Boning, banging, smashing, boinking … all terms to describe sex.
Sexuality is a prevalent part of life, and often when people leave home for the first time, they have more freedom to explore their sexuality and learn more about their bodies and desires.
However, doing this comes with risks when you engage in sexual acts with others (masturbating is pretty low-risk, try it sometime).
The risks involved with sex are pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
However, if you want to go on new sexual adventures, don’t be shy, just be safe. Here are several tips for having a safe sex life.
Consent: Do not engage in sexual acts if you or your partner do not want to. Be sure to get enthusiastic, clear consent from your partner before you have sex of any kind (“Yes, I would like the sex please,” for example). This “yes” has to come naturally, and not through coercion. If you or your partner have to bribe, beg, manipulate, or threaten to get consent, it is not consent. This “yes” also needs to come from a partner who isn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as that impairs cognition and thus the ability to make decisions. You and your partner can withdraw your consent at any time, even if you are in the middle of an act. Consent is not a one-time thing. Only do things you are comfortable with, and make sure your partner is also comfortable with it.
Talk it out: Be vocal about what you want and what you don’t want. Sex is a vulnerable act, so it’s important to be respectful to yourself and your partner by setting boundaries and following them. Any relationship, sexual or not, needs communication to function properly. The more vocal you are with your partner about your needs and your boundaries for sex, the more enjoyable the act will be.
Get tested regularly: Even if you don’t have what some may call a “wild sex life,” you should still get tested if you are sexually active with a new partner or multiple partners. Many STIs don’t have visible symptoms, so it’s important to stay aware of what’s going on with your body, both for yourself and for your potential partners. In most cases, the earlier you catch an STI, the fewer health complications you will have. You can get tested at Health Services on campus. If your test results are positive, a staff member from Health Services will contact you to discuss treatment.
Use protection: This point cannot be stressed enough. If you don’t use some form of protection, and you engage in penis-vagina intercourse, the person with a vagina could get pregnant. If you’re not ready to be a parent, use a condom. Another problem that can occur if you don’t use protection is the transmission of STIs . If you plan to have a sexual encounter, including oral sex, ensure you have a condom or oral dam (sometimes called a dental dam). An oral dam is used for vaginal oral sex, and a condom is used for any sex act involving a penis. Be sure to use one condom per sexual act, as they lose effectiveness after one use. Using protection is especially important if you don’t know your partner’s sexual history. Remember: buying a box of condoms is cheaper than having a baby or treating an STI. You can even get condoms and oral dams for free from the GLOW and Women’s Centre on campus, as well as Health Services.
Use a lubricant: Lube makes everything smoother. If you or your partner have a drier vagina, lube can help increase arousal and reduce pain for any penetrative sex acts. You should always (ALWAYS) use lube for anything related to anal, because unlike a vagina, your butt does not self-lubricate. Do not hurt yourself by not using lube. Water-based and silicone-based lubes are safe for use with condoms. Oil-based lubes are NOT made to be used with condoms since they can cause condoms to break.
Have fun: Sex is not supposed to be a scary experience. If you are scared in a bad way while having sex or thinking about having sex, then you should get out of the situation. Sex is not for everyone, and just because people around you are, or seem to be, having a lot of sex, it doesn’t mean you have to be doing it too. If you have sex, it should be because you want to do it, and you want to have a fun time. You should, of course, be safe and mindful when preparing for sex, and think of the aforementioned points. But you should also feel good about what you are doing. Don’t be ashamed of having sex if you want to, and don’t be ashamed if you don’t want to have sex either. It’s your body, your decision, your well-being, and your life.