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Contraceptive cakes

UHS hosts educational Condom Cake-Off

As part of a nationwide initiative to provide contraceptive education, students have the opportunity to design their ideal condom in an unconventional setting.

The lights are dimmed. The tables are all set. The penis cakes are ready.

In the darkened Lower Flat Tuesday’s, groups of students are seated around a dozen or so tables. On each table, there is some frosting, some sprinkles and a penis cake. Some are chocolate, some are vanilla. Some are funfetti. Each  cake sits in a mold, ready for decoration.

This is Bedsider UMBCs second Condom Cake-Off, held with support from University Health Services. After a rousing event last year, the program has returned to teach safe sex to students through the universal medium of cake.

Students have the task of decorating their penis cake with their best possible condom. Then, they must explain what makes it safe, and, as a reward, they get to eat the cake.

As students decorate their peniscaked, the Bedsider website is projected on the wall behind them. Bedsider is an online birth control support network, designed to help empower women and prevent unplanned pregnancies.

The organization has partnered with campuses around the nation to bring fun and quirky educational events to college students, a group at risk for STDs and unwanted pregnancy. Its goal is to provide knowledge about contraceptive methods to students.

This year’s Cake-Off is really the whole package. From the different flavors of penis cakes to a table set up with prizes, the event provides a nice evening for students to enjoy. It has attracted all kinds of students, who are all thrilled to get into the decorating.

Some participants arrived because they knew the event leaders, while other students came to learn. Some people were present mostly out of desire for baked goods.

“Yeah, I don’t know,” said Emerson College graduate James Murray, when asked why he attended the Cake-Off. “I figured there’d be cake,” he laughed as he and a friend crafted their design.

The benefit of an event like this: it attracts people with cake and walks them through contraceptive education. Even if students are only putting a frosting condom on a cake for the sake of eating it later, they’re still thinking about condoms more than they used to.

For the second year in a row, Bedsider UMBCs Condom Cake-Off has been the perfect mix of learning, cake and penises. No word yet on if the tradition will continue, but it has a promising start. It is sending an effective message to the community and it’s popular among students.

“After all,” said senior biochemistry major Steven Wist, “Who doesn’t want to decorate a cock?”