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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

The O-Face: Handling hookup culture

Michael Karp

As a single person, a one-night stand is a constant possibility when going out over the weekend.

Welcome to Chico’s hookup culture.

In this town and at this school, we live in a culture that is very open in regards to the expression of sexual desire.

It is a beautiful environment in my eyes. It has helped me grow immensely as a person and I have experienced some of the best times of my life here.

I’ve had the most fun I could have possibly had in college. I sat down and wrote this because of how this environment has influenced me.

From losing my virginity freshman year to going out every weekend and forcing myself to become comfortable in social situations and challenging myself to become comfortable expressing my sexuality — this environment helped me do all of it.

I have grown as a person every year I have been at this school and I am almost completely different than when I first arrived.

However, there are pros and cons to the culture we live in.

People become comfortable expressing their sexuality by going out and meeting people they’re attracted to. Expressions of desire are accepted much more openly and one can learn from trial and error.

This environment provides a lot of opportunities to experiment sexually and, in turn, decide what one wants out of their sex life. It also allows people to be more free when expressing their own sexual desire, compared to places where this may be taboo.

One often discovers important truths about themselves during the journey to becoming comfortable with one’s sexuality.

Sometimes these truths are harsh and need to be worked through, such as sexual anxieties and childhood traumas, but one can ultimately come out of it a stronger and more fulfilled person. This was the most important step for my personal growth.

On the other hand, there are definite health dangers in a more sexually open environment.

Many mistakes that may have otherwise been avoided are made because alcohol tends to play a much larger role in this culture.

Sexually transmitted diseases spread easily and unwanted pregnancies can occur. Rape is also a prominent problem.

Ultimately, Chico’s culture can be the perfect environment to nourish personal growth and actualization, if navigated safely and wisely. I have certainly been guilty of doing the opposite, but this is okay — because I learned from it.

In the end, college is a mere fraction of one’s entire life, so make sure to take advantage of all that Chico has to offer.

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

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