In association with the sexual health charity FPA
With Freshers Week fast approaching and excitement ramping up, we have put together a handy guide for all you new students who are embarking on this new chapter in your lives. From all night dancing in a room full of foam to midnight trips to the 24 hour supermarket to buy microwave popcorn, the experiences that you are about to have are limitless. But with all that great fun comes great responsibility, and we want to make sure that you are armed with all you need to know about enjoying safer sex, as we are sure that for many of you, this will also be a part of your university experience too!
After day 3 of Freshers Week, you will almost be fed up of introducing yourself and answering the questions ‘So what part of the country do you come from?’ and ‘What course are you studying?’. But by then you should be feeling a bit more settled and starting to make new friendships and relationships that could very well last a lifetime. It’s therefore really important that you are true to yourself and let people get to know you for who you really are.
According to a survey by a top student accomodation provider, 81% of people agree that university is an ideal place to meet their future partner. After all, Prince William and Kate Middleton are fine examples of a uni romance that blossomed into something special. So, all things considered, peoples first impressions of you during Freshers Week could be a lot more valuable than you had thought.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself though! University is a great time for experimentation and discovering where your passions lie. Some people might find the love of their lives and never look back, but for others it will simply be a time for having fun, and maybe there’ll be a few experiences you’ll look back on and rather forget. But that’s life and it’s all part of the learning experience.
Be respectful – advice from sexual health charity FPA
Having respect for yourself and others is essential for relationships to be equal and always make sure that consent is clear when negotiating sex with a partner. If you don’t want sex, don’t have it. Never let a partner or friends pressure you. Remember, man or woman, you can say no to sex at any time – and you need to respect the decision if someone says no to you.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve had sex with the person before, that doesn’t imply consent for the future, and you can always change your mind if you’re going further than you feel comfortable with. While a lot of time at university may be alcohol-fuelled, it’s worth remembering the effect it can have on your sexual behaviour.
Research carried out by the FPA shows that people are more likely to lose their inhibitions, and less likely to worry about using contraception or about getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), when they’ve been drinking alcohol.
It’s good to know what your limits are, to be prepared and carry condoms with you in case you need them, and to look out for your friends too.
So let’s assume that you meet someone who you think is rather special. Perhaps you will get eye contact during the Fresher’s Fair or get talking during the rounders team initiation match. Chances are if there is chemistry then things could move pretty fast, after all, this is Freshers Week and the pure excitement of leaving home will probably be making you feel more lustful than ever. It’s tempting to jump straight in, but if you’re looking for some good old-fashioned romance, you can take your time and plan some dates to get to know each other better.
Start by initiating a date – an old fashioned movie night, a cheap but cheerful dinner, or a bike ride around campus followed by a picnic in the park. Whatever you choose, make it relaxed and fun so that there are lots of opportunities for laughs and chances to touch each other (accidentally!), getting some important skin on skin contact, which is the first step in getting intimate.
If things go further, and you are both feeling comfortable, then just go with the flow. Try offering a sensual massage with some massage gel or oils, and add some atmosphere to your uni dorm by adding some candles and turning the lights down low. Put on some relaxing music, bring out the comfy cushions your mum made you bring with you, and boom, you are getting into the swing of things.
Be safe – some tips from FPA
Embarking on relationships at university might be the first time you’ve had to talk about condoms with partners. It’s really common for people to be a little shy about this, but think of it as a responsible health decision. If the other person won’t talk about it or refuses to use a condom, ask yourself if you really want to have sex with someone who is willing to put both your and their own health at risk.
There are lots of condom myths that you may consider as barriers to using condoms, which are simply not true.
Remember, it’s important to use male or female condoms whenever you have sex. Protection is not just needed for anal or vaginal sex. A dental dam, which is a small plastic square placed between the mouth and female genitals or mouth and anus, can be used during oral sex to stop infections being passed on.
TIP – If you don’t have a dam to hand, you can make one out of a condom. Roll it out, cut the closed end off and open it out to a rectangle shape.
Although other methods of contraception can help prevent pregnancy, only condoms can help protect you from STIs.
Remember there is always somewhere that you can get help if you need it; even if a service is not available on campus, it could be in the wider community. FPA has a directory of places you can get help with sexual health issues.
FPA’s guide: How to put on a male condom
1. Carefully take the condom out of the packet – watch for sharp nails or jewellery which can tear the condom.
2. Find the teat or closed end and squeeze it to get rid of air. This will also help you roll the condom on the right way round.
3. Put the condom on when the penis is fully erect and before it touches the vagina or genital areas.
4. Still holding the end, roll the condom all the way down the penis.
5. If it won’t roll down then it’s probably inside out, so start again with a new condom.
6. As soon as the man has ejaculated, and before the penis goes soft, hold the condom firmly in place while pulling out. Do this slowly and carefully so you don’t spill any semen.
7. Take off the condom, wrap it and put it in the bin (not down the toilet).
8. Make sure the penis does not touch the genital area again, and if you have sex again, use a new condom.
– Male condoms are 98% effective when used according to instructions.
– Use a new condom each time you have sex.
– Check the ‘use by’ date on the packet.
– Buy condoms which have been quality-tested to UK standards (with the BSI Kitemark)
– Female condoms are 95% effective when used according to instructions and could be a different option for you.
Durex Fresher’s Week Essentials
So now you are armed with advice and tips from the experts, it’s time to stock up on a few uni essentials….
Condoms: Make sure you are stocked up in time for Fresher’s Week. Experiment with different textures and flavours to find your favourite.
Lube & Gels: From scented lubricants to orgasm intensifiers, use a lube to make your experience more pleasurable and heighten the moment for you both.
Pleasure Sets: Ready to fully experiment? If so, then check out our Pleasure Sets, each put together for maximum satisfaction in mind.