Sex in College

For most young adults, college is the time when they really become independent. This is also the time when they gain complete control of their sex lives.

Whether you are open with your child and have already spoken about sex or not, it is time to breach the subject about safe sex in college.

According to Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction and sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, "Parents might want to say that they realize that many young people have sex during this time of their lives, and that they understand that their child may or may not, as well," she says, adding, "Parents can share their own values, but also let their college-age children know that they respect them and love them regardless of their choices, and that they are happy to provide information or help as needed."

Dr. Herbenick also recommends talking about the consequences and risks of having sex. Some of the consequences of having sex include pleasure, and stronger immune-system health. The risks of course include sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy.

To help your college student secure safer sex, talk to them about the following:

Practice

Putting on a condom that is. For students who do not know how, Dr. Herbenick suggests practicing on a cucumber. She also adds that sexually active students should be sure to have a condom on hand so they do not have an excuse for unprotected sex.

Get checked

Students who are planning to, or are already having sex, it is best to get checked first. Girls should get gynecologic exams if they 18 years old, are sexually active [oral, vaginal, or anal]. Both boys and girls should also get STD testing every three months if they are sexually active.

They should also get tested two weeks after having sex with a new partner or as recommended by a doctor. Dr. Herbenick also recommends checking into effective methods of birth control and using condoms to prevent pregnancy and infection.

Plan for parties

Before you going to a party, students should get the number for a campus or community service that offers free rides home. This way you are sure to get home safe and not risk drinking and driving or walking home in unsafe areas or situations.

You should also make arrangements before the party about who you’ll be going home with. Dr. Herbenick says, "Go to parties with friends, and make sure that your friends don’t go home with anyone they weren’t already planning to be with." In other words, says Dr. Herbenick, "no surprise or drunken hookups. If you meet someone you like, you can always see them another day."

Guard your drink

Date or acquaintance rape, and drunken sex are all too real. Drunken sex is considered an assault by campus and local policy. This is why students should never leave their drink unattended at parties because someone could slip in recreational drugs.

Go solo

Dr. Herbenick says, "Sex can feel pleasurable, connecting, and meaningful; however, it doesn’t always feel that way, so college students (like adults of any age) will want to make thoughtful, careful choices about their sexual lives." This is where masturbation comes in. According to Dr. Herbenick, masturbation actually has a number of benefits.

"Masturbation can help college students to relieve stress, to fall asleep, or to feel sexually satisfied whether or not they have a partner." It can also reduce the pressure to hook up with a total stranger at a party, and help young men and women feel more comfortable with their bodies since it teaches them about what feels good sexually.

"Then, when they do enter into a sexual relationship one day, they will be better equipped to share with a partner what they enjoy about sexual touching," says, Dr. Herbenick. Remember though, to do it when your roommate is out, or you have enough privacy to do it without bothering other people.

Source: MSN Health