Sexual Health Education - Sisters of Perpetual Indulgance

(updated April 09, 2018)

There is an extensive online archives of the original Toronto Order of Perpetual Indulgence (O.P.I), 1981-1986. The Sisters use drag and religious imagery to call attention to sexual intolerance and to satirize issues of gender and morality. A group of gay men began wearing the attire of nuns in visible situations using high camp to draw attention to social conflicts and problems in their local community.

The Toronto Sisters promoted practising safer sex (practising sex of all sorts) and personal responsibility; they produced 2 versions of this informative 1980's pamphlet addressing STDs in the Gay Community. accordion fold, 21"x6.25" (click image to view brochure). This brochure was Toronto's version of San Francisco's Play Fair!, the first safer sex pamphlet anywhere in the world to use plain sex-positive language, practical advice, and humour. The Sisters used funds raised by volunteering for GCDC, to pay for brochure printing. They distributed these brochures on Friday and Saturday nights, standing outside Church St. bars.

sexual health brochure, 1980 sexual health brochure, 1980

The Sisters felt it was important to encourage everyone to have regular STI checkups. One way to support people who were waiting for confirmation of possible infection (and thus, not "on the market" for sexcapades) was to bless their "goodies" and provide them with a supply of Perpetually Indulgent Rainchecks. These allowed the person to express their interest in someone, while behaving in a responsible manner. On 2 occasions, the Sisters visited the Hassle Free Clinic and gave out these rain checks to clients. see left, below, 8.5"x3.75"

Official O.P.I. Guilt Disposal Bag: Persons were encouraged to exhale into the bag, to rid themselves of any guilty feelings related to sex. see right, below, 6.5"x5.25"

postcard bag