Sex – whether you are in a relationship, hooking up or abstaining. Are you ready and prepared?
The Positives and Negatives
Did you have a boyfriend in high school you left behind? Or never really had a boyfriend or much experience sexually and this is your first time hoping to meet someone? Whether you choose to wait until you are in a serious relationship, abstain from sex until marriage or want to have many one night stands, the choice is completely yours. But have the knowledge you need to make that decision.
College can be a time to enjoy freedom and independence you may not have ever had. Maybe you had curfews or restrictions on dating or your friends didn’t like your choice of guys. Maybe you felt you weren’t ready for any kind of intimate relationship. So you go out with your friends and meet new people at parties, hanging out in the dorms or in your classes. You go out as a group (guys and girls) and the next thing you know, you are flirting with a stranger. Flirting can lead to kissing, which can further lead to going back to someone’s room. Let me first say, there is nothing wrong with “hooking up” as long as it is consensual and you are willingly and wanting to move forward with each step. Some women choose to abstain, which is also completely their right. Whichever way you decide, it has to be your choice.
The hookup – having a one night stand can be fun and exciting if it was with someone you wanted to be with or have liked for some time. But often women find themselves in a position of having oral sex or intercourse because they did not know how to say no. You are with some guy, you don’t know very well, and you start kissing and touching each other but you keep going because you don’t know how to stop it at a certain point. Let’s be clear, at any time if you decide this isn’t what you want, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO, to stop it from moving forward and leave. I don’t care what he may tell you, you always have the right to say NO. It is your body and your choice.
If you do like hooking up with many different people you meet or are trying to find someone to spend more time with, you have a right to do that too, without judgment. BUT you need to be prepared and safe. Condoms are the best way to protect against STD’s and/or pregnancy, other than abstaining, of course. They are not 100 percent reliable but if used correctly and in combination with other birth control, chances of any diseases or pregnancy is very small.
You can obtain condoms and other forms of birth control at the campus health center or your doctor. Most likely, guys will have condoms but always make sure you are prepared and carry some with you if you think you might hook up that night. Better to be safe and prepared then the possibility of changing your life for one night.
So let’s talk about STD’s –
The best way to avoid STD’s is to not have sex, but that isn’t realistic for many college students. If you are going to have sex, as a woman, you should have a checkup with a gynecologist who can give you all the information you will need regarding birth control and protecting yourself. Being in a monogamous relationship, after you both have been tested is a good way to keep your distance from those diseases.
STD’s can change your life forever so it is really important to make sure you are safe, knowledgeable and prepared. There is so much information regarding STD’s, I have included a link to the CDC website for you to read further about each disease, the symptoms and what you need to know to protect yourself.
Although by the time college has approached, many teens have already engaged in some type of sexual activity or want to, that doesn’t mean it is right for everyone. Waiting until you are ready and prepared both emotionally and physically is really important. Sex should be something enjoyable and with someone you want to be with. Make sure you communicate with anyone you are getting close to or plan to have a relationship with to be sure you are on the same page.
Be aware –
We all like to think the best of people and there are many out there who would watch out for others, but some will take advantage of a situation if the moment presents itself. This is why it is so important when you go out to a party or are with people you don’t know very well that you have a plan and are in control.
- Watch your drink. Make sure no one has put anything in it like a “roofie” or ecstasy. These drugs can impair you greatly and cause you to black out and be taken advantage of.
- Don’t drink too much. Stay in control. The more you drink, the more likely your common sense and instincts will diminish, allowing someone to take advantage of you physically and mentally.
- Have friends with you. Friends will watch out for each other and keep tables. Make sure your friends know where you are at all times.
Date Rape/Relationship Violence
NO ONE has the right to hurt you or touch you without your permission. If you are in a relationship or have gone out on a date and the guy has forced you into a sexual act or sex itself, it is rape. It doesn’t matter that it is someone you know or maybe even love. Even if it is someone you are dating or love, if he touches you or forces you to have sex against your will, that is rape. It has happened to many people and although you probably feel very alone and don’t want anyone to know, you MUST reach out for help.
- You need to tell someone immediately. A friend, a hotline, a counselor, a parent.
- Don’t shower or change your clothes because it can be used as evidence.
- Call the rape hotline or 911
Relationship Abuse -
He puts you down, tries to control who you see and where you go. He wants you all to himself all the time. He needs to know who you are with and becomes very jealous and possessive. You feel isolated and alone because he doesn’t like your friends. He says mean and hurtful things to you and becomes angry over nothing. These are all signs you are dating an abuser. Even if he is the love of your life, this person is dangerous and you need to separate yourself from him. No one has the right to make you feel bad about yourself, control you or hurt you in anyway.
He may be angry and cruel one minute and apologizing and loving the next. This makes you forgive him and give excuses to yourself and others about his anger. The abuse will only continue to escalate. The longer you stay and the more you allow it to continue, the more likely you will get hurt. You need to be strong and realize you are worth so much more than the abuse you are receiving You may be scared or unsure of what he may do, but there is a great deal of counseling and help out there for you to move on without ever being put in that position.