It’s a new year. For many new students, a big part of this year will be losing their virginity.
There are two ways to lose your virginity in college.
The first option is to find the nearest person at a party, lock lips with them, text your roommate, and put a sock on the door.
The alternative is to meet someone you really like, treat them to bread ends and house dressing from The Cheese Shop, wait until you start to feel comfortable and close to them, and then to decide the time is right. This is the option I recommend.
No matter what, sex is really awkward when you first start out. There is no avoiding that. Ask any person about their first time, and you’ll probably hear about being cramped in the back of a car, having someone’s parents walk in or a somewhat shocking amount of blood. For the record, all of those happened to people close to me. Alright, fine, one of them actually happened to me. I can, however, say with confidence that it does get better.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 46.8 percent of high school students have had sex. So, if you feel you lack experience coming into college, you’re not alone. Many of your classmates are just as anxious to explore that part of their new adult lives. Although the potential for frequent casual sex is certainly there, the only way to get good at sex is to do it regularly with somebody you care about. To elaborate: You need to have steady sex with somebody who will give you feedback. Maybe you haven’t quite gotten the hang of using your tongue when you kiss or maybe in the heat of the moment you get a little too rough. A person who is not committed to you and your relationship probably will not tell you either way. They might just stop texting you back.
While a string of one-night-stands can be a lot of fun, it will not teach you what you need to know about good sex. There is a different objective with in hooking up than in having sex in a long-term relationship. A hookup is a form of instant gratification that is more about the thrill of the moment than actual sexual satisfaction. In contrast, having sex with the same person paradoxically leads to more experimentation and a broader range of experiences. For example, some girls are self-conscious being on top at first. When you and your partner are figuring out how to make that work, it is much easier to experiment and make adjustments with someone with whom you’ve had experience. Trial and error is a less painful process when you can laugh about it with somebody who knows you pretty well.
Sex will never be as available to you as it is right now. I’m not telling you not to have casual flings. Those have a time and place. I recommend taking advantage of that before you graduate. What I am telling you is that now is your opportunity to get really good, and if you want to experience everything that sex has to offer, you need to find somebody who is willing to be consistent with you. Even though you might be worried that committing to someone will limit your sex life as a college student, the opposite is true. Having steady sex with somebody you like and trust will be more satisfying. If you find that being in a relationship in college isn’t for you, it was still worth it. You probably got pretty good in bed in the process.
Cate M is a Behind Closed Doors columnist and only lost her virginity because she wanted to write this sex column.