University can be daunting at first. Everybody tells you you’ll have the best time of your life but maybe you’re there, staring at the assignment you don’t understand, or sitting in your room missing your friends and family. Maybe you do want to go out and party, but you don’t know anyone. A word of advice: don’t be shy! Everybody is on the same boat as you. Just make friends. In the hallways, during and between classes or in your spare time. And soon enough you’ll feel like you’ve mastered organising your time, scheduling work and why not, even scheduling nights out. In any case, you will soon get in the rhythm of things and you will experience new situations which might involve having friends and maybe even stronger relationships. In this article we want to help you deal with your sexual health. Here are some tips you might want to consider when you start dating during your time at uni:
- Always feel safe: if you don’t feel safe, don’t follow him/her. Don’t think about how you will look to him/her and do not fall into peer pressure. You must be comfortable at all times and never feel threatened by anyone. Remember: if you don’t feel safe, you will not enjoy anything.
- Have a backup: backup plans are great for when you need to leave an uncertain situation. Always think of one. Have a trusted person on your phone that you can call at all times.
- Know where your medical centre is: it is important that you always know where the hospital is and where your uni medical centre is. Just in case.
- Say what you want to: make your partner understand what you like and what you do not like. Ask them to slow down if necessary and feel comfortable with them. No one is pointing a gun at you: do only what you feel up to doing.
- Alcohol or drugs: If you do not feel yourself because you are either too drunk or you think someone has put something in your drink, go home. Do not do things that you will regret in the morning.
- Know them a little bit: before falling onto a bed, just know them a bit. This will lead to way less awkward moments, more intimacy and more relaxed foreplay.
- Be safe: if you do not want to get pregnant or get anyone pregnant, always carry a condom and use any of your other preferred method of contraception. Be responsible.
- Check: remember that many methods of contraception will not stop you from getting STIs (sexually transmitted infections)! Hence, it is very important that, if you are sexually active, you
- Talk to your partner about STIs
- Go to a clinic to get tested regularly
- Ask: there are a lot of services in place where you can go and ask if you have any doubts about your sexual health or your health in general. Do not be put off as their job is to help you!
- Enjoy: do not have a relationship because you need one. Do not get into bed with anyone because “otherwise he/she will leave me”. Do not do it for your friends or for anyone else. Safe sex also means doing it when you are ready, without any type of social constraints. If he/she’s not the one, then don’t! The right one will come along. You fully enjoy it only if you do it because you want to, and you will avoid any emotional psychological problems as well.
For more info on sexual health, check out our dedicated page.
Finally, if you want to check whether you are enjoying a healthy sex life, you can always use the sexual health self-assessment tool created by the NHS.