When winter comes, this campus sleeps. Scores of students pack up and move home for the duration of holiday break. Those of us who are left feel the icy sting of abandonment.
But with the dawn of a new year, the spring semester begins. The horny Hornets are back to school, and the residence halls are abuzz once more with young freshmen and experienced grad students alike, all eager to break the cycle of winter’s dry spell.
A busy campus and warmer weather means many things, not the least of which is an increase in students’ libidos. And while the free condom bowl in the Student Health Center dwindles, the facts and figures of safe sex may not be at the forefronts of our minds. Even the most precautious and educated student can forget (or ignore) the simple basics in the heat of the moment. Others are simply ignorant to the realities of coital bondage, thanks to the pathetic excuse Kansas’ public schools pass as “sexual education.”
So, compiled here are the most common sex myths and misconceptions that plague our generation.
For instance, how many of us believe that if we got the Gardasil vaccine, we’re safe from HPV (human papillomavirus)? Wrong. While it’s recommended that both males and females between the ages of 11 and 26 get the vaccine, it’s still relatively new, and not everything is yet known about this wonder drug. There’s a possibility the vaccine’s effectiveness can wear off over time, but Mary McDaniel, assistant director of Health Services, said it’s believed the vaccine lasts at least five years.
“With any kind of vaccine, not everybody gets 100 percent protection, which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it – it just means you also need to be smart and safe,” McDaniel said.
There’s also the possibility that you could have been exposed to HPV prior to getting the vaccination if you were already sexually active. The bottom line: don’t assume you’re good to go sans traditional protection (i.e. a condom) just because you got the Gardasil stick.
Sexual diseases and infections are not something to take lightly, but no matter what your mama says, you won’t get any STDs/STIs from toilet seats. Most of the organisms that cause these types of sexual blunders cannot survive for long on a cold, porcelain surface.
“The reason it continues to be a concern is because some organisms can survive for quite a while on an inanimate object, like the herpes virus, as long as it’s on a moist surface,” McDaniel said. “But if you think about it, the part of you that touches the toilet is not typically where you find the herpes virus, so it shouldn’t be a legitimate concern.”
What you should be worried about, however, is, say, a roomie with pubic lice (krabs) who likes to sit on your shared furniture while also going commando. This can leave behind unwanted little critters who are just biding their time until they can latch onto your own warm, unsuspecting, moist crotchal region.
On that note, you should also keep in mind that even dry humping with your undies on isn’t safe sex. It may reduce your chances of contracting an STD or infection if the area in question is covered, but if one (or more) partner/s ejaculates on or around the other’s genitals, there’s a chance (albeit small) the semen could cause an infection, or even lead to pregnancy.
“Your underwear is not a moisture-proof barrier, and those tiny organisms (sperm, bacteria, viruses, etc.) travel pretty easily through a moist barrier,” McDaniel said. “(Underwear) greatly reduces the chance of something like that happening, but it’s still possible.”
The odds are small, but you do need to beware of chafing.
And then there’s the classic delusion that you can’t get an STD if you’re in water. False, again. According to Women’s Health, your chances of catching something are actually greater when you’re getting wet and wild.
“Water washes away the body’s natural lubricant, creating more friction, which increases the risk of tears in the vagina, where bacteria and viruses can enter,” according to a Women’s Health article by Erb Middleton.
Condoms can help facilitate extra lubricant, but they are easily weakened by chemicals in the water. A silicone-based lube is your best bet if you’re determined to get some aqua action.
Next, don’t let Aunt Flo fool you – it’s possible to get pregnant even when you’re having your period, so it’s best not to ditch the contraceptive, but this doesn’t apply when you’re on The Pill.
“The hormones in The Pill keep you from ovulating,” McDaniel said. “When you’re having your period, you’re only bleeding because of that withdrawal of hormones. (But) if you don’t start the new pack on time, it could allow you to begin ovulating.”
While it’s unlikely period sex will result in pregnancy, it’s still a possibility for women who have periods that overlap with the beginning of ovulation. Be cautious on your voyage through the Red Sea, and use good judgement.
Finally, contrary to what Asher Roth so ignorantly thinks, two condoms are not better than one.
“In fact, ‘double-bagging’ as it is sometimes called, can increase the friction between the condoms during intercourse, making them more likely to rip or tear… The same goes for using a male condom and female condom at the same time,” according to Go Ask Alice, a peer-reviewed online health resource produced by Columbia University.
So remember, only a douche double-bags.