Let's talk about sex, baby
When being single in college isn’t an issue to put to bed
Let’s just take a moment to talk about sex. Science — and the bulging evidence from the boy next to me in class — tells us that, on average, most men think of it 34.2 times per day. Ladies, meanwhile, leave little to be hormonally desired, clocking in at an impressive average of 18.6 times per day. What does this mean? College students are young, beautiful and frequently want to get to know each other “biblically” outside of Western Religions class.
Coming off of a long-term, long-distance relationship, I am realizing this all too quickly. Before, sex meant intimacy with someone I had been very comfortable with for a very long time. Now, as I attempt to navigate the rocky landscape of singlehood, I realize it can be a little bit…screwy.
Bracing myself for my first legitimately solo semester, I sat two of my close friends down and asked them to give it to me straight: when you go home with a boy in college, what will he expect? Lip action? Pelvic action? 50 Shades of Grey action? Being the empowered 21st-century women they are, they gently told me I am obligated only to go as far as I feel comfortable. College boys generally aren’t so bad, they assured me. Sometimes, they’re even nice.
I left feeling soothed, happy to know kids aren’t doing anything too weird these days. Maybe I didn’t need to worry after all. Maybe when Daft Punk says they’re “up all night to get lucky,” they’re just really excited about the lottery. Maybe when Miley Cyrus says, “somebody here might get some now,” she was expressing her desire for her friends to “get some” class and not touch each other’s boobs weirdly in her music videos.
But recent experience tells me maybe not. I’ve been out a few times since the school year began, and I watched the VMAs. When it comes to both Miley and college boys, anything that has the chance to be interpreted sexually usually is.
Take, for example, a recent encounter of mine with a boy we’ll call “Josh.” Though I’d only known Josh for about a week, I agreed to go out with him one Thursday night, having taken to heart my recent resolution: give people a chance even if they aren’t Ryan-Gosling-in-the-Notebook hot. Even though Josh’s strawberry-blonde hair could look faintly gingery in the light and that usually isn’t my thing, I reminded myself I probably shouldn’t exclude an entire hair color class from my potential list of dating options. After all, Ed Sheeran has the voice of an angel. I smiled, excited to be entering the dating world with such a mature mindset.
Josh was sweet — in a few years, he’ll probably be one of the good ones. Yet even as we teased each other and shared a few laughs, I could distinctly tell I wasn’t interested. It wasn’t anything tangible, really — more a definite feeling I had no interest in sticking my tongue down his throat.
Josh, however, had a different idea. All night, he worked diligently to get me alone. I knew for sure what his end game was the second he told me I had pretty eyes. I mean, my eyes are brown for god’s sake.
Still, I decided to throw Josh a bone and make out with him a little bit — maybe I would even discover a spark I hadn’t felt the rest of the night. This went on for a little while. Though Josh was trying his best to be gentlemanly, he was clearly disappointed with the plateaued promiscuity that was taking place. Finally, he made a move toward the pants.
It turns out, my friends weren’t entirely correct. Most boys, once they get going, aren’t all too interested in what’s above the neck — or at least this was true for Josh. As I pulled away, frowning a little at my naiveté, I was overcome with the stinging frustration that tends to pair nicely with disenchantment. I didn’t even like this kid. I felt no desire to do anything rated R. Or PG-13. Or even PG.
I decided then I would make my own rules. I sat back and looked him in the eyes.
“Here’s how this is going to go,” I said. “I’m not going to give you a hand job because we’re not in the seventh grade, I’m not going to give you a blow job and we’re not having sex. What I am going to do is walk you home now.”
And I did. Apparently modern men dig decisive women anyways, because he actually texted me the next day.
Don’t get me wrong. Girls in college are just as interested in sex as boys. But I realized then I wasn’t going to settle — not when there are so many people out there to actually form real connections with.
And just like that, I formed my new dating philosophy: no settling, and — always — no hand jobs.