Going back to school can mean a lot of things to the average college student, like getting new classes, making new friends and having more sex. It’s no secret that college involves parties every weekend and that the student body isn’t afraid to have fun.
Finding an easy hookup can be pretty simple, especially if you’re in the dorms, the real challenge is being safe while doing it. For the incoming freshmen and the people who are eager to start experimenting, here is a survival guide to casual sex.
1. Always use protection!
I cannot stress this enough: use protection. There is nothing worse than waking up the morning after a fun night and suddenly worrying about an accidental pregnancy or disease. It took me at least two pregnancy scares during my freshman year to realize pulling out just doesn’t cut it.
Contraceptives may seem like an inconvenient burden, but they also protect you and your partner from risks like unexpected pregnancies and STIs. For pregnancy prevention, condoms aren’t your only options, either. If you prefer birth control or PREP, they can keep you baby-free without the physical barrier. It’s important to remember that condoms are the only form of contraception that can protect you from STIs, though. If you don’t have access or funds for contraception, resources on campus, such as GSEC (Gender and Sexuality Equity Coalition), provide free contraceptives and sexual health referrals and condoms are free at the Student Health Center.
2. Get tested regularly
Let’s get real, you may have unprotected sex once or twice, I know I did. It’s important to be tested for STIs, even if you don’t have any symptoms. Young adults can go weeks, if not months, before they realize they have an STI. Getting tested on a regular basis helps keep you and your sexual partners safe.
I always make sure to get tested at least three times a year, it’s free and ensures my physical health, so why not? A good resource for dorm students, is the Student Health Center on campus. They are completely confidential and provide free tests among many other sexual health services. STIs are more common than we want to believe and the last thing we need is an outbreak on campus. Get tested.
3. Tell someone where you’re going
Tinder and Grindr hookups can be exciting, but if you don’t watch out for weirdos, things can get bad quick. Most people want to meet at their house or pick you up in their car, but your safest option is to meet in a public space.
The first time I was in the dorms and met someone over tinder, he picked me up and as we were driving to his place, we got on the topic of politics. He goes: “I love Trump. I think he’s done a lot of good.” I laughed because I thought he was joking, but he wasn’t.
When we realized just how different our values were, the rest of the night went downhill from there. Trust me, if the person you’re meeting is making you uncomfortable, it’s much easier to leave the situation when you’re in public. If you don’t choose to meet in public, tell your roommates or friends who you’re going out with and share your location on your phone.
4. Consent is absolutely necessary
Consent is the most important aspect of ho-ing around. If you don’t feel 100% comfortable, then don’t feel pressured to partake in hookup culture and definitely don’t pressure somebody else into it. Being a freshman in the dorms can be intimidating when you’re forced to become familiar with a bunch of strangers, but don’t allow the influence of those around you dictate how you feel or act.
Hookup culture centers mostly around partying or the bar scene, but it can also occur in the dorms. If you feel that your partner isn’t sober enough to consent consciously, then don’t engage in sex. It’s important to acknowledge that both parties are consenting.
5. Have fun!
Regardless of what you’re doing or who you’re doing, remember to have fun! As long as everyone is safe and consenting, do what makes you and your partner feel good.
At the end of the day, you are your own person and don’t let anyone stop you from being the safe, sexy ho that you truly are.
Melissa Joseph can be reached at [email protected] or @melisstweetz on Twitter.