"I'm going to the Sex Olympics," my husband Don said.
"You come home with a medal and you're a dead man," I said.
"My editor assigned it," he said.
Don is a reporter for the Forum newspapers in South Florida. I was surprised his editor, a thoroughgoing family man, gave him that assignment.
On closer examination, the event was the "Sexual Health Olympics," sponsored partly by the YMCA. Now I had visions of disco dancing Village People and . . .
Well, some of the Sex Olympics' target audience might have danced to the Village People hit. The Olympics were for seniors 50 and over, designed to teach AIDS and HIV awareness to older adults. That group has the fastest growing AIDS rate.
Baby boomers were trouble when they were flower children, and they're a bigger problem now that they're over fifty and frisky. Their attitude seems to be: "Yippee! We don't to worry about getting pregnant!" But "seniors aged 50 and over have the highest rates of HIV/AIDS."
What kinds of games do they have at the Sex Olympics?
The flyer promised a Condom Relay Game. I could see – well, never mind what I saw. You probably imagined something similar.
Sex Jeopardy. I was sure I'd played when I was younger.
The Wheel of Sex. An updated Spin the Bottle?
And the Condom Buffet Table. I'm no fan of buffets, but that one could change my mind.
According to the YMCA, about 50 people showed up for the Sex Olympics and all but one man refused to be quoted for the paper.
Don wrote: So, after a brief lecture brimming with statistics, the games began and participants found themselves frowning at a display of what, in less genteel surroundings, might be called sex toys.
"They were interactive games," YMCA spokesperson Emilia Solano said, "for older adults to participate in and have fun, but also learn about the issues around HIV and sexually transmitted diseases."
Like the Condom Relay Game.
"First we taught them how to put a condom on," Solano said "There are specific steps. We had a wooden penis there for the occasion. The game involved putting a condom on the wooden penis and the point was to see who could do it the fastest while doing it the right way."
Then there was Sex Jeopardy.
"The questions were related to the presentation," Solano said. "Like, what is the percentage of older adults in Broward County that have HIV? The answer is 26 percent. Or, what are the ways to protect yourself? The answer might be, 'a condom.’ Or, ‘monogamy.’ "
After that came the Wheel of Sex.
"It was an actual wheel," Solano said. "They would spin it and it would come to rest on one topic or another. Like, My Partner Doesn’t Like to Use a Condom. Then we’d ask questions related to the topic. "What can she do about it?" One answer: "She can learn to put on a condom with her mouth."
Gracious! I was fifty shades of pink.
Much of the sex games information was, well, neutered. But the paper did run a lovely photo of the Condom Buffet Table, with condoms in punch bowls.
"All kinds of condoms," Solano told Don. "Different sizes, different colors. And lotions. A lot of older adults, especially those who’ve been widowed for a long time, haven’t been exposed to any of this. So we have it right there, and they can open packages and look at things."
It was an opportunity, Solano said. "Because nine times out of ten they’re not going to walk into a store and start examining these things. This makes it more comfortable for them to do that in the future."
And the headline? "Sex Ed Program Has Older Adults in Mind."
Definitely an anticlimax.
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