11 Subtle Signs of Sexual Assault That Every College Student Should Look For In Their Friends
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Of course, we all hope that we will never personally witness the pain that comes with sexual violence, but it is important nonetheless to know the warning signs that an assault may have occurred. We need to have enough knowledge about sexual assault survivors to be able to tell that something isn't quite right with friend's behavior, attitude, or even their appearance. To protect them as well as ourselves, it's critical that we know and understand how a survivor may act in the aftermath of such a horrific event.

With that being said, here are a few of the red flags that could be present in the life of someone who has been sexually assaulted:

1. They are experiencing unexplained depression and anxiety symptoms

As of lately, you've noticed that your friend has not been acting like themselves. They may be exhibiting signs of depression such as extreme sadness, hopelessness, chronic fatigue, and changes in their sleep patterns and appetite. Or they might be uncharacteristically anxious, worrying excessively, having regular panic episodes, or being easily startled. If unaddressed, these feelings and behaviors can worsen and prevent the individual from healing from the assault later on. Whether they are having a post-traumatic response or have just been struggling with their mental health, they need your friendship now more than ever.

2. They're being treated for an STI—and they're single, safe, or in a committed relationship

Your friend has always been incredibly cautious with their sexual partners, so it strikes you as odd when they admit that they've been receiving treatment for a sexually transmitted infection. What's more is this person is single, prioritizes their sexual health, or has been in a committed monogamous relationship for quite some time with a faithful partner. With that being said, if their STI-positive status is completely out-of-character, it's possible that they were forced to be unsafe with someone against their will.

3. They engage in reckless drug and alcohol use

This person went from being strait-laced and sober to erratic and preoccupied with drugs and alcohol. They've started binge-drinking or using drugs recreationally, affiliating with a new crowd of friends who encourage them to let loose and let go of their inhibitions. If your friend is a survivor of sexual assault, it's possible that they adopted these new behaviors to distract themselves from thinking about what happened to them. Being drunk and/or high takes away from the sharpness of their emotions, but it also poses some serious threats to their physical health.

4. They make an effort to avoid certain places or situations

Once eager to go out on the town, your friend is suddenly more reluctant than ever— especially when it comes to specific places or events. They might be fearful of a party because it's taking place at a particular house, of a dimly lit street corner or road, of an alleyway, or of any other location that may be where an assault has taken place. Maybe they once jumped at the opportunity to go out to their favorite bar, but they suddenly want to avoid going there at all costs. If your friend seems to be very nervous or on edge when you pass by or even talk about visiting this place, there may be something more to the situation that justifies their fears

5. They isolate themselves from friends and loved ones

Someone who has survived sexual assault is inundated with a lot of emotions that they may want to process in private. When asked if something is wrong, they might dismiss it and assure you that they're okay, but how they've been acting seems to suggest otherwise. Your friend spends a lot more time alone and often turns down offers to hang out. They leave text messages and calls unanswered and may even get defensive if their privacy is infringed upon. Their withdrawal from the people who care about them isn't intentional, but could instead be their way of coping with what happened to them without having to reveal the details of the assault.

6. Their grades are dropping and they routinely skip class and work

Your friend is usually a dedicated student and a hard worker, but they now appear to be moving in a downward spiral. They are skipping classes regularly and missing their shifts at work and their grades are dropping drastically. Anyone who has experienced any kind of trauma is likely to lose focus on their daily routine. The lack of focus may come off as a newfound indifference, or it could be a telltale sign that this individual has undergone a traumatic experience.

7. They show signs of physical abuse (bruises, black eyes, etc.)

Depending on the nature of the assault, survivors can sustain a multitude of injuries that suggest that they were physically harmed. Bruises, cuts, scrapes, scratches, black eyes, and even broken or dislocated bones may result from a bodily attack. In addition, the individual may also suffer from more intimate injuries that could point more directly to sexual assault, including rectal or vaginal tearing and subsequent bleeding. While physical signs of injury alone cannot prove that a sexual assault has taken place, if you feel that your friend has been hurt in a way that was not accidental, it is possible that they were a victim of sexual violence.

