Are we Pressured into Having Sex at University?

University is an exciting time and with a taste of living an independent life, it’s no surprise that students enjoy letting off steam.  Yet the recent video from 2012’s SSB shows that sometimes this goes too far. Whilst obviously this is an extreme example, it’s all too easy for things to get out of hand especially with the pressure on many girls to ‘act sexy’. With events such as the SSB and sexually themed nights a weekly occasion in Exeter, Her Campus want to know whether events of this kind are pressuring us into have sex?

The SSB is the perfect example of one of these types of events - for most people the prospect of going out in your underwear in the name of charity is simply a bit of fun. However, donning your lingerie in front of 2000 students, is not every girls idea of a good night out and it’s easy to feel pressured into conforming to the ‘bare as you dare’ dress code. The SSB is an annual event raising a great deal of money for charity, and for that reason the risqué theme can almost be excused. However, sexualised nights are not only subject to one night a year. In fact, they are becoming increasingly more popular in Exeter’s social calendar with weekly club nights such as Original Sin’s ‘F*** Me I’m Fresh’ and “Dirty Sexy People”. It seems as soon as you arrive at university you are expected to conform to sexually themed nights. One of the first nights out of the year is  the ‘Traffic Light Party’ where Freshers are encouraged to colour code themselves depending on their relationship status- the idea being that it makes it easier to hook up.  Another popular event was ‘The Lipstick Ball’ where people were encouraged to kiss as many people as possible in order to win a cash prize. Events such as these clearly encourage promiscuity and it’s unsurprising that girls can sometimes end up doing things they might regret. 


University is probably the only time in your life that it’s acceptable to party in your pants (literally!), but it’s important that girls don’t feel pressured to have sex or do things they don’t want to.  It can sometimes feel as if there’s an expectation for girls to sexually compete with one another especially when some sports socials encourage Freshers to share ‘confessions’ about their sexual acts,  with the best confession winning a prize.  Remember girls it’s okay to say “no”: nobody is judging you for not feeling comfortable with acting in a sexual way, especially at public events!  Despite the common perception that everyone is having sex at uni, that’s definitely not the case.

Her Campus did a quick survey in order to find out whether you feel you are pressured to have sex, with various results. First year Sophia said: “Sometimes when I’m in Arena all my friends go off with guys and I can feel pressured to do the same to fit in.”  However a second year cheerleader told me “I don’t feel pressure to have sex, but I think some boys do expect it more at university before you date them. They don’t see the point in waiting to sleep with someone if they think they can get it elsewhere.”  On the other hand, third year Rebecca told me I was excited at the prospect of having sex at university. I never felt pressured to have sex, or thought that if you slept around you would automatically become cool or have more friends.”

University is a great time to experiment, so if you see a hot boy in Timepiece, there’s certainly no reason not to give him your number!  Sex is a personal decision, and nobody should make you feel like you have to sleep with them. This is particularly important if your motivation for sleeping with them is acceptance or feeling like you fit in. Equally, it’s not okay for people to make you feel bad about any sex you are having. It is sometimes difficult to feel pressure to act in the exact way as your friends, especially when sex is a fairly talked about topic in Exeter, however HCX would encourage you to try and make the best decision for you and not anyone else!

Whatever you decide, remember to be safe and use protection! Her Campus has great advice on contraception such as HCX’s quick guide to the IUD and IUS, the Implant, the Injection and the Cap. Mistakes can happen so if you do forget to protect yourself, check out our guide to the morning-after pill.



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