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A Collegiette's Guide to Life
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    So you’re moving this summer. Maybe it’s to a totally city or just somewhere 15 minutes from where you used to be. Regardless, it’s likely to be an entirely different experience than what you’re used to and that includes the dating scene! Dating and romance are always more fun during the summer, and are also sure to be far more exciting when you’re in a new place.

    We talked to some expert collegiettes about their experiences meeting new people in a new place and put all their tips together for a go-to list. Read on and don’t forget to share your own ideas and experiences in the comments and on Facebook and Twitter!

    1. Spend time at local bars and restaurants

    At first, you’ll have to get comfortable being that person who’s alone at a bar, café, restaurant, etc., but you’ll soon be surrounded by others doing the exact same thing. Dating new and unknown people is daunting, but just remember that a lot of other people are in a similar boat!

    Dating is also way easier when you’re young and everyone’s in a transitional summer period. “Some of the best connections I made happened...when I simply asked, ‘Do you mind if I sit here?’" says Abigail Megginson, a sophomore at the University of West Florida. Putting yourself out there is the first step, and people will admire you for having that confidence.

    Related: 50 Fun Summer Date Ideas

    2. Speed date

    Speed dating is a fantastic — and efficient — way to meet new people! Some of the awkwardness of the initial dating stages goes away while speed dating because everyone already knows they’re there to find a connection with someone.

    You can look out on Facebook for events happening in your area, or check out sites like DoRelish to see if your city is listed or just Google speed dating and your city! What do you really have to lose?

    It might not seem like the most romantic option, but there’s definitely something to be said for an environment that forces people to talk to one another to see if the chemistry is there. “Honestly the worst that can happen is an awkward encounter,” says Dajin Kim, a sophomore at The University of Texas at Austin. The competitive atmosphere also gives this one a fun edge!

    The stakes aren’t too high either, as long as you don’t set yourself up to meet the one on the first night. Maybe that will happen to you, but if it doesn’t, just give one of these other options a try until you’re ready to revisit speed dating (and/or you’re confident that the folks you met to during the first attempt have cycled out).

    3. Bond with your coworkers

    You might not have both coworkers and neighbors, but we’re betting you have at least one! They’re your surefire entry into local events and new people, because they live there too! Hopefully they’re not as new to the place as you are.

    “I resorted to the most cliché ways to establish conversation [with my coworkers],” says Ashley Ortiz, a fourth-year at the University of Puerto Rico. “That was by asking how their shift was, if they knew any good pizza places around the area and simply putting myself out there.” There’s a lot to be said for small talk!

    Beyond just learning the local ropes and the ins and outs of wherever you may be working, there are surely plenty of friends and new love interests to be found among the people you work with and the people they can introduce you to. “I knew that if I wanted to have a good time and establish some connection with my coworkers, I had to initiate conversation,” Ashley says.

    You don’t necessarily have to date or hook up with your coworkers (in fact, you may want to steer clear of this if it’s not prohibited entirely), but who’s to say one of your coworkers’ best friends isn’t your soul mate or next best fling?

    4. Go to free community events

    Community centers and parks aren’t just for old people and families! “No matter where you are, there's sure to be like free outdoor exercise classes or like free concerts and things and you can always meet people at those things,” says Linne Halpern, a junior at Wesleyan University. Go check out a local bulletin board in your neighborhood to see if there’s anything of interest.

    If you’re in DC, NYC or other big cities, there are plenty of websites like DCist and Nonsense NYC where you can find local events off the beaten path. As for smaller towns, there are likely community websites or things posted at local event centers (we know, we know, but you have to do some of the work!) that you can take advantage of.

    Remember that you do have to take the initiative here. “I would suggest setting a goal for yourself to make sure that there are a certain number of nights per week where you make sure to stay out of the house, like don't go straight home after work just to sit on your couch, make sure to get out and explore,” Linne says. You’ll have fun regardless!

    Related: 5 Tips for Actually Making Friends in a New City

    5. Tinder, Bumble and others

    Last but not least, you always have the option of good ol’ fashioned dating sites and apps. Thankfully, there’s no shame in this kind of dating anymore, although it can be tough to decipher whether a whole app and the people using it are interested in casual flings, serious relationships or all other sorts of romantic pursuits.

    Like speed dating, the pressure to succeed on dating apps and websites is only high if you make it so. Finding someone you enjoy spending time with or have a physical attraction to is hard work — it wouldn’t be worth it if it wasn’t! Regardless if it’s casual or serious, you want it to be fulfilling.

    Tinder and Bumble are just the beginning. There’s also Coffee Meets Bagel, a “ladies’ choice” app similar to Bumble, and Hinge, which sets you up with people your Facebook friends are friends with. Maybe even give one of these obscure dating sites a try if you’re on the rebound, looking to connect with someone over your flavor preferences, and more!

    There’s a lot to worry about if you’re spending a summer in a new city, from moving to finances to job prospects. That said, new love interests shouldn’t be the most stressful thing — hopefully they even help you mitigate some of these pressures!

    Dating is inevitably nerve-wracking, but just remember that even when it doesn’t go well, it’s good practice. Dating lets you get a better idea of what you’re looking for and what are deal breakers, and you’ll always come out of it with great stories!


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    On our list of least favorite things, breakups fall somewhere between guac being extra and sold out Beyoncé tickets—basically, they suck. Whether you had your heart broken or you were the one to end the relationship, the post-breakup etiquette rules are always a bit hazy. We’re really sorry that he or she wasn’t the one, but we’ve got a silver lining for you: Her Campus had the opportunity to speak with Jodi R.R. Smith, president and owner of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting—and she’s breaking down what to do right after a breakup.

    1. Take the high road

    In all cases, but especially in the event that you broke up with your significant other, you need to take the high road. “If they put up a nasty post about you on Facebook, don’t respond,” says Smith. “If they scream at you and say they never want to talk to you again, tell them, ‘I validate your feelings,’ and walk away. Don’t get pulled into any emotional backlash that is happening.” People are going to ask why you broke up, but you shouldn’t be telling them. Obviously you’ll want to talk about the breakup with your closest friends, but you don’t want to make your ex look bad to your circle of friends. If a mutual acquaintance or classmate is really pushing you for details, Smith suggests a number of phrases you can use:

    • “We were young and we were in love and now we’re not in love.”
    • “The relationship ran its course.”
    • “Sometimes things just don’t work out.”
    • “S/he is a great person, just not a great person for me right now.”

    “You don’t owe anyone a giant explanation of your breakup,” says Smith. If people ask what happened, don’t feel pressured to rope them into the drama.

    Smith also suggests giving your ex a little bit of space. “When you’re the one doing the breaking up, give the person the space to be in the places that are familiar to them,” she says. “Go to the Starbucks on the other side of campus or study in a different library so that you’re not causing more pain.” While breakups are never simple, you can help make things a little less complicated by being the bigger person.

    2. Process appropriately

    It’s important to resist the urge to process the breakup on social media. Instead of sub-tweeting or posting a tearful emoji to your Snap story, call or text your bestie(s) and meet for coffee, drinks or just a walk around the park. Rather than text-ranting to your big, just talk it out. “Process it face-to-face in a place where it’s not going to be documented for posterity,” says Smith. Attempting to understand what just happened is key to accepting it, but you don’t want your emotions coming back to bite you later on.

    3. Protect your emotional well being

    Smith recommends at least temporarily blocking your ex’s feeds so that he or she is not popping up in your social media while you’re trying to move on. “You’re the only one that can protect yourself,” she says. “And you need to protect your emotional well being. Even the most emotionally healthy person will be tempted to cyberstalk their ex, and that’s not healthy.” Smith suggests blocking them for at least the first month or so, after which you can decide whether or not you want to see what’s going on in their lives. You may also want to unfriend them so that they’re not cyberstalking you. “Make sure that all your privacy settings are what they need to be,” says Smith.

    After her relationship ended, Caitlin Duncan, a senior at University of New Haven, deleted all photos and conversations from her phone. “It was torture to sit there and read our old conversations and look back on old photos,” says Caitlin. “I also hid his Facebook posts and muted him on Twitter because I really couldn't bear to see his posts. I didn't want to unfriend/unfollow him, so using the mute feature was helpful.” While you may not want to erase all of your digital memories, if it helps you move on, it may be the right thing to do.

    You don’t necessarily have to block your ex’s cell phone number, but Smith does recommend not answering it when you see their name or number pop up on your screen. “Just because they’ve called you or are in the process of calling you, does not mean that you should answer it,” she says. “Let them leave a message. Listen to the message, and then decide whether or not you want to respond. And sometimes you just have to delete. You don’t owe them an explanation.” You know yourself better than anyone, so do what you need to do to make the best of a bad situation.

    Related:6 Things You Should Never Do After a Breakup

    4. Wallow (a little)

    Believe it or not, it’s okay to wallow! “I think that when you’ve had your heart broken, to shake it off and pretend like nothing is wrong doesn’t do anybody any good,” says Smith. “What you’re not allowed to do is to become consumed by the wallowing. If after about the two-week mark you still suddenly burst into tears for no reason, then it’s time to get professional help. But for the first fourteen days, eat a lot of ice cream, cry a lot, watch really sappy Ryan Gosling movies. Really feel what’s going on.” You heard her—break out the Ben & Jerry’s, add a bunch of chick flicks to your Netflix queue and grab some tissues—you’ll need them.

    5. Celebrate you

    Once you’re done wallowing, it’s time to celebrate you. Smith explains that this means different things for different people. “For somebody that might mean going out and buying a whole new wardrobe or going out and cutting off their hair and having a totally new style; for other people it’s an opportunity to refocus on the things they really love,” she says. “Oftentimes when you’re in a partnership, what happens is you can’t always do everything you like to do, because you have to compromise…that’s part of being in a relationship. Now you’re not in a relationship, so if they didn’t like watching foreign films, go to a foreign film festival. Find the things that you really like to do and do them.”

    This means you need to get out of the house (or apartment or dorm room) and connect with people. While you may want to continue moping around in your pajamas, trust us, this will be better for you. Smith suggests helping out at a homeless shelter or volunteering for a breast cancer walk—just do something to get yourself busy again that will help keep your mind off of feeling sorry for yourself. It may sound harsh, but it’s worth it in the long run.

    6. Find your own closure

    Smith explains that for twentysomethings, the amount of closure we’re going to be able to get after a breakup is pretty minimal. There’s nothing that the other person can really say to make us feel any better. So, don’t look to your ex for closure. Instead, focus on you and your feelings. Get a journal and write about it. “I’m a big fan of journals,” says Smith. “I find that people process when [they] actually have to sit down and write something out. Write the person a letter or write your future self a letter. Write a short story about the different ways that this relationship could have gone. Find the way that works for you. If you need to, it’s perfectly fine to go and see a counselor and talk about why you’re having a hard time moving on.”

    Some people like to get rid of every single thing that reminds them of the other person. “If you want to do that you certainly can,” says Smith. However, she recommends taking the stuff and boxing it up, putting it under your bed, in the back of a closet or in storage. When it comes time to move, open up the box and see if there’s anything that you’d like to keep, because it’s nostalgic or meaningful for you. If not, then donate it, give it away or send it back to the person. Again, it’s all about what works for you and your process.

    7. Start to move on

    While Smith cautions against jumping right back into a serious relationship, she acknowledges that there are many ways to get over a relationship—whether that means having a one night stand or remaining celibate. “You need to decide what works for you,” she says. “But what I caution people against is going out, having a one night stand with somebody and then feeling worse about themselves in the morning. So think about what’s going to make you feel better and do that.” It’s going to take time to accept the breakup and begin to move on. Don’t feel like there is a right or wrong way to deal with your emotions—just do what works for you. You may not know what that is right now, but through trial and error, you’ll figure it out.

    Breakups definitely aren’t fun, but they’re a perfectly normal part of your college years—and beyond. You have to kiss (and date!) many frogs before you find your prince or princess, so don’t give up. Like Smith says, “This too shall pass. No matter how hard it is…it goes away, you get over it and you’ll go on to live a complete and happy life.” It gets better, collegiettes!


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    Surprise, surprise ladies! Men aren’t the only ones who fear commitment. You, too, may harbor an intense fear of getting involved in a serious relationship and not even realize it. However, there are definitely signs that you’re someone who’s chronically afraid of commitment. Does the thought of marriage have you running for the hills, screaming? Or saying the word “love” make you want to throw up in your mouth? Exactly. You probably wouldn’t even be reading this article if you weren’t a little bit curious to find out that maybe you really are afraid of commitment. Check out our five tell-tale signs below for some good old self-diagnosis.