8. They admit that they haven't been sleeping well (or at all) recently

It's common for a sexual assault survivor to not sleep well in the aftermath of their attack. They may experience difficulty falling or staying asleep or they may have recurring nightmares that could echo what happened to them when they were assaulted. If your friend confesses that they have been having a hard time sleeping and subsequently feel exhausted all the time, there may be something going on that's a bit more than typical college stress.

9. They are exhibiting post-traumatic symptoms

Sexual assault survivors can exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the immediate wake of the assault or even months or years after it has taken place. The events that unfolded were too much for the survivor to process all at once, so the emotions are embedded deep in their brains and surface every so often in sharp, unpleasant doses. Triggers in the person's environment, including but not limited to sights, sounds, their assailant's voice, images, videos, and sexual language, can evoke a panicked response in the survivor as they appear to relive the trauma all over again. Your friend may be suffering from PTSD related to sexual assault if they have recently started to startle easily or show signs of panic and distress.

10. They appear uncomfortable with even friendly physical contact

After being physically violated by another person, the survivor will likely find it very difficult to feel comfortable in close proximity with others. They may shy away from the touches of even their closest friends and loved ones and they may especially be opposed to romantic contact of any kind. After being so seriously harmed, they want to regain control over their bodies and remain untouched in their effort to stay safe. Even a good-natured touch could startle or unsettle them, for they are trying to remember what it felt like to be unafraid of physical contact.

11. They seem to have developed a very hateful self-image

In the wake of surviving a sexual assault, the person may feel cheap, used, dirty, and disgusting. Their body was violated and their boundaries were crossed, leaving them at their most vulnerable in front of someone who chose to abuse them to demonstrate their power. Survivors often develop a cruel self-image as a result, calling themselves ugly or openly stating that no one will ever want to love them or date them. They might feel that their abuser could not even respect them, so they do not deserve respect themselves. If your once body-positive, self-loving friend has started to view themselves in a darker, more critical light, it's possible that something happened to make them feel less than worthy of love and respect.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, you can visit the following websites for guidance on how to begin the healing process. Know always that you are never alone and that there are so many people who will always be willing to help you get through this. You will win this fight.





Sexual assaut resources for college students:

lRAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network)

RAINN's National Sexual Assault Online Hotline (or call at 800-656-4673)

United States Department of Justice

Office of Women's Health: Relationships and Safety

National Domestic Violence Hotline

End Rape On Campus

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

College Students Confess What They ACTUALLY Think About Sex On The First Date

I am here to spill the tea

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Sex after the first date. Do you do it or do you not do it? To get it on or to not get it on, that is the question.

Before losing my virginity, I would have said hell no. Having sex with someone you just met is simply insane and dangerous! However, more than a year after losing the V-card, my perspective on sex has changed massively. I just had sex with someone after having just met him in person (we talked for a few weeks prior to meeting) and I don't regret a thing. I wanted to know how my peers felt about this very contentious topic, so I asked.

Here's what the people have spoken:

A whopping 47% of my peers said they would have sex on the first date, while 35% said no, and the remaining 18% said maybe, it depended on the situation.

I for one was surprised at the amount who said yes and was happy I wasn't the only one who would do so. What interested me the most were the responses my peers gave as to the reasoning behind their answers. I kept everything anonymous out of respect for those who answered my poll.

"For me, it's situational because it depends on the type of girl, how we met, how long we've been talking before meeting up, and if I'm personally in the mood." - anonymous

A few people mentioned that it depends on the situation, and this person really hit the nail on the head with their response. You could go months talking and finally meet up just to feel no sexual connection with a person worth pursuing, or you could talk for a few weeks, meet up, and have an intense sexual connection come out of nowhere. If you're not in the mood for sex then don't do it. The moment will flow as it is meant to.

