SEX ADVICE FOR COLLEGE FRESHMAN — OR, THE UNIVERSITY SEX TALK WE WISH WE HAD

This piece originally appeared at slutist.com

Summer is winding down and colleges and universities are swelling with the nubile young flesh of their student populations. If you’re among the privileged who have been accepted into an institution of higher learning, congratulations. If this is your freshman year (or “first year” as my tiny liberal arts college put it) I can pretty much guarantee part of your orientation week will involve a kind of truncated sex ed/how not to get raped session. I giggled through mine mostly because it was fucking ridiculous, victim-blaming and not helpful.

College is nothing like high school (or adulthood). You’ll be given a ton of freedom and you’ll be surrounded by people your own age almost exclusively, 24 hours a day. You’ll go to class, join a club, go to parties and have sex. Probably a lot of sex. You’ll hook up and have casual sex. There will be one night stands and friends with benefits and fuck buddies and relationships. You’ll try to navigate this strange new social structure (often awkwardly). People are going to try to have sex with you and you’re going to try to have sex with other people. Sometimes you’ll be successful (and sometimes you won’t).

I’m here to tell you how to have safe sex on campus in a sex positive, non-shaming kind of way:

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This month marks two years since I graduated college. I feel myself pushing back against my impending adulthood and it’s only getting stronger while I am weakening. 

I’m struggling between the girl who used to cut class, mouth off, party, not shower, and generally behave like a slacker and a miscreant and the woman who gets up early to go to the gym and owns a number of business casual outfits.

The biggest manifest of this is my reluctance to open an IRA. When I did my taxes (in February!) this year I checked off that I would be opening one. I’ve been working for less than two years and already I’m planning for my retirement. It’s daunting, to say the least. I think it follows in the natural path that my, and most middle-to-upper-middle class American children’s lives have taken. Kindergarten taught us the basics to prepare us for middle school, which prepared us for college which prepared us for the real world and adulthood and this stage of my life is preparing me for retirement which I guess will prepare me for death.

That’s pretty fucking depressing. It’s like the extracurricular you take in 9th grade because it will look good on your college application three years later. But way bigger than that. So even though I pass about 3 different Chase banks every day, I haven’t done it. In three months I haven’t done it. 

I have the kind of personality and conscience that I know I will. Eventually, maybe even this afternoon, I’ll walk into the bank and sit down in one of the nice cubicles and speak with a representative. I’ll pull out my debit card and my drivers license, he’ll pull up my account and in fifteen minutes it’ll be done. And then I never have to think about it again. Which is almost the worst part about my whole reluctance to go. It’s easy, so simple and then it’s done until I’m 70 and need to use it. It’ll just grow and take care of itself. It’s less work than a Tamagotchi. 

But once I do it I’ll know I’m a grown up. Not that I haven’t realized that for a while, and not that I don’t have a lot more growing to do but, when my children ask me when I finally felt like an adult, I think this will be the sealing moment. Not only will I be a grown up, but a corporate grown up. As if business cards and blazers weren’t enough, I’ll have a retirement fund. Every minute that I don’t do it I get to hold on to the weird girl I used to be. The one with so many options, opportunities and crazy ideas. 

But I’m still young. I’m still strange. I still have plenty of shit left to screw up. I have plenty of more adventures to have.  This IRA will just be a safety net. And once I believe that statement, I’ll be able to go do it.