Welcome to college, home of students who love to drink, party, and have sex, as typical as it sounds. You hear of the saying, ‘sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll’, but have you heard the saying, ‘sex, drugs, and showing up late to your lectures’?
Here’s everything you need to know about having safe sex in college.
Wear a rubber. For the love of god. We’ve all seen videos that show how much a condom will stretch before it snaps – so no, the excuse of condoms not fitting isn’t great. ‘I can’t feel it as much‘, yeah, well maybe you’ll last more than thirty seconds then. There’s genuinely no excuse to not have a condom. And as you know, if you carry them on you, as every college student should, keep them in a place that isn’t exposed to too much. Don’t put them in denim pockets, wallets, or anything abrasive – it’ll cause the rubber to wear down and snap.
Birth control. Believe me, I wish it wasn’t just people with uteruses who were solely responsible for birth control, but unfortunately, we are. Thanks to the new contraception scheme, it’s possible to get birth control for free between the ages of 16 and 25. But, if you don’t have the luxury of being able to access that, most student unions will have doctors for the university that you can set up an appointment with. There are so many different forms of birth control that aren’t just the pill: the coil, the bar, the shot, the patch… There are pills, injections, insertions, applications… It’s important to be aware of all of your options and pick a contraception that suits your lifestyle.
Regular STI checks. Even if you aren’t that sexually active, it never hurts to get tested just to make sure you don’t have anything, because STIs such as herpes can be transmitted just from kissing, or rather saliva. It also keeps you confident and feeling prepared for any situation that may arise. Again, most student unions have resources for STI tests. I highly recommend looking into what your specific college may offer.
Alcohol, drugs, and consent. This is a hard one. It’s impossible to say ‘don’t have sex’ because when you’re under the influence, it affects your ability to consent, but we’ve all been guilty of being drunk and horny. My best advice: make sure the person can look you in the eyes, hold eye contact, stand up straight with no wobbling, no slurred words, and can eagerly say ‘yes’. If you have to ask yourself if your potential partner is too drunk or high to consent, they are.That’s my biggest piece of advice.
Lastly, have fun. I always end my guides with ‘have fun’, but that is truly the most important part. Do not feel constricted by your ‘societal body count’ or whatever. You’re in college, have your fun, and don’t allow yourself to feel down for exploring your sexuality in a society that may not necessarily support it. If you have any questions or concerns about practicing safe sex, your student union will almost always have sources. It doesn’t hurt to make yourself aware of the resources in case of emergencies.
You go, Glen Coco, you go.