Freshman Orientation From Kinsey Confidential

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Whether you are brand new to college life or a returning veteran, Kinsey Confidential wants to make sure that you start the new year on the right foot.

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Photo: Bloomington City Government

Bloomington, Indiana

Welcome To College

This past week, students at Indiana University and many other schools across the country moved back onto campus in preparation for a new year.  A new year means a new crop of students. A new crop of students means the potential for a lot of hooking up these first few weeks of school.  Whether you’re brand new to college life or a returning veteran, single or committed, wanting to hook up or not, Kinsey Confidential wants to make sure that you start the new year on the right foot by sharing some of our past blogs full of helpful information.

Hooking Up

I’ll begin with the term ‘hooking up’.  What exactly counts as hooking up? Kissing? Oral Sex? Intercourse? If you’ve ever wondered what exactly counts as a hook up, check out Eric Grollman’s blog on the challenges of defining a hook up. If you are already an expert on defining ‘hooking up’, did you know that some studies show in regards to heterosexual hook ups, it may not be as enjoyable for women as it is for their male counter part? Check out Eric’s other blog on oral sex during hook ups for more information!

Consent 101

If you want to hook up, you need consent. It’s that simple. Hooking up requires the consent of both parties involved. As you begin to make friends in college and explore the culture of hooking up, it is  important to remember that one in five women may be sexually assaulted and that 40% of men admit to using coercive methods. Check out Jenny’s blog on the First College Course: Consent 101 for more information.  Since we are on the topic of consent and hooking up, a recent blog on hooking up with alcohol by Aliza Saraco-Polner is also worth a read.

The Other Talk

Once you have consent and you both have decided that you want to hook up,  being able to talk about sexually transmitted infections is important.  College is a diverse place and many students arrive who have already had experience with an STI. This doesn’t mean they are bad person or you can’t hook up with them. What it does means is that you need to have, what Hubert Izienicki calls “The Other Talk”.  I encourage you to remember that when talking about STIs and the statistics of infection, the statistics are actually people.  All of those numbers, those statistics (the 1 in 4, 40%, and so on) are real live people with emotions and feelings who live in our communities. As Adriane Jefferson clearly points out in her blog, there is life after herpes, or any other infection for that matter!

Don’t Get Sexiled 

So you’ve had ‘the talk’, and you both want to move forward with the hook up. When you live in a dorm and you share a room with someone, sometimes location can be an issue. Communicating with your roommate is essential less one of you end up with no place to sleep! Check out this blog on  how to avoid being sexiled. 

Friends With Benefits 

If the hook up has already happened and both partners like the arrangement. Perhaps you and your new friend have decided you want to keep things casual like a ‘friends with benefits’ sort of thing. Understanding the reality of these relationships can help navigate messy complications. Check out this blog for more information on friends with benefits, both the ideal and the reality.

High School Relationships

Maybe hooking up isn’t your thing. Maybe you who are going to college for the first time and doing so while still dating your high school sweetheart. I hate to be the barer of bad news, but it may be helpful to keep in mind that many high school relationships in college simply don’t work out. I’m not saying dump your girlfriend or boyfriend and run out to hook up. I am saying that both of you are about to go through a huge life transition and sometimes individuals grow but the relationship does not. For more information, check out our blog on college growing pains and the end of high school relationships.

Communication Is Key

At the end of the day, the key to getting off on the right foot is the ability to communicate. Whether that is communicating how you define a hook up, how you talk about STIs, or how you interact with your college roommate or current sexual partner communication you need to be able to communicate. Developing strong communication skills is the foundation to help you excel in the bedroom, in your social life, and even in the classroom.

J. Bradley Blankenship (M.S.)

is a Ph.D. candidate in Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University where he is also a project coordinator for the Center for Sexual Health Promotion.
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