Beforeplayers go Back to School

By Sophie Dila

Calling all co-eds! School is back in session, and that means it’s time to stock up on all the sexy supplies you need to keep yourself safe this school year, because like all Beforeplayers know, Safe is Sexy!

Sex and relationships are part of the college experience, and college can also be a time of increased risks. Whether you’re choosing to be sexually active or not, we want to arm you with all the info you need to take control of your sexual health and lead a happy and healthy collegiate career.

So before you head out to all those back to school parties and social gatherings, pull up a chair and hear us out about a few pro-tips and pointers to help you be prepared for anything

Birth Control

College can be a wild, crazy good time, and it’s always good to be prepared for the unexpected. The highest rates of unintended pregnancies are among young adults ages 18-24 – and those pregnancies can impact your current and future plans.

If you’re working toward your degree and you want to avoid pregnancy while doing so, then protection is a must! There are all kinds of birth control methods available and there is one (or more) right for you. Check out Beforeplay.org’s Birth Control Method Selector to learn more about all the different options to find the one that is right for you. Then find your way to a nearby health center to have a provider help you get started using it.

STDs

These days, STDs are really, really common. So common that 1 in 2 people who are sexually active will get an STD before the age of 25. The only things that protect against STDs are abstinence and condoms. So if you’re feeling frisky, swing by your health center and stock up on all the free condoms your heart desires, make condoms your new BFF, and use them correctly every single time to stay safe and STD free.

If you think you might have an STD, don’t panic, help is available! Visit your school or health clinic to get tested right away or find a health center near you using our Health Clinic Locator. Also, it’s a good idea to hold off on any further sexual contact before you know what’s up. Be informed and Just Talk About It – this info on the ins and outs of STDs can help.

Sexual Assault

It’s well known that the first month of college is one of the riskiest times for drug and alcohol abuse and sexual assault. The New York Times recently reported that 1 in 6 freshman women had experienced attempted or completed rape, and 83% of those were incapacitated rape (i.e. when drugs or alcohol were involved). Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can impair your judgment and your ability to assess danger clearly, so it’s important for you to do whatever you can to protect yourself from risky situations. Of course, in an ideal world, men or women should never fear violation, sexual assault or rape. Sadly, that’s not the case.

Thankfully, there are safety measures you can take to prevent being sexual assaulted. Awareness is key, and the buddy system is awesome. Know where you’re going, who you’re going with, and set a meet up point if you get separated. Most campus sexual assaults occur under the influence of alcohol, so if you choose to imbibe, do so with moderation so you can remain aware of your surroundings and in control of your body. Date rape drugs are common, so don’t accept open drinks or drugs from people who you don’t know, since you don’t know what could be in them.

Before going out, talk about your game plan with friends, and discuss your questions and concerns about sexual assault with your friends and family. Beforeplay.org knows that some of these topics can be tough to talk about, which is why we offer you more about consenting to sexual activity our useful Get Talking tool to explore different ways to think and talk about your safety and sexual health.

Finally, look for Beforeplay.org on your campus this fall, and let us know if you’d like us to host an event in your dorm, at your sorority or in your club. For that and more questions about your sexual well-being, visit our website in English and Español.