December 3, 2021 | OPINION | By Anonymous author
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My first mistake was thinking that somebody else’s love could refill the absence in my own heart.
My second mistake was placing my own skin for temporary, artificial, surface level enjoyment.
My third mistake was attempting to form an emotional connection to make me feel better about the reality of being numb.
These thoughts rained down on me as I traversed across campus. At first, I thought it was raining, but then I realized I had been crying and my mask was nearly soaked. Shielding my eyes from passersby, I wondered if they were walking home as shamefully as I was.
We did not have sex, but I could not see past the remnants left on my skin. I could not get past the regret that was clogging up my throat. I wanted to scream, run, and evaporate from my life.
The act was not sinful, and I am not a religious person. I did not understand why I felt this way. A tidal wave ambushed my body and choked my heart. I knew that love was not a material thing, and yet I gave in anyway.
Essentially, I want to make a comment on sex. First, I’d like to clarify that I do not believe in the idea of normalcy. However, for the sake of this letter I will use this concept to get my point across.
Body to body sexual intercourse is a normal part of the college experience.
Experimenting and having fun socially and physically is a pivotal part of a student’s education. In other words, college is not simply about your class or GPA. It is much more about the social, personal, and physical interactions that are implicit in attending college.
Sex is one of these interactions that is characterized as a large part of an individual’s college education. There are several issues with this characterization in the media and in history — for one, it leads to pressure for individuals to engage in sex.
There is nothing wrong with engaging in body-to-body sexual interaction with no strings attached as long as that is what both people involved desire. I am simply here to provide a voice for those who feel as if they are obligated to engage in one-night-stands and other emotionless sexual interactions with partners. I am providing a counterattack to the idea that having sex will make you fit in with the social culture of a “typical” college student.
In talking with my fellow peers about this dilemma, I have come to the conclusion that every person has their own beliefs as to what is appropriate romantically and sexually.
This letter is an expression of my desire for you to engage in whatever social, physical, and romantic encounters that you feel comfortable with.
I ask you to please not give into the dominant social pressure to have sex if you do not desire to do so. Now, if you are like me, it may take a few of these interactions to understand what you actually want to experience as a college student. I plead for there to be an abolishment of shame in all types of love.
Pure sex is not condemnable if both people involved are content and consenting of the experience. Not engaging in frequent or any sex is also worthy of praise if that is what one desires.
I advocate for an elimination of pressures to act in one way versus another. This school has the cultural power to freely allow all types of love without the presence of shame, judgement, or heteronormative pressure. In essence, find what suits you as a lover.
College is not simply an academic experience. There are countless social, personal, physical, romantic and other learning experiences that an individual will encounter and experimenting with these experiences should not be condemned or frowned upon.
Walking back from my previous experience, I felt a plethora of emotion. In the end, however, I am glad that I put myself out there as a lover and discovered what works for me as an individual. I urge you to do so safely. Love should flow in all directions. Do not let any social pressure stop you from engaging in possible new and scary interactions.
Your body and your mind deserve to experiment with themselves in a tame manner. There is no right way to uncover yourself.
The most important thing to remember is to not engage in any such interactions so as to refill an absence of love for oneself. It is crucial to make sure that you love yourself before learning to love others. This is no easy task, and personally I was not as patient as I should have been.
The other extremely important thing to remember is to ensure consent from both parties, including consent from you own body. If you are numb, then do not move forward in any damning interaction.
Lastly, if you decide to experiment socially, physically, and romantically, and sexually, do so for yourself before you consider the needs, wants, or desires of another.
Ultimately, this is college. Please make of it what you will with regard to safety, and make sure to acknowledge your personal well-being. Please do not conform to heteronormative pressures if you are unsure of what you want.
Finally, it is okay to tremble before you fall, meaning it is okay to trip a few times before you find your place.