Editor’s Note: Thirst Trap is a weekly column on dating and relationships in college.
Sex is a beautiful aspect of the romantic relationship, and also an incredibly personal one, and for that reason, it is my duty to voice my opinion on your sex life and how you conduct activities concerning your own body.
Say you’ve been seeing a guy for a couple of weeks and say you’re also female, because heteronormativity. The relationship thus far has been relatively chaste aside from a few steamy make out sessions, which not to be slut-shamey, but that’s honestly kind of a slutty move, girl. And no, me calling you “girl” is not condescending, I’m just your gal pal giving you advice from the safety of my MacBook in Suzzallo library.
One of your more promiscuous friends — let’s call her Britney, Britney’s a slutty name — asks you if the two of you have “sealed the deal,” “made the transaction,” “shared bodily-fluids,” or some other euphemism that ultimately boils down to the only thing that matters in relationships: “Have you had sex with him?”
While you haven’t, this gets you wondering, should you? And should you have done it already? Are you a prude for waiting or would pushing things along faster make you a whore? You know Britney has sex with total strangers at parties, but you also know Britney is single because why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free, am I right? On the other hand, your friend (who we’ll call Myrtle because no Myrtle has ever had sex before marriage) has been dating a boy for seven months and their relationship has never progressed into a sexual realm — and even if it ever did, they’d probably stick to missionary.
So, when’s it appropriate? When do you, as a woman, get to decide for yourself that the time is right to get sexual with someone? At what point can you silence the voices and pressures presented by a society that is built around the systematic oppression of women and exercise your human right to bodily autonomy?
Given recent events in Alabama, the answer is resoundingly: Never.
Let me guide you, girl.
There is a precise number of dates you should wait if you don’t want to be seen as either of the two groupings in which so many females find themselves. A prude can wait 100 dates, even if date number 92 is their wedding. A slut can skip the date entirely and learn their name after the transaction has been made (and yes, “transaction,” because men are consumers and women are suppliers when it comes to sex, and, coincidentally, sandwiches).
A man once told me, “You must wait at least 10 dates before having sex.” So there it is. The end-all-be-all magic number regardless of the inner workings and details of your relationship. This number works for everyone in every single relationship, every time. If it does not work for you, frankly you simply must have done something wrong. Besides, what does it matter how long you wait to have sex? You’re a woman. You’re not going to enjoy it anyway.
I would love to end this with an “in all realness” or “jokes aside” or something equally as cutesy that promotes you to be your own woman and rise above the slippery slope from prude to slut. But this is just not a “tie it up with a bow at the end” article to write.
Women: This is not your problem to correct. It is not your responsibility to defy standards and rise above just as much as it is not your responsibility to conform to the narrow form that is deemed acceptable. I will not sit here and tell you to simply do what you want to do and block the haters. That’s not realistic. I will not write, “Whether you think I’m a ‘Britney’ or a ‘Myrtle,’ I’m still a ‘Hannah.’”
I’m a sucker for a wholesome ending, but frankly, I feel like that would invalidate the very unwholesome reality we live in.
Reach columnist Hannah Krieg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @Hannah_krieg
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