Why do we need to talk about sex? Don’t we know enough already?
Apparently not, according to the Health and Wellness Staff at Queens University. At the Let’s Talk about Sex event on Sept. 17, the Health and Wellness staff brought up some good points. For instance, one thing that defines our generation is the “hook up” culture. But many are confused by what a hook up actually is. Melissa Santander, one of the two nurses at the Health and Wellness center, defined it with some help from psychologists as “sexual encounters with no strings attached which can involve anything from kissing to intercourse and may and may not lead to dating.”
Santander pointed out that there is no judgment from them when talking about sex with no strings attached…or anything else for that matter. Everything would be fine if it weren’t for the amount of students who experience regret after a hook up. It is not only women who experience regret, the Director of Student Health, Jill Perry, pointed out that it is important to know men experience it too. Santander brought up another issue with hooking up: alcohol. In a student study done in 2006, 93% reported of university pupils admitted that alcohol was likely to the possibility of a hook up.
One of the reasons why the Health and Wellness Center has these programs is so that people will start talking more openly about sex. Not that students necessarily should have more sex, but so there are no mixed signals when it comes to sex, especially if you are in a relationship. By talking more openly about it with friends you can learn from each other’s experiences and figure out what your preferences are.
But why is it that it is so difficult to talk about sex? One participant said very profoundly that that, “People are more willing to have sex before they are willing to talk about it”. I find that very true. How do we find out what kind of sex life we desire if we don’t talk more openly about it? What kind of relationship can you really have if you don’t speak openly—about sex or anything—to your partner?
Why else is this kind of program important to Queens’s student? The Health and Wellness Center did a study on the Queens population during the spring 2013 semester. 48% of the Queens students participated in the survey. 70% of the participants where sexually active, and of those students only 54% used some kind of protection. From this 48% there were reportedly six unplanned pregnancies. Because only about half of the students did the survey, Perry believes the actual number is more likely 12-14 unplanned pregnancies. Beside unplanned pregnancies, unprotected sex can lead to STDs such as Chlamydia, Herpes, Gonorrhea, HIV and HPV.
So for you, your partners’ and that random guy from the bar’s sake, please play carefully.