She said, He said

By Suzanne Parks

I have said it before, and I will say it again: Women of this day and society have more sexual freedoms than their mothers’ generation, and with this comes more responsibility.

Women have the freedom to dress in nearly any manner they choose, to voice their opinions in the workplace without fear of repercussions, and to say no to sexual advances without becoming an outcast. The way women choose to wield these powers, though, comes down to individual choice.

When deciding on the right time to start a physical relationship, that decision must be reached mutually and in a time period comfortable for both partners. That said, during the college years, it generally seems to be the man who broaches the subject first, and stereotypically, it is up to the woman to restrain his urges until she feels that it is a more appropriate time.

While this may not always be the case, I’ve heard it said by both women and men that the true way to start a relationship is to hold off on sex for at least three to five dates. Waiting until marriage may not work for everyone, but at least holding off for someone you might actually care about could give you back those three minutes (four if you’re drunk) that you might have wasted and spare you that sleazy feeling the next morning – no one enjoys the walk of shame.

If two people are mature enough to make the decision to have sex, then both need to be mature enough to handle the consequences, whether it is pregnancy or just a broken heart. Jumping into bed immediately doesn’t usually pull people closer together, and waiting until both parties involved are completely comfortable has its advantages. But in the end, there are only two people making that decision.

In college, it may seem as though a lot of pressure is placed on students to have sex and make choices their mothers wouldn’t approve of, which may be fine for some, but doesn’t always work for everyone. Finding out what’s right for each person is part of the learning process, but that doesn’t mean letting your guard down – most people know the difference between right and wrong.

By Joshua Neiderer

Three dates, 10 days, four years, marriage? As long-held traditions fall by the wayside, when is it considered OK to have sex?

In modern times, numerical restrictions on physical intimacy have become rather antiquated and a bit ridiculous. They only serve to make the eventual interaction awkward and convoluted. Pre-planning an otherwise spontaneous event serves to heighten expectations for what could be six minutes of gawky fury.

In the realm of science, sex is merely a means of reproduction. The attachment it offers is leftover evolutionary protection for slow-developing children. Human beings are programmed to perpetuate the species. Men walk around as hormonal time bombs, fighting the urge to explode. Here, emotional connections lose their validity and relationships become a lingering vestige of the past.

The kingdom of religion offers another view entirely. People are made to feel guilty for harboring urges to fornicate with their partners. This leads to unhealthy relationships that rush toward marriage like a NASCAR fan to cheap domestic beer. These 19-year-old couples are quick to marry and even quicker to divorce.

The answer, then, has to lie somewhere in the middle. If emotion is valid and sex offers a means of enhancing relationships, then the best time to have sex doesn’t lie in a number. There isn’t some magical formula – if hours holding hands plus number of dates is greater than 15, then it is OK to have sex – rather there is no universal “right time” to jump in between the sheets.

The correct occasion for the first time in a healthy relationship should be based not on conventions, but how each partner feels.

If the couple believes whole-heartedly in love at first sight (see also: lust), then a romp in the bathroom of a local watering hole is not out of the question. Conversely, to the more traditional couple, the missionary position in the dark after marriage may be the only option.

To quote the ever-pertinent, immortal words of Marvin Gaye, “If you feel like I feel, baby / then come on, oh, come on / Whoo, let’s get it on.”