"I have before so I can't say I wouldn't." - anonymous

HAHA literally me.

"I don't think enough trust or a bond could be established in one date." - anonymous

"Depends on if you're just looking for fun or an actual relationship." - anonymous

Sex on the first date can, unfortunately, make people pass an inaccurate judgment over you as a person and what you want. You need to remember that if you want to have sex with a guy that it can either go into something more or fizzle out after the deed is done. The right guy won't tap it and run off and the wrong ones will.

"Too early to tell if it's worth it." - anonymous

"Still don't really know the person yet." - anonymous

Understandable. A few people have mentioned something along this line and it's a valid reason. You have to be an extremely trusting person to have sex on the first date.

"Just depends on how I'm feeling with the person, I don't think there's anything wrong with sex on the first date as long as you're both comfortable." - anonymous

If you both feel like going for it, just go for it. Comfort is key.

"Because I want that D." - anonymous

If you want the D, then you go get that D. Doesn't matter what the haters say, they aren't the ones getting any!

"Because why not if the connection/energy is there then it's there." - anonymous

"I'm saving myself for my wife and religion." - anonymous

Respect this a lot. It takes a very strong person to say this and follow through with it in the society we have today.

"If both parties are willing, why not! We shouldn't stigmatize sex to only being for anonymous hookups or long-term relationships; sex is sex." - anonymous

THANK YOU!! YOU ARE SO WOKE! Sex is just that: sex and we as humans have every right to enjoy it as we please without feeling harshly judged. When the vibe is right don't fight it because you think it won't lead you anywhere. If you're meant to be with someone, it doesn't matter when you both decided to have sex for the first time. Harness your sexual liberty and do what makes you and only you happy.

"If they wanted to and we vibed." - anonymous

"If both parties consent, why not?" - anonymous

Don't forget that consent is key kids!

"I would like to get to know the person before." - anonymous

It definitely helps to get to know someone before you have sex with them, but you don't have to be their best friend. I feel like on one date you discuss quite a lot with a person, but I guess it depends on the person. Cue the next response.

"Depends on the person." - anonymous

"How long we have been talking before the date, comfort level, and vibe." - anonymous

As mentioned above, the vibe really is one of the main keys to sex being brought to the table. Issa vibe and if its the right vibe, why not pursue it? I feel like you know in your gut whether sex with someone is a good idea, so trust your gut.

"If I think there is a chance to still see each other again then why not?" - anonymous

"I personally need an intense emotional connection." - anonymous

An intense emotional connection is something you can work on developing over time, but who's to say that the flame of a real connection cannot be found after the first date? I personally felt a very real connection with the guy I slept with on our first meeting. However, it's important we all realize that everyone views the decision to have sex differently, and having sex on the first date isn't for everyone.

I learned a lot from reading what my peers to say and I feel liberated to be able to say what I believe without fear of judgment. Sex is sex and we all feel differently in regards to it. Let's not judge each other for our difference of opinions, but instead lift one another up. Have sex on the first date or don't have sex until you're married. Whatever you do, do with pride.

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8 Takeaways From Netflix's Sex Education' That Will Enhance Your Understanding of Sexuality

“It’s my vagina!”

Dr King
Dr King
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Netflix's “Sex Education" has taken the world by storm and has gotten everyone talking about it's rounchy scenes, comedic one-liners, and educational points. The show revolves around Otis comes to terms with being the son of a sex therapist. With the help of his friends, Otis becomes the school's secret sex therapist and gets paid to give advice to his peers even though he's a late bloomer himself and has repressed sexual phobias.

The show takes on many taboo topics such as hookup culture, consent, masturbation, unrequited love, homosexuality, abortion, foreplay, and sexting. While I could go on and on about each topic, everything can be summed up into eight key points that will enhance your understanding of human sexuality.

