Transition Chat: Sexual Intimacy
Based on feedback from countless alums, one of the components of college life that elicits the greatest amount of attention is sexual intimacy. Of course, this is often a difficult and awkward concept to engage in discussion about between students and their parents, but it is nonetheless a healthy and normal one that deserves the time and attention.
As such, for this topic, we encourage students to consider the following prompt:
What are your parameters surrounding sexual intimacy?
Here are some additional thoughts and questions to contemplate:
What are your own ethical parameters around sexual consent? What are your family values around sexual consent? What are your cultural and communal parameters around consent?
Have you examined your college’s rules surrounding sexual intimacy and consent? How about the local laws? Realize that they are possibly different.
Alumni Advice: Be sure to know the rules and laws! Everyone knows someone who ran into problems in college because they didn’t know them.
Under what conditions would you consider to consent to sexual intimacy with a partner, if any?
Alumni Advice: Stay away from drunken “hookup culture” at college. It can lead to so many problems.
What resources are available for students who have questions about sexual intimacy or who need guidance? Where are the offices located? What are their hours?
What difficult situations might present themselves in relation to sex and intimacy that you can plan ahead for? And what will be your plan of action when/if they occur?
Alumni Advice: Discuss your plans surrounding sex and intimacy with your friends so that you can support and help each other, particularly surrounding safety.
If you are unsure of the concept of sexual consent, take some time to review this video:
Also, be sure to revisit this video, which is often used to promote discussion about consent:
This piece is part of a series on “transitioning to college.” We encourage graduating seniors and their parents or guardians to engage in discussion on a weekly basis about these topics. If you have feedback or additional ideas or perspectives to share, please let us know so we can incorporate your thoughts into revisions of our posts.