Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Something is thought to be taboo when it’s not considered a societal norm. However, a lot of taboos are actually tied to sexual guilt because people feel like what they’re doing sexually is wrong. Newsflash: Nobody can tell you that what you’re doing in bed is wrong or gross as long as everything is consensual, and you shouldn’t be telling anyone that either. We’re hitting on topics people specifically get judgy about in the college atmosphere. It’s 2018, and we as a group of powerful AF babes should support each other and start a conversation to normalize these common sexual experiences.

1. Anal

Why is this even considered taboo anymore? For some reason we’re still complaining about it. Sure, you may not want something in your butt, but if other women (or men) do, then just let them. The problems college students have with anal sex arise because we really don’t understand it. We either think it hurts, it’s dirty, it’s slutty or that it’s all our partners want and we shouldn’t give it to them. Sure, it’s definitely not everybody’s cup of tea, and if you don’t do it carefully you’ll definitely have a very bad first experience with anal. However, for both men and women, it can produce a lot of pleasure.

Jordan, a senior at San Francisco State University, pretty much says it all. “Guess what everyone! I love anal sex! Get over it!” she says. “Me and my friend group are very vocal about our sex lives, and even then I know sometimes I’m being looked at funny if I talk about my positive experiences with anal.”

In 2010, The Journal of Sexual Medicine released a study that found that more than 40 percent of women in their early twenties had tried anal sex. If that many young women are doing it, why are we still acting squeamish about it? Men and women both confess that it’s deeply pleasurable if you have a good experience, and it also grows intimacy. Butt play is pretty common practice, but by not talking about it we’re making it taboo and shameful.

If anal is something you want to try and you explore it in a safe and healthy way, do it! And don’t be afraid to talk about it either. Sharing your best butt tips with your friends during your late-night Sex and the City-esque gossip is going to be spreading a positive anal environment.

2. Period sex

If you’re ashamed of your period or think you’re gross because of it, you need to conquer that way of thinking. Our patriarchal system taught you that, but we here at Her Campus are here to tell you that your period is normal and nothing to be sheepish about. If your partner thinks your period is gross too, you need to sit them down for a real talk conversation. Your uterus is going to shed once a month for most of your life, so it’s time accept that. More importantly we need to learn that period sex is okay. Not everyone goes faint at the sight of blood, and if you’re feeling horny, then being on your period doesn’t have to be a sexual barrier.

Avery, a senior at Purdue University, shares her take on the taboo of period sex. “I’ve had sex a few times on my period and I honestly think it feels better,” she says. “I usually want sex way more when I’m on my period. Also, if you’re not into period sex, then no pressure, but don’t turn your nose up at people who do it.”

If you’re in the mood to spice up that time of the month with some pleasure, enjoy yourself! Tbh, we have a lot more to worry about in college than freaking out about period sex.

Related: What Every Woman Should Know About Period Sex

3. Body hair

We’ve shaved body hair out of our lives because apparently “sexy” in our society means looking like a hairless cat. However, as body positive college women, can we please end this? Whether the hair is in your pubic area or in your armpits, by the time you get to college, body hair is something you need to get comfortable with, especially in terms of sex.

When you’re trying to study for finals, work, feed yourself and fit in an hour each day to watch Gossip Girl, shaving gets rightly pushed to the back of the priority list. While we totally back up our girls who feel sexier clean-shaven, know that feeling pressure to be constantly as smooth as a Barbie doll should be considered more taboo than having stubble like a normal person. Shaving is a behavior ingrained in us, but it doesn’t have to be the rule for everyone.

Michael, a sophomore at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, weighs in on how guys really feel about hair. “Believe me, guys talk about it, and from what I know and my experience, most of us don’t care. If hair comes off in your mouth it can be kind of weird, but hair doesn’t make a difference for actually having sex. It’s confusing why there’s so much scandal around being hairy.”

Did you know you actually have hair down there for a reason? It’s more hygienic to have pubic hair because it protects your parts from friction and infection. The bush around the house isn’t something you should be feeling insecure about because it’s literally there to keep you safe. It’s society that says you should be hairless, and to overcome that taboo we need to reject sexual shame related to body hair. Women should have the choice to make body hair sexually empowering.

4. Not having an orgasm

If you’re not having an orgasm during sex, join the club. A lot of things can feel great that won’t make you come. It’s not anyone’s fault, and it shouldn’t be a secret you have to keep. By now, sex researchers have pretty much figured out that having an orgasm from penetrative sex alone is slim, so let’s bring this topic out of the shadows.

Be confident, and vocalize what works and doesn’t work about sex to your partner. Both of you are going to feel anxious about it, so using gentle vocabulary like “I know it feels different to talk about orgasms, but I’m excited to explore this with you,” or “I learned I like this from masturbation, want me to show you how to do it?” are great ways to start. If your partner is dismissive of your concerns, reconsider hooking up with them, because they’re probably not worth your time or going to treat your right sexually.

There’s a negative stigma associated with women who don’t swoon and orgasm as soon as their partner is inside them. Now, we feel embarrassed to discuss it (especially in college when we’re already insecure about ourselves enough), but it needs to be talked about, or how else can the situation be improved?

Related: How to Have the Most Pleasurable, Not-Awkward, Safest Oral Sex Ever

5. Having multiple partners

Sex between two people exclusively may be the only acceptable option for you, but it isn’t for everyone. Unless you’re in a committed relationship in college, it’s realistic that you could be having sex with different people in the same month or even the same week.

In college, it’s easy to let someone’s sex life characterize them. If a girl hooks up with a person one night and a new person the next night, it doesn’t mean she’s “loose” or that her sexual experience is any less meaningful. With our current college hookup culture, we should be the first to accept having multiple partners as not being taboo. If you’re two (or more) consenting adults, then do whatever you want.

None of these things we really talked about above are as uncommon as you think, they’re just in the dark because we’ve put them there. That can change by being open-minded and accepting. Expanding your experiences past what you’re used to helps your understanding of the world, and on that journey, you might find that you like something taboo you weren’t expecting to.

Gina was formerly the Beauty & Culture Editor at Her Campus, where she oversaw content and strategy for the site's key verticals. She was also the person behind @HerCampusBeauty, and all those other glowy selfies you faved. She got her start in digital media as a Campus Correspondent at HC Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she graduated in 2017 with degrees in English and Theater. Now, Gina is an LA-based writer and editor, and you can regularly find her wearing a face mask in bed and scrolling through TikTok.