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December 11, 2013 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2013-12-11

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2B Wednesday, December1, 2013// The Statement9

Wednesday, December 2013 - Statement 73°

science of it all: pleasurable condoms? by jenniecoleman

The almost threesome
by Brianne Johnson
the menage a trois. Extra-long sheets, liner from her lower lashes. "I feel like
maybe. But no extra partners. that's, like, every guy's dream."
Yet,, my inner Neve Campbell want- Boyfriend nodded, smiling as if to say,
ed to be a Wild Thing, to be that brave, 'guilty as charged.'
experienced partygoer who lowers a "I think I probably would," I replied,
finger during drunken games of Never "But I wouldn't want to be in a relation-

Let's talk about sex.
I'm not talking about the kind of
sex you see in movies with candle-
filled rooms and rose petals on the
bed. I'm talking about the sex that
happens on aThursday night after
Skeeps - the sex that we all think
about, but are told not to talk about.
So let's chat.
High-school sex-ed can't com-
pete in the big leagues of the col-
lege hook-up culture. In 2007,
the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention reported that 47.8
percent of high-school students
had engaged in sexual intercourse.
The figure increases by almost 30
percent in college.
But most students
entering college are
not taught about the %
nitty-gritty of sex.
Thirty-seven states
require abstinence to
be covered in sexual
education, and of
those, 26 heavily
stress abstinence-
only - so abstinence
is what is expected.
But what if absti-
nence isn't right for you? What if
you choose to go home with that
cute guy at Rick's or that girl from
the party? What if you choose to
engage in sex with a partner, old or
new? What if your lifestyle doesn't
fit into the social norm that absti-
nence preaches to us? Then con-
doms are for you.
Condoms are approximately
98-percent effective in reducing
pregnancy and sexually transmit-
ted diseases. Of sexually active
college students, approximately
60 percent of respondents to The
Michigan Daily's unscientific
survey wear condoms regularly.
According to the sex survey, 93 per-
cent of students say they have worn
a condom at some point in their

sexual life - Go Blue! - while some have asked a sexual partner if they
of the non-condom wearers claim have been tested for STDs before
condoms reduce pleasure. Why engaging in sex.
wear them if they ruin pleasure, Most STDs don't have symp-
one of the main aims of sex? Well, toms and thus they are undetect-
a study conducted by researchers able, but can still be transferred
at Indiana University says that this through sexual contact.
might not be the case. So what do you need to know
The study found that only about about STDs? There are two types
a third of college students reported of STDs: viral and bacterial. Viral
discomfort, such as tightness, irri- STDs are caused by viruses and
tation and loss of sensation, while cannot be cured even though
wearing a condom during sex. The their symptoms can be treated.
study also showed that there were The viral STDs are known as the
no significant differences in male four H's: human papillomavirus,
erections and reports of orgasm human immunodeficiency virus,
when condoms were used. Further, hepatitis and herpes.
Bacterial STDs are
caused by bacteria and
Re 3 thus are cured with
antibiotics. However, if
SAX left untreated, bacterial
STDs can cause long-
term effects and health
issues. The most com-
mon bacterial STDs are
chlamydia, gonorrhea
and syphilis. The most
common STD among col-
the 20 million new STD
they found that there was no dif- cases each year, approximately
ference in the arousal and pleasure 14 million are HPV, which means
rates. It is importantto find the that at least 50 percent of all sexu-
right size and feel when purchasing ally active people will have HPV in
condoms, an average box of which their lifetime. Chlamydia is a close
can cost anywhere from $12 to $18. second - the CDC estimates that 1
But are condoms really worth in 15 sexually active women age 14
it? According to the CDC, there to 19 will have chlamydia.
are an estimated 20 million new Most people infected with an
sexually transmitted disease cases STD do not show symptoms. How-
in the United States annually, ever, the most common symptoms
almost half among 15 to 24 year include abnormal discharge and
olds. One in two sexually active burning sensation during urina-
teens - sexual activity defined as tion. If you have experienced any
vaginal, anal and oral sex - will of these symptoms, contact your
have an STD before the age of 25. doctor right away. Even if you
This roughly means that 40 per- haven't, regular testing is encour-
cent of all college students have an aged. You can also visit University
STD. Thirty-seven percent of Uni- Health Services for more resourc-
versity students surveyed say they es and information.