    1. You have chronic issues committing yourself to just one person

    Nowadays it’s not uncommon for millennials to think, “Pssssh, monogamy.” That doesn’t mean we aren’t open to it, but it’s more accepted to spend our 20s uncommitted with multiple partners before eventually settling down. However, there is a difference between being a free spirit and actually having trouble dedicating yourself to one person.

    “Pretty often my relationships are really short,” says Arianna Delira, a junior at Georgia State University. “It can be for a variety of reasons, but I think I have a hard time wanting to be with one person forever—and sometimes even six months feels like forever. I’m not like cheating when I am in a relationship, but I don’t date someone for more than a few months. I do admit I have a fear of commitment, specifically because I’m scared being with someone for too long will make us both bored or cause the relationship to end badly instead of casually.”

    Your commitment issues aren’t something you have to worry about now, because it’s fine to play the field while still taking the time to develop yourself. You don’t need to be getting married tomorrow. Still, your commitment should be self-monitored so that you’re able to anticipate your detest for long-term monogamous relationships in the future, and deal with them accordingly when you meet someone worthy of your commitment.

    Related: [How to Deal with a Relationship You Know Isn’t Going to Last]

    2. You feel as though relationships hold you back

    If it means missing the opportunity to hang out with friends or even sacrifice a career advancement, relationships may seem utterly oppressing to you because they’re restrictive. You’re the type of person who enjoys having their options open, and a relationship is much too limiting for you. It makes more sense to orient your future and schedule your time between work, friends and family. Love is a demanding priority, so you avoid it at all costs.

    “The future is really daunting, and there’s a lot of other things that seem more important like graduation and figuring out what you want to do with your life,” explains Briana Ruba, a sophomore at Marquette University. “Even if someone is amazing and I’m madly in love with them, I’m worried that I’ll have to make life sacrifices for them and compromise my own goals for them.”

    Consistently ending your relationships because you’re worried about missing out on something better is a sure sign that you really are afraid of commitment. Realize that it’s time to let go of this fear, and understand it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. Committing yourself to a partner is an opportunity in and of itself to take on the welcome twists and turns of life alongside someone who adores you. Spending time with couples who have complicated careers and social lives but are still able to maintain successful relationships might be of some encouragement to you.

    3. You still feel emotionally scarred from previous relationships

    Sometimes the past can inhibit you from moving forward with healthy relationships. It’s totally reasonable to still feel the emotional effects of someone who hurt you, but it becomes problematic when you prevent yourself from committing to another person who’s not the jerk who hurt you. Let’s be real, we’ve all got trust issues, but it’s time to pack those gremlins away and let love happen.

    “I know it’s not fair to have trust issues with my boyfriend, because he’s not the one who cheated on me, my ex did,” says Katie McNierney, a junior at Barnard College. “Part of me thinks that maybe I won’t be able to let myself be happy or ever commit to someone again, because I’ve had someone hurtfully break their commitment to me. It’s a vicious cycle where my relationship escalates and I have a meltdown thinking I’m going to get hurt again so I run away.”

    It sucks to have to be guarded with your partner and never fully give yourself over to them out of fear. Our encouragement is to just go for it! Don’t close yourself off from being with a potentially amazing person just because of your past! This is definitely a situation where you will need to take risks to get over your fear of commitment.

    4. Even your best relationships end for the smallest reasons

    It’s a sure sign that you have commitment issues if you can’t help but sabotage your own relationships—sometimes even on purpose. Think about the last time you broke up with someone. What caused you to leave them? Was it the annoying way they ate their food or that they only did laundry once a month? Whatever it was, it probably wasn’t a good enough reason to end your relationship.

    It’s reasonable to break up with someone for unmatched ideologies, excessive fighting and differing life goals among other legitimate problems. However, ending a relationship over small annoyances that you tell yourself are “big things” prove that you don’t want to be committed to that person.

    “I notoriously stop dating people for stupid reasons to the point that it’s a joke among my friends,” says Morgan Mozzacco, a junior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. “I’ve ended relationships because of hygiene habits, movie preferences and even the way someone dresses. It’s awful and I know it. My friends have psychoanalyzed me to the point that we all collectively agree it’s because I have commitment issues and actually can’t handle being with someone.”

    Our best advice is to just stick it out. You will learn to love your partner’s weird quirks over time, you just need to give them a chance first. If you actively stop sabotaging your relationships, it will definitely pay off.

    Related: [Why We Ended It to Save Our Relationship]

    5. You’re more interested in sex than an emotional connection

    Sex is easy. A relationship oriented around sex means that your partner never has to meet your parents. There isn’t any ooey-gooey love talk or serious dates where you have to eloquently discuss your feelings. You’re relieved from thinking about the future or moving in together because sex is focused on the here and now. Basically, an emotionally connected relationship is much, much harder.

    “I’m really good at sex, not so good at the whole love thing,” says Hunter Laningham, a senior at the University of Tennessee. “I know that if I took the time to stay with one person my relationship would be super cool, but I’m scared of getting hurt by someone I finally commit myself too. That’s why brief, physical relationships are working for me right now until I’m stronger.”

    Years of casual dating may have taught you just how emotionally present you need to be for the relationship to survive, but overall, you don’t give much of yourself to it. It’s time to change this mindset girlfriend. Yes, sex is delightfulbut it’s certainly not everything. Plus, having sex with a partner that you’re emotionally connected to might just feel 100,000 times better than some anonymous person from Tinder. Give it a try!

    So how did that trip of self-diagnosis go? In all honesty, it’s fine if you’re a person that’s deathly afraid of commitment. We only hope that one day you can let go of this fear and enjoy happy, healthy relationships that last. You’ll get there—we promise.


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    If you're dating an English major, you're in for a treat. She's probably a little different but definitely in a good way. She loves her books almost as much as she loves you, and she's always got a fun story up her sleeve. If you're crushing on an English major, you should know these 15 things are coming. 

    1. She prefers a night in for reading or writing. 

    Magical!

    2. Her reading obsession isn't just limited to books. 

    Magazines and nutrition tables also count.

    3. She's quick to correct your grammar. 

    Be very careful of your grammar when you text her.

    4. She gets joy out of finding typos. 

    So fun!

    5. She appreciates handwritten letters. 

    It's a forgotten art.

    6. And while some loathe poetry…

    …she loves it.

    7. Writing an essay isn't terrible for her. 

    Seriously.

    8. You may catch her quoting some authors or playwrights. 

    It's no big deal.

    9. Get ready for inconsistency.

    One week she'll be swamped with essays and the next week she'll have no homework except for some light reading.

    10. She might complain about never being able to find a job. 

    It can be tough out there for grads.

    11. Be prepared to watch the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice over and over again. 

    It's only 12 years old, but it's still a classic.

    12. She enjoys a good debate. 

    Often, actually.

    13. Don't bother talking to her about The Great Gatsby

    She's already analyzed it to death.

    14. She probably has a fascinating collection of writing supplies. 

    Gel pens, calligraphy pens and stationary are included.

    15. She can read between the lines. 

    In literature AND in life.


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    Most of us watch it, but few of us talk about it. That’s right, Her Campus is getting down and dirty to discuss (what can be) a very taboo subject: porn. While viewing porn is totally normal—more on that later!—it can be confusing. In order to feel good about, well, feeling good, the type of porn you are consuming matters. We talked to two different experts who helped us create this “Smart Girl’s Guide” to porn. Here’s what you need to know.

    It’s normal to be curious!

    According to Erika Lust, award-winning erotic film director, author and sex-positive feminist, it's perfectly natural to be curious about sex. “But it's also natural to not want to do it,” she says. “Do what feels natural for you. No one should feel like they have to watch something if they don't want to.”

    Rachel Born, PhDc of Human Sexuality Education, agrees. “Porn can be a great and safe way for college girls to explore different kinks, sexual orientations and/or sex positions,” she says. “Plus, porn can be a way that you turn yourself on before masturbation, which is A-okay, too!” There’s no need to be embarrassed about your interest in sex. It’s just part of being human! 

    Not everyone likes the same things

    There are so many different kinds of pornography out there, and you don’t have be turned on by all of it! “If you see something you don't like or that makes you feel bad, switch it off,” says Lust. “It’s okay to not like everything you see. A lot of things in porn are just being presented as ‘normal’ when they are in fact very advanced and even extreme sex acts…often they are presented in a way without any communication, obvious consent or buildup.” Just like with any aspect of your sexuality, it’s important to learn what you do and don’t like.

    There are benefits and risks

    In Lust’s opinion, a lot of mainstream porn teaches the wrong lessons about consent. “Young men might learn to just view women as objects, and young women might learn to just subject to that objectification and never express any needs of their own. I think that's a potential risk,” she says. It’s important to be aware about what you’re watching, but don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s a learning experience, after all.

    “I definitely think porn can work as an educator about sex,” says Lust, “And if people don't watch it critically and just consume it and get inspired, they might try to act out all these things from porn that in reality, don't feel really good for anyone involved.” She stresses the importance of showing real pleasure in her films. I hope they will inspire people to have great sex together, as sexual collaborators, not just as something you do to someone.” If you watch something that makes you feel good, Lust explains, it can help you connect with your sexuality, inspire you and make you feel like a happier person. 

    You can be an ethical consumer of porn

    The fact is, some porn is not ethical. Performers are often underage, poorly paid, placed in unsafe working conditions and treated with little to no respect. You want to be sure that the performers in the porn you are watching are consenting adults who were treated well and were paid fairly for their work.

    In 2013, Jon Millward conducted the largest personal research study on the Porn Industry in the U.S. He interviewed 10,000 porn stars about the business. One statistic that stands out is that the most common female role in porn is women in their 20s portraying teenagers. 

    In his study, Millward quotes Luke Ford (a former pornography gossip columnist), who said on CBS News: “Most girls who enter the porn industry do one video and quit. The experience is so painful, horrifying, embarrassing, humiliating for them that they never do it again.” Luckily, people like Lust are working to change this.

    The Ethical Porn Partnership (EPP) states on its website that pornographers affiliated with the EPP agree to “optimal sexual health screening, transparency around pay rates, age verification of performers, healthy on-set conditions,” and more. Basically, ethical porn means porn that was produced according to regulations, with the consent of everyone involved.

    “Porn, if produced ethically, is not dirty. It can be beautiful, liberating and educational,” says Born. How the film is produced makes all the difference!

    “A very common feminist criticism of porn is that it objectifies women,” says Lust. “And that's correct because very often it does. But that doesn't mean that all explicit films have to objectify women.” Lust suggests trying to be a critical viewer and finding out where the porn you watch comes from. “Look at who’s made the films you want to watch. If it's not easy to find the producers behind it, chances are they are not proud of the kind of films they make,” she says.

    Doing research on directors and producers may not feel very sexy, but knowing that the filmmakers have good values will most likely enhance your experience. “Female directors are in general better at remembering that women have sexual desires, ideas and like orgasms, too,” says Lust. These shouldn’t be things people forget!

    What is feminist porn?

    If you’re a feminist, you can still watch porn. You just have to be choosy about what you are consuming. “It's simple,” says Lust. “Feminist porn is explicit film made by people who have a problem with the power imbalance of the mainstream industry. It has nothing to do with what acts are shown; it's how you film it and present it.”

    As a director, Lust is an expert in this area. “The political idea has always been there for me, to create an alternative to an industry that is very one-sided and often very sexist,” she says. “It's just about having feminist values during producing and shooting, treating everyone with respect.” Again, while this should always be the case, the reality is not so simple.

    Related: Viewing Porn Doesn’t Make You Anti-Feminist

    Where can I find ethical porn?

    If you have the means to pay for sites like Lust’s, it’s a great idea. As for specific feminist porn sites, Lust has a few recommendations. Check out Vex Ashley's project A Four Chambered Heart for “a very modern take on explicit films,” and the Swedish project A New Level of Pornography, which is made by two young women. Lust’s own project XConfessions has plenty of different videos, as well as fun stories to read. The EPP also has a list of ethical pornographers.

    With a multitude of options available when it comes to pornography, it can be difficult to know where to begin. It becomes even more of a struggle when you want to know that the porn was produced ethically. “The majority of porn can in many ways be dangerous – the kind that shows sex as something that men do to women and that women do for men,” says Lust. “I think that reflects and thereby reinforces a warped view of sex that contributes to rape culture. But that's why I think there has to be more voices in porn, and more people who show that sex can be a healthy, positive thing.”

