The end of the semester is officially upon us and our second round has officially come to an end. But before I go, I’d like to give you the five most important pieces of advice I can give to the sexually active college student.
- Stay sexually active. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We lead busy lives. But that’s no excuse to let your sexuality take a backseat to the daily grind. Frequent sex, even if it’s with yourself, keeps the blood flowing and will set you up for a fantastic sex life when you finally have time for one. Think of it as an investment in your future, like exercise, and stimulate those genitals a few times a week.
Sexual desire never really dies. A 2010 study by the Kinsey Institute found that more than 20 percent of people in the United States aged 80 to 94 were sexually active. I want you to be a part of that percentage! Staying sexually active will help fight off sexual dysfunction later in life.
- Be yourself. Don’t waste a lifetime of pleasure on activities that don’t get you off. If you’re into something off the beaten path, someone out there is also into that! Seek out that person and embrace your own sexuality. Most importantly, never let anyone tell you that what you’re into is weird, gross or wrong (with a few legal exceptions, of course). Sexual positivity across generations will help us break out of traditional conventions and accept all sexual behaviors into our sexual dialogue.
- Don’t hold back. If you hear about something you might be interested in, if your partner is into something intriguing, if you’re bored with your normal routine — try something new. And try something new frequently. You never know what you might be into. You could find the one thing that gets you going more than anything else if you just give it a shot. Remember, Dutch researchers recently found that women were more likely to ignore icky things when sexually aroused. Give everything a chance.
- Get consent. This is mandatory in every situation. You must always get consent. If the person seems willing but you aren’t really sure, just ask! Rape is the most common violent crime on American college campuses today, according to a paper from the U.S. Department of Justice, “Acquaintance Rape of College Students.” The National Institute of Justice reported that for every 1,000 women attending a college, 35.3 women have been the victim of rape. That means that on a campus as large as SF State, more than 1,000 women have been raped. In all cases, no means no. And silence always means no.
The inverse is also true — you must always remember that you reserve the right to say no. If you feel even the least bit uncomfortable with participating in a situation, say no and get away as quickly as possible. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t say no or make you feel bad for doing so. It’s your right to feel comfortable in all sexual situations and freely say no.
- Get tested. Clinics abound in San Francisco for this sort of thing. Planned Parenthood and Student Health Services alone provide plenty of opportunities to get tested. There is no excuse to be unaware of your status when it comes to sexually transmitted infections. Between 2010 and 2011, chlamydia increased 5 percent, gonorrhea 1.5 percent and infectious syphilis 18 percent, according to recently released statistics by the California Department of Public Health. These STIs are the nastiest of the nasty. They can leave you infertile, with infections and sometimes even leave you with life-threatening complications. Now is not the time to take liberties with safe sex.
Remember to always use a condom, dental dam, finger cot or another protective barrier when having sex, especially if either participant is unaware of his or her status. The health center, Planned Parenthood and EROS all supply barrier methods inexpensive or free of charge. Pick some up and make an appointment to get tested. It only takes a quick blood draw and a urine test, and it couldn’t be more worth it.
So that’s it. All the words of wisdom I have for you. Please stay curious and keep learning about sex and sexuality. Read up on it online, take a class and have copious amounts of sex. Make pleasure one of your top priorities and don’t let anyone stop you from indulging your sexual self. Enjoy yourself!