THE CONDOM DIALOGUES
Not your average boring lecture about safe sex!
Developed ten years ago with support from the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, The Condom Dialogues began as a safe-sex show for young women. We have since toured the show all over the country and have developed a show on the same theme for young men.
Perfect as a complement to sex-ed classes, before the infamous Schoolie's Week, during Orientation Week or at any time teenagers need to know more about safer and respectful sex, The Condom Dialogues is a fun, informative and hilarious show about safe and respectful sex. It includes a one-hour show with several comedians and performers on a variety of sexual health topics, followed by a question and answer session with health professionals.
The boys show has only recently been developed and as such, has not yet been evaluated. However, the girls show has been evaluated a number of times with terrific results – especially from the young people themselves.
15.2: the average age teens commence sexual activity in Australia
52,500: the number of sexually transmitted infections in 15 – 29 year olds reported in Australia each year
38%: the number of Australian teenagers who report having had “unwanted” sex
What the young women in the audience had to say about the Condom Dialogues in their evaluations:
"Because it is funny, everyone is more open" (age 14)
"I've learnt heaps of stuff. It's better than sitting in classrooms!"(age 14)
"enjoyed it very much ... it was funny." (age 16)
"entertaining and hilarious ... my behaviour [concerning safe sex] will now change." (age 17)
"brilliant!" (age 18)
What the health promotion team at the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne have to say about the Condom Dialogues:
"We've had nothing but positive feedback... Thank you all so much for your incredibly funny, factual, inclusive & relevant sex ed class!" Meg Gulbin, Manager, absolutely women's health
"...we were all thrilled with how well the condom dialogues went. You handled those riotous young women in the audience with great skill and imparted the messages we requested with ease and fantastic humour. I think to call [the event] a triumph is not exaggerating." Kelly Nash, Event Coordinator, absolutely women's health
What Warrnambool 'Standard' (June 5, 2008) had to say about the show,
"An infectious lesson in sex"
Sexually transmitted infections are no laughing matter but comedy and music has helped deliver a serious message to Warrnambool high school girls. Four female comedians and singers performed The Condom Dialogues for 250 girls from year nine and 10 at Brauer College yesterday. The show was performed for the first time in Warrnambool but has been promoting the safe sex message to Melbourne girls for the past three years.
The show was organised by South West Healthcare community health nurse Merryl Arnold in response to a growing number of young women contracting sexually transmitted infections in the region. "This is about teaching girls to make choices, not chances," Ms Arnold said. "It's information that isn't boring and it promotes healthy choices and respect for their bodies."
What the 'Ballarat Courier' had to say about the show...
"The funny side of safe sex"
Tues 19th July 2005, The Ballarat Courier
Laughter and cheers filled a University of Ballarat hall yesterday when 1000 year 9 district school students learnt about sexual health the fun way. Rather than sitting in front of a whiteboard, students listened to comedians and hip hop artists spin stories about peer pressure, decision making and safe sex.
A panel of health professionals answered questions and discussed local health resources. Department of Human Services school health nurse Lindy McKenzie said humour was a key to successful health promotion. "Approaching subjects through humour helps the kids remember the lessons," she said. "It's important that they are informed about healthy lifestyle choices and that they're comfortable with their decisions."
Loreto College student Amy Haberfield said the acts were effective. "I've learnt heaps of stuff, it's better than sitting in a classroom," she said.
Her friend, Morgan Flitcroft, agreed. "Because it's funny, everyone is more open," she said.
The day was organised by Ballarat Community Health, Hepburn Health Service and the Department of Human Services.
1 hour performance
Approximately 30 - 60 minute Q&A session
TOTAL: 2 hours
The performers have custom-written funny material about sexual health that is targeted specifically at young people. The performance addresses issues around sexual health and well-being in a fun and light-hearted manner and covers topics that are normally extremely difficult to explore with friends, family and teachers. It is age and context appropriate.
Some specific issues include:
the emotional aspects of sexual health - self-esteem, doing what you want, not being talked into things, being assertive, loving yourself and your body as it is
safer sex - the importance of using condoms every time if you are sexually active, buying them, storing them, putting them on, taking them off and more
being able to make decisions about sex and/or certain sexual activities
local and state-wide referral information
(to be supplied by school/community group):
venue & technical equipment (basic lights, microphones, CD player etc)
1 or 2 local health professionals for the panel (school nurse, GP, counsellor etc)
the audience – young people aged 14 – 21
Please note that the boys and girls shows are separate shows and we ask that, where possible, teachers and support staff are of the same gender as the audience. The reason for the segregation is that one of the most valuable parts of the show is the Q&A session at the end. We have found that mixed audiences get significantly less out of the Q&A session than single-sex audiences. Put it this way, a young woman is unlikely to ask about how to put a condom on properly with young men in the audience.