Before sex, make sure you have consent; stay out of jail

Between the Sheets

By Shelby Horton

Dear Shelby,

Is it okay for people in relationships to talk to their best friends about personal issues that occur in their relationship?

Dear Worried,

It is perfectly fine to talk to someone you trust when you’re having issues with your significant other.

Just make sure this is a person you can trust, and has your best interest at heart before revealing any personal issues between you and you partner.

Sometimes when you’re in a conflict with you significant other, you’re both unable to see past what you already have set in your mind.

When you have someone to confide in it gives you the ability to sort through your feelings, and puts things in perspective before doing anything rash.

Having a great friend to talk to can sometimes save your relationship.

Dear Shelby,

I’ve been out of a relationship for a while now, and some guys have taken interest in me. However, I’m not sure if I’m ready for a relationships yet, what should I do?

Dear unavailable,

Entering a new relationship can be exciting and loving, however it is a huge commitment once you start one.

If you don’t feel like you’re ready to handle the rollercoaster of emotions and responsibility that comes once you start a new adventurous relationship, simply don’t get into one.

There is nothing wrong with being single, and nothing wrong with being happy about being single.

Enjoy your freedom, get to know yourself, travel, and eat chocolate.

Dear Shelby,

How do I know when someone is giving me consent to have sex with them?

Dear consensual,

First I’d recommend reading Hutchinson Community College’s policy on sexual consent.

You can find the policy at http://hutchcc.edu/catalog/policy/?id=85 in section III C2 and C5. It covers consent situations from penetration intercourse to “hand jobs”.

But here are the basics of what you need to know.

If your potential partner is intoxicated or stoned, they do not have the mental state to give you consent for a sexual act.

If they give consent but then pass out during sex, stop whatever you are doing because when passed out no one can give consent. To avoid a potentially dangerous situation, ask your partner if this is what they want.

That is the easiest way to know if they are giving consent. If they say no, don’t pressure them into doing it because that isn’t consent.

Dear Shelby,

If I give someone oral sex, should I still have them wear a condom?

Dear protected,

Using a condom during oral sex is as necessity just like vaginal or anal sex, because there is a risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

The human mouth is filled with bacteria and viruses, which could transmit gonorrhea, chlamydia, and many other STDs.

Note: Using a condom during oral sex can prevent risk of contracting human papillomavirus, or HPV.

According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60 percent of oropharyngeal cancers (cancers of the throat, tonsils, and base of the tongue) are related to HPV.

It is estimated that every year in the U.S., more than 2,370 new cases of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers are diagnosed in women — and 9,356 cases in men.

So yes, use a condom. This is why there are flavored condoms, which are used when someone is giving a man oral pleasure.

When someone is giving women oral sex, they use a dental dam (a thin square piece of rubber) placed over the sensitive area.

Lastly, consider getting an HPV immunization shot, whether you are male or female. It is safe — and it could save your life.

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