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Nothing ruins an erotically good time quite like the realization that you’re lacking protection – namely, condoms. We see it all the time in commercials and movies: a couple is in the middle of foreplay, primed and ready to go, and then, someone asks, “Do you have a condom?” They can run to a store and buy a box, have sex anyway sans latex, or they can simply call it night.
But let’s be honest; in the heat of the moment, it’s a struggle to put the action on hold so you can hurry to a convenience store and purchase some rubbers. And with hormones coursing through your body, I doubt many would simply take sex out of the equation. Unfortunately, people often say “screw it” and do the deed anyway, which is one of most irresponsible decisions you can make regarding your sexual health.
As college students, we need to accept the fact that we exist within a hook-up culture. Sure, there are students who believe in and practice monogamy because, let’s face it, we live in the Bible Belt, and being monogamous is the “norm,” what society at large expects of us. That being said, just because you’re in a monogamous relationship doesn’t mean your sexual exploits are any “safer” than your non-monogamous counterparts, especially if you haven’t been tested for STIs and such.
While other students remain celibate, either by choice or circumstance, the reality is that for many of us, college is a time of exploration and experimentation. Sometimes, we decide to break with tradition and sleep around or have multiple sexual relationships at once, and there’s no shame in that – as long as you’re being smart about it. By smart, I mean taking the steps necessary to protect yourself and your partner(s) from unwanted pregnancy and STIs.
So why the hell are we still asking our bedmates if
they have a condom? Shouldn’t we expect each other to be equipped with the basic necessities at all times? Even if you’re on the fence about hooking up, common sense dictates you be prepared because you never know whose bed you might find yourself in at 1 a.m. If you do decide a one-night-stand is for you, it’s a choice I hope you’ve considered in depth. Making the decision to hook up, regardless with whom, is not something you want to decide in the heat of the moment. You should be aware of and comfortable with your own boundaries.
But say you’ve never thought about it before and find yourself in a situation you hadn’t even considered a possibility because it does happen. People surprise themselves all the time. You tell yourself you want a meaningful relationship before you engage in intercourse, but then you meet a knock-out at a party and wind up going home together. What happens when neither of you has a condom? Luckily, we live in a town where Wal-Mart is open 24 hours a day, but like I said earlier, good luck putting your libido on hold. If you’re low on cash, the Student Health Center provides male latex condoms, primarily Trojans and the ONE brand. Often, there is a fishbowl in the waiting room so students can help themselves to a few while they’re there, and they are also available in each of the exam rooms. If you want more than “just a couple,” you can get 20 condoms for $2 plus tax.
Mary McDaniel, assistant director of Health Services, said they also special order flavored or scented varieties, non-latex male condoms and female condoms for event giveaways.
And then there’s the age-old question of just who
exactly is responsible for providing protection. As far as heterosexual relationships go, there’s a cultural belief that men should be the sole provider of the condom. But ladies, you simply cannot depend on your male partners to provide the rubber because there’s always the possibility that he doesn’t have one…or two, or however many you’re going to need if, say, you’re shooting for multiple rounds.
You’ve got a few options. You can either buy a package of male condoms yourself, or you can opt for a female condom. In any case, you’ve got to be able to protect yourself. Female condoms come in one size only and are a good option for some, especially those who don’t always know what size of male condom they might need.
As for my non-heterosexual friends, the same basic concept applies to people of all sexual identities, regardless of what hardware you have between your legs. If you’re in for some male to male action, you both need to have a condom that will fit your own penis, even if you’re not planning on doing any penetration. I’ve already covered the importance of making sure your junk is clean before you perform oral sex (Perfectly Normal, Natural Things" href="http://www.esubulletin.com/2012/09/13/12421">The Pregame Sniff
), but no amount of soap and water will ward off a sexual infection.
If you both have vaginas, you still need a condom if you’re planning on implementing toys, produce, etc., or even if you’re just using your hands. If you’ve got a wound on your finger, it can get infected. And as for oral sex, use whatever you prefer, be it a dental dam or a piece of saran wrap.
The bottom line is, you are responsible for girding your own loins, no one else.