Behind Closed Doors: Be prepared: Not just for Boy Scouts

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November 11, 2008

3:13 AM

Part of being a responsible sexual adult is being ready for any hookup that you might have. You never know when the opportunity for hot, passionate sex may arise, so it’s best to always be prepared.

The first half of sexual preparedness is knowing yourself. At the most basic level, you need to figure out what your sexual identity is. From there, it’s useful to discover personal preferences. Do you like having your ass smacked? Or would you prefer to be caressed softly for 20-40 minutes? Maybe you’d like hot oil drizzled down your breasts? Or perhaps a nice, warm enema is what does it for you.

Knowing yourself, in addition to the mental and turn-on aspects described above, includes being in tune with your body. Regular STI testing and pelvic exams are essential. If you believe you are mature enough to engage in sexual acts, you should be conscientious and smart enough to take care of the physical health aspects. Claiming ignorance is not acceptable.

But I think it’s safe to assume that most sexually active members of our campus are past this first step. If you’re not, there’s no shame in that. There are many resources on campus to help you gain sexual self-awareness. Check out the Health Center, the Counseling Center and the FISH Bowl. There are a fair number of pamphlets about sexual issues in all of these places. Additionally, we have many organizations on campus committed to this end, including Health Outreach Peer Educators and Every 2 Minutes.

So what other preparation is really necessary? You may be saying to yourself, “The beauty of sex is that it’s simple. Take two consenting sexual adults and put them together. Voila, copulation!” That idea is wonderful, but only applies to certain sexual circumstances. The sexual environment at the College of William and Mary brings other factors into play, necessitating the presence of more than just two sweaty bodies. That’s where the SexPack comes in: A collection of items that you should have on hand before any sexual encounter.

First things first: birth control methods. This includes, but is not limited to, condoms, diaphragms, Plan B and birth control pills. The responsibility for having these items rests on you. Your body, your safety, your Trojan, ribbed-for-her-pleasure, banana-flavored, ultra-thin, spermicidal-lubricant condoms.

Of course, you’ll need lube. It’s not a pretty-sounding word, but let me assure you, lube is probably the greatest thing on the planet. Lube can help loosen things up when partners are nervous, it can allow for easier penetration so you can try out new sexual positions and, most importantly, it can cut friction so that no one’s nether regions are on fire in a bad way.

If you live in a dorm — or close-quarters of any other sort — a stereo or television is a thoughtful addition to the SexPack. Just because you’re “the man” in bed and know how to get your woman to say any raunchy thing you want to hear doesn’t mean your hallmates need to hear the play-by-play as they try to finish that Chem take-home.

Sex can be very messy. Lube, sweat, semen, vaginal discharge, menstrual blood: Do any of these things sound like the kind of viscous liquids you want to sleep in night after night? A change of sheets and washable blankets can go a long way to maintaining a clean bed. But they’re not necessary. A towel and some baby wipes will do the job just as well. It may be dead sexy to come all over your boyfriend’s pecs, but how are you going to cuddle afterward without spreading “the love?”

There are many other things that can be added to the SexPack: water and snacks for afterward, sex toys such as handcuffs and vibrators, pornography, a camera, etc. But the essentials are birth control, lube, sound control and clean-up supplies. It may seem silly to be so prepared when you don’t know if you’ll be “getting any” any time soon, but there’s no harm in having these things on hand. No one needs to know what’s in that duffel bag under your bed. If worse comes to worst, the SexPack can be used to further part one: knowing thyself.

Maya Horowitz is the Flat Hat sex columnist. She wasn’t allowed to be a Boy Scout, but still found a use for their motto: be prepared.

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