Let’s talk about sex 

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Having sex is your choice. You should never feel pressured or rushed into having sex 

Always make sure to ask for consent from your partner. Consent is a verbal agreement between people about how and when they’re comfortable with being sexually active.  

Communication is like lubrication–communicate with your partner about what you are comfortable with. It may be challenging to express what you want, so try practicing asking for what you want and saying no if you feel uncomfortable with doing something. 

Before having sex, ask about your partner’s sexual health history and ways that you can help each other stay safe from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  

There are several different ways that you can stay protected. You can use condoms (male or female), dental dams for oral sex, and various forms of birth control. Lube is also another key factor in helping condom effectiveness.  

STIs are very common, and half of all sexually active people will get an STI by the age of 25. STIs can scare people, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you have a feeling that you may have an STI, go in and get tested. Its recommended to be tested every three-12 months if youre sexually active. 

Wait–what about COVID-19? Do I need to take extra precautions to stay safe against the virus? Is COVID-19 sexually transmitted? Is it even safe to be hooking up right now? 

There isn’t any current evidence proving COVID-19 is sexually transmitted. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets that can be inhaled or land on a person’s mouth or nose.  

However, all close contact—meaning within six feet—of someone infected with COVID-19 can put you at risk for contracting it. This means whether or not you’re engaged in sexual activity, you could still be at risk. 

If youre sexually active with someone outside of your household, consider these precautions to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19: 

  • Minimize the number of sexual partners you have 
  • Avoid sex partners who have symptoms of COVID-19 
  • Avoid kissing 
  • Use condoms and dental dams during oral, vaginal, and anal sex 
  • Wear a mask during sexual activity 
  • Wash your hands and shower before and after sexual activity 
  • Wash sex toys before and after using them 
  • Use soap or sanitizing wipes to clean and disinfect the area where you have sexual activity 

Check In & Check Up 

Health Wellness Services offers several forms of birth control, from the pill to IUDs. Health & Wellness Services also offer testing and screening for STI’s.  

We also have a licensed SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse in the event of sexual assault.  

If have questions about the types of birth control that we have to offer, call the Ask-A-Nurse Message Line at 507.457.2292. Or if youre considering getting birth control or you think you may have an STI, call 507.457.5160 to schedule an appointment at our on-campus clinic.

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Amy Nelson

Amy Nelson graduated in 2020 with a degree in Art: I-Design. As a student, she worked with the University Marketing & Communications team as a writer and photographer. She was hired after graduation to support public health communications during the COVID-19 pandemic.