The college years are very allowing for sexual exploration. And while they're nothing inherently wrong with wanting to experiment with sexual acts, you also have to be conscious of the do's and don'ts associated with that decision.
If you're in a sexual relationship, here are 10 things that you should definitely consider in trying to respect not only your own wishes but your partner's as well:
1. Don't make your partner feel guilty for declining sex
Being in a committed relationship does NOT in any way guarantee that you will have sex whenever one of you pleases.
Both partners must be in complete agreement that sexual acts can take place, and if your significant other declines, respect their wishes and move on. Don't try to guilt them into having sex with you, that is emotionally abusive and, technically, it isn't fully consensual if you had to force them to go along with it.
2. Don't claim that you're upset/angry/sad and will only feel better if you have sex
"Aw, come on, babe, my dog just died…can't you help me feel better?"
Honestly, if you would stoop so low as to use a recent tragedy or personal failure as an excuse to score, you probably don't even deserve the relationship you're in at all. Sex isn't a cure-all for your hurt feelings—suck it up and find another way to feel better that doesn't involve your partner's discomfort.
3. You have no right to get unreasonably frustrated when your partner says no
It's okay to be annoyed if your partner continually refuses to have sex, but unless you can calmly discuss why you feel that way and reach a compromise, DON'T BRING IT UP.
And definitely don't whine about how much you miss having sex or throw a temper tantrum because they aren't in the mood. Whether it's one night or five nights in a row doesn't matter, it's less-than-ideal if you were hoping to get some, but you should be mature enough to accept that it's not going to happen.
4. You should care about your partner's satisfaction as much as you care about your own
So you're perfectly okay with letting your partner do all the work to ensure you get your fix of pleasure, but the moment they ask you to reciprocate, you claim you can't be bothered? If they were so kind to scratch your back, it's only polite and decent to return the favor and scratch theirs.
5. Know that getting carried away "in the heat of the moment" is NOT a valid excuse for not stopping when they wanted you to
While it might be physically difficult to stop right in the middle of what you're doing to pull back and cool off, it isn't impossible. Your partner asking you to stop should immediately snap you out of your aroused haze, and if it doesn't, don't resist when they try to push you away themselves. Nobody wants to hear your "heat of passion" excuse, pal—no means no.
6. Make sure your partner is comfortable with you discussing your sex life with your friends before you talk about it
Maybe you're new to the whole sex thing and want to tell your friends the gritty details of your experience of losing your virginity. Or maybe you just want to brag about how amazing it was. Either way, please confirm that your partner is 100% onboard with you taking your sex life out of the bedroom. Don't embarrass or hurt them (or yourself) by oversharing what shouldn't be talked about.
7. Don't use sex as a means of apologizing
Make-up sex should follow a meaningful verbal apology, not vice versa. It's okay if you slip up a few times with this only if your partner says it's okay that it happened. But don't neglect their desire for a genuine apology and don't think your bedroom eyes will erase any trace of a fight or argument.
8. Don't lie about having or not having STDs
It's outright disgusting and beyond disrespectful to lie to your partner about having or not having a sexually-transmitted disease. Not only do you risk infecting them, but you also demonstrate that you are a completely untrustworthy and deceitful person. You shouldn't be ashamed of your illness, and you definitely shouldn't keep it a secret if it could be harmful to your partner's health. And even if it ISN'T harmful to their health, if they ask, TELL THEM THE TRUTH.
9. Don't be offended if your partner asks you to get tested
Just because your partner would like you to get tested before having sex doesn't mean they think you've been promiscuous or irresponsible. All they want is the extra security and to confirm that you're healthy and won't transmit any infections. Believe me, there is nothing sexier than 100% safe and disease-free sex.
10. If your partner wants you to wear a condom, DO. IT. (and the same goes for birth control)
Guys, whether you're involved with a girl or another guy, if they would like you to wear a condom, please respect their wishes and do so. Sure, the sensation might differ if you've got it wrapped, but isn't that a lesser evil than an unwanted pregnancy or transmitted infection?
And girls, if you aren't ready to be pregnant, you should definitely use some form of birth control in addition to your man's wearing a condom. Condoms can break, but if you're on the pill, you've got a much weaker chance of having an accident—knowing that will definitely help you breathe more easily.
Remember: when it comes to sex, be safe, be smart, and always be respectful.