By Valerie Luu
Gender/Sexuality Editor

Welcome to a new year at UCSC — a year sure to include contorting your body in packed perimeter buses, cramming for exams, and coping with sleep deprivation due to late-night study and/or make-out sessions. And for some, a new school year also means adding or dropping significant others, successful or failed sexploits, along with memorable, and at times regrettable, hookups.

To save time on research (and to have more time getting it on), the homework’s already been done. This guide compiles on-and-off campus resources to assist with College Sex and Dating 101. Here’s to a safe, healthy and sexy school year!

Student Health Outreach and Promotion (SHOP)

SHOP, a Student Health Center department, is the go-to resource for education, HIV testing, and really cheap condoms. The student-run Condom Co-op sells about 20 types of condoms of different brands, textures, and colors most for the dirt cheap price of two for $.25 and up to $1.50 for specialty ones.

Since 1985, the Condom Co-op has offered condoms, dental dams and lubricant for purchase every day at the SHOP office in Room 157 in the lower Kresge Plaza, the Bay Tree Bookstore, and throughout the week in various dining halls. The co-op is run by student volunteers, so if you consider yourself a condom connoisseur (or would like to become one) contact to find out how you can help out.

Free, anonymous HIV testing is also available through SHOP by its trained student peer educators. It’s a pain-free procedure since they use Orasure, a cotton swab lab test, to detect the virus. To schedule an appointment, contact the Student Health Center at (831) 459-2500 or in person on the second floor of the health center.

Lionel Cantú Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex Resource Center

In 2006, UC Santa Cruz was listed as one of the “Top 20 Best of the Best” universities for GLBTI students by The Advocate, so it comes as no surprise that we have a well-rounded, valuable center for queer students. Located in its comfy wooden building behind Crown College and next to KZSC, the campus radio station, the Cantú Center is a jack-of-all trades resource center: It serves as an advising and advertising resource as well as a social environment for GLBTI students and allies.

Weekly group meetings like the Queer & Questioning Women’s Group on Mondays 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., followed by Queer Geeks until 9:30 p.m. allow for networking and mingling. During the course of the year the center offers workshops, events, clubs and conferences, all listed on QConnect, the weekly email blast at

UCSC Rape Prevention Education

This organization specializes in conducting workshops for college dorms, with peer educators working with colleges to deal with topics such as rape prevention, body image and pornography.

“Sex and Cookies,” a popular workshop according to its director Gillian Greensite, is an event where students can talk about sexuality and its dilemmas, assumptions and barriers, while munching on baked goodies. Although most of its work is focused on dorm education, the organization offers crisis counseling and promotes advocacy events throughout the year.

The organization sponsors a weekly women’s self-defense class. Beginning next Monday, the class meets for six weeks in the OPERS Martial Arts room from 2:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. No pre-registration or experience is required.

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (PPMM)

The Westside branch of PPMM provides free or subsidized health care for low-income patients and people without a health care provider. Its downtown location at 1119 Pacific Ave., Suite 200 provides services for people of all ages, genders and sexual orientations.

Services include emergency contraception, STD testing and treatment, birth control, abortion and pregnancy testing. Schedule an appointment at (831) 426-5550, ext. 6.

Santa Cruz Sex Shops

Pleasure can be bought too— Pure Pleasure and Camouflage have the rubber dildos, erotic videos and vinyl corsets to help make it happen.

Camouflage, located at 1329 Pacific Ave., has a wide selection of provocative lingerie and sexy costumes for Halloween (or any occasion). Pure Pleasure has a great selection of sex toys and accessories at its 204 Church St. store.

More than just a sex shop, Pure Pleasure regularly offers sex education courses. Some of what’s offered this month includes Pure Pleasure Sex Ed, a free tour of their sex shop and products on October 15 and paid classes like Ecstasy Breathing and Energy Orgasms (Oct. 16), and Wrapped for Pleasure: Easy Bondage for Steamy Sex (Oct. 21).