Sexponent: Saying “yes” to sex

Q: I’ve been seeing a lot around campus about consent and sex — how does this work?

A: For the first Sexponent of the year, we’ve teamed up with the VOICE Center to answer your question. They’re located in the SUB, Room 370 — head there for more queries about sex or relationships, or call them anytime at (406) 994-7069.

For many of us, college is about exploring new things and leaving comfort zones. While sex can be fun and a truly positive experience, there are some things everybody should do to make sure they’re being safe, for both themselves and their potential partners.

First, any sort of sexual activity needs consent. This is the most important part: is your partner saying “yes”? The best way to know is to ask him or her in a direct manner — get that verbal confirmation! Reading body language or making assumptions about consent isn’t good enough, and this goes for both guys and girls (and every gender identification in between).

When there is alcohol involved, verbal confirmation is even more important. If you or your partner are fairly intoxicated, a smart thing to do would be to grab a phone number and see him or her another time. There is no breathalyzer for when somebody is too drunk to give consent.

Also, be aware of boundaries. What are you comfortable doing? What is your partner comfortable doing?  Do you need to establish ground rules or a safety word? While there’s often a sweeping stereotype about having casual, carefree sex in college, the fact is that as individuals, you or your partner may not want to engage in some activities. Knowing these boundaries before you become involved in any kind of sexual activity will make it an even more positive experience.

The Sexponent wants all our readers to have a glorious time here at MSU, and in the safest way possible. Got questions? Send them our way at entertainment@exponent.montana.edu.