Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Safe Spaces: Bigger and Better for All

By Jacob Lazaro

Safe Spaces is a project of LoveYourself with partner establishments to provide free condoms to anyone who needs them. Launched in 2017, the app-based condom distribution program started with only 20 locations. In less than a year, 30 new establishments have joined the project in efforts to make safer sex more accessible.

Our partners are composed of a variety of establishments. From food and beverage to health and wellness, you may just find a safe space in whatever context you find yourself in.

Going to a Safe Space

Kapuwa Bistro + Urban Pub an LGBT themed gastro pub in Quezon City caters a lot of food choices to their customers. Its manager, Julius Borcelo shared how being part of the Safe Spaces project has been a reason for the influx of customers.

"Since we are an LGBT bar, those with the [Safe Spaces] app (Available on Google Play and the App Store) or those who know about us come here just to get free condoms. At first they were laughing because the condoms were just there, but we explained to them that we are in partnership with Safe Spaces to promote safe sex" Borcelo explained.

Safe Spaces helps build a better image for Kapuwa Bistro + Urban Pub for having a sex positive environment. For instance, even if when there are condoms on a customer's table, the employees don't mind it.

In advocating for safe spaces, "safe" doesn't only mean the practice of protected sex, but also provides the feeling of comfort. It also presents that everyone, no matter what kind or amount of sexual activity they engage in won't be afraid of what others would think. In a Safe Space, no one should feel ashamed.

For Employees as well

For some establishments, customers aren't the only people who take advantage of being in a Safe Space.

Rusty [not his real name], a masseur from Hilom Spa Quezon City said that their Safe Spaces supply is also used by his fellow masseurs for their own good, whenever they wanted to get intimate with their partners.


"It's good... We don't need to buy condoms anymore because they're free." Rusty shared.

Touch of Delight, a men only spa in Quezon City has similar experiences. "It's good to practice safe sex. It's good for clients." Andrew [not his real name], a masseur from Touch of Delight shared.

Safe Spaces is there for everyone, and for men only spas like Touch of Delight and Hilom Spa, its presence helps keep their customers and employees safe, because they have access to free protection and information.

Here, There's no Judgement

What makes these places a Safe Space is not just the free condoms, but also the absence of stigma. No stares, no whispers, and no judgement. Just encouragement to stay healthy and safe, because everyone deserves to be.

Andi Ortega, the Safe Spaces coordinator for partner establishments said that she prioritizes establishments that most likely need to share Safe Spaces for its customers, like bars, bath houses, and spas.

These safe spaces were put in sex positive establishments for their open-mindedness as a public place. Moreover, such enterprises where intimate relations may probably start should be hostile towards the concept of protection though use of condoms and lubricant.

If you know of a place that's interested in making safer sex become more accessible to everyone and be part of the Safe Spaces PH community, just send an email to info@safespaces.ph.
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Jacob is a front lines kind of man. In my advocacy and passion I've always been vocal and one to take action. As an openly gay man who is also a marvel fanatic I live by the words "Mutant and proud".