College is a time of new friends, new classes, and new experiences—such as sexual exploration! You’ve probably heard of hookup culture and that’s great! Sexual exploration, for those who are interested, is normal! However, it’s important that it’s healthy. Here are some tips to say healthy, sexually, in college:
- Clean Up!
Living in a residence hall means things are communal and things can sometimes be a bit of a walk and not entirely private. Cuddling with bae in bed probably sounds a lot more appealing than getting dressed, throwing on shoes, and making the trek to the communal bathroom. Especially with that sex head. However, do it. Especially for people with vaginas, it’s crucial that you pee after sex. And this isn’t limited to penis-in-vagina sex! Anytime anything comes into contact with your vagina, remember to pee! Why? You clear out any bacteria that might have gone into your urethra! Otherwise, you might get a UTI and trust us: a few minutes of cuddling isn’t worth one! Cleaning your genitals is also recommended for everyone engaging in sexual activity. Also remember to properly dispose of any condoms or other forms of protection you may have used. That means in the garbage. Don’t be the one to clog the communal toilet with a condom.
- Clean Sex Toys Too!
If you’re using any sex toys, be sure to clean it with warm water and soap! Otherwise, you risk spreading infection if you use it again—especially used with a different partner. Don’t think bringing your pink dildo into the communal bathroom is a great idea? No matter! Bring it into the shower with you or fill a bowl full of warm water and bring it back to your room to privately clean it.
- Take advantage of the free condoms and use protection!
College is full of them. The health center likely has free condoms that you can pick up at any time and you should never feel ashamed to! They’re there to help you and, remember, condoms are the only form of protection that protect against STIs. Only see external condoms that are meant to be used on a penis? Work at making your school are inclusive and petition to have internal condoms, which can be placed within the vagina, put into the health center and other accessible places! Dentals dams are also important because they can be used during oral sex and protect you from STIs that can be passed from mouth-to-gential contact—such as herpes! You can even cut a condom down the middle to create a makeshift dental dam if you don’t have one readily available.
- Get tested!
Yeah, it may be a bit awkward to stop mid hook-up and ask your partner if they’ve been tested, but it’s worth it! If you don’t feel comfortable asking your partner if they’ve been tested, just don’t risk it. Most student health centers offer STI testing; set up an appointment with your partner and get tested together! We guarantee that it’ll be cheaper and less painful (painless, even!) than treating an STI.
- Get Consent
Sex is not a limited resource! You can always have it some other time! So, if you or your partner or both of you are intoxicated or under the influence in any way, do not have sex. An intoxicated person cannot consent to sexual activity. Furthermore, you may be less likely to use protection when intoxicated. You can always have it in the morning—when you’re both sober and able to consent.
If at any point, your partner does not consent to sexual activity or revokes their consent (and remember, consent to one kind of sexual activity does not mean consent to all), stop immediately. Silence does not equal consent.
You also have the right to revoke your consent at any time. If anyone proceeds with sexual activity after you have indicated that you have not given your consent or have revoked it, that is sexual assault.
- Get informed!
Was something in this article unclear? Are you not sure if your health center has condoms? Get informed! Ask a friend, ask an RA, ask your professors! Informed, consensual, protected sex is great sex!