    The bottom line is this: “The best thing you can do for yourself is to let yourself feel your sexuality, enjoy it, and let it be a healthy part of your life, free of shame. You have the right to be sexual, to feel desire and to feel pleasure,” says Lust. So be curious, do your research and be aware of the risks. But above all, don’t forget to enjoy yourself!


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    Summer vacation is something that we can all look forward to. When we think of summer, we think of beaches, ice cream, road trips, tan lines and everything else we hope the summer will be filled with. Most of all, we hope that the summer will be filled with happiness. If you’re anything like us, you seem to have this unrealistic expectation that summer is going to be picture perfect — especially when it comes to spending time with your significant other. 

    What’s cuter than walking down the beach hand in hand while Taylor Swift’s “Sparks Fly” plays casually in your head? Absolutely nothing, that’s what. Even though summer could quite possibly do great wonders for your relationship, it could also be the reason that it may not do so well. Even though we’d love to day-dream about the endless possibilities that summer may hold, we often tend to forget the other things that summer comes with. Friends, jobs, internships, summer school or even distance also come with the start of the long awaited break. Here are some different reasons and scenarios where college relationships might not make it through the summer.

    1. Distance

    If you met your significant other in college, there’s a huge possibility that they don’t come from the same hometown as you. In this case, it’s most likely just a matter of distance. No matter how much time we spend on our phones, going from walking each other to class every day or simply just grabbing a meal together to relying on text messages and phone calls could still be pretty hard. Even though emojis are getting (kind of frighteningly) accurate at representing our emotions, there’s simply none that show our 2 am derp faces that make us who we are. Nothing can really replace cuddling up and watching a movie… no, not even your super soft body pillow. 

    Although it seems like your love is strong enough to withstand something so seemingly trivial as distance, it’s important not to underestimate the power distance can have. Trust us, we believe in the power of love as much as you (maybe even more), but distance does bring up some challenges. If you are from different towns, whether it’s an hour drive or a 15-hour drive, it’s important to plan for long distance, even if it’s just for the summer. 

    Simple things like these can give your relationship the spice it needs to keep the love *blossoming*:

    • Setting a day of the week to FaceTime
    • Watching a movie at the same time over the phone
    • Sending pictures of things you did that day
    • Writing letters
    • Sending a simple text saying that you are thinking of them

    Even the little things make a world of a difference. The important thing is to put in the extra effort each day to show your SO that no matter how busy you are, they are still on your mind. We know, it’s so cliche, but that’s what gets the butterflies in your stomach!!

    2. Spending too much time together

    If you are lucky enough to live in the same hometown as your significant other, you have your own set of challenges to face. No matter how much you love spending time with someone, there’s always such thing as spending TOO much time together. With the stress of homework constantly keeping us busy gone, it leaves more room for lounging around at home. Although this is usually good, anything in excess could cause some problems.

    With this, there is a risk of getting too comfortable with each other to the point where it seems like the relationship has gotten boring or even lost its *spark*. “Oftentimes, I’ve noticed that couples that seem to spend too much time together seem to get more frustrated with each other,” says Sabrina Lau, a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin. “I think it’s important to remember that a relationship should be two independent people that are together instead of two people depending on each other.”

    It’s important to remember that summer is not just all about the things you and your significant other can do together, but it should also be about what YOU can do. Whether it’s joining a weekly yoga class, taking art lessons or simply just going for a run by yourself, making sure to do your own thing once in a while is always a good idea. Hey, we never said you couldn't send Snaps documenting your new experiences to your SO.

    3. Simply being too busy

    Especially in college, summertime is not always going to be all fun and games. A lot of college students use summer as a time to be productive. We know… shocking, right? But hey, give us some credit — even though we are college students, we can be responsible every once in a while! Many people have internships, part-time jobs or even study abroad. The point is, that’s less time you have to spend with your boo thang.

    “I think that face-to-face time or even just proximity that you get with your SO just by nature of going to the same school or attending the same classes probably has a lot to do with how your relationship developed in the first place,” says Margeaux Biché, a junior at Barnard College. “If you're not on the same campus, hearing about the same events, frequenting the same places and on the same schedule, it can get tough to maintain that connection.”

    As much as we may hate to admit it, we all get consumed by something or another that could potentially distract us from our SO. This could take a huge toll on relationships, especially if only one of you is busy throughout the summer. In this case, it is important to make sure your SO is supportive of these new endeavors you’re taking on. There’s no doubt that in the future, you and your SO will be stressed with work life or school life. In this time, make sure that you’re their number one cheerleader. As long as they continue to prioritize you as well as show you the affection you deserve, it’s okay if they're busy. Most of the time, a SO is supposed to be someone who makes a person feel like they can breath even throughout the chaos of life. 

    4. The need for “adventure” during the summer

    Finally, this is something that many people may not take into consideration. A lot of times when people think of summer, they think of it as a time to catch up with friends and family that they haven't seen in a long time — a time when they need to experience new things… or even new people. Even though it’s totally okay to experience new things, more often than not we hear the phrase “we have all summer to hang out” or “I see you all the time.” We often begin to prioritize other things under the pretense that we can always see our SO later. Especially in the summer, there’s more room for feelings to start to get a little confusing.

    “I would say relationships usually don't last over the summer because most people use this time to be free,” says Ashley Drayton, a Georgia State University graduate. “Everyone is happier, excited for new adventures so people tend to lean towards being single and not having to worry about a significant other.”

    It’s definitely true that sometimes we get so lost in the idea of having an “adventurous” summer that we often feel as though we may not need somebody else. We may even think that these new experiences are better than our old ones. Although it’s great to be an independent person, it’s important to think about what you really want. People tend to get so wrapped up in the idea that summer is for flings, hookups and fun that they have this desire to try new things. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the best for someone in a committed relationship.

    In the midst of summer being a time for adventure, we sometimes have the urge to look for something fresh and new. This is mostly the case for relationships that seem to be reaching the end of the “honeymoon phase.” Those couples that seem to start to become too comfortable with each other may have a desire to reach that new and exciting time period once again. Just remember girls, if this is the case, maybe he just isn’t as into you as he should be.

    Related: Will Your Relationship Last Through Summer?

    Summer is a great time to test the strength of your relationship. Not only does it allow you to work through different obstacles, it gives you time to grow as a person. It’s a time that allows reflection not only on the relationship, but on yourself individually.

    Summer could show you what you really like to do or it could show you that your relationship isn’t meant to be. Maybe you’ll realize that you are too dependent on each other… or maybe you'll realize that you’re perfectly independent. Whether it ends up ending a relationship or strengthening a relationship, just remember: You’ll learn from it.


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    Being single is typically viewed as a problem waiting to be fixed. Although the single life has its downfalls, it definitely has plenty of perks. Chances are, you've already fully embraced the single life and will have zero problems relating to the following memes.

    1. You view your single status as an advantage

    Why would you ever want to get rid of such a status?

    2. Your indecisive nature is both a blessing and a curse 

    Can't we all just be like Hannah Montana and have the best of both worlds? 

    3. You're merely a spectator in the play that is life

    You didn't choose the single life; the single life chose you.

    4. You're too busy having a relationship with yourself

    There's not enough love left over to give to someone else. How could you possibly add someone else to the mix?

    5. Your love for food is unparalleled

    This is quite possibly the greatest love story you'll ever have. That's totally normal, right?

    6. Your slight superstition has turned into flat-out paranoia

    Enough said.

    7. You have moments of refusing to acknowledge that love exists

    This is an undeniably literal fact.

    8. You value your sleep very much

    When it comes to your bed, sharing is definitely not caring. 

    9. Falling for somebody other than yourself is just too hard

    It's just not worth the inevitable pain and heartbreak. 

    10. You're an expert at giving relationship advice

    Oh, the irony. 

    11. You're just too good for anybody else

    Nobody can live up to the ridiculously high bar you've set.

    12. You know that the only person you can always count on is yourself

    And you know you won't disapoint yourself. 

    13. You've put in the effort and received nothing in return

    Why do you have to be like that, Zac? 

    14. You always try to look on the bright side of every situation

    There's always a silver lining if you look hard enough for it. 

    15. You're just living your best life

    You're accountable for no one but yourself, and the only person's happiness you need to worry about is your own. What's not to love about that?


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    Considering a long distance relationship is something that is difficult and different for every couple. Hopefully, by reading about some of the questions and decisions you’ll have to make, it will give you an idea if this type of relationship is for you.

    You know that feeling when everything in the world has lined up perfectly, and you don’t think you could be any happier in that moment? That feeling when the person standing right in front of you makes you feel beautiful, so beautiful that you actually forget about every single flaw you’ve picked apart before. That feeling when life seems to be in slow motion, and you’re in some alternate universe when your responsibilities don’t seem so daunting and overwhelming. You have hope. 

    Who would want to let go of that feeling? Who in their right mind would let that person get away when all they did was make you feel at home?

    Unfortunately, life is not in slow motion. Responsibilities simply don’t just go away. You’re a young woman who has dreams you need to attend to, a life of your own that needs to be worked on. Sometimes that means having to move away from your fling, your lover or your long time relationship. And it hurts.

    You’ll scream into your pillow at night because how can something so good, someone seemingly so right for you be so far away. How can the stars stop aligning like they once did as you spent your time together? How can you be stripped away from someone you care so deeply about?

    Maybe this resonates with you, perhaps you’re even considering ending it because doing the “long distance” thing seems much more painful than you can dare to bare. You’ll become jealous of your college hallmates as they get to spend night after night with their SOs while the closest you get to your partner is FaceTime.

    Long distance tends to teach people a lot about themselves. The time and energy going into a relationship may hinder at first because physical interactions and quality time seem to diminish to phone calls and Skype sessions. Both partners need to readjust and consider their options through intense and honest conversations. Before you say your goodbyes and proclaim that you’re in a long-distance relationship, there are factors and questions you must address both personally and as a team.

    Do you see a future with your partner?

    This is a tough one to just blurt out to a partner. The future is scary on its own, and factoring in another human makes this even more complicated. It requires a lot of introspection about what you think of this person. Essentially, you’d want someone that you’re willing to wait for, and that is willing to wait for you. When you picture your future with someone, it should make you happy because you want to hear about what’s been happening while you’ve been away and vice versa. You should want your partner to succeed even if that means being away for a while. That level of support is the difference between short-term relationships and long-term. Putting aside your personal attachment in order for the both of you to grow and come back to each other is what is going to make the future better. If you can see that with your partner, then maybe long distance is the right choice.

    That other person has dreams and goals as well. What is important to consider is how to envision this person in your life in the long run. The person you’re with should help make you better because you’re great on your own. If you don’t believe their presence will amplify who you are already, then long distance may not be for you.

    Do you believe you can commit to this person without physically being able to be with them?

    This question may seem difficult to answer because you may not know the answer if you’ve never tried this type of relationship before. This may seem like something you need to test the waters for before you fully declare that it’s something you’re capable of. However, you know yourself, and you probably know your partner as well. If you or your partner have a history of cheating even before going the distance, try to think of reasons why this would or would not happen again.

    Micki Wagner, a senior at the University of Missouri-Columbia, can attest to this type of dilemma. "I just recently went through a breakup with a guy who couldn't do long distance. A big reason why distance is hard for him is because he and his ex were long distance, and she cheated on him. So that made it difficult for him to be fully trusting, even though I'm not her and I wouldn't have done the same."

    There are going to be new people and new places with long distance, and while these conversations may not be the most comfortable, it’s going to be a hell of a lot more uncomfortable knowing someone has been unfaithful. Be clear on what you want and what you expect. You may even discover this is/isn’t something you can truly handle.

    Do you trust this person?

    While the above question handles the topic of committing to one person, this is more about truly trusting the actions of your partner. When work runs late and someone misses a phone call, how are you going to react? Are you comfortable with your partner going out on the weekends and drinking? Are you uncomfortable when your partner does not check in regularly? These questions may seem to have simple answers, but you’d be surprised at how many people stare at their phones waiting for the same explanations. Of course one should be faithful if that was the agreement, but can you handle the instances where life gets in the way or will you simply jump to conclusions because it’s all too much?

    Molly Crum, a recent graduate from James Madison University says, "My boyfriend and I did long distance every summer break of college. At first, it was really hard, but I tried to focus on who I did have around me and how I could spend our time apart to make it go faster. I spent a lot of time with my family and high school friends I hadn't seen all school year. I took on a full-time job and redecorated my whole bedroom because having fun goals or projects to work on distracted me from missing him and gave me something exciting to tell my boyfriend about later!"

