So I guess my whole schtick here is that I march to the beat of my own drum or drum my own beat or slay my own deer, skin it and make the drum myself or whatever. Which isn’t really true, I’m a vegetarian and only buy secondhand leather because I don’t want to support that industry. But let’s stick to the topic at hand, shall we?
I went to a small liberal arts college in New York. Year after year, the Princeton Review rated it as having one of the highest LGBT populations in the country, and I was the token straight girl. Plus, the school was pretty much filled with every kid from the back of every class who wanted to avoid lecture halls, fraternities, sororities, and math requirements. The only available boys were at the adjoining jazz school, and if ever you heed any advice in life, let it be this: jazz boys’ strength does not lie in sanity.
There’s this idea floating around that college is when you’re going to have all the crazy monkey sex that you will have in life. It’s supposedly a land of door socks, sexiled roommates, and beer pong induced shenanigans. And if that’s your thing, you go and enjoy that while everyone else finishes reading this.
I didn’t date a single boy in college unless you count hanging out with gay boys, and those relationships are too functional to count as dating. In fact, I tend to be pretty discriminatory when it comes to touching boys inappropriately. I’m not saying don’t have fun, by any means. You’re young, unattached, do what you need to do. Just don’t feel like you have an obligation to your youth to live it up, or that sex is the only way to do so. Let’s not forget that as women, we get to have our sexual peak in our mid 30’s so there’s really no rush.
I’m saying this because even if you’re overly discriminatory, naively romantic, and limited in your physical exploration of other people it seems we all find ourselves, at one time or another, making out with someone because it’s somehow less awkward than breaking a kiss. Here’s a fun life lesson: the reason dates are great (aside from the talking and getting to know each other part) is that you can kiss someone at the end and leave it at that.
Don’t go to a boy’s (or man’s, but this is college and I think we can agree they’re all still boys) room if you haven’t kissed him yet, because if he’s bad at it, what are you going to do? Tell him to stop because he’s terrible at it? The social anxiety alone is enough to make some girls sleep with a guy rather than hurt his feelings. I’ve watched many a friend stew in self-loathing because they were too nice to ask someone to please keep their junk to themselves until they learn how to use it properly.
Frankly, this is awful. I’m not saying go Puritan (if anything, go Shaker-Quaker, those guys have all the fun). Just don’t feel like you owe a guy anything because you think he’s cute or like him or want to breed with him or whatever. Respecting yourself doesn’t mean abstinence, it just means allowing yourself to be discriminatory about who you hang out with and how much you want to hang out with them. There’s no rush to get all tooth-licky (seriously, this a thing – a completely unacceptable thing, I mean, wtf), and the more you take your time, the more likely you’ll get some good action out of the person.
If you pace things, it’s less awkward to give gentle guidance on what works for you and vice versa. It can also make you realize that sometimes, even though a boy is cute and charming, he may not be the all-around great guy you’ve imagined him to be (put down the Jane Austen, she’s full of lies and trite as hell anyway*). The last thing you want is to dive headfirst into something that doesn’t feel good and is happening so fast you get overwhelmed.
The point is, whatever you do, do it for yourself. Don’t feel bad bailing if you get uncomfortable, and more importantly, give yourself enough time and space to keep from getting into that kind of situation in the first place. The experiences you have can be savored and valued, don’t feel like you have to manically stockpile them for some non-existent winter of discontent. Who knows, with all that time-taking, you may end up actually getting to know someone and building a relationship.
*I have an unnatural hatred of Jane Austen, which I attribute to having been forced by my mother to watch the entire BBC series with Colin Firth at the brink of puberty. I also attribute my unnatural hatred of Colin Firth to this experience. I’m pretty sure that if Alan Rickman had played Darcy, I would be a lot more partial to Jane Austen romanticisms, but as it is, I remain self-elected president of Hateration Nation. Tiffany is awesome, though, you should still read her Jane Austen posts.
Photo Credit: http://hopefillledheart.tumblr.com/