Emily Hooley|20.12.2016|Feature

Here at the MTV Staying Alive Foundation we raise awareness about HIV and safe sex in loads of different ways: our grants scheme and our hit TV series MTV Shuga are of course at the core of our work, but we definitely also have a soft spot for a good old-fashioned PSA (public service announcement). Here’s the catch though: our PSAs are anything but old-fashioned…

We figure that there’s no better way to promote safe sex than by being direct and honest. And that’s exactly what our PSAs are. They are the kind of videos that get people talking. Which is just what we need in order to break the taboo around HIV and safe sex.

Here’s a list of some of the top PSAs we’ve created… buckle in!


  1. 1. Make Your Foreplay A Threesome

So emojis are a big thing at the moment, right? That’s why we decided to incorporate emojis into our PSA last year for World AIDS Day, and the results were… pretty jaw-dropping.

In this video, giant emojis representing the, ahem, sexual anatomy get down and dirty. WARNING: this video is of a sexy nature and involves giant fingers, donuts, aubergines, peaches and bananas. Plus a giant pink condom that joins each sexy session to get in on the action.

The message? “Make Your Foreplay A Threesome. Add a condom.”


  1. 2. Fur TV –Sensitivity (2008)

Fur TV helped us to make safe sex a source of comedy through Lapeno, a sexy sexpert puppet who knows how it’s done. He gives us all a lesson in this video about how condoms don’t reduce sensitivity when having sex.

At first he asks his puppet assistants to test this for him but they misunderstand and, while one wears a condom around his nose, the other smacks him repeatedly over the head. Just as a saw is about to be put to use, Lapeno puts a stop to it all to show us how a condom sensitivity demo is REALLY done. “Now that what I call sensitive,” he says as he… gets down to it.


  1. 3. Fur TV – Embarrassing (2008)

In this PSA, Lapeno gives us some top tips on buying condoms, as he says many people get embarrassed when buying them in a shop.

He says either people are too direct and say something like, “I need to buy something to stop my diseased genitals infecting my sexual partner’s.” Or they are too indirect, and his puppet friend is shown walking into a shop and saying, “I need a Jimmy hat, love glove, salami sling, dipper slipper”… these alternate names for condoms are actually brilliant. We will definitely be using a “dipper slipper” next time, if anyone asks us.

Anyway, Lapeno ends up asking for a condom in such a way that he ends up having sex with the shop assistant – by stating that he is a “sexually active puppet who needs to restock his supply of prophylactics” and then asking for a jumbo size. Smooth.


  1. 4. The Joy Of Non-Sex

This is definitely one of our favourite PSAs ever. In this video, a couple with cheesy smiles and 1970s-style haircuts demonstrate a few of the most popular NON-sexual positions to avoid HIV infection, while a narrator monosyllabically talks us through them.

Positions include “The Sting”, which involves the couple facing away from each other and bending over so that their bum cheeks touch, resulting in “zero chance of arousal”. They also include the “Journey of the Otter”, which sees the woman on all fours facing away from the man, and the man then “leaves by the front door”. Mmm… sexy…

Or, the video suggests at the end, maybe just wear a condom.


  1. 5. Being With You

This one strikes a more serious tone. In “Being With You”, a woman is collecting her clothes and in the process of leaving the apartment of a man she has just slept with. At intervals, the man turns into other people without warning. In turn he transforms into a thin, older man, then a fat bald tattooed man, then a woman with filthy clothes and missing teeth. All these people are complete strangers, and it’s ominous… It feels like the girl is vulnerable.

The slogan was “protect yourself from people you’ve never met”, because you never know who someone else has slept  with, or who the person they have slept with has slept with. And so on. It’s a scary thought!


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