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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Column: Sexcess

As the quarter draws to a close, most of us are finding ourselves enveloped by a wave of tests, papers and review sessions. What I give you today is a review session of sorts. But not the stressful kind. The sexy kind. I present, for your future use and current pleasure, Sam’s Six Sex Commandments.

1) Communicate: If there is one theme that this column has beaten half to death, it’s that you need to communicate with your partner. The reason I’ve stressed this point is that I’ve heard and read many statistics from both reliable and questionable sources that claim that people in their college years are uncomfortable talking about things like consent with their partners. So, with this in mind, please start having the sex-based conversations with your partner that you’ve been putting off (if you have already done this, I have a merit badge for you). These conversations take time to get the hang of and they can be awkward. But a little awkwardness now is better than someone getting hurt or feeling unhappy later on.

2) Know thyself: This point may come off sounding like something from an Oprah book-of-the-month pick, and for that I apologize. But the fact of the matter is that having a satisfying sex life is simpler if you feel comfortable in your own skin. Take a tip from those books about puberty you read as a teenager and get acquainted with the shape, size and color of your sexy bits. Use masturbation to explore your body and your fantasies so that when you’re with your partner you can show them exactly what gets you off.

3) Be safe: As fun as sex can be, there are still some pretty nasty consequences from not doing it safely. For that reason, you need to use some type of protection during your sexy times. Remember, you need to be protecting against both STIs and, depending on the anatomies present in the relationship, pregnancy. And, as far as I’m concerned, the responsibility for making sex safe lies equally on all partners. So, no matter what your role in the relationship, go into an interaction with the supplies you need to be safe.

If, for whatever reason, your sex has not always been as safe as it should have been, then it’s to the benefit of you and any current/future partners to go and get tested. If you’re a student here in Davis, the Student Health Center offers testing for various STIs. While I don’t recommend it as a first-date idea, getting tested as a couple means that you can lend support and ease each others’ nerves.

4) Be adventurous: Most of you reading this are sitting firmly in your twenties, meaning that you have many, many years left in your sex lives. While there is nothing wrong with having favorite positions that you use all the time, you’re only dipping your toe into the waters of a vast and sexy sea. Don’t be afraid to try something that you’ve never heard of before because you are afraid it makes you “freaky,” “deviant,” or “bad.” Remember, sex is like food. As long as it doesn’t conflict with your deeply held morals, be willing to try anything once.

5) Get educated: If you’re a regular reader of this column, you’ve already been doing this. But I am only one voice and I only have so much space to convey information. If something I’ve talked about or something you’ve heard about elsewhere has piqued your interest, go learn more. That’s why we have libraries and the internet. If you’re looking for info on the basics, check out Health Education and Promotion’s website. If you’re looking for some more hardcore advice, check out websites like Good Vibrations and Sex-Nerd Sandra.

6) Have fun: Sex, in its ideal version, is an earth-shattering, pleasurable experience shared by two people who deeply love one another. The reality of sex is much different. It’s messy, silly and occasionally awkward. But even when it’s a little bit silly and a little bit strange, as long as you’re with someone you want and who wants you, it’s pretty damn awesome. So enjoy it.

SAM WALL would like to thank you all for reading. Send your tearful goodbyes to sewall@ucdavis.edu.

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