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ISSUE 121 VOL 15 PUBLISHED 3/21/2008

Sex on the Hil: Get tan, not pregnant

By Katherine Oyster
Contributing Writer

Friday, March 21, 2008

This, dear Oles, is a magical time in the college student's life. Spring break -- a much needed respite from academia after difficult midterms or just from the hubbub of life on the Hill. Some of us use this time to go home and relax, while some of us give selflessly and go on service trips like Ole Spring Relief. However, a very popular choice is jetsetting to some tropical location (or at least more tropical than Minnesota) and participating in spring break culture with other college students from across the country.

There are a few unspoken rules of spring break culture:

1. Wear as little clothing as possible;

2. Consume alcoholic beverages all day, every day; and

3. Do "epic" (otherwise known as stupid) things while intoxicated

I read somewhere recently that the average number of drinks consumed per day by a spring breaker is 10. That amount can keep the average person pretty intoxicated for a very long time.

Another common activity of spring break (especially when intoxicated) is sex. Why not, right? It's spring break -- it's a time to relax and enjoy all life has to offer to the young and the beautiful. But sex when drunk, on Spring Break or whenever, is not the greatest idea.

When you decide to engage in sexual activity when drunk, you are much less likely to use condoms or other appropriate protection. As I'm sure you've heard, unsafe sex greatly increases your risk for sexually transmitted infections or for getting pregnant, which most college students would rather avoid at this juncture in their lives. STIs are no fun -- one drunken night of randiness can lead to a lifetime of herpes outbreaks, genital warts, infertility or even cervical cancer. While in your drunken stupor, the object of your desire might be the hottest thing you have ever seen in your life, you could end up paying for sexual activity with said person for the rest of your life.

Incidences of sexual assault are also pretty high during spring break and most of the time have to do with intoxication of one or both parties involved. Date rape drugs are usually put in alcoholic beverages because the effect of a drug is much like that of blackout intoxication. Alcohol deadens your ability to make good decisions and to recognize dangerous situations, which is a very bad combination when it comes to sexual activity.

Not only is drunken spring break sex potentially dangerous, it probably won't be that good either. Severe intoxication negatively affects men's erectile capabilities -- he very possibly won't be able to get or keep it up if he's super drunk. It's difficult to have a good sail if the wind keeps dying, if you know what I mean. There is also the distinct possibility that one or both of you will pass out mid-sack session. While this isn't necessarily the worst thing for the person peacefully sleeping, it's a royal pain for the one left awake, wanting to finish. Either way, it's pretty much guaranteed to not be the lay of your life.

There are a few ways you can protect yourself from many of the aforementioned negative consequences of drinking and sex:

1. Don't drink quite as much. By staying a little more sober, you greatly increase your ability to make responsible decisions.

2. Always always stay with a friend when out on the town. You two can watch each other and make sure that the other doesn't do anything stupid. Even if your friend will hate you for the rest of the trip, do your very best to stop him or her from making a bad decision.

3. If you do plan to drink and have not ruled out the possibility of sexual activity that night, bring condoms along and be firm with the "no glove, no love" rule. Even if you don't plan to have sex, bring some along in case a friend decides to. You can't count on anyone else to protect you, so don't allow yourself to get in a hot and heavy situation and have no protection at the ready.

This article is about the only time you will hear me sound like a concerned mom about sexual activity. Spring break can be an amazing time, but it can also be really dangerous with the effects lasting for the rest of your life. As many of you embark on your fabulous journeys to beautiful beachy locations, remember to have fun, yet do all you can to stay safe.

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