If I can’t help you, I can put you in touch with someone who can.