Saying No, Saying Yes, Here's the Tea on College Sex!

Time inevitably flows. You can’t stop it. You grow with it: physically and mentally. You thrive in almost every aspect of your life, if not all, of it! Think about it: one day, you’re holding your parent’s hands, on the way to kindergarten, and next thing you know: you’re graduating from high school. Then: you enter the mysterious waters of what is popularly deemed college life. University life is a breath of fresh air for many: you might finally be moving away from home, rooming with strangers or friends, discovering and meeting new versions of yourself and the people around you, or acquiring unfathomable experiences. Undoubtedly, you uncover a whole new level of “freedom.” This “freedom” can manifest itself in different ways, the way we think as individuals, for instance, the way we think of those around us, what to say yes to, what to say no to, the curiosity to experiment with drugs, alcohol, and sex.

Related: Why Virginity is a Social Construct

The way we choose what to do and what not do will affect us differently. Sex is a normal and pleasurable activity that an increasing amount of college students engage in. Recently the question has turned from who has had sex to whos still a virgin? ‘(News flash: it doesn’t matter!) Although virginity is definitely a term that is very personally defined (and it’s also definitely a social construct), some girls have chosen  — even if they’ve engaged in sexual activity before’ — to stay abstinent during their college years. This may seem strange to some, but it’s a very personal decision for some people. The frequent pressure from friends, lovers, television and everything around us may make abstinent women seem like prudes. In a double-standard society, women are considered sluts if they have sex (especially with men) or prudes if they don’t. But saying yes to having sex is your personal choice, and not anyone else’s.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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For some women, the most important reason for abstinence, during the uni years, is the need for a strong, romantic bond. Paula*, a student at the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus, says she’s chosen to stay a virgin because she has never felt close enough to someone to make herself so vulnerable in what she considers a very intimate way. She firmly believes “you should have sex with someone you love”. Marie, another UPR-RP student, agreed. “I’m not in a relationship right now, and having sex with people I don’t really know, or the infamous “one-night-stands” aren’t really my thing. I want to wait until I find a person that is worthy of something this intimately special, and not someone who is just in it for the sex and not who I am,” she told HC UPR. Having a special connection with your partner is the most important thing in sex, according to Paula*. It’s about “being very in touch with your inner self, and really taking the time to love, respect, and appreciate yourself in order to share this with someone else. Sex is about being completely naked... even emotionally naked.”

Religious beliefs also play a part in these decisions. Marie’s religion frowns upon premarital sex, and this reminder sometimes stops her from having sex. She isn't a virgin, but she has chosen to practice abstinence. 

In a college environment, there is definitely some pressure from friends or acquaintances to engage in sexual intercourse, especially because it’s labeled as a time for experimenting with new things. Raquel, another UPR-RP student, says she feels pressured every single day and feels like she’s missing out and that if she waits too long, it will be too late. “It frightens me to have to tell the person I’m going to share that moment with that I am a virgin, I mean, who’s to say how he’ll react?”

On the other hand, Marie has never really felt pressure on campus, but instead by friends. She states that a woman needs to be strong so as not to give in to other people’s opinions or views. Paula feels the exact opposite of the other two girls, like no one in college cares about what you do. “Having sex, doing drugs, getting drunk, or not doing any of these? It doesn’t really matter. It’s your life and nobody’s business,” she stated.

Choosing to be abstinent, just like choosing to have sex, is a very, very personal decision.  Whether it’s about religious beliefs, waiting for that perfect someone, or if your sex is just a pleasurable experience, this decision should not be taken or made lightly. Make your head and heart join forces so that you’re able to differentiate between love and lust. If you feel you’re ready to have sex, use protection against STD’s or unwanted pregnancies.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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But most importantly, love yourself with enough courage to recognize when you’re not ready to engage in sexual intercourse; when you are just consenting because you feel pressured by your friends or by your partner; or when you feel the need to prove your womanliness or your manliness to someone.

In the end: only one thing matters. It’s your choice and no one else's. If you choose to have sex, that’s fine. If you choose to remain abstinent, that’s fine. Make sure you’re doing what’s making you happy. If you are sexually active, stay safe! If you aren’t sexually active but want to practice some types of self-love, learn more! Whether or not sex plays an important part in your life, make sure you’re happy!

Your body does not make you who you are—just like the size of your waistline, the curves of your hips, or your soft tummy — don’t define you. Raging hormones, prying hands and prowling eyes do not add or subtract to the beauty you already possess as a human being. It’s your choice, and you should choose to be happy. Your body is only the cover of everything that is you: treasure it, indulge it, but please tread carefully because STD’s are a very real thing.