14 Things Every College Student Should Do This January To Improve Their Sexual Health
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It's that time of year again, my friends. Everyone is running around trying to fulfill their resolutions of working out regularly, eating healthier foods, and focusing more on academics. But what's just as important as these resolutions is the decision to better your sexual health. As college students actively exploring our sexualities, we are always at risk for unwanted STIs and pregnancies, so it's time we take charge of our bodies this year and work to be safer when we have sex.

Here are 14 sexual health resolutions that you can easily make in your life to improve your wellbeing in 2019:

1. Carry your own condoms, lube, and other incidentals 

It's important that you are always prepared for an unanticipated sexual encounter. If you're going to a bar or a party where you know you could meet a potential hookup, be sure to have the necessary means of protection. That is, keep condoms in your pocket, wallet, or purse if you're interested in having sex with men. It's not a bad idea to also invest in lubricant, dental dams, and other items that will lessen your risk of contracting an STI or becoming pregnant.

2. Get screened for STIs

What better way to kick off the new year than by ensuring that you are entering it STD-free? Book an appointment to get tested at a local clinic, a nearby Planned Parenthood, or at your university's health center. A lot of colleges offer free screenings for HIV and other prevalent STDs, so why not take advantage of the offer and confirm that you're 100% healthy?

3. Make sure your birth control method still works for you

Whether you have an intrauterine device (IUD), the patch, or the pill, it's critical that you're happy with the method of birth control you choose to use. You have every right to be comfortable in the process of being protected. If something doesn't feel right, don't be afraid to talk to your physician or OB/GYN about adjusting your treatment plan to suit your needs.

4. Consider getting the HPV vaccine

Contrary to popular belief, the HPV vaccine isn't just for high school teenagers. It's recommended for people from age 9 to 45 because it not only guards you against the STD itself, but it also protects you from HPV-related genital warts and cancers of the cervix, anus, vulva, and vagina. If you engage in a lot of high-risk sexual activity or are knowingly exposed to partners who have HPV, you might want to arm yourself with the vaccine. If anything, it'll allow you some peace at mind the next time you hook up.

5. Get into the habit of peeing after sex

Women in particular are advised to urinate no later than fifteen minutes after sex. Why? Because voiding your bladder flushes out any bacteria that might have been introduced to your urethra during intercourse. Your vagina has a sensitive pH balance that may be interrupted when you engage in sexual activity. By peeing after a sexual encounter, you lower your risk of disrupting your natural probiotic bacteria and contracting an STI or a urinary tract infection (UTI).

6. Try limiting your hookups (or be more cautious about them)

As long as you're being safe and smart about your hookups, you don't need to worry about your sexual partners in terms of quantity alone. But perhaps you fear that more encounters will expose you to unwanted diseases and risks of pregnancy. If you're looking to break away from the hookup scene, you have every right to limit yourself and refuse to engage in casual relations. At the end of the day, no one else's opinions matter—it's all about your sexual health and your comfort.

7. Take time to get to know your own body

That's right—I'm talking about the intimate art of self-pleasure. How can you expect someone else to satisfy your desires, after all, if you hardly know what you enjoy yourself? Find some private time in your day to explore your body and your sexual preferences. Experiment with different stimuli and you will be sure to discover a combination that works best for you. And besides, masturbating feels good and can relax you after a long, stressful day.

8. Don't have sex when you're drunk or high

Being sober during sex is the best way to stay alert and grounded to what is going on. If you're tipsy or buzzed, it may be harder for you to excuse yourself from risky situations and you may put yourself in a position where you could be taken advantage of. It's never your fault if you are violated while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, but you can prevent these tragedies altogether by keeping your mind clear when having sex. Unless you're with a trusted romantic partner, keep the drinks or the smoking to a minimum when engaging in casual sex.

9. Treat your STI as soon as you know you have it

Some STIs are curable with the proper medications and procedures. If you test positive for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, or trichomoniasis, diligently taking the needed antibiotics will clear up the infection. Advise your sexual partners (that is, anyone who may have been exposed to the infection) to receive treatment for these diseases as well. Unfortunately, there are no known cures for hepatitis B, HIV, HPV, or herpes simplex virus, but you can still manage your symptoms and prevent further complications down the road.

10. Talk with your roommate(s) about how you should go about having sex

It isn't exactly the most fun discussion to have, but it has to be done. Roommate etiquette is at stake here, and the last thing you and your roommates want is to barge in on someone else's private time or to be exiled from the space for hours on end without any advance warning. If you have a long-term partner that you plan on having over frequently, be courteous and tell your roommate(s) when you'll be together. Make an agreement that you are both entitled to having the room/apartment to yourselves now and then and always make an effort to respect each other's boundaries.

11. Practice better genital hygiene

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Forget about douching or using frilly scented soaps on your nether bits—practicing genital hygiene is a lot easier than you'd think. All you need is some mild, unscented soap or wash and a little bit of warm water and you're good to go. You can also think about grooming your pubic hair regularly if you'd rather not keep it grown out. Try to find a shaving cream that's specialized for sensitive skin, because ingrown hairs and stinging sensations in your crotch area are never a good time.

