University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Sexuality Choices

Choosing NOT to be Sexually Active

sexuality-slideshow5Many students choose to not be sexually active. There are a variety of reasons why a person may abstain from vaginal, oral, and anal sex. Listed below are some of the reasons for abstaining:

  • Wanting to wait until a person is in a serious, committed relationship or married/civil union.
  • Abstaining is the only 100% way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS.
  • Life may be very busy with other commitments such as sports, job, course load.
  • Protecting self from emotional hurt.
  • Not feeling ready for a sexual relationship.
  • Religious/spiritual reasons.

Just because a person has had sex in the past does not mean that the person has to remain sexually active. A person can choose to not be sexually active if they end a relationship, feel too pressured to be engaging in sex, or don’t feel ready, amongst other reasons.


Choosing to be Sexually Active

sexuality-slideshow2If a person decides to be sexually active, he/she needs to be aware of risks that they encounter such as STIs and/or pregnancy. Students can practice safer sex and reduce their risks by:

  • Using condoms, dental dams or female condoms correctly and consistently every time they engage in sex.
  • Getting tested for STIs, although this may not guarantee that a person or a partner is STI free.
  • Limiting sexual partners.
  • Getting to know a partner and asking about their sexual history.
  • Being in a committed monogamous relationship.*
  • Use another form of contraception such as pill or Depo Provera (shot) in addition to condoms, recognizing that they are great to reduce risk of pregnancy, but offer no protection against STIs.

*Monogamy, by definition, means the practice of having one sexual partner for a lifetime. Serial monogamy is to have one sexual partner at one time but could have many throughout a lifetime.


Communication

sexuality-slideshow3Communication is important in all relationships. Ineffective sexual communication is a common reason for people feeling dissatisfied with their sex lives.

How Can You Be a Good Communicator?

Good communication requires you to be an effective communicator and an active listener.

Some Tips to be a Good Communicator:

  • Be an active listener – actively communicate to your partner that you are listening to him or her and you are interested in what he or she is saying.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Provide feedback – provide a reaction to your partner’s message in words. This will help clarify his or her message and show that you were actively listening.
  • Support your partner’s communication efforts – this will help relieve fear and anxiety from your partner and help build communication skills for both partners.
  • Use paraphrasing – the listener summarizes a speaker’s message in his or her own words.
  • Ask questions – find out what your partner’s needs are with open-ended questions such as “where do you like to be touched” instead of “was I gentle enough”.

There is also nonverbal communication. Examples of non verbal communication are a touch, a smile, facial expressions, interpersonal space, and sounds such as moaning.

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