We’re Rigo and Sara, two of SHAPE’s newest members, here to answer your questions about sex. We aim to create a space for students to learn and become more comfortable talking about sex by allowing you to submit questions without your names or email addresses attached. We believe there’s no wrong way to have sex; nobody should be judged on their sexual lifestyle, but everyone should consider being safe towards one’s self and one’s partner. So ask us anything!
How can I get hormonal birth control on campus for cheap and without my parents knowing?
Sara: First of all, you can’t get the birth control pill without a prescription. Same goes for all hormonal birth control options.
Good news: Planned Parenthood and Searle Health Services can both prescribe the pill, and Planned Parenthood will usually do it off the record. You do need to make an appointment at Searle with a nurse practitioner and that may show up on your insurance, but it will show up as “women’s appointment” or something equally vague. Prices for the pill usually fall in the range of $15 to $50, though with insurance it can be way less. And if you pay cash, your parents will be none the wiser.
Rigo: Although you may be able to obtain birth control fairly easily, you should still be using all the protection that is at your disposal.
So throw on a condom (just one per partner) in order to provide the best protection. I know some of you guys are probably like “Ugh! But they’re so uncomfortable!” or “But then I won’t be able to feel as much pleasure as I can!” Try some different products and sizes so that you can feel as comfortable as possible while being safe. More often than not, if you can feel the condom, you are wearing the wrong size.
Sara: Finally, I want to address the fact that you’re trying get birth control without your parents knowledge. It’s true that talking about sex, especially with our parents, is super awkward. At the same time, your parents can be a great resource. I feel comfortable talking about birth control with my mother and having the birth control conversation with her strengthened the trust between us; she knows I’m making informed and responsible decisions, that I’m not jumping into things without thinking about them first, and I feel safer knowing I can turn to her if I have questions or I’m in trouble.
At the same, I do recognize that some parents can be closed-minded and you may need to take matters into your own hands. I just want you to consider talking to your parents, especially if being awkward is the worst you have to worry about.
How do I get my girlfriend to understand anal sex isn’t that bad?
Rigo: First off, I have the urge to say that nobody, and I mean nobody, should be coercing anybody to be trying anything that they don’t want to do.
Secondly, I do agree that anal sex really “isn’t that bad” as long as measures are taken to insure that your partner isn’t getting hurt. If it’s your or their first time, make sure to use lots of lube and take your time going through with it. I can tell you from past experience that getting your partner to warm up to the idea can take time, and after you begin trying the physical process, it can take even longer to get the body used to it. Your best bet is to be understanding of where your partner is coming from and be patient, so that she (or he) understands that this is definitely something you want to try but that you’re not willing to force your partner into doing something he or she is not comfortable with. By being patient, you up your chances at making this happen dramatically, so be a good guy and wait.
Sara: To all those people whose partners want to try anal sex, don’t shut out the idea completely. If this is important to your guy and you’ve never tried it before, what’s the harm? Here’s some tips to make your experience better:
- Go number two before you and your partner become one. Cleanliness is next to pleasure when it comes to sex. That goes for most sex acts, by the way.
- You should be in control. Make it clear with your partner that the second you say “stop,” he better stop. And if something starts to hurt, you’re doing it wrong.
- Anal sex is not foreplay. You need to be sufficiently aroused before anal sex will be fun. So warm up with some porn or oral sex or whatever gets you off.
- Relax. If you start hyperventilating, you’re going to be in trouble.
Guys, in addition to going slow, start small. Your finger should be the first thing inside, and you can slowly work your way up from there. The anus is delicate and full of nerves, so be very careful if you ever want your partner to take his/her clothes off again.
Rigo: And you know you want that to happen again.