Huzzah! You’ve made it past your parents’ looming gazes into the fresh freedom-scented halls of university. This is the perfect opportunity for getting your freak on and exploring your sexuality. The dating pool is bigger and thirstier than ever, and who said sex isn’t an important part of your education? Here are some things to keep in mind as you go on your mandated ‘find yourself’ side quest at university.
You may have been raised with the belief that sex is a trivial thing or with warnings of abstinence, but sex is an integral and natural part of life, which is why it’s also important to experiment and see what you like!
Exploring your sexuality doesn’t just mean trying things with same-sex partners. Exploring your sexuality has to do with figuring out what works for you, including the kind of people you want to have sex with but also how you have sex or the kinds of things you like doing during sex.
It can mean having more than one partner or none at all. It can mean trying different things by yourself (the pandemic certainly makes this a popular choice), it can mean sex toys and it can mean trying different types of porn and erotica! You will also find what you don’t like, and that’s just as important.
It’s been said before and it’s worth saying again: you do not need to put yourself in a box or stick a label on yourself if you don’t want to! Be open-minded to the boundless possibilities of being and feeling sexy and remember that it’s about you and your personal preferences. That’s the whole point of this! (No one out here knows what they’re doing anyway.)
The internet is your friend! You may not have all the answers, but there is so much information out there and there are places online to find others who might be feeling like you are. That can be reassuring and validating and it can be a lot easier to ask Google your burning questions than actual human beings. Sometimes even taking a class on sexuality can be helpful, eye-opening and ease the expectations and anxiety around sex. These definitely exist at UBC — look out for them!
Talk about it
You might find yourself struggling with questions relating to your sexuality, sex or relationships in general, and talking to friends about it can be illuminating and reassuring. You might even learn something you never considered before.
Communication and respect
If you’re doing it with a partner or partners, communication is key.Sometimes sex can feel unnatural or confusing, but that’s part of figuring out what works for you. Talking to each other will ease the process so much more and make things less awkward. Always remember to listen to your partner(s) and respect them too! They’re in it as much as you are. Being in tune with each other and ongoing consent are crucial.
It’s okay not to have sex
All of this is not to say that you must partake in the festivities. It’s easy to feel pressured to have sex because everyone around you is talking about the ‘typical university experience’ and doing all these things they think are necessary for them. At the end of the day, it’s about what you want. Sex is not an imperative, especially if you’re really not into it.
University is a great time to do some soul-searching as well as some orgasm-searching. Try to be open-minded! You have plenty of freedom but remember to also listen to yourself and do only what makes you comfortable. And don’t forget the golden rule: be safe!