t approximately 1:05 a.m., the
devil came a-knockin', so I
opened the door.
She poked her head into my room..
"Brianne?" she whispered, drunk and
giggling. "Are you awake?"e
I'd tumbled out of bed,
tripping over sheets,
when the first knock
sounded. Sexier than
ever in an old, Truman
High School Marching=
Band t-shirt and even t..
older retainers, I tore the , }
plastic and metal from {'
my mouth and unlocked
the door. Then it inched
open - just enough
for the hallway light to
sweep through the loops v
of the bun atop her head
- and, again, my house-
mate laughed.
"Brianne! Were you
"No, I -" -
She kissed me, thrust,
the door open, clutched
my face with tequila-
stained palms as I tum-
bled back into the room,,
over my absent room-
mate's stack of Toms
sneakers, and against the ,
wall. Twenty seconds
seem like nothing - a
blip within four years -
but, as a prisoner pinned
to a "New Girl" promo
poster, I'd been able to
reevaluate most of my
life: Am I dreaming? Is
this my college rite of
passage? Should I audition for the next
sequel to "American Pie?" Is Sean Wil-
liam Scott hiding in my closet? And, on a
metaphorical level: Am I, too?
I shook my head, tearing myself
from her clutches like a damsel in a bad
romance novella. "Wait," I said, laughing
- my natural response to uncomfortable
situations. "What are you doing?"
"C'mon," she whispered, grabbing
my wrist and leading me to the hallway,
where her boyfriend, amused, leaned
against the doorframe of her bedroom
with hands tucked into the pockets of
his flannel pajama pants. "Let's have a
Of all the college brochures from
which I'd torn pages and all the Colleg-
eConfidential conversation threads from
which I'd eagerly taken note in prepara-
tion for my next four years at the Univer-
sity, none have explicitly recommended

Doing This.'
So this is College, I thought, waver-
ing between test-tube shots ,of tequila
while two mouths found my neck. Col-
lege, right?
We were tangled together like atrain
of glamourized porn
actors when I stopped.
"Guys, I've never ...
had sex before," I mur-
mured, huddling further
into the blankets on the
living room floor as Boy-
friend's fingers prodded
below, "So, I don't know,
I don't think..."
It turns out that fol-
lowing the script of my
crazy, cliche image of
"College" was, in the
end - not the climax
- surprisingly sober-
ing. And, after a while,
it seemed less fun and
more invasive. I missed
intimacy, not a hook-up
that masks itself as inti-
macy, but actual intima-
cy. The passionate, giddy
intimacy and wanting."
someone so fully. Not an
object. Not an act.
"Of course Boyfriend
and you aren't having
sex," my housemate
interrupted, "I would
never let that happen."
"Do you want to stop?"
LAND he asked.
No, I thought, open
sexuality and hook-up
culture are an integral
part of the "College
Experience!" After all, doesn't col-
lege offer the only brief frame of time
during which one can truly and self-
ishly explore? I refuse to regret not
participating in the "sexual freedom"
and irresponsibility of being a twenty-
something on a campus teeming with
I ambled away into the hall, wrap-
ping myself in the nearest afghan. "I'm
really sorry," I began, laughing between
fits of apologies, "I just, yeah, I don't
know. I'm really sorry. Grocery shop-
ping tomorrow? Yeah, cool, OK. I have
to go; I'm sorry."
"You don't have to apologize," Boy-
friend insisted, but to my bedroom I
fled, as fast and naked as I could, away
from my first "real College Experience."
Brianne Johnson isa Daily Arts Editor
and an LSA senior.

,Te least reporreu crime: Male survivors or sexual
assault" By Rachel Premack
"Thanks to the Michigan Daily for continuing their excellent
coverage of this important issue."
- USER: Holly Rider-Milkovich, SAPAC director


Have I Ever and to embrace whatever it
means to "only live once." It was daring,
it was taboo and it was, most important-
ly, (consensual and) so not me.
Earlier that night, we'd crowded onto
the living-room loveseat - foreshadow-
ing? - for a night of booze-soaked heart-
to-hearts. What have you done? Where
have you done it? What do you want to
do? What would you be willing to do?
"Have you ever kissed a girl?" she
asked, leaning just close enough for me
to confuse her pheromones for the faint
perfume of weed, Patr6n and toothpaste.
Whatever; I was into it.
"I think once, during a game of Truth
or Dare. Have you?"
"No, I've been with Boyfriend since
we were like, 15. But I've always wanted
to try it, y'know?
"What about a threesome?" she con-
tinued, smearing a crescent of black eye-

ship ... And it'd have to be with someone
with whom I was really comfortable, I
think. I doubt I'd have the guts to get
naked with a couple strangers."
That was Old Me speaking, popping
up like the tent beneath Boyfriend's
flannel. I'd been the wuss with the
unused fake ID; the cultural epitome of
the does-her-homework, rational and
realistic "good girl" who sets her own
curfew and drink limit. What fun is
Within our four-hour conversation,
as South Campus quieted and the living-
room string of bulbs flickered alive like
fairy lights (atmosphere!), we'd estab-
lished an implicit agreement: This was
going to happen.
We skipped across kitchen floor tiles,
frolicking the tiny apartment like bare-
assed children soaring high on the
ecstasy of 'Hey, I Probably Shouldn't Be

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