Since my first Right Said Fred article on November 14, 2011, I have enjoyed writing this sex/relationship advice column for The College Voice. However, as with all good things, this column is coming to an end; this will be my last entry of Right Said Fred. While I will continue to write about relevant issues for the newspaper, I will no longer be continuing this segment. Please allow me to leave you with a few small pieces of advice:
• Cheating is not the worst offense in the world. Don’t get me wrong – cheating is dishonest and immoral. However, in my view, people tend to overreact over cases of cheating. Take the example of the Clintons. Many people criticized Hillary Clinton for not leaving Bill after his sex scandal came to light. However, who is to say that the Clintons didn’t work out their marital problems? Similarly, infidelity may cause a significant controversy within a relationship, but I don’t see why it necessarily has to end it.
• Make getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV a standard practice for yourself. If a partner of yours asks you to get tested, it does not necessarily mean that s/he thinks that you are infected – s/he is simply doing the responsible thing. Remember that you can be carrying an STI and have no symptoms whatsoever.
• Yes, Cher, I do “believe in life after love.” Some of my best friends have been former partners of mine. Yes, some breakups are worse than others, but don’t treat being an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend as a prerequisite for being blacklisted.
• Men, why do you demand oral sex if you’re not willing to give oral sex? You would not believe the number of women who are asked to give blowjobs – but are not given any oral pleasure in return. I can understand if certain couples make certain arrangements – I once knew a young woman, for example, who told me that she was not terribly fond of being eaten out – but as a whole, this trend seems incredibly misogynistic.
•If you are certain that you will break up with your significant other, do it as soon as possible. While there may be certain exemptions from this (i.e. if your partner has recently gone through something emotionally traumatizing, such as the loss of a loved one), there are few reasons that truly justify implicitly lying to your significant other. Breakups suck, but at least you’re being honest.
•When it comes to sex, there’s a fine line between trying to convince your partner of something with good faith – and pressuring her/him. (Contrary to popular belief, women can do this, too.) It’s just something to simply be aware of.
•Relationships are great experiences, but do not let them become the only important aspect of your life. It is possible to manage a healthy relationship while doing well in school, holding a job and maintaining friendships.
• In a similar vein, there is no need to constantly post statuses, photos or videos about your significant other on Facebook. We get it – you two are dating. A little PDA isn’t objectionable, but I really should be able to log onto Facebook without feeling like a voyeur.
• Men, don’t treat your girlfriend like a princess. Princesses are the incestuous offspring of elitist, oppressive patriarchs who generally treated their female spouses as nothing more than a walking incubator. Further, most princesses were exploited by their male spouses for political purposes, anyway. Why anyone in 2012 would want to emulate this is beyond me.
• Don’t say “I love you” unless you mean it. It’s not a phrase to be tossed around lightly.
• Communication is key to any relationship. An awkward conversation is better than not having the conversation at all.
• Sex is good for you. If practiced safely, sex has a multitude of health benefits: a strong immune system, smoother skin, improved quality of sleep, and reduced stress levels are just a few of the many recorded benefits of a healthy, regular sex life.