On Sunday, February 20, 56 student-athletes attended the February installment of the Beat the Streets Life Skills series. Maria Falzone, a popular safe sex speaker, gave a comedic, honest, and relatable lecture she calls Sex Rules!
During this lecture Falzone impressively used stand-up as a vehicle to engage and educate while also recounting her personal experience of having contracted herpes from a friend and the subsequent shame she felt. This experience forced her to reassess her attitudes towards sex.
Falzone very poignantly described the confusing messages society gives regarding sex. "Our parents and Society tell us to wait. In the world of advertising sex sells,” begins a quote on Falzone’s bio. “So we end up thinking that we should just know how to have sex. Parents spend good money for us to go to college to get an education so that we can graduate and go out there and get a good job. But when it comes to sex, which most of us are going to have, we have little to no information. Some of us end up emotionally or physically scarred."
While Falzone usually gives her extremely popular lecture to colleges and universities, BTS was lucky enough to have her share wisdom with the high school wrestlers. Her ability to connect with students in a very relatable way, due to her experiences and comedic prowess, aids her as she discussed the rules to greater and safer sex.
Mariana Olalde, BTS alumna and administrative intern, was extremely impressed with the effectiveness of Falzone’s style. “Maria was informative and funny at the same time; the room was giggling while listening attentively, which I thought was impossible,” said Olalde.
Olalde was equally impressed with the student-athletes. “I was proud of how open and mature our student-athletes were in regards to the topic,” continued Olalde. “They were asking questions that I would have been hesitant to ask. Overall, there was material covered that I wish my friends and I had been informed on at a younger age.”
Shannon Smith, BTS Director of Operations, agreed with Olalde’s assessment. “I was pleasantly surprised by how insightful the kids were as they asked questions,” said Smith, “They definitely picked up information that they will carry with them as they move forward.”
Many student-athletes who attended the Life Skills class raved about the lecture. A sophomore said that Falzone was a “great presenter. [She] taught me alot I needed to know about safe sex.” A junior shared a similar sentiment and said that the Life Skill wasn’t like “an ordinary sex-ed class like in schools.”
Many students were impacted by the talk-- "I will use this advice for future relationships,” “[I will use this talk] to prepare for the future with my partner,” “If I have sex, I will know to ask my partner what they are allowing,” “I will always be safe and use protection whenever having sex, ” "“[I learned] to not be ashamed of asking for my safety.”
Olalde summarized the overall Life Skills with the following: “I know for a fact that [Falzone] impacted all our student-athletes positively. This was wisdom that will help them for many years to come.”
This Life Skills was definitely among the most impactful of any Life Skills thus far-- thank you, Maria!