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Beer + Sex = What Next?

October 27, 2017

How many ounces does one drink of beer have? Of wine? Of hard liquor? Have you ever been in a situation where you see an intoxicated person being led away by someone else at a party? What did you do? Did you do anything?

These questions and many more where asked of the audience by Elaine Pasqua, the guest speaker for “Sex & Excess: Surviving the Party” sponsored by the Wellness Center last Wednesday evening.

The program started off with information about alcohol use. She pointed out how people will drink to loosen up, to have fun, even to gain courage to talk to another person. People at parties though, sometimes do not realize how much they actually have had, versus what they think they have had. She had the audience call out different amounts of alcohol for certain drinks, and would then tell the correct answer. One drink of beer is 12 ounces, of wine is 5 ounces, and of hard liquor is 1.5 ounces, which she mentioned, are not clearly defined on the favorite red solo cup that people use. If a man has five drinks in less than two hours, he is considered legally drunk, and it is four drinks in that time frame for women. She advised the audience to keep in mind for the future that the number of red solo cups a person has does not equal the actual number of drinks a person has had. Blue lips, shortness of breath, and having an extremely difficult time getting the person to wake up (even with clapping or saying their name loudly) are all signs of alcohol poisoning. If we saw any of these being exhibited by someone, she encouraged the audience to call for medical help immediately.

She discussed how it can be necessary for people to intervene if they see a situation that does not look right. She gave the example of two people at a party and one is very intoxicated and being led away by the other. She encouraged having someone distract the leader so others could get the intoxicated person to another place to be taken care of. Sadly, in 80% of sexual assaults, the person who is assaulted knows who their attacker is. She shared comments made by sexual assault survivors and how they were hurt and confused as to why no one, not even their friends, made attempts to intervene to prevent what happened.

One of the demonstrations she invited people from the audience to do was to show how sexually transmitted diseases can easily spread when protection is not used. 15 people from the audience each had a medicine cup filled with a clear liquid, either water or dilute sodium hydroxide. Participants were instructed to go to three other people and ask for consent to exchange liquid from the cups with them. After pouring liquid back and forth into the cups with the three people, Pasqua placed a couple drops of phenolphthalein in the cups, an indicator that turns pink in the presence of a base, which in this case was the diluted sodium hydroxide. Originally starting with three people having the clear sodium hydroxide, twelve people ended up with pink liquid in their cups. This demonstrated that just one person who has an STD can end up impacting more lives than just their partners.

After this demonstration, she emphasized that honesty is the best policy with your partner. Her second skit was also about honesty with your partner, and had a scenario with several guys and several girls. As each person read their character’s story, the intertwining truths and lies being told were revealed and how each person became connected was clearer. One character ended up finding out she was HIV positive, and had not told her ex yet, who had already slept with someone else, who had slept with someone else, and so on. The moral ended up being that if you do end up sleeping with someone, you are technically sleeping with all of their past partners too.

The program description was “an honest and hilarious look at the party scene.” It raised laughs, but it also raised awareness about serious issues and what each person can do to help themselves and others for the future.

Antonetta Axup
Contributing Writer

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