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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

The O-Face: Discovering deeper definitions of sexuality

Michael Karp Photo credit: Kasey Judge

The past
three years at Chico State have really tested how comfortable I am with my
sexuality. The experience has also broadened my perspective on what that truly

When I hear most people talk about being comfortable with their sexuality, they talk about their sexual orientation. While that is one aspect, I find that it goes much deeper.

I arrived here with little sexual experience and I am going to leave with more than I ever expected. I have reached a strong comfort level with my sexuality but the journey wasn’t without a few stumbling blocks.

I got whiskey dick my first time having sex. This caused a whirlwind of negative thoughts that all but crushed my self-esteem. Already, at the beginning of my journey, I had a major hurdle to jump over.

Having a few more sexual experiences helped me understand that my malfunction was just a bodily fluke and there was nothing I could do to control it.

Moving forward to sophomore year, I began a relationship with my first long-term sexual partner. This is when my sexual confidence began to spike. However, as I delved deeper into what it means to be a sexual being, I started to realize the inherent risks involved.

Having unprotected sex is toying with your entire future. I toyed with mine when I came inside a partner without a condom. She wasn’t on birth control and “the morning after pill” is not 100 percent effective.

Say hello to a couple months of freaking out, wondering if an unwanted pregnancy is going to happen and imagining if a baby is in the future.

I spent one-fourth of junior year worrying about whether I had herpes. It turned out to be a benign skin infection that required two months of painful liquid nitrogen treatment to cure.

Now, in my senior year, I have a wonderful girlfriend. Most of the sex I had in the past was while partying over the weekends.

I quickly found out that having sex sober is a different ball game. It’s much more enjoyable and the connection is much greater, in my opinion.

However, without the mist of alcohol to hide behind, I am also face-to-face with every insecurity my partner and I feel and every sexual hang-up that may arise. Facing these with someone I really care about makes it that much harder.

But this is my journey thus far.

I had two choices with each hiccup along the way: to let them bring me down or to learn and move past them.

If I stayed ashamed for getting whiskey dick or possibly having herpes, I would not have been comfortable with that aspect of my sexuality. I forced myself to become comfortable by talking about it and exposing it, and it allowed me to move forward.

I can also use my experiences to help the people I care about, and that makes me extremely happy.

Your journey will likely be very different from mine, but the message is still the same. Being comfortable with your sexuality is a part of being comfortable with who you are as a person. It’s a process, like doing well in school or becoming a healthy individual.

It’s a process that helps to define who you are and leads you to who you want to become. Having gone through all of that, I believe that I’m a better person for it, a person who is better able to move forth in the world.

Michael Karp can be reached at [email protected] or @_MichaelKarp on Twitter.

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