As far as middle school sex education programs go, mine was weak to subpar at best. Sure, I got lovely anatomy coloring sheets to bring home and share with mom and dad, but my midwestern abstinence education never served me too well. Good thing I had YouTube.
On a separate note, I’ve talked to a disturbing amount of men and women at this school who have casual sex, but never use condoms. It’s understandable when you’re seeing someone regularly and exclusively, but no condom with a random guy? Surely, sex education taught you better.
When I hear these condomless stories, though, I remember that it didn’t. We, as young adults, don’t even have someone in sex education telling us how to care for our bodies and emotional well-being. Instead, we turn to TikTok, Twitter and, worst of all, our friends to let us know exactly how comfortable we should be with putting ourselves on display. Want to hook up with a random guy? Sure! You go, girl! It’s empowering!
And other times, the energy you expend with a random guy in a musty basement while “Heads Will Roll (Off With Your Head)” blares from a way-too-loud speaker isn’t worth the momentary feeling of girlboss-ness that rushes through your veins. It’s nice to be carefree and make out with a random dude because it’s just fun, but sometimes, we lose sight of what’s good for us.
This past weekend, I—like the hypocrite I am—engaged in a heated fratboy makeout. While these are never my finest moments, my friends are always there for me (taking pictures to ensure the memory lasts forever). What always sucks is the next day, when someone in one of my friend groups undoubtedly knows who this frat guy is and just how bad he sucks, or how ugly he is in better lighting. Then, I get to be anxious about seeing his cheeky ass on campus in the future; plus 10 anxiety points if he got my number or Snapchat in a moment of personal weakness.
I admire those of you that can have no strings attached make-out sessions or hookups—you are legends among us mere mortals. However, I do know that most of you are lying to yourselves when you claim that you’re totally not leaving small parts of your heart scattered all over campus. When will we start being content with keeping to ourselves? Why do I feel the need to impulsively dance and make out with the first passable guy to approach me at any given gathering?
For me, at least, it’s self-destruction. It’s setting myself up to fail, knowing that life isn’t a movie (but still trying to make it one) as I slither my hands around a stranger’s neck and pray he doesn’t use too much tongue. I’m so desperate for any man in my life that I’m willing to cause myself future hurt for temporary euphoria. Being so sex-positive sucks. Sometimes, I wish I was a little more nun-like.
I’m comfortable with talking about physical intimacy, all the way from a small peck on the lips to full-blown sex. Considering my position as a Columnist for Sex on Thursday, that shouldn’t be a big surprise. However, being comfortable talking about these topics doesn’t mean I need to prove something by engaging in sexual acts. At the end of the day (night?), It doesn’t matter if you keep your interaction with a mildly handsome stranger confined in the shadows of a fraternity house, or if you hitch a ride with them and go all the way in their Collegetown apartment. Even the casual can take a heavy toll on your conscience, like the anxiety of seeing them again that I mentioned earlier.
To all my fellow sex-positive yet self-destructive readers, I urge you to engage in some introspection over fall break. How can your relationship with your preferred sex be improved? Do you often feel taken advantage of? Do you feel like, maybe sometimes, it’s you taking advantage of others?
This article isn’t an attempt to chastise all of us Fergie-style promiscuous girls on campus. Sometimes, when we’re in the moment (and have a few drinks in our systems), we make decisions regarding physical intimacy that aren’t kind to ourselves and others. Would going home unscathed have made it much worse of a night out? Is it only a win if you end up in someone’s bed?
Us horned-up singles on campus need to start pumping the breaks a little. More often than not, getting with a stranger isn’t worth the adrenaline rush, confidence boost or relief it temporarily grants. In the end, we’re just hurting ourselves.
TL;DR: There’s a fine line between being comfortable discussing sex acts casually, and casually engaging in sex acts. Make sure you know what’s best for you—physically and emotionally.
Virginia Snatch is a student at Cornell University. Comments can be sent to [email protected]. The Slip ‘N Slide runs during alternate Sex on Thursdays this semester.