    For someone who needs constant attention and reassurance, it may seem impossible to be in a long distance relationship, but we’re here to tell you it’s not. If anything, being apart from someone who seems like your whole world might actually show you that they’re not. You are. You are your whole world. You may even be able to reconnect with old friends and hobbies.

    Nobody is perfect and there are going to be times we assume the worst because we’re human. Being curious about what’s been going on is different than accusing your partner of cheating every single night. Both people are accountable in relationships. That means both should be acting trustworthily and being respectful of a partner they’ve committed to. If your partner has made comments about their insecurities in the relationship, you should be able to thwart their concerns and reassure them that this is what you want and remind them of why this arrangement is worth it. Trust works both ways.

    Is this person your friend?

    This may be one of the most important aspects of long distance relationships. Couples who choose to do long distance are usually successful when the relationship is built on strong friendship foundations. Meaning, you should like your partner for more than the physical reasons. These types of relationships tend to highlight the other beautiful aspects of why people choose to be together.

    For example, you may be with your partner because they’re easy to talk to and they just “get you.” Long phone calls and FaceTimes will allow you to still feel close to your partner. Another example is the movies you both like that you can watch over Skype through screen sharing (my personal favorite way to stay connected). There is obviously a lot more to relationships than hooking up. Being actual friends with your partner allows long distance to work more smoothly because you have already established a liking for each other outside of the sexual attraction. If communication is lacking in your relationship, meaning, you don’t actually like talking to your partner, long distance may not be for you.

    How long will you be apart?

    The logistical workings of long distance seem to be many people’s first reaction to the thought of this type of relationship. How often will the couple see other? Who is going to visit who? What is the maximum amount of time you can go without seeing each other? These are questions that you may not have the answer to right away, but know that these will come up because being physically together is what made you believe this relationship was worth it.

    Now we do caution those who are thinking about long distance. Love is not always enough. It is common to think that love conquers all, and if you love each other, everything will work out. Honestly, that’s just not the case. Things get lost in translation, and sometimes you’ll feel like you need more. More love. More support. More encouragement. And you’d give anything to just have them there, because texting only goes so far and doesn’t compare to kissing and holding. It’s okay if you feel like you’re not getting enough even if you know you love each other.

    Dania De La Hoya, a sophomore from Illinois State University, says, “My long distance relationship ended a couple months ago, I think because of this very reason. Not everyone can do long distance. It's hard not seeing your SO on a regular basis and in my case, my ex-needed more than long distance could give him — more seeing each other, more physical affection, so we just grew apart. I think it helps if there's a specific end in sight because long distance can't go on forever. If you know it's just temporary, you have that to hold onto.”

    Dania brings up a great point that an end goal is important to these types of relationships. There needs to be a conversation about the conclusion to a long distance relationship, which can seem almost impossible in college. People are just barely becoming adults and joining the workforce in this age, and assuming that you’ll both graduate and get jobs near each other is pretty optimistic. Honestly, this conversation may be best for those who are nearing a chapter in their lives (graduation) because if you want the long distance to end, you must be willing to compromise to begin growing a future with another person, which isn’t applicable for many young adults.

    It may seem as though this article was written with a broken heart and a pessimistic view of these types of relationships, but it should be noted that I’m currently in a promising and very rewarding long distance relationship.  However, I’ve witnessed time and time again couples who do not seem to have these type of honest conversations, who end up hurting more than loving each other. Save yourself and your SO the trouble and talk to them.

    The rewards of a long distance relationship are almost exactly the same as any other relationship: love, understanding, support, comfort. It can be hard missing a significant other, but amazing when you get to hold them after a long time, and to a lot of people, that’s worth it.

    The rewards may just come in different forms.

    Related: 5 Ways To Transition To a Long Distance Relationship

    Long distance may mean you or your partner is going off to a new school or a new job. It means change and excitement, and that’s bound to cause some stress, but if you’re able to overcome the initial disruption, and maintain that level of trust, there’s a great chance you’ll learn to like — maybe even love — your new arrangement. That newness may spark some interesting conversations with your loved one during your daily phone calls. You’ll always have something or someone to look forward to.

    If you’ve come to the conclusion of this article and you’ve realized that long distance is not for you, you should remember that this does not make you a bad person. This does not make you better or worse at relationships. It just may mean you have different needs with your current circumstance, and that’s okay. It may mean that the person you’re with is not willing to commit, and maybe not the person for you, and that’s okay. There is no perfect one-size-fits-all couple who can handle any change or disruption that comes their way. Relationships are complicated and messy, and whether or not you choose to be long distance is just another difficult decision ahead in your beautiful life.


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    By the time graduation rolls around, you and your high school boyfriend or girlfriend have likely been through quite a lot together. After countless study sessions, lunch dates and late night meet-ups, you might think it is impossible to move onto the next stage of your life without them by your side. 

    Being in love is great and all, but what about that quintessential college experience? We have put together a list of reasons why breaking it off with your high school sweetheart just might be the best decision you could make before heading off to college.

    1. You get to meet new people

    As you look around the auditorium at your freshman orientation, you will find yourself encircled by complete and total strangers. Your orientation leaders will probably give you some spiel about how you are going to meet your life-long best friends, future bridesmaids and abiding partners in crime within the next four years. Chances are, you will take this in as some empty and cliché talk that they have to give to every wide-eyed freshman, entering the hallowed halls of the university. 

    Even though it might sound like some sappy and rehearsed allocation, the fact that you are going to make friends that will be by your side for the rest of your life could not be more accurate. Meeting new people in college is just as important as the actual classes you attend. 

    When college students were asked about what they felt they missed out on the most by starting college with an old high school flame still in their lives, the overwhelming response was that they missed out on meeting new people.

    Valerie Valledor, a freshman at the University of Florida, says, “The time I was spending FaceTiming my long-distance boyfriend was time that I could have spent meeting new people, which is exactly what you should be doing in college! Meeting new people helps you to grow as a person.”

    The importance of meeting new people in college applies to more than just making close friends. Experiencing relationships with new people is also important when it comes to growing and evolving as a person. You never know what else is out there and it is possible that by staying with your high school sweetheart, you are keeping yourself from finding your collegiette heartthrob.

    2. You won’t miss out on any experiences

    The experiences that you have during the four years you have at college are unlike those that you will experience at any other point in your life. According to Rhonda Ricardo, relationship expert and author of Cherries Over Quicksand, “Over 90 percent of people polled believe college students will have a richer higher-education experience if they remain single throughout their college education.” 

    She further explains that “college students in committed off-campus relationships are known to not attend dances, outings or events on dates or with groups of friends, because their SO might get jealous…they do not want to hurt their SO’s feelings, start gossip or lead anyone on, so they stay home and miss the later-to-be-exaggerated and cherished memories everyone hopes to earn while pursuing their final diplomas.”

    Even if you and your SO trust each other completely, it will become nearly inevitable to not feel guilty when you are out having fun without them. After breaking up with her high school boyfriend, Melody Dickson, a freshman at the University of Florida, says, “I have so much fun when I go out because I really don't have to worry about much.”

    Valerie elaborates on the idea of an SO holding you back by saying that it is nice to no longer have a “third parent” to worry about.

    I mean, what is college without being able to flirt with all the hunky frat guys you want or ogle over the bodacious belle in the lib?

    Related: The Best Things About Leaving a Long-Term Relationship

    3. You have a chance to find yourself

    Going off to college is the time for new beginnings. No one is the same person they were when they graduated high school and we should all be very thankful for that. When you go to college, you will grow and change in so many unimaginable ways. The people you meet and the things that you learn are going to change you forever.

    Going into college solo allows you to reinvent yourself. Holding onto such a big part of who you were in high school can cripple your ability to grow and explore new parts of yourself.

    One benefit to breaking it off with your high school beau is being able to “explore your sexuality,” says Alison Carter, a sophomore at the University of Florida. She went on to explain that going into college single “gives you room to grow as a person.”

    4. You have more time

    College is insane. With back-to-back exams, lectures, papers, parties and club meetings, who the heck has time for a serious relationship? As a freshman, you are just beginning to learn how to manage your precious time and I don’t know about you, but the rare free time that I have is spent catching up on the sleep that I’ve been missing out on since the second I stepped foot on campus.

    Having a serious relationship with anyone, especially a long distance one with your high school sweetheart, can really take up a lot of your time. After splitting with her boyfriend, Melody says that it “lets [her] really focus on [her] studies because [she] don't have someone constantly texting [her] to see what [she's] doing.”

    I mean we already have to worry about keeping our parents updated so that they can vicariously live through us. Why add another person to the list? College is about you and your time. Hanging onto your old relationship is just adding unnecessary stress to your life.

    5. If it is really meant to be, they will be there after college

    It might be rare that high school sweethearts end up together, but that isn’t to say that it never happens. However, this does not mean that you have to stay together when you go away to college.

    Saying goodbye to your first love can be heart-wrenching and incredibly painful, especially when you realize that it has to be done despite how you feel. Being able to take time for yourself and experience college on your own is an important milestone in most young peoples’ lives. 

    You can always remain on good terms with your high school SO after leaving for college and get back together if you realize you truly cannot live without them. What is meant to be will always find a way to work out. Melody says that she and her ex still keep in touch and that “breaking up is the best test for a relationship because it really will happen if it's supposed to!”

    Even though it seemed like the worst thing in the world when it happened to me, I am incredibly relieved that my high school boyfriend and I broke up before college, even though we were attending the same university. 

    Other collegiettes had very similar responses in their post-graduation break-ups, such as Melody who says, “Although at the time I was heartbroken, now I realize that it is the best thing that's ever happened to me,” and Alison who says, “Breaking up with my ex was the best thing to even happen to me my freshman year.”

    DISCLAIMER: Sometimes it works out

    Starting off college single is definitely an amazing experience and while most of the time you aren’t going to end up with your high school sweetheart, sometimes staying with them can be worth it.

    Sophie Ville, a freshman at the University of Florida, is one of the few who has successfully been able to stay with her boyfriend from home and make it work long distance. Realizing that they were so in love and both felt that the relationship was worth the struggle, they decided to make it work.

    Sophie says that she realizes what she and her boyfriend have is rare but because “neither of us are too clingy, we have been able to live our own lives in college while remaining together.”

    She went on to explain that there are actually numerous advantages to entering college with a boyfriend. "You never have to worry about impressing boys at parties and the guys you do meet are only going to be your friends," she says.

    Sophie was still able to form incredible friendships and live college life to the fullest, all while maintaining a long-distance relationship with her high school boyfriend. Despite the fact that this might be uncommon, sometimes it is definitely worth it.

     

    Whether you decide to begin your college experience without an SO or think the two of you are meant to be, make sure you're happy! College should be an exciting time in your life and no one should get in the way of that!


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    Friends with benefits (FWB) has morphed into a taboo subject for many collegiettes. When you’re home on holiday break or just talking to your mom on the phone, potential significant others always seem to sneak their way into the conversation. That hot guy or girl from all the Facebook photos? Out of embarrassment or another cringe-worthy emotion, you’re forced to tell a fib. “We’re just friends.” Yes, that much is true, but there’s added advantages that come with being friends with the hot guy or girl from all the Facebook photos. Despite the small details you’ll probably have to keep from the family (unless you’re super close), FWB can be more than just regular hookups. The non-sexual benefits can help you learn about yourself and improve your day-to-day life, given the relationship’s relaxed nature.

    1. Gain experience without the emotional complications

    We all come into college with different levels of sexual experience. Some of us lost our virginity in high school, while some of us still dream of our first kiss with a Liam Hemsworth or Gigi Hadid look-alike. Whatever your sexual experience is, FWB offers a unique solution to those of you who’d like to learn a thing or two without the emotional baggage. Erica*, a freshman at Temple University, believes that “FWB is a good first-hand experience to know what different things feel like. You can watch a sex scene in a movie or read about in a book, but if you’ve never had sex, it’s hard to fully understand your friends when they talk about it.”

    If your younger sister had sex before you, it’s only natural that your inexperience will weigh heavier on your shoulders. As long as you’re okay with no-strings-attached sex, FWB can act as a learning experience.  Especially if your partner is older or simply more experienced, they can teach you a thing or two before you get involved in a real relationship. You’ll feel more confident when the big time comes.  If you’re a virgin and trying FWB for the first time, please be aware that you might become emotionally invested.  Sometimes your brain and heart don’t agree.  