Warning: contains spoilers


1. Even guys have trouble finishing too

In the beginning of the series, Adam and Aimee are immediately seen having sex. She appears to be actively engaging in the act while Adam appears to be passive and unexpressive, ultimately pretending to ejaculate. Aimee notices this and asks to see the condom, prompting her to ask "Where's the spunk, Adam?" Scenes like this show that guys aren't sex machines that are always ready to burst. Even they have trouble finishing too.

2. Virginity is a social construct

Otis has a conversation with a religious girl who is upset that her boyfriend had sex in the past even though she's still waiting for marriage. She makes an interesting remark saying that she's had experience though, specifically "handjobs, fingering, oral, and sometimes anal, but no sex." Otis looks confused that she labels herself a virgin even after having sexual acts. This scene forces viewers to ask themselves what the definition of virginity actually is. Some people may come to find that because everyone's definition is different, it may be a societal idea rather than a fixed term.

3. Vagina shaming isn’t cool

There's a powerful scene featuring the whole school gathered at an assembly to discuss a girl's leaked nudes. As the principal insists that the school will look into the situation, people shout from their seats and make rude comments about how the nudes looked. Instead of letting one girl continuously get shamed, one by one, girls and even one guy stand up to say "It's my vagina!" In a world where women constantly feel pressure for our vulvas to look flawless and hairless, I would hope that the scene empowered to embrace the fact that our bodies are different and that's okay.

4. Communication during sex is equally as important as communication before sex

Steve notices Aimee's over-the-top mannerisms and commands during sex and stops her to ask if she's being genuine or just putting on a front because she feels like she has to act that way. After he asks her what she truly wants, she pauses and realizes that she doesn't know what she wants because no guy has taken the time to ask her. I love everything about this scene because a lot of people are under the assumption that some moaning and grunting here and there is the best way to show your partner that you're enjoying sex. However, it's always good to be direct and check in on each other during the act so that you're both 100% on the same page.

5. Women masturbate in multiple ways and positions

Aimee talks with Otis about her struggle with finding out how she wants to recieve pleasure during sex. Otis gives her the advice to pleasure herself and find out that way. At first she's kind of squeamish about masturbating until she finally discovers her clitoris and figures out how exactly she wants to be pleased by Steve. This is perfect for viewers because we normally envision women putting their hand between their legs and arching their back, but in the show we see Aimee in multiple positions while pleasuring herself. She's on her back, hunched over on her stomach, in front of the mirror and in more contorted angles which is more of an accurate depiction of the way girls actually get off.

6. Even within the blurred lines of consent, no still means no

Liam has the biggest crush on Lizzie and tries every romantic gesture in the book to get her to go to the dance with him, but she turns him down by saying she's flattered, but doesn't want to date. He explains this to Otis who tells him "I think the answer is no, Liam." Then Liam responds saying "But she hasn't actually said no." I love the way this scene tackles consent because it doesn't always start in a situation in the bedroom. It can be as simple as constantly trying to get someone's attention to they'll go out with you even if it's clear they aren't interested.

7. Representation and sexuality go hand in hand

One of my favorite aspects of the show is that it includes a strong, platonic relationship between a white heterosexual guy and an African gay guy. There wasn't any bullying or homophobia beforehand. It was just a regular, healthy friendship. In pop culture, you rarely see straight and gay male friendships as much as you see straight females and gay male best friends so it was refreshing to this show break the status quo in that manner.

8. Vaginismus is a legitimate condition

By the end of the series, we're all rooting for Lily to have sex for the first time especially since she is eager to get it over with throughout the entire show. When she finally gets the opportunity she realizes that her vagina isn't cooperating with her desires as she wants it to. She feels tense to the point where she can't have sex. Later we see that she has a condition called vaginismus which is defined as an "involuntary contraction of muscles around the opening of the vagina in women with no abnormalities in the genital organs. The tight muscle contraction makes sexual intercourse or any sexual activity that involves penetration painful or impossible." Rarely is this discussed in the media especially in terms of consensual sex rather than abuse so it's great that this condition is discussed in detail.

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