Advice From An Old Fogie
By James Boyce One of the biggest, scariest, most exciting, most beneficial and most detrimental things and questions you will encounter at university is sex. There are 2 big things that I’d like to share with you from my experience and from helping other people who have discussed such matters with me. Take them or leave them as you like, but they might come in useful in the future :)
Firstly, every person has been brought up in a different situation and a different circumstance, and everyone needs respect. Finally, after thousands of years of sexual repression, we are starting to realize that there are different types of people, with different desires and different interests. To the classic ‘heterosexual’, ‘bisexual’ and ‘homosexual’, we are seeing many different additions of ‘pansexual’, ‘asexual’ and a world of others. Some people like to talk and not ‘do’, others the other way around. Youth and university is a time when you can grow into adulthood and explore your own sexual desires, learning to be honest with yourself and what comes natural for you.
But, there is a flip side to this. Your partner – or intended partner – has the same right to respect. This is a time where you are going to feel awesome and horrible, often within minutes of each other. Consent, the funky word we throw out, is something much bigger than just ‘saying no’. It’s about giving your partner the desire to say ‘yes’. Your partner should feel comfortable to hold back and say ‘no, this doesn’t feel right’, no matter how much you wish they’d just say ‘I like this, I want more of it, yes, yes, yes!’ This goes for everything, from approaching and intended to buy them a drink, through to finishing the deed, and it’s much better when your partner is as into it as you are!
Communication, at all steps, is the best way to show respect. This isn’t just saying “may I kiss your…”; it’s about getting to know that your partner is responding to you. It will save you both a lot of heartache later if you’re both communicating, verbally and emotionally, so you can both experience the true joys of sex. And naturally, if your partner can’t communicate… don’t… Intoxication is not an excuse.
Secondly, be safe. This doesn’t just mean use a condom etc. (which, naturally, you should); it means be true to yourself and to your partner’s values and principals. Everyone has come from a different background and has a different idea on what sex is and what it means. Your parents and other influences in your life will have told you a lot of things about when and where to have sex and why. But you’re an adult now. You can, and must, make your own decisions and you need to own those decisions! What’s more, you need to respect other people’s decisions. You might decide that you don’t want to have sex until you’re married or in a committed relationship. You might only want to have sex when you’re sober so you can be fully in control of your faculties. Your right, as an adult is to make those decisions. When you determine that, stick to the decision and don’t let anyone else pressure you to do something you don’t want to.
“This above all: to thine own self be true”. Find your line and stick to it.
Sex is one of the best and worst things in this wide world of ours. It’s a mixture of the most enjoyable experience that can have, and some of the worst potential consequences of anything you can ever do. Be bold and test your boundaries, but respect them and respect the people around you. Be safe, have fun!
James is about to finish a Bachelor of Arts before starting a Master of Teaching. He enjoys exploring as many new things as possible.