Living@Guelph - Choose Your Own Adventure Living
Sex: The Choice is Yours
By Sheri Purvis, revised by Heather Courtney

Welcome to the University of Guelph, your new home for the next two, three, or four to SIX years! What expectations you must have! You're ready to develop your thirsty mind, begin construction on your new social life, and correct me if I'm wrong... perhaps to get a little action? If the latter is part of your "to do" list for the year, it may prove to be one of the more stimulating goals you accomplish. However, it is one deserving of a little extra consideration and planning.

Let's put it this way, you will need to do some leg-work to ensure your first sexual experiences at university don't end up consisting merely of vague and unsettling memories of some drunk or high dance floor groping with a barely recognizable stranger, the realization that said stranger is snoring in your three-by-five rez bed under the icy glare of your roommate, or an unplanned, unwelcome trip to Health Services. Here are a few 'easy to implement' game plans to help make your sex play great and to keep you out of the penalty box.

Before getting in the game you'll want to ensure you have the appropriate equipment to help reduce risks. Don't worry; you don't need to put a dent in your party budget. Wrap it with a free condom from the Wellness Centre for penetrative sex, always; and make a dental dam with a free condom for oral sex and rimming (that's oral/anal it you are wondering). The bottom line is every 'game' has its own level of risk, but you lower your risk by being prepared. Sex can be so great that it's sometimes easy to ignore the practical facts, but don't. Half of all new cases of HIV infection occur in people aged 15-24, and don't forget Chlamydia and HPV (genital warts) who are by far the most common STI's (Sexually Transmitted Infections) found on this campus as at most others. Knowing the risks doesn't take the fun out of the game, it just makes you smarter and better able to enjoy yourself (once again, no pun intended).

Sportsmanship is not negotiable - everyone has a different way of playing the game so respect it. Sexual diversity is one of the great things about sex- and no two 'plays' are exactly alike. It is like the "Choose your own adventures" books, but this is real. If you're gay, straight, queer, bi, lesbian, transgendered, abstinent, active, whatever- be who you are and respect the choices and identities of others.

Call the shots. If you know what you want, you have to say it. Do yourself a big favour and learn how to express and assert yourself clearly when it comes to sexual encounters. Encourage your partner to do the same. If you want the sex to be mutually satisfying, talk about it first. Discussing what you will and will not do and your preferences is not going to make you sound like a novice or prude; it's going to make you look confident (*confidence= huge 'turn on'). Don't however, get so wrapped up in your own agenda that you neglect to ask your partner what they want too (*selfishness= huge 'turn off').

Here's a hint about calling the shots: it really helps if you're conscious. Alcohol or drugs can really mess with communication. For the best sexual experiences, you want to be fully aware and fully capable of communicating with your partner.

So, remember: use 'safety gear', know that everyone plays differently so be clear with each other about what you want, and alcohol/drugs don't help. If you want to stay in the game, following the 'game plan' is a great place to start.