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Oct 09 2015
by Heena Shah

To Sex or Not to Sex: Why Losing your Virginity in College is OK, and Why it's OK to Save It

By Heena Shah - Oct 09 2015
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For most of you, the first month of college is going to be filled with many firsts. First taste of alcohol, first college party, first real sexual encounter (and no, that time your friends forced you to play seven minutes in heaven doesn't count),etc. Now that you're in college, you have the freedom to do what you want, when you want, and if you're safe and smart about it, with minimal collateral damage. What makes it even better, is that all of your peers are experiencing the same freedoms, and so judgement is minimal. 

 How we choose to handle ourselves is our own business, as it should be. And while our choices are also our own, and whether or not you decide to swipe it or not, know that either choice can be a good one. 

To Sex

For some people sex is a sacred and personal act. After all, it is called love-making. For some, sex is as meaningful to them as their old shoes or earrings or boxer briefs that they left at your place the next day and never bothered asking for it back. Sex is like a quick romp to brag (...or not) about to your friends later. For others, they just don't know what sex means to them. It's simply just an experience. These are opinions that are subject to constant change in college and you're allowed to think and feel whatever you want. The best thing you can do for yourself is to decide where on the spectrum you fall, and if you choose to partake in coitus, where your partner falls on that spectrum too. 

Sex and/or Love

The hookup culture can be fun and judgment-less, but sex isn't always the way into someone's heart. Just because someone wants you physically, that doesn't mean they deserve you emotionally (or physically, for that matter). Whether or not you give your body and heart (or one exclusively) to someone is a choice you get to make. Just realize that the other person has that choice too.

 Friends

Just because you live with them or want to major in the same thing doesn't mean that every bestie you've made your first month of college is a keeper. Not everyone may believe the same as you, that doesn't make their opinions or their lifestyle wrong, but it does mean that your support system in such matters may need to be a bit more refined. Bottom line: at some point you'll realize that your real friends are people who care about you unconditionally and understand that your life is yours to live, and that they'll be there for you no matter how good or bad things get.   

Not to Sex

Just because your best friends, hallmates, or classmates are all having sex, that  doesn't mean you need to. Sex can be great, but not having sex is great too. As glamorized as the hookup culture may seem, there is no pressure on you or anyone ever to have sex with someone else, and there never should be. Just as it's your choice to have sex, it's also your choice to not have it. If you feel that you're not emotionally ready, or that you just don't want to, know that not having sex is perfectly normal. No one will or should judge you for it. Your reasons for not having sex are your own, but let me tell you that you're special enough to do what want. You can still always flirt around, date around, and kiss around, but only do what you're comfortable with.

Not Sex and/or Love

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to have sex in a college relationship. Whether you have sex or not, or are in a relationship or not, sexual decisions are YOURS to make and.

Friends

Simple: Just as good friends don't judge your choices, good friends don't make them for you. Whether or not you decide to have sex in college is a choice you get to make, and your friends are there to support you, not influence or dissuade you in any direction.   

Sex means whatever you want it to. The night/afternoon/morning you lose your virginity can be romantic, cheesy or just another one of those awkward stories you tell about your freshman experience. The point is that it's your body and no one can tell you what to do with it.


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Heena Shah - University of Virginia

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