To bang or not to bang—that is your choice

By Savannah Eadens

It has been 465 days since I last had sex. I haven’t been counting, but sometimes it feels like everyone else has. It’s almost as if I go any longer with this unintentional abstinence I will reclaim my virginity. A born-again virgin, if you will. It actually has a nice ring to it. 

When I tell people I haven’t been intimate with someone for the entirety of my college career, they are often shocked. There seems to be an underlying stigma against not having sex in college. While our parents’ generation likes to think college is a coitus fest, the reality is just the opposite.

Studies have shown that young men and women assume that sex is happening all around them and all the time. In the 2008 book “Guyland: The perilous world where boys become men,” sociologist Michael Kimmel asked male students in colleges across the country what percentage of their classmates they thought had sex every weekend. The average response was about 80 percent, but the actual figure is between 5 and 10 percent. 

In another study, New York Magazine partnered with SurveyMonkey to poll 700 college students in their junior and senior years, most of whom also assumed their peers are banging like rabbits. Sixty-four percent of juniors and seniors said they believed they had far less active sex lives than their friends did, but 41 percent of women and 49 percent of men said they were not sexually active. 

These studies show that we align our behaviors with whatever ideal is current in our subculture. Right now, TV movies and social media tell us that everyone is getting it on, Rachel Hills, author of “The Sex Myth,” said in a 2015 article in The Cut, a publication within New York Magazine.

This culture breeds anxiety in people like me who are afraid there is something wrong with our lack of time in the sack.

Not everyone in college is having a major sexual awakening, whether they are choosing to abstain or not. Sometimes the opportunities just don’t present themselves for students to have sex. Insecurities can also keep students from intimate relationships and meeting people. Sometimes, students are simply too busy getting their degree to get it on.

When I’ve become sexually frustrated recently, I ask myself: “Am I upset I’m not having sex because I feel I’m missing out on the experience, or because society tells me I’m missing out?”

The answer is that I’m perfectly fine with or without sex in my life. In fact, many people are. Sex isn’t something mystical or transcendent, and it may be normal to feel like we’re missing out on prime time to experiment with our bodies and others. But we’re young, and there will be plenty of opportunities in the future.

Don’t force something that just isn’t happening because everyone thinks it should be. The very basis of sexual freedom is that we have the option to participate or not. Life goes on.

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