    2. Work around busy schedules

    It’s possible you haven’t had a full eight hours of sleep in a while. Writing essays, finishing problem sets, and last-minute cramming have become ingrained in everyday life. Even though you’re not stuck in high school for seven hours straight anymore, it seems like learning to function in college takes twice as much effort and energy. If you’re one of the many who doesn’t have time for a full-time relationship, FWB might be the perfect solution. Rachel Petty, a graduate of James Madison University, says, “Sometimes having a FWB can be a lot of fun! You get the perks of a hookup without any commitment. If you’re okay with it not turning into something more, there’s no reason not to. Just make sure you’re both on the same page!” To avoid any miscommunication or unrealistic expectations, listen to Rachel’s advice and make sure you and your FWB understand one another. If he’s not around and you want to meet up multiple times a week, some problems may arise.

    3. Fill the physical affection void

    No matter how hot your cardboard cutout of your favorite movie star may be, he or she isn’t going to be very comfortable to cuddle with at night. College is a strange place for physical affection. Sometimes you can go for weeks at a time without a hug (especially in the beginning) or you can become a permanent chair for your bestie. It all depends on how touchy feely you are and how close you are with the people around you. Even if you’re the type of person who needs a constant five-foot radius of personal space, there’s always a night when you crave intimacy of some sort. Anna*, a sophomore at Stanford University, says, “From first hand experience, I know that being single can be tough if you’re having a particularly stressful day. Yes, a hug from a friend can help or a phone call home, but there’s something about having a FWB on speed dial that’s exhilarating and comforting at the same time.” Instead of ordering a pizza, order a steamy session with your FWB.

    Related: 5 Signs Your Friends-With-Benefits Relationship Isn’t Working

    4. Learn about sexual likes and dislikes

    Although FWB can be a way for inexperienced collegiettes to get the gist of all things sexual, it can also be a way to experiment. If you want to go 50 Shades of Grey style, find someone who’d fulfill that fantasy! There’s no limit to what you can try out. In past relationships, your partner may have set sexual boundaries, while you wanted to go further. Use FWB as a means of expanding your skillset, like discovering how to have fantastic oral sex. Scarlett*, a freshman at Georgia Tech, explains, “FWB is a good way to figure out what you want in a non-serious setting. It’s an easy-going environment through which you can really experiment with things and find what you’re comfortable with, what you like, and what’s definitely off the table.” Remember, you sexual pleasure and health are the most important. It’s totally okay to be selfish in this situation.

    5. Strengthen a previously platonic friendship

    Even though FWB is typically known to mess up or make friendships awkward, it can also have the adverse effect. Think about it — if both of you are clear with one another, mutual understanding is at an all time high. Paige*, a junior at Stanford University, says, “It’s funny because my FWB and I started out just talking to one another. We both had very similar interests and one night I was feeling particularly stressed while doing homework in his room. He offered to lay with me and it soon turned steamy. We both agreed before having sex that it was just sex, nothing more. The trust between us has definitely gotten stronger because we promised to let each other know when we’re interested romantically in someone else.” For the relationship to work smoothly, a certain level of maturity has to be present.

    If you’ve watched a number of Hollywood blockbusters depicting the crash-and-burn reputation of FWB, we’re suggesting you keep an open mind. It’s true that FWB isn’t for everyone and sometimes the friendship ends up ruined, but it’s a chance to explore another type of relationship. Whether you’re the the president of every club and don’t have time for a commitment or you’re a virgin and want to know what sex is all about, FWB offers the flexibility and versatility you might want. You never know if it’s a good option if you don’t give it a chance.


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    They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, but what happens when the miles apart make it difficult to stay in love? When either you or your SO regularly miss your scheduled Skype meetings, don’t put in the effort to update each other on the latest events in your lives or prioritize everything but each other, then it’s time to evaluate the relationship. Here are four tell-tale signs that the LDR isn’t working and what to do about it.

    1. You’re getting dry responses

    It’s inevitable that everyone is busy. However, if you’re in a long-distance relationship, more effort should be made to set aside time to reach out to your SO in a thoughtful way. Sean*, a senior at Mohawk Collage, says that after he flew to China for a work opportunity, his girlfriend wasn’t as responsive when he messaged her. “You don’t get to see each other in-person so when you talk, you’re not that into it anymore because there’s less to hold onto,” he says. It’s a telling sign if either partner isn’t as engaged or only making a half-hearted attempt to communicate

    Jay Hurt, author of The 9 Tenets of a Successful Relationship, says that it is fundamental that couples in a LDR keep each other abreast of what’s going on in their respective lives and physically see each other every couple months. “It has to go beyond texts”, says Hurt, “There needs to be talking via Skype or Google Hangouts.”

    How to fix it: 

    While Hurt advises that it would be beneficial for couples to put in time daily to see each other using online video conference tools, he also recommends trying to “communicate in whatever your partner’s love language may be – for instance, sending gifts – because then you have a much better chance of building your relationship and helping it grow rather than trying to salvage it." 

    Related: 5 Ways To Transition To a Long Distance Relationship 

    2. Petty arguments are becoming the norm

    The occasional fight is typical and expected. However, when both parties are always unhappy and bickering about insignificant matters, that should be a reason to pause and think about what’s really going on.

    Andrea*, a junior at the University of Guelph, was repeatedly having fights with her SO. “I frequently fought with my long-distance boyfriend over the phone about what I thought were trivial things. For instance, I enjoy being social and hitting up different parties to socialize but he often wasn’t too happy about my evening plans. The time we set aside to catch up with each other would usually escalate into arguments." 

    How to fix it:

    Constant suspicion and reoccurring arguments could signify an underlying issue that should be immediately addressed in your LDR. Avoid contributing to an emotionally-fueled conversation by keeping the tone light and allowing your partner to respond to your comments without interrupting them. 

    3. They have doubts

    The two key components of maintaining a LDR are trust and faith. Alex*, a graduate from York University, stayed in Toronto while his girlfriend traveled back to Japan, her native country. He was confident that they could make a LDR possible. However, “She lacked faith that it would work,” he says.

    They eventually parted ways and reflecting back on the experience, he notes that especially for a LDR, “It can’t be one-sided and there has to be a strategy on how you two can stay together.” When there’s doubt at the onset of a LDR, then that’s one indicator that a LDR with your SO is not likely to last.

    How to fix it:

    “You have to set expectations properly”, says Hurt. “Then you want to make sure to follow up to those expectations by creating a plan on how you both move forward. If there’s a plan, then there’s something to work towards." 

    Related: 5 Signs You & Your SO Just Aren't Meant to Be

    4. Your SO wants something different

    Alex* and his girlfriend had a six year age difference which he says “put her on a different time table.” They were at different phases in their lives; she was contemplating the idea of beginning a family while he was just starting his career. While the physical distance was a challenge, another was the difference in future priorities.

    How to fix it:

    Ask yourself the following questions: Why do I want to be with my SO? Do I still want to be in a relationship with him/her? Have I done what’s possible within my means to make this long-distance relationship work?

    After you figure out how you feel about the situation, call your SO to talk about what you both want in the future and how they currently feel about the state of the relationship.

    While you might still be fond of your partner, it is important to acknowledge when a long-distance relationship may not practical because of the circumstances. For Sean* and his girlfriend, they both agreed that it wasn’t feasible to continue the LDR. After a candid talk on Skype, they ended the relationship amicably. “You just have a feeling that it isn’t going to work out”, he says. “I told her that ‘It was great knowing you’ and wished her all the best.”

    Ending a relationship (long-distance or not) isn’t easy, especially if you’ve been together for a while. However, in the eloquent words of iconic American bombshell Marilyn Monroe, “Everything happens for a reason...sometimes good things fall apart so better things can come together.”

     

    *Names have been changed. 


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    Whether you're using Tinder for casual dating, hookups, romance or something in between, the online dating app doesn't necessarily make the love scene any easier. It definitely isn't Tinder's fault. In fact, it's usually the creepy people on the app who feel the need to borderline harass and berate you. Seriously, would any of these people even say these things to your face? I think not. We're pretty sure every girl has gotten something similar to these horrifying messages.

    1. Sending a lengthy initial message explaining that they definitely aren’t a creep or pervert


    I’m so glad you sent me a 1,500 character essay about the reasons you aren’t a creep. I’m thoroughly convinced.

    2. The good ol' “Will you marry me?” message

    You think you’re being cute, but it’s especially creepy if you lead with that crap.

    3. Asking for your Snapchat within the first 30 minutes of Tindering

    Yeah, no. If they ask for your Snapchat before they ask you for your number or ask you on a date, they want nudes.

    4. Making weird comments about your height (especially if you’re noticeably short in a group photo)

    Thanks for reminding me that you could just pick me up and run off with me. Now, I know that I’ll never hang out with you.

    5. Asking for a threesome

    No thanks, my schedule is all booked up with threesomes through the rest of the year. Try back in January.

    6. Asking how big your boobs are

    Idk, how big is your dick, Brad? Don’t worry, size isn’t everything, as long as you aren’t an a-hole.

    7. The subtle sexual pick-up line

    You think you’re being original, but you aren’t.

    8. The not-so-subtle sexual pick-up line

    If I had a dollar for every time someone sent me a lengthy pick-up line, which ultimately ending with them asking me to sit on their face, I’d have enough money to pay for tuition.

    9. Getting angry

    Sorry, nobody is obligated to go on a date hangout with you just because you asked. Throwing a temper tantrum doesn’t help your cause either.

    10. The blatant “Wanna fuck?” message

    You think you’ll get some kind of weird mythical points for being honest and straight to the point, but you won’t. You’ll probably just get unmatched or trolled.

    11. Asking how many people you’ve slept with

    Why do you even care? If you must know, then it’s 2,000.

    12. Straight up insulting you

    I'm sorry, isn't the point of Tinder to win me over on some kind of level?

    13. Petty strings of messages because you didn’t respond in one second

    Shit, sorry I didn’t respond between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. because I was at work. How inconsiderate of me.

    14. Asking if you’re on the pill

    Why, yes, I am on Tylenol. Thank you for asking!

    15. Asking what you weigh

    Why is this even a question?

    16. Asking you to come over before you’ve even met

    Oh, we’ve have three lines of text, you live alone and we’ve never met in a public place before? No thank you. I may have a crippling amount of student loan debt, but I don’t want to die today.

    17. Blaming their terrifying and shameful messages on their friends

    Mmhm. I’m sure your friend regularly snags your phone while y’all are casually hanging out at 9:21 a.m. on a Monday.


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    Sex seems so simple in the movies, but working up to the big moment can be a challenge for many of us in real life. For some, the thought of sex and going through with the act is enough to induce panic before or during an attempt to have sex. Whatever the reason for your anxiousness, know that it doesn’t have to be that way forever. Here are four things to do if the thought of sex gives you anxiety.

    1. Wait

    There is no reason to rush or force yourself into doing something you are not 100 percent mentally or physically prepared for. There is no deadline to meet when it comes to sharing an intimate moment with someone.  

    Melly*, a senior at Georgia State University, had to endure heartbreak which caused her to become apprehensive about sex.

    “After I was cheated on, the thought of having sex would make me nauseous,” she says. “I have chosen to wait until I am sure that I am completely healed before I jump back into giving myself to someone in that way. I am still waiting, but every day I feel like I am making progress towards being more comfortable with the idea of sex.”

    Listen to your body. When you are ready to have sex with someone, your body will relax and instinct will take over. If you feel as if you have to coach yourself through every move, you may not be ready.

    2. Disconnect from society's view of sex 

    There is enormous pressure from society on how females should exhibit their sexuality, which may distort your perspective of sex. There is so much emphasis put on the “first time,” and keeping your body count as low as possible. You need to construct your own opinion of what sex means to you.

    Trisha*, a junior at Kent State University, was afraid to have sex because of the negative stigma society places on the act.  

    “At a time when most of my friends were not having sex, the one thing shoved down our throats was how much it was going to hurt,” she says. “Not only that, but adults made it seem like there was no preventing pregnancy or STDs, and that our value as women would diminish if we had sex.”

    Having sex and who you have sex with does not define you. So keep that in mind if you are anxious about people looking at you differently if you do decide to have sex.

    3. Test the waters

    The thought of having sex may make you anxious beforehand if you overthink it. However, you may become more relaxed if you slowly work toward the goal. Taking it slowly assures your mind and body that you are comfortable.

