Exploring sexuality in college is accepted and encouraged

Kaitlin Sansenbach

The most common venue to seek out potential sexual flames is a college atmosphere, often paired with alcoholic beverages and a lowered moral compass. 

Sexuality is a natural part of development that is ongoing in a person’s life. However, in exploring the sexual vixen inside, there are many factors attached beyond a physical desire, including emotional and social maturation. 

Senior environmental science major Ryan Nowshiravan, 22, believes that college hook-ups can be a point of self reflection. 

“College can be the perfect time in your life to figure out a lot about yourself and the world surrounding you,” Nowshiravan said. “It can be the gateway to exploring what affects you differently from multiple people.” 

Romance may be getting the short end of the stick between college students, though. Instead of flowers on the first date, women are often greeted with a nice aluminum can picturing the blue Rockies or a glass bottle of flavored alcohol paired with a chaser in a raging party atmosphere. 

This is where things can get interesting.

When alcohol is present at a party there is usually music and hormones flowing. After two people lock eyes with mutual attraction and alcohol is present, inhibitions get lowered and the first step to the night is activated. 

Next thing you know, someone wakes up with a headache, in an unfamiliar setting, naked, with the nameless someone who just witnessed you at your most vulnerable.

This is when the emotional side effects can take over and really develop the first sign of social and emotional progress in a sexual setting. 

Because everyone is different and comes from diverse backgrounds, there are two sides to the emotional unraveling that can take place. 

Social science senior, Gabrielle Edwards, 21, said she was led to believe sex wasn’t a big deal and it translated into a lack of emotional connections and is now focusing on exploring her own sexuality.

“I love to talk about sex because I know what I like, so I want to know what other people like too,” Edwards said. “It is very healthy for young adults to be curious about sexuality. If students want to make out with whoever, regardless if it’s the same sex or not, I think they should go for it.”

This care-free attitude is not as common among college students as you’d think. Some students feel very exposed and sensitive after they have just had a one night stand.

Psychology Professor Jean Ann Moylan has her Ph.D in child and family development and recently worked at Planned Parenthood where she saw many men and women who were in their college years seeking their own self justification through sexual encounters.

“Where we have really yet to do our job (as a sexual culture) is protecting ourselves on the emotional side of it,“ Moylan said. “I do think that there are a lot of people that believe that there is plenty of room in their life for casual sexual encounters and that’s okay, but we overlook the self-esteem piece that is not addressed in terms of in more than one way, a person has made themselves very vulnerable.” 

You can’t be more exposed than being totally nude in front of another who is about to explore every “taboo” part on your body for the first time.

Even for males, the morning after interaction can be an uncomfortable setting. 

Senior government major Russell Jones, 23, will be the first one to say that even guys have insecurities about these situations. 

“It is a really vulnerable time when you wake up to that not-so-familiar face in bed after a night of partying, but it really depends on how the person perceives him or herself,” Jones said. “Some person can have a huge sexual appetite and be fine after a night of hook-ups, but there’s also that frantic feeling from those who aren’t as comfortable when the alcohol wears off.”

So why not sideswipe that whole awkward thought process of self-doubt and self consciousness. The best way to do this is explore your sexuality with someone you trust. 

In our hookup culture, it is way too easy to find someone that will satisfy that in-the-moment desire, but it does not necessarily allow for your guard to be let down and experience makingmaking every sexual fantasy, desire and curiosity into a reality. 

The next time a great party arises and you think the liquid courage will curb your sexual drive, make sure you have someone you trust accompany you so you can seek out each other’s hot spots.