Sexual Health & Wellness

The 5 Most Popularly Asked Questions About Sex on College Campuses


By Eleonora Ranuzzi, Psychologist

How A Feminist Porn Director Gives Her Daughters “The Talk”

Are you a university student who is passionate about sexual wellness and sex education? The Porn Conversation just launched our Student Ambassador Program. To get more information on our program, send us a quick message here!

1. How can I prepare for sex?

To begin, consent & contraception! (and consent over contraception).

First thing first: There is no consent if you can’t say no! For whatever reason it is, IF YOU CAN’T SAY NO, YOU CAN’T SAY YES.

If you feel pushed to have sex and feel trapped, uncomfortable or pressured, that’s not sex. If you are scared the other person/people will react in a disrespectful way to your sexual decline, that’s not sex. Sex in a respectful relationship will always include the practice of consent and boundaries.

Now, let’s talk about contraceptives. Safer sex makes sex more enjoyable, so to have a good sexual experience you can agree beforehand on what methods to use. Remember that hormonal contraception (e.g., birth control pill, IUD) doesn’t protect you from STIs, but reduces the risk of pregnancy for uterus owners.

Barrier methods of contraception, with external condoms on sex toys or penises or internal condoms for anuses and vulvas are the only form of contraceptive that protect from STIs as they create a protection from skin-to-skin genital contact.There is a wide range of contraception methods to choose from. Get informed about the characteristics of each of them, and find the one that best suits your needs.

2. What is an STI? Can I get an STI without having sex?

An STI is, namely, a sexually-transmitted infection. Don’t let the name mislead you, because they can be transmitted in other ways, not only sex. Actually, behaviors like kissing, sharing food or towels could spread the virus too.

Deciding to have sex is not something to be scared of, rather, to be prepared for, and should always feel safe. Safer sex makes sex enjoyable! Safer sex means protecting yourself (and your partners) from STIs not only through the use of contraception, but through communicating openly and honestly about your STI status.

So, what do you do when you or a partner tests positive for an STI?: Stay calm, and don’t add to the stigma. STIs are extremely common, more than you think.

Every year, in the U.S. there are 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections, but many of those people don’t share to have the virus with their partners. Yet there are still many people that feel ashamed and uncomfortable with sharing their positive status with current or future sexual partners. This discomfort and embarrassment created by the stigma of STIs only leads to a greater rate of STI transmission. Take genital herpes for example, which is one of the most common but highly stigmatized viruses

By de-stigmatizing STIs, we create a SAFE and RESPECTFUL environment in which people can speak about their STI status, whether they test positive or negative. There is no shame in communicating openly about your STI status with a sexual partner.

All STIs are treatable, most are curable, and all are preventable. Becoming informed about treatment and prevention and getting tested regularly for STIs is a sign of responsibility and respect for not only yourself, but your current and future sexual partners too. If you have tested positive for an STI, talk to a trusted friend, seek out medical treatment, and be proactive when it comes to taking care of your sexual health. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

3. How do I get an abortion?   

If you realize that you could be at risk of an unwanted pregnancy, the most immediate solution is taking the morning after pill AKA an emergency contraception pill, which are commonly sold in pharmacies. This pill can be taken within 3 or 5 days and simply delays ovulation, so it’s different from an abortion.

To take a pregnancy test, you should wait at least 1 to 2 weeks after having sex where there was a failed contraception use (e.g., broken external condom or missed birth control pill) or possibility of pregnancy through no use of contraceptive use. There are 2 types of tests one can take: urine or blood tests. Urine tests are cheaper and more easily accessible and up to 99% accurate when using them according to instructions. These types of tests are sold over the counter without a prescription in pharmacies and major retail, drug and grocery stores and the price can vary from $1 to $15.

The cost of an average early abortion in the U.S. (5 to 12 weeks from the first day of your last period) is about $508, but could be cheaper or more expensive depending on the state you live in, the clinic you go to, and the type of abortion you have access to. After the 12th week, abortions typically cost more. If you have access to a health insurance plan that covers abortion it might be free or low-cost, but there are also clinics and organizations that offer financial aid to people that can’t pay for an abortion. In light of the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn abortion rights in the U.S., the access and availability to abortion has been challenging. But you are not alone. Here is a list of safe abortion resources for folk in the U.S. and a resource to find clinics nearest you.

Don’t be ashamed to ask for help or support from friends or medical professionals, navigating this process with someone that cares about your wellbeing could be very helpful.

As a human being, you are entitled to be, and feel, the rightful owner of your body. To make a choice over your body, as in any other aspect of our life, you should get informed on the possibilities that are out there, but ultimately follow what you feel is the best choice for you. Reclaiming the control you have over your body and what you do with it also means recognizing that there are no absolute rights or wrongs.

You are the only one that can know what’s best for yourself.

4. Is it normal not to have had sex yet in college?

It’s actually very common! There is nothing wrong with you for how you approach sex-  whether you have never had sex, have had a lot of sexual experiences with different partners, are in a long-term monogamous relationship, or not interested in having sex at all. 

Many people feel ashamed for having too little or too much sex: there is no right amount, just right for YOU! Without a doubt, one of the most asked questions by college students is about virginity: “Is it normal that I am still a virgin?” but there is no pressure to do or be anything you aren't interested in or feel prepared for.

Virginity is a social construct and definitely is not something you “lose”. Your value as a person does not change by how, with who, or when you decide to have sex. The myth of virginity was culturally created but, reality is, the hymen is a very thin fleshy tissue that stretches across the vaginal canal. It depends on the person, but it can cover a larger or smaller part of the vaginal canal. The hymen can tear naturally over time or through physical activity like a sport. The tearing of the hymen is a more internal tear and not as painful as some people may think. A torn or stretched hymen does not mean that a vulva owner had sexual intercourse. If you have a penis, physically nothing changes either after having sex for the first time.

5. Should I get into a serious relationship in college?

If you want to, absolutely! But there are also many kinds of relationships - so let’s stay open-minded! Relationships, like bodies, come in all shapes and sizes! Every relationship that you will have in your life will have its own shape. It's your right and responsibility to create relationships that fit you and the other people involved.

You can have a romantic relationship, a relationship that is only sexual, or an open relationship, to name a few. In order to have sex you don’t need to be in love: as long as all people involved are happy, respected, and fulfilled then you can be sure you are creating relationships that fit you well. College is a great time for making new and fulfilling relationships and finding a community that you feel part of, whether or not means joining a sex health club, being part of a queer group or community on campus, making respectful relationships - whether sexual or not - that make you feel supported, can only enhance your experience in college.

Are you a university student who is passionate about sexual wellness and sex education? The Porn Conversation just launched our Student Ambassador Program. To get more information on our program, send us a quick message here!