    Be vocal with you partner. If you do feel uneasy, it’s important to let them know so they can take it more slowly or stop altogether.

    Rachna Shah, a freshman at Dartmouth College, suggests open communication with your partner if you’re on edge.

    “Approach it slowly – in a roundabout manner, rather than directly,” she says. “Letting your SO know that you’d prefer to do it that way can help your relationship from faltering.”

    Establishing trust through communication is an important step when it comes to reducing your anxiety about sex.

    Related: 13 College Women Get Real About Their Sexual Histories 

    4. Pleasure yourself

    Becoming more comfortable and embracing your body will help you become more comfortable with somebody else.

    Masturbation is a great release for your body. It can also normalize your body to the feeling of intimacy and orgasms so you will not be sent into a frenzy if you do engage in sex.

    Sarah*, a junior at The University of Alabama, also suggests watching pornography to relax yourself.

    “There is a huge stigma around women watching porn, but there is a lot of material out there to educate women about their bodies and how they want to be pleasured,” she says. “It may also increase your own libido and inspire you to actively want to have sex.”

    Self-love is the best love, and it’s an important step to intercourse with someone else.

    Sex can be an escape from life’s anxieties if you wait until you are mentally and physically ready. You are not in a race or competition with anyone. Patience is key, but following the above steps may put you on a path to readiness.

    *Name has been changed


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    No one wants a relationship that's all work and no fun. So admit it: anyone who's been in a relationship long enough to feel comfortable with their SO has done at least half of these weird (but totally normal) things. Where do you think all those inside jokes come from?

    1. Using the bathroom while the other one showers.

    2. Or asking the other to sit in there with you while you use the bathroom.

    3. Popping each other's pimples.

    4. Watching each other sleep.

    5. And then taking pictures of them while they sleep.

    6. Secretly filming them.

    7. You pee with the door open.

    8. And shamelessly fart around them.

    9. You inspect each other's weird hairs and moles.

    10. You smell each other.

    11. Sleeping with each other's clothes because they smell like them.

    12. Pretending to be animals.

    13. Licking each other.


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    Sexting—the bow chicka wow wow of texting. The electronic hickey. The one time it’s appropriate to use an eggplant emoji.

    For our millennial generation, sexting is pretty common what with our high definition iPhone cameras and the sheer existence of Tinder. By now, it falls into the standard order of operations of texting back and forth with some cutie only to end up sending a picture of your digital boobs through thin air.

    In all seriousness, while sexting is a great way to practice a safe form of sex, there are a lot of things about it that aren’t safe at all. Since casual sexting is about as common as the casual hook-up, it means that you won’t always be sexting with someone who you know that well. You quickly give your physical privacy and security into the hands of someone else, and that being said, there are some definite dos and don’ts in order to sext the right way—and the safe way. 

    Dos

    Take your time

    Just like foreplay, sexting is all about the buildup. The longer it takes, the better. The prolonged anticipation will keep both you and your partner wanting more, and the two of you can keep going at it until you’re satisfied (wink wink).

    Taking your time sending messages also gives you a time buffer in which you can begin to trust your partner more. Like we’ve said, sexting is a vulnerable position to be in, and as you draw out the sexual buildup, you can also decipher the limits of just how far you feel comfortable going with the person.

    “When I sext someone for the first time, especially if I don’t know them well, I always play it pretty safe at first just because I don’t know if they’re screenshotting everything I say,” says Hunter, a senior at the University of Louisville. “The more the conversation continues, I get a feel for if our sexual interests align and what kind of person they are. If they seem to check out, I immediately start to turn up the heat on my messages.”

    Overall, your privacy is of the most utmost importance here, and you shouldn’t sext someone who would put that at risk. Take your time working up to a messaging climax so that you’re secure enough to let go and show your wild side in the messages.

    Keep messages short and sweet

    Try to find that sweet spot between a single sentence and a full paragraph. Writing “Ohhhhh” doesn’t really add anything to the conversation, but your partner having to endlessly scroll through your messages about all the dirty things you want to do to them is overwhelming. When sexts are too long, the details get lost, and that might even be a turn off.

    “I had this one girl text me what probably translated to a full page,” says Lorenzo, a junior at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It was mildly terrifying. I felt like I was reading a romance novel she had secretly been harboring in her soul but never got to write until she sexted me. Ladies! I encourage you to live your fantasy, but maybe just say it in two sentences.”

    Remember that sexting should be a dialogue between two people. The perfect formula would be to acknowledge what your partner last said and also add something new to that each time by building on top of the idea or action that was offered to you.

    Related: HC’s Guide to Safe Sexting

    Be polite

    We don’t mean saying please and thank you, but keep in mind that you’re still talking to a real person with feelings. Sexting is definitely not a situation where you should ever mock someone or make them feel insecure about what they’re saying.

    Department Chair of Psychology at Cal Poly and licensed psychologist Jasna Jovanovic studies the socialization of gender, and has found that males tend be just as insecure about sexual response as women are. “Nobody wants to feel bad about their self, but oftentimes males are cast as initiators, and take the brunt of sexual criticism. In the case of sexual messaging, it’s easier for a female to be turned off and be vocal about the sexual fantasy the male has initiated as compared to a real life situation where she might be polite because of the in-person circumstance.”  

    Be respectful of their boundaries even if it’s not real sex. As the old saying goes, treat others the way you would like to be treated. Starting with kindness will lead to a more pleasurable experience for both of you.

    Cover your tracks

    No matter how badly you want to save last night’s kinky conversations, just trust us and delete those messages right away, girlfriend. We all have those snoopy friends (or moms) who occasionally scroll through our phones and invade our privacy, and it’s better to be safe rather than have your friend (or mom) take a peek at your recent texts only to find some sub-par porn. There’s also a kick-butt app available called Couple, which is a password protected messaging service that lets you send photos and won’t sync to clouds. It’s all about keeping your moments private, and is a fantastic alternative to deleting your late night sexts!

    “I had a bunch of saved sexts between my boyfriend and I that I never deleted,” says Morgan, a junior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. “Long story short, my phone synced to my friend’s cloud and she still tells everyone about what hilarious and racy things we were saying. Now I always delete my messages the next morning to save myself from further embarrassment.”

    As we’ve seen from celebrity photo scandals and private messaging hacks, the digital world is a really dangerous place where your private life can be exposed before you even know what’s happening. Take precaution and always cover your tracks before your sexy time messages are on display for all to see.

    Sext soberly

    Alcoholic sexting lubricant might not be such a great idea when you wake up in the morning and find out that you’ve been texting your partner like E.L. James all night. We already know the dangers of sending the drunk text, but imagine drunk sexting?! That’s a literal nightmare situation.

    “I view drunk sexting the way I view having sex drunk,” says Leah, a junior at the University of Washington. “Alcohol increases your chance of making a mistake. When you’re drunk you would give consent to having sex with someone at a party without really meaning it, and the same goes for sexting. You’re not always in control enough to do what honors you.”

    Psychologist Jasno Jovanovic heartily agrees. “A female under the influence is just as likely to be taken advantage of digitally as she may be in a physical social circumstance. The same rules of safety and consent should still apply to sexting.”

    The danger of sexting drunk is that you lack complete control of yourself and aren’t present in the situation. In doing this, you risk sending something that you wouldn’t normally, which might risk your digital safety while also being completely embarrassing.

    Related: How to Spice Up Your Sex Life in a Long-Term Relationship

    Don’ts

    Show your face if you send any photos

    THIS IS SO IMPORTANT—WE CAN’T EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH. Don’t do it, period. Ever. Unless you’re just begging to be blackmailed.

    “Exchanging nude pictures is something I really enjoy doing in my relationships, especially if my boyfriend and I have to spend time apart,” says Naba, a senior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. “It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I’m always terrified that one day I’ll see nude photos of my body on the internet or being passed around my group of friends. I never take pictures with my face in them specifically for that reason.”

    While we generally want you to be able to trust people in this world, there are a few bad apples out there. By including your face in photos with your naked body, you give your sexting partner a dangerous power to potentially hold those photos over you. Women’s Health has great advice on what to do if you partner leaks your photos on the internet.

    There’s also the risk that other people may be able to get into your partner’s phone, and the last thing you want a random stranger to find is a picture of your smiling face accompanied by your breasts. You want to be completely unidentifiable. Let this be rule number one of safe sexting.

    FaceTime

    This goes hand in hand with not including your face in any nude photos you send. Sexually FaceTiming your partner gives them the power to take screenshots without you being aware of the situation. This is a great time to stick with good old fashioned sexting and stay away from our advanced iPhone technology.

    “My boyfriend and I were doing long distance, so we would FaceTime each other fairly often as opposed to sexting, just because then we could still see each other and it felt more real,” says Marley, a sophomore at New York University. “I had been with him for nearly two years so I completely trusted him, and it never even occurred to me that he would screenshot anything I was doing. One time he came to visit I was looking at the pictures on his phone and saw a bunch of graphic ones of me. I didn’t get mad because I had never explicitly not asked him to not take pictures, but I still felt like the privacy of my body had been violated. It was definitely an awakening to just how scary that situation can be, especially if don’t know your sexual partner very well—or at least can’t get your hands on their phone to delete pictures of you.”

    We trust that you are all smart women who have a strong sense of self-preservation and are capable of making intelligent decisions, so just remember that nakedly FaceTiming bae is not a decision you should ever make.

    Use emojis or weird anatomical language

    This just isn’t tasteful. Nobody wants to see an eggplant with water droplets coming out of it. Enough said.

    Also, calling certain body parts by their scientifically correct names makes them sound like a disease. Saying labia over pussy is completely fine–it’s whatever works for you. However, there is a fine line where maybe you should use slang terms, or consider not saying the anatomically correct name at all. If your partner starts to sound like a medical textbook and insists on using the words “fallopian tube,” please rethink your life choices.

    Related: 9 College Women Share Their Tinder Nightmares

    Sext if you haven’t had sex

    This is not the time or place to discover what sex is or how it happens. Some people say that the general rule of thumb should be not sext anything you haven’t done in real life. This may be limiting, especially if you wanted to explore something kinkier to sext about. So, let’s change the general rule to don’t talk about anything unless you’ve covered the sexual basics (penetrative sex, oral, etc.).

    “There was this one time in my first year of college where I was trying to sext with some older guy and come off as really cool,” says Gabrielle, a senior at Northeastern University. “Jokes on me though because I was still a virgin, and so my sexting was a terrible mixture of being really vanilla, completely absurd or just flat out wrong.”

    You have more of a chance to turn your partner off rather than on by making up a sexual fantasy if you haven’t had sex in real life. You have no idea what your partner is actually into or even what you’re into. Try not to skip the important first step of intercourse here.

    “Digital sex is more often a method of sexual exploration for women than it is for sexual pleasure,” says psychologist Jasna Jovanovic. “This is a contained experience where you can openly entertain your fantasy, but it should not be used to explore what it would be like to have sex for the first time. In my opinion, it will take away from the authenticity of losing your virginity, and just like porn build up false expectations of what sex actually is.”

    Oh, sexting. Our ancestors would be so appalled if they knew what we were using our advanced technology for. Regardless, sexting is a regularity now, and we hope that our official dos and don’ts can help you out the next time you want to engage in some textual flirtation. 


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    Does just the thought of sex get you hot and bothered? Of course it does—there’s nothing like being intimate with someone that raises your body temperature before you even hit the sheets! Here are some other things you’ll relate to if you're filled with lust and live for pleasure.

    1. You’ll easily cancel plans to go out if you’ve got someone sexy to stay in with.

    Why go hottie fishing at the bar when you’ve already got a great catch to enjoy at home?

    2. You’re as giving and adventurous in the sheets as you are in any relationship.

    Bring on the chocolate covered strawberries and strip poker!

    3. But if you’re single, you love the freedom of being able to date—and sleep with—whomever you please.

    The world is more or less a giant candy store filled with delicious possibilities.

    4. You don’t see booty calls as a bad thing. They’re a perfect chance for you to get some late-night TLC.

    Nothing wrong with getting that late-night text.

    5. But just because you love getting it on doesn’t mean that you’ll have sex with just anyone.

    Requirements include: smelling nice, having an actual personality, willingness to share an entire pizza before or after sex, etc.

    6. In fact, the entire notion of “being easy” makes you want to roll your eyes to the back of your skull.

    You’d rather be sexually liberated than pay attention to any misogynistic ideals that condemn women for living their best lives.