12. Be more confident about expressing your desires in bed

Your pleasure is just as important as your partner's. No matter what the circumstances of your sexual relations are, you should be comfortable expressing your desires in the bedroom and receptive to your partner's suggestions as well. The experience will be best for both of you if you stay invested in each other's satisfaction from beginning to end. Don't be too shy to talk about what you enjoy beforehand or speak up during intercourse—it's all about both parties being engaged by what's happening at all times.

13. Don't be afraid to ask for your partners' sexual histories

You have every right to know where your partners have been in the past. You are, after all, having sex with every one of your partner's previous partners when you have sex with them. Likewise, you are morally obligated to disclose your own sexual history if your partner asks you, too. For both of your sakes, make sure there's no air of mystery between you that will come back to surprise you later.

14. If you have experienced sexual violence, consider talking to a counselor

If you are a victim of sexual assault of any kind, know that you are not alone and that a critical part of healing from what happened is acknowledging that you have the strength to get better. Talk to someone you trust about your feelings, whether that's a loved one, significant other, a doctor, a teacher, or a counselor. You owe it to yourself to believe in a new beginning, and that all starts with moving on from this tragedy at your own pace.

2019 is going to be the year that we all take care of ourselves more than we ever have before.

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

How Much Do You REALLY Know About Contracting STDs? Take This Quiz To Test Yourself

Time to find out how much you really know.

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I don't care what anyone says, safe sex is better than unprotected sex. There are a ton of myths regarding sex, STDs, and germs. It's time to learn the facts. Be kind to your body and protect it. Be honest with yourself and a partner. Even if it's a one night stand, STDs should be on your mind–don't let it be a turnoff. STDs have been on the rise and "The United States continues to have the highest STD rates in the industrialized world." This is your wake-up call.





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My Parents Didn’t Tell Me To Stay Pure Until Marriage, I Made That Decision On My Own

So, please respect my decision.

tiannat
tiannat
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As we evolve into a more open and accepting world, the one thing that is getting less taboo is sex. It's not something that is talked about behind closed doors. It's something that is on the television screens and easily accessible on our phones. People talk about it and promote it like it's small talk. It's so hard to escape, especially as a young adult.

To say that I am staying pure until marriage is a very uncommon thing, at least in my opinion. Sure, I have friends who are in the same boat as I am. But, even at a Christian college, sex is everywhere and most people are partaking in it. However, I decided to not.

Growing up, my parents never told me to stay pure until marriage directly. I went to church and heard about it in sermons. I knew that by keeping myself pure until marriage, I would enjoy it more knowing that I waited for my future husband. I understand that some people may not agree with me on this topic, but here's why I am saving myself.

1. I want to know that the man loves me.

For me, I want to have sex with someone that I love. Now, you may defend this with the fact that your boyfriend loves you. That's great. But, dating isn't always a sure thing. Boys (and girls) can say that they love you, just to get in your pants. And, they will. It happens all the time. And, because you are blinded by love, you will end up giving in and doing it. But, see, I don't want to be blinded by love. I want to know that the person I am with, is with me forever. By making the biggest commitment aka marriage, that is a clear sign that they love me and want me forever. This is a good example of actions show more than words do. They can say they love me, but when they showcase that love, that's when I know it is real.

2. I want to give all of me to one person.

I heard this great example my senior year that discusses this exact thing. For someone like Hugh Hefner, who was with HUNDREDS of women, when he got older, he said he didn't feel anything anymore when it came to sex. He was numbed by the whole experience. It wasn't pleasurable or for love. By having sex with countless women, he had given a little part of himself to each of them, until he had nothing left. Therefore, by saving myself for one person, they would be getting all of me. As a whole. 100%. This is special because no one else has that except for my future husband.

3. The idea of getting pregnant scares me because of the lack of security.

For the past three generations in my family, they have all had children young. 15, to 17, to 20 years old. Blinded by love. Manipulated by their hormones. They had sex and got pregnant. To see not only 1 woman, but 3 women in my life go through that, I know how difficult it is. You're a kid yourself. Personally, I do want children. However, I have so many dreams and goals for myself. I want to graduate from college. Get a good career. Travel. Fall in love. A lot of that can be halted by a child. I don't know if I would get to achieve everything I want to, especially if I would have to raise the child alone (which usually happens). So, by waiting for marriage, I am using the biggest form of birth control.

4. There's no comparing, if you have only been with one person.

Now, this is different for every relationship. However, everyone feels insecure or uncomfortable when it comes to dating and relationships. Knowing that someone has had sex prior, you wonder if you are shaping up or doing better than the previous. By only having sex with one person, it relieves the stress of comparison.

5. It brings me closer to God.

One important lesson I have learned from friends, college, and personal experience, is that relationships (when it isn't built on God), you tend to stray away from Him. Therefore, by making my relationship with God stronger, I fall in love with Him first. Then, I am capable of loving a boy and committing to something like marriage and sex.

So, no, my parents never convinced me to stay pure until marriage. It was my own decision. I have reasoning for staying pure and it's my choice. So, please stop shaming virginity in the 21st century, because I'm not shaming you if you aren't one.

tiannat
tiannat

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