Hello, freshmen. This year holds countless of experiences for you, marked by many firsts in your academic and social careers: the first longterm roommate, the first bad grade on a test, the first time away from a parent’s scrutiny, the first of many times jumping the wall. I will be joining you in a first, as this is my first sex column for The Flat Hat.
p. People say that college will be the best time of your life, but that depends on you. This is the time for you to find yourself. If you’re the only person from your home town, all the better — no need to worry about preconceived notions of who you are. Were you the frumpy girl in sweatpants who never had a date? Reinvent yourself. Were you the last guy to find a doubles partner for both tennis and Prom? Get out there and play. Whomever you were, you belong here. Everyone has doubts about it in the beginning, but soon you won’t be able to imagine attending another school.
p. An integral piece of you waiting to be reinvented is your sexuality. Hopefully I can help in that arena. I will try to step as gracefully as possible into the dominatrix boot prints of my predecessor Kate Prengaman, although my writing will branch from hers in different ways. Her columns were written for students who had engaged in sex or planned on doing it soon. My plan for this column is to focus on different aspects of sexuality, allowing for a bridge between virgins and nymphomaniacs.
p. Sexuality isn’t exclusively sex; you can be sexy just for yourself. I plan to write for everyone on campus who wants to grow into their sexuality.
p. And seriously — who doesn’t? I’ll start by explaining to you the tools you’ll need throughout your years to keep a baseline of sexual health.
p. If you live on the Sunken Garden side of campus, you may be eating at the Marketplace rather often. Ask a student at the Candy Counter where to find the “Fishbowl,” or just go exploring.
p. There are posters listing ideas for dates and explanations of sexually transmitted infections, and the fishbowls on the counter offer regular and flavored condoms and lubricants. There is nothing better than free lube, and the little packets are the perfect discreet size.
p. Never forget about your resident asssistant. They aren’t there to punish you or clean up after you, but they are there if you need to talk. Many RAs have buckets with condoms and candy in their rooms. You can go in whenever the door is open with no one is the wiser about which you were after. My RA held a “sex and s’mores” mixer with a guy’s hall last year. Everyone slipped in their questions anonymously, and we took turns answering the questions. We all had a good laugh about going “balls deep,” ate some good food and secretly scoped out potential guys from across the room. I think the event was a smashing success. Ask your RA, and maybe you’ll experience this great mixer during the week.
p. Speaking of mixers, don’t just spend the time hanging with your hall during the mixers. Use that time wisely to meet new friends or future hook-ups. I met a girl from Monroe Hall at one of the first mixers, and every time we see each other around campus we have a little mixer moment.
p. As for hookups, it is up to you whether or not you scope out the guys or girls in your building. Some people call this inter-hall hook-up “dormcest,” but if you can handle seeing your old flame every day in the lounge, go for it. I’d just clear it with your new roommate before you set the bed to shakin’.
p. The Student Health Center is an excellent way to get prescriptions easily when you’re sick, but they also provide free and anonymous HIV testing. All you need to do is call the appointment hotline (x2998), say you want a Williamsburg AIDS Network screening and give a first name (whether real or fake is up to you). The health center’s website has dates and times when testing is available, and the staff provides a variety of other sexual health services. Need a prescription for birth control pills? Time to get that Pap smear?
p. How about some free condoms? Want to know if that rash is herpes or just odd poison ivy? They can tell you. The health center’s website (www.wm.edu/health) contains a wealth of knowledge about STIs, as well as a list of the dozens of services they provide.
p. To quote the show “G.I. Joe,” “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.” The other half is putting this information into practice. It’s not good enough that you know where you can get condoms or the dates of the health center’s screenings for STIs. Take advantage of everything the College has to offer you; these will be the best years of your life. Try to endure the summer camp that is Freshmen Orientation, because the real fun is just around the corner. Welcome home, Class of 2011.
p. __Emily Powell is the Flat Hat sex columnist. She enjoys going balls deep … in her column.__