    7. You feel so great in lingerie that you make it a point to treat yourself to new sets every once in a while.

    Lacy bras, pretty thongs, dainty garters—oh my!

    8. But you don’t put too much thought into how you look before sleeping with someone.

    You could wear a Winnie the Pooh costume, and it wouldn’t matter. Once those clothes come off, they're staying off.

    9. You sometimes wish there was an app that predicted when you’d be having sex again.

    Forecast of rising temperatures throughout the day, with a high chance of a rendezvous later on in the evening.

    10. But in any case, you’re always prepared to get down and dirty.

    You never travel anywhere without condoms, lotion or a pack of breath mints.

    11. You strongly believe that foreplay is like seasoning a chicken before cooking it—you need it to make the chicken cook well.

    Otherwise things can go from zero to WTF real quick.

    12. That’s not to say that you don’t have horror stories that would put Stephen King to shame.

    The one hookup that was so bad, you refer to them as “it” instead of their actual name.

    13. Of course, you share every detail of every hookup with your BFFs.

    If your girls want the scoop, you can’t not dish and tell.

    14. You see your gyno so often that they’re practically family at this point.

    Even the receptionist recognizes your voice when you call to make an appointment.

    15. And you’re not shy at all about being naked.

    You’d run through the streets in your birthday suit if you could.

    16. Honestly, you get more exercise having sex than you do going to the gym.

    You’re moving so fast and shifting into so many positions, it’s like doing yoga and cardio simultaneously.

    17. You get horny at the most inappropriate times.

    Is it normal to have fantasies about your Caribbean Studies professor from senior year while waiting in line at Chipotle?

    18. You wonder about crazy things, like what face you make when you orgasm.

    It’s not like you can request a mirror in the moment.

    19. And you have so many fantasies that when you finally get your chance to do it, you completely unleash.

    Like that one time you channeled your inner Harry Potter geek and screamed “WINGARDIUM LEVIOSA” while climaxing.

    20. Also, you either adore Fifty Shades of Grey or despise it.

    Read the book, watch the movie—either way, you’ll end up getting hot and bothered, or just seriously…bothered.

    21. Overall, sex is something that makes you feel great—about your body and about yourself.

    And there’s no better, sexier kind of self-love than that.


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    Is sex for the first time really that different for guys than it is for girls? There are a lot of myths and stereotypes attached to sex, depending on gender—but they’re not all true. From movies and TV, it may seem like sex is completely different for guys than it is for girls, but we talked to several guys to find out what it’s really like, behind-the-scenes.

    1. Guys can regret their first time

    Just like girls can regret having sex, guys can, too. A guy may have sex earlier than he expected or with a partner that he’s no longer with. It’s perfectly normal for either gender to feel a sense of uncertainty about whether or not they made the right decision.

    “My ex and I broke up shortly after we started having sex,” says Colin*, a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. “She started cheating on me. I didn’t regret having sex at the time, but now I kind of do. I didn’t know what type of person she was.”

    It’s not the end of the world to end up regretting your first time, for a variety of reasons. All those things you heard about virginity and how sacred it is? They’re not necessarily true. Your sex life is what you make of it, and there’s nothing shameful about not being 100 percent pleased with how your first time turned out. Don’t forget: practice makes perfect!

    2. Guys could be having their first time even if their partner is not

    There’s a stereotype attached to the idea that guys have more sex—and start having sex earlier—than women. The fact is that this isn’t true. Plenty of guys have sex later than girls, and even if it’s his first time, that doesn’t mean it’s hers. 

    Just because one partner has had sex, however, doesn’t mean the other partner should feel insecure. “I didn’t know if I’d be living up to expectations,” says Adam*, a freshman at Boston College. “My girlfriend assured me that she really wanted to have sex with me, and that there was nothing I could do wrong.”

    While it’s true that you get better at sex with practice, the same is true for every partner. Just because someone’s had sex with other partners doesn’t mean they’ll be better at sex—because they still have to learn what it’s like with a new partner. Sex is about exploring what two people like as individuals as well as together, and it’s a learning process no matter how many previous partners you’ve had (or haven’t had).

    Related:12 College Guys Get REAL About Their First Time

    3. The first time may be different depending on his sexuality or gender identity

    There’s no across-the-board answer for what it’s like to have sex for the first time as a guy, especially when you take into account the variety of sexual orientations and gender identities.

    Nathan*, a senior at the University of Connecticut, says that he was hesitant to have sex for the first time because he wasn’t interested in anal sex, and many gay and bisexual men are. “By not liking anal sex, I felt like there must have been something wrong,” he says. “My partner was really understanding, but I was worried I was not making him happy.”

    Nathan also made sure his partner, who’d had sex before, got tested for STIs. He recommends that even if your partner seems certain that they’re clean, it’s a good safety precaution to be absolutely sure. Nathan offered to get tested as well, even though it was his first time having sex. “Even though I was never sexually active, it just showed we cared about each other’s well being and comfort before committing sexually,” he says. 

    For transgender and genderqueer guys, sex can also be a time of self-discovery and mutual trust with a partner. Jack*, a sophomore at Emerson College, knew he needed to feel completely at ease with a partner before having sex, because he’s transgender.

    “Trans people are open to a lot of discrimination—which sometimes leads to violence,” Jack says. He also had worries that a female partner wouldn’t find him attractive and wanted to be absolutely certain there was a level of trust before having sex.

    4. He’s probably nervous too

    This is another one of those completely false stereotypes: that women are nervous about their first time, but guys aren't. It’s a myth that, to be honest, doesn’t make a lot of sense. If you were doing something you’ve never done before, why wouldn’t you be at least a little nervous?

    Steven*, a junior at California State University, says that he was nervous the first time around. “I didn’t know what I was doing,” he says. “Neither of us did—but that didn’t stop me from feeling worried. I didn’t want to mess it up, do something she didn’t like or do anything to hurt her.”

    Nathan also felt awkward and uncomfortable during his first time—which he attributes to the fact that he wasn’t sure about anal sex. “I understand most people feel awkward before, but I felt like I should have been more excited,” he says. He also realized that he and his partner have different sexual preferences, but it’s okay and they can find ways to compromise. “My partner and I are still together and learning something new about each other as time goes on.”

    If a guy’s nerves seem to be getting in the way, stop and make sure that both partners are consenting and really want to have sex. If they do, but are just nervous, ease the tension by reminding them that you’re not perfect either—you’re just human. Level the playing field, and don’t make sex into something that has to be achieved perfectly from day one.

    There are so many stereotypes out there, but truth be told, sex is different for every person, regardless of gender. Sex, especially for the first time, really varies depending on the partners involved, their level of trust and mutual respect, enthusiastic consent and many other factors.


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    In relationships, you can always expect a few bumps in the road. From disagreements about where to eat to bigger issues like cheating, unexpected fights happen all of the time. At the end of the day, you make up with bae and move on. But what happens with the big fights that bother you even after you’ve kissed and made up? Even though you tell you tell your SO that you accepted their apology and have forgiven them for what they’ve done to you, sometimes you could be lying to yourself.

    1. It hurts when mutual friends are hanging out with them and not you

    When you’re in a relationship, sometimes your friends become their friends and vice versa. When fights happen and you’re at home dwelling on what you could have said and your boo is out with your mutual friends, it can make you feel like your friends picked him over you.  

    Ciara Clemons, a sophomore at the College of Charleston, says, “For me, the idea of him hanging out with people that you're both friends with hurts you. It’s super trivial but I think it’s definitely a sign that you’re still hurt and almost a bit betrayed that your friends would pick him over you.”

    If they’re good friends to the both of you, they will make time for the both of you, but sometimes friendships get confusing when relationships and the relationship fights are involved. But, if you’re jealous of him for hanging out with your friends or feel like he’s doing it to spite you, it may be a discussion for the whole group to have.

    2. Seeing them in person is awkward, to say the least

    We’ve all had those awkward encounters with ex-friends and ex-significant others, but what about the person you’re in a relationship with?  Those fun hangout sessions, dates or just running into each other on the street can be awkward post-fight or argument. If you feel yourself getting tense, not talking or find yourself way more interested in your phone than normal, maybe forgiveness hasn’t happened yet.

    “I'm the type of person who only sees the good in people, so when I'm blindsided by a guy, I physically don't want to see him,” says Emily Schmidt, a freshman at Stanford University. “If I see him walking down the street and he looks my direction, I'll stare straight ahead. The day I can wave and smile at him is the day I know I've forgiven him.”

    No matter how he has wronged you, try to work past the awkwardness and have fun. Forgiveness is a process and focusing on moving on through hanging out and having normal conversations can help, in some cases.

    Related: 27 Things Guys Do That Really Annoy Us

    3. You still get upset when you hear about them and what they’re doing

    With social media and mutual friends, it can be impossible to not hear about what everyone is doing at all times. If you made peace with your SO or simply just don’t care about what they’re doing, then seeing them on your friend’s Snapchat or hearing a story about him won’t bother you.

    Ashley Drayton, a graduate of George State University, says, “I try to stay my distance, but if I'm constantly checking social media, or getting upset if I hear anything about him then I know whatever happened is still bothering me.”

    Your SO needs to get over the argument and have their space just as much as you do. If they’re on social media having a blast with their pals and you’re at wine night obsessing over what he’s doing, then you’re not enjoying your time apart. When issues hit the fan, going your separate ways for a night or two can help you both reflect on what happened and help you both make peace with one another.

    4. You boycott the places they’re going to be

    If you get food poisoning at the sushi place or if you know that your ex-friend will be at that one party everyone’s going to, you probably boycott those places. It happens to everyone, sometimes there’s those places you just will not go under any circumstance. Even a fight with your boyfriend can result in your boycotting, but it’s not always the best way to “get over” a fight.

    “I was talking to a boy in a fraternity, but he ended up being a jerk, so I've been refusing to go to socials that my sorority and his fraternity have, and things of that nature,” says Camila Mota, a sophomore at New Mexico State University. “I also refuse to go to any pool parties at the apartment complex he lives in.”

    Boycotting him can help create space between the two of you, but it can also keep you from having fun with your friends. When it comes to parties, socials and other big events, there will be so many people there that you two may not even cross paths. Save the boycotting for bad hookups and ghosters, use the tool of conversation for your bae.

    Whether it’s a fight with your current SO, a hookup gone bad or an ex, forgiveness takes time. You may think you’re over a situation or a fight, but at the end of the day, you could be holding onto the resentment. If time has passed and forgiveness doesn’t seem like it’s in the cards, you may have to go back to the root of the problem or fight and see if you will actually be able to work on it in order to have a healthy, successful relationship.


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    An erection happens when blood rushes to the penis, making it firmer and enlarged. Think of it as a boner’s way of saying “hey” and giving you a thumbs up. They happen for a number of reasons, and there are a lot of factors that affect the ~quality~. Whether you’re a virgin or you’ve seen your fair share of erect penises, these are a few surprising things we think everyone should know about boners, so you can become somewhat of an expert yourself.

    1. They’re more spontaneous than you think

    Sorry ladies, but getting a boner doesn’t always mean that a guy is totally into you. Sometimes they just happen without conscious control.

    Dr. William Schiff, a urologist from Fresno, California, specializes in men’s health and erectile dysfunction. He informs us that there are actually three different types of erections. “Arousal from physical contact is called a reflexogenic erection. If the erection spurs from audiovisual stimulation it’s called psychogenic. The last are nocturnal erections which happen when someone is asleep.”

    Eric, a junior at the University of California, Irvine, puts this in easy-to-understand terms. “Foreplay and making out obviously gives me a boner, but sometimes nothing gives me a boner,” he explains. “I’ll be sitting in class and the room will be really cold, or I’ll remember I forgot to turn in a homework assignment, and then it just happens. I get them a lot from things that are the most non-sexual.”

    What does this new penis fact mean for women? What he’s packing can be just as much a surprise for him as it is for you. If you wake up in the morning to some unwelcome morning wood or see a bump in his jeans start to rise while you’re talking, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s coming on to you. Understanding what stimulates erections is important. Most guys have 11 erections a day, and we can bet that most of those don’t have anything to do with sexy-time.

    2. Certain habits have negative side effects

    Your body isn’t going to be in great shape if you eat poorly and don’t exercise, and those same rules apply to boner quality. An unhealthy lifestyle can make arousal a lot harder than you would expect.

