I lost my virginity at 16 years old. It happened in the Foothill dorms over the summer of 2009 at a so-called “academic” precollege program — which was mostly a hook-up camp for oversexed high-schoolers with little academia involved. Throughout the two-minute ordeal, from the moment he put it in to his final groan as he collapsed on top of me, I recall thinking, “This can’t be it. This just can’t.”
Flash forward two years to the second night of Welcome Week 2011. As a naive freshman hailing from a conservative Texan suburbia, there was nothing more enticing at the time than the call of Greek keggers lined up one by one for my perusal. In true fashion, I put on my tightest American Apparel skirt with an equally scant tank top, joined the masses and headed uphill to the enchanting land of bad music, plastic-bottled vodka and Natty Lights.
Eight shots and several hours later, I found myself in the apartment of a guy I had met at CalSO. What happened in the next two minutes was eerily similar to what happened at Foothill, but this time around, the air smelled of cheap booze and frat residue. It was unpleasant, to say the least. In any case, such encounters followed suit for the remainder of my freshman year.
Thankfully, after 2 1/2 years of experiencing the UC Berkeley social scene, I feel as though I’ve finally gotten some coital knowledge under my belt. So without further ado, here are a few things I’ve learned about sex in college.
Lesson: Sex isn’t simply black and white.
Growing up in Houston, a city that literally flaunts its heteronormativity, I was brought up on three major notions. The first of these notions is a common one: Women who engage in lots of sex should be ashamed of themselves. I was also told that sex should only be between two people who are in love and that penis-in-vagina penetration is the only true mode of sex.
First, I’ve learned that, yes, the double standard exists, but there is nothing legitimate about it. Norms are social constructions that hold no truth value. Additionally, there’s no predictable outcome of what sex will ultimately lead to — whether it be heartbreak, a relationship or neither — nor do the details of the context matter as long as there is consent. Sex is about pleasure, which is something that can come in many forms.
Lesson: Size matters.
Now it’s time to get a little technical. When it comes to the penis-size dilemma, no one puts it better than Anna Lee, a Thought Catalog contributor. Lee says “men are like diamonds” because size carries weight in the bedroom.
Sure, your feelings for the person may play a huge role, but in my experience, the worst sex I’ve had has always been with men with smaller packages, even in circumstances with emotional investment. While some guys have mastered their craft in spite of their shortcomings, I must say in all candidness that they still can’t compare to those who have more junk in their trunk and know how to work that advantage.
Lesson: Having sex on campus is no walk in the park.
The first time I read my good friend Nadia Cho’s infamous Sex on Tuesday article for The Daily Californian, “College sex: Berkeley edition,” I found myself enamored by the idea of a good classroom romp. For those who claim to have never visited the idea, please stop lying to yourselves.
On the night of an obscure academic holiday, with Cho’s article in mind, I set out to re-enact my own fantasy sex scene with a fuck-buddy of mine at that time. Unfortunately, things quickly went sour. Within moments of getting settled in the back row of seats in 155 Dwinelle, a homeless man marched in speaking gibberish, killing the mood before anything could even begin.
The lesson here isn’t that there’s anything wrong with public sex but simply that it’s easier said than done. In my attempt, things went from “Atonement” to “Scream 2” in a matter of seconds.
Lesson: Sex gets better.
Luckily for me, kissing lots of frogs has miraculously paid off. Alas, the days of two-minute screws and post-frat-party rendezvous have been replaced by something truly magical — orgasms. After two years of college sexcapades, I have finally arrived at the finish line. At the end of the day, I can thank my experience. Every time I had sex — all the bad times and the good times — I was able to take away an intimate piece of knowledge about myself I hadn’t known before. And for all those people not completely enjoying themselves, to say that sex gets better doesn’t quite suffice — sex gets exponentially, astonishingly and gloriously better.