Top 10 Safe Sex Tips

Published on Nov 11, 2013
Photo by Kat SilversteinPhoto by Kat Silverstein

Nothing can stop a great academic year faster than an STD.  Lee Cravens, coordinator of Student Relations recognizes that "You have to be well all-around in order to be successful in college and part of that is having sexual wellness.” Luckily, sexually transmitted diseases are VERY preventable.  Here are the top things you can do to ensure that your sex life and your academic career don't clash. 

Top 10 Safe Sex Tips

  1. Always use a condom. It’s condom sense. If you don’t have access to condoms, Columbia gives out free condoms (male and female) on campus. It’s always good to carry extra ones, too. You never know.
  2. Don’t impair your judgment. Getting drunk or high can cause a serious lapse in judgment.
  3. Create limits before having sex. If it helps, write them down. Doing so can help you discover what is up for negotiations and what isn’t.  If you’re too shy to talk with your partner ahead of time, maybe you shouldn’t be having sex with them. It’s pretty intimate.
  4. Take your time. If you’re in a hurry, you’re more likely to forget something. So slow it down. Your safety is worth it.
  5. Respect yourself. If you don’t want to do something, you don’t have to. Do it only if you want to. Having a partner who understands this will ensure that you have a good experience and don’t regret it.
  6. Talk about sex. Open and honest communication with your partner can make safe sex more manageable. If you’re on the same page, then it can be less stressful.
  7. Always use protection. In the heat of the moment it’s easy to rely on the “he/she looks clean” fantasy. But that’s all in your imagination because your eyes are not microscopes.
  8. Birth control is only birth control. Birth control does not protect you from STDs. Period.
  9. Get Tested! It can’t hurt…well it might since you may have to get a blood test. But, there isn’t a 100% guarantee that the protection you used will work. The sooner you get tested and find out what’s what, the better off you’ll be.
  10. Limit your number of partners. The fewer partners you have will decrease your risk of contracting an STD. Sleeping around is just not a really great idea.

Where can I get tested?

  1. Planned Parenthood offers a variety of STD testing and STD prevention.
  2. Chicago Women’s Health Center offers a variety of STD screening.
  3. Center on Halsted offers HIV testing.

Columbia offers Counseling Services groups that discuss common student issues. Navigating Healthy Relationships is every Wednesday at noon and it discusses sexual health and communication. In November, there is a Fall Wellness Series that includes a session on sexual assault awareness that discusses how to deal with situations involving sexual wellness.