    Getting intimate with a guy who does a lot of smoking and drinking also doesn’t bode well for the bedroom. It’s been confirmed that these habits play seriously into erectile dysfunction in younger men. Smoking inhibits proper blood flow, which means the penis isn’t getting the blood it needs when your guy is aroused. In turn, alcohol acts as a depressant, so even if he wants to get hard and show sexual desire, it may not happen. If his erectile dysfunction becomes a problem where he can’t get it up every time after having a couple drinks, don’t be afraid to talk it out and maybe pursue a healthier daily lifestyle to achieve a healthier sex life.

    Related: 5 Sex Taboos You Should Be Over By Now

    3. Anxiety is so real

    Having performance anxiety or even a serious psychological issue like stress, anxiety or depression will definitely make it a struggle for him to get hard. Mental health actually has so much to do with erections. Whether he’s nervous about sex or even anxious about things happening at school or in his personal life, that tense feeling is going to affect the way his penis operates.

    Dr. Schiff elaborates on the correlation between stress and penis function. “Performance anxiety is equally common in men and women; just as clinical disorders are equally common,” he says. “It’s extremely debilitating when you feel like you can’t fulfill an expected role. Reminding your partner that sex doesn’t need to be goal oriented is a good place to start. When you struggle with anxiety you have no idea how your body is going to react in certain situations, so making sure to have supportive sexual dialogue and understanding is key.”

    If the tables were turned, basically treat him the way you want to be treated if you were the one feeling anxious about not being able to get wet. Acting annoyed or upset is going to be the opposite of helpful. Let him know that getting hard isn’t an issue right now, and there are so many other ways you can be intimate without trying to meet an end-goal. It’s great to make mental health and anxiety a safe thing to talk about in the bedroom, and will hopefully lead to more pleasure for both of you in the long-run.

    4. The better a guy sleeps, the better his erection will be

    Pretty much everything feels better after getting a full night’s rest, and the same goes for boners too. “A poor night’s sleep negatively affects men’s testosterone levels which in turn impacts the erection,” says Dr. Schiff.

    Plus, remember how we mentioned that guys get nocturnal boners? Well, when he doesn’t get enough sleep his nighttime erections get interrupted, and that also can damage his overall penile health. Needless to say, let the boy get his sleep! Boners are low key so much more complex than we expected.

    Related: So THIS Is Why Guys Send Dick Pics

    5. Masturbation plays a role

    If your guy hasn’t played with himself for a few days, he’s likely to get a more intense erection later. While everyone has their personal masturbation choices both in and out of relationships, no one would complain about being greeted with a bigger and firmer erection now and then.  

    Real live college guy, Eric, better explains what this feels like so those of us without the anatomy can understand. “I can for sure tell a difference in how good my erection is depending on if I masturbated,” he says. “If I haven’t masturbated or done anything for a week, my boner is going to be that much better when I am having sex. Everything is way more sensitive.”

    Try asking your guy to go a few days without any sexual stimulation, and then see what happens. When he does get an erection, it’s going to be way more intense for both of you *wink wink*.

    Honestly, we are so here for all the sex facts. We hope you learned something new about boners today, ladies!

    Follow Gina Escandon on Twitter.


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    If you have a Twitter account, there’s a good chance you’ve seen your fair share of #GetYouAManWho tweets. And if you’re a girl who’s in a relationship, you’ve probably looked at some of those tweets and haven’t been able to relate. Here are 14 tweets that will make every girl in a relationship say, "As if!"

    1. This guy who let this happen without any complaints

    2. This guy who had the right reaction to his girl's outfit

    3. This trooper who started watching a series with his girlfriend

    As much as you love your boyfriend, you just don't have the patience to wait for him to watch the next episode for six whole seasons.

    4. This text that was once a regular thing

    Now you just send each other memes (which is equally cool).

    5. This thoughtful boyfriend

    6. This slightly unrealistic expectation

    7. This guy who not only knows the difference between mascara and eyeliner but can also do a full face of makeup

    You would be proud if your boyfriend would come back with the correct makeup product when you send him to the store, tbh.

    8. This more realistic scenario

    9. This guy who's setting the bar high for all the other boyfriends out there

    10. This guy who knows what a good breakfast looks like

    11. This guy who knows the way to his girlfriend's heart

    12. This couple who is actual goals

    You can't remember the last time you and your boyfriend skipped pizza and Netflix, tbh.

    13. This dude who's woke AF

    14. And lastly, this guy who knows food is the way to go

    Take notes, guys.


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    If you’re dating someone who struggles with anxiety or depression, the situation is probably confusing and difficult for both of you. Although you should always encourage them to see a therapist, there are also plenty of things that you can do for your SO to feel safe and loved.

    1. Don’t be their therapist

    You can be there for your partner in every way possible, but you can’t give them the professional help they need. “The most important thing that you can do for an anxious or depressed partner is to persuade them to see the importance of getting into psychotherapy,” says Dr. Carole Lieberman, a psychiatrist and author. “Otherwise, the situation could soon get out of control. You cannot be their therapist if you are their romantic partner.”

    What you can do for a depressed or anxious partner is to reassure them against the stigma of going into therapy. Talking to a professional is crucial for their mental health, and will also help your relationship.

    Related: 5 Things You Should Never Say to Your Friend With Anxiety

    2. Support them in every situation

    If you are not depressed or anxious yourself, it can be difficult to understand what’s going on with your partner, but this doesn’t mean that you should just give up on helping them. “The main advice I would give to someone whose SO struggles with mental health issues is to support them no matter what,” says Helmi Henkin, a junior at the University of Alabama. “They may seem distant at times, and they may often be feeling down for no reason, which are both frustrating circumstances to observe.”

    On the other hand, it’s really important that you don’t confuse supporting your SO and encouraging any unhealthy—or even destructive—behaviors they might engage in. “You can support them in the sense of letting them know that you are not judging them and want to make sure they get help, but you can’t support them no matter what,” Dr. Lieberman says.

    If your partner is very depressive, they might make extreme or rash decisions, so you should be aware that this is a possibility and be ready to respond in this kind of situation. “For example, if a depressed partner wants to drown their sorrows in alcohol every night or talks about being suicidal, but refuses to get help, you can’t just support them in these bad decisions,” Dr. Lieberman explains. “You may need to alert someone who can get your partner help—such as: his parents, the dorm RA, the mental health service at your school or 911.” You should never try to deal with this alone.

    3. Validate their feelings

    Some feelings associated with anxiety and depression are not completely rational, and your partner knows this, but it doesn’t make those feelings any less real. “Anxiety is super frustrating for me because I don't even understand it myself,” says Clara*, a junior at the University of California, Los Angeles. “It's really difficult to try to explain something to my partner that I don't even understand. So the best thing for him to do is not to try to understand the anxiety, but to understand how it makes me feel. It's important that he respects how I'm feeling, even if it makes him frustrated or annoyed.”

    For Dr. Lieberman, one of the best ways to understand your SO is to try to relate to what is upsetting them. “You can validate your partner’s feelings, such as if they have had a major disappointment and you can empathize with how sad that would make anyone feel,” she says. “Or if they are under a lot of stress to do well in school and work to support their self, you can empathize with how anxious that would make you feel, too.”

    4. Remind them that you care

    People who are anxious or depressed can sometimes feel like they are alone in the world. “Remind them how much you care about them and be there for them as much as possible,” Helmi says. “Even if they ask you for validation that you love them multiple times a day, please give it to them, because chances are there are voices in their head telling them that no one likes them and they are better off alone, or worse.”

    Another difficult thing about anxiety and depression is that they sometimes push people away when the person needs people the most. “My boyfriend has depression and I'm actually the only girl who has stuck with him through it,” says Lexie*, a junior at Boston University. “Any time he would go through his bouts, girls would be like, ‘You're too depressing, bye.’ And that is disheartening. I understand depression is a disease and someone can't just 'get over it.'”

    Dr. Lieberman echoes the collegiettes. “When someone is feeling depressed or anxious, they fear that their partner will leave them because they’re no fun to be around,” she says. “So, reminding them that you care goes a long way.” Sticking with them through all the rough times will mean much more than you think.

    5. Just listen

    Sometimes, there’s really nothing you can do or say that will make your partner feel better. In this case, the best thing to do is to just lend them an ear and a shoulder to cry on. “What I have learned to do is be supportive of [my boyfriend] and just listen,” Lexie says. “When he has his ‘meltdowns,’ or when his depression ‘hits’ him, I just listen. And his mood will gradually get better and that means the world to me because I just want him to be happy.”

    Dr. Lieberman encourages listening, as long as you don’t try to “fix” your partner. “Even though you can’t be as objective as a psychotherapist, and should not try to play that role, you can help just by listening,” she says.

    Being in a relationship with someone who deals with anxiety or depression is far from easy, but if you care about them, it’s the last thing that should stop you from being with them. Instead, you can help by being there for them, listening and just caring.


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    When you find yourself falling for someone you’ve been dating and the feelings seem mutual, you typically get excited to share your emotions with your SO. You want them to know you care about them, you enjoy their company and ultimately hope they feel the same way. But what do you do when you realize you’re with someone you don’t see a future with? Or maybe you simply aren’t looking for a relationship with anyone at the time. It’s never easy to tell someone you’re not invested in the same way they are, so we’re here to share some advice on how to make that conversation a little easier.

    Be honest

    Honesty goes a long way, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Navigating your own feelings can be difficult, but it’s not fair to drag someone along your emotional roller coaster. Juliet Goulet, a graduating senior at Bishop’s University, agrees that honesty is important no matter what the situation is. “Trying to make excuses or lie your way out of the conversation won’t help anyone. You’ll get mixed up and messed around and probably end up feeling guilty in the end,” she says. Being honest with your partner also means you’re being honest with yourself, which is all around an emotionally healthy way to live.

    Every partnership varies, which is why you should be upfront with your intentions once you figure them out. “It’s important to understand that single and taken aren’t binaries,” Juliet says. “There is so much in-between, and every situation is different. Just because you don’t want a relationship doesn’t mean that you don’t want something. The ‘I’m not looking for a relationship’ talk isn’t always necessarily a ‘let’s stop seeing each other’ talk.” You could truly enjoy your SO as a person and value your time together, but if the idea of being with them long-term just doesn’t seem to fit, you have to let them know. Who knows, maybe they’ll even be on the same page as you and you can continue to date without future expectations.

    Related: 7 Signs You Dodged a Bullet With Someone

    Help them understand your perspective

    If things seem to be going wonderfully and both partners are into one another, it can be difficult to explain that you’re simply not interested in a relationship. Today’s culture has normalized the casual dating/hookup culture, but that doesn’t always make letting someone down any easier. Megan Malaby, a recent graduate of Emmanuel College, shares how she handles these situations. “I always ask my partner to look at our relationship with me rationally and objectively,” she says. “In the situations I have been in, emotions are so high and we both feel especially impassioned and aren't able to think clearly. Once we both analyze our current positions considering us as two random people rather than ‘us,’ it's generally easier to make a clean break because we are able to identify the issues that are (generally) mutually felt.”

    You can genuinely care about your partner even if you don’t want to advance the relationship, which may feel like a lie to them at the time. It’s not your responsibility to lay out every single thought going on in your mind, but giving them reasoning allows for some peace of mind. If you’ve ever been let down by an SO, you can understand why elaborating is a kind thing to do.

    Define the relationship upfront

    Most collegiettes have been on both sides of heartbreak. Whether you’re the one getting your heart broken or letting someone else down, it’s never an enjoyable situation to part ways with someone you care about. If you’re entering a new partnership, however, and you already know you’re not in the long-term commitment state of mind, it’s smart to have this conversation fairly early on. Chelsea Jackson, a junior at Iowa State University, describes herself as “not-the-relationship type.” “If I'm the one to bring up that I'm not looking for a relationship shortly after meeting someone, then usually the other person ends up nagging me with tons of questions about why I don't like relationships or that I just haven't met the right person yet,” she says. “All of these questions are super annoying, so I've found that after I've gotten to know the person a little bit, it becomes simpler for me to ease them into the reality that I'm not looking for a relationship and that it's best to just keep things casual.” Sometimes having to explain yourself is frustrating, so rephrasing your thoughts can be beneficial. Relationships aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but being upfront can save some crushed hearts down the line.

    Don’t be ashamed of your decision

    Relationships take time, effort and constant commitment. Sometimes we aren’t ready for that big of a step in our lives, especially if we have a lot going on with ourselves. Chances are when you meet the right person, nothing will stop the two of you from being together. But until then, there’s nothing wrong with putting your needs first. “While you should be as honest as you can with your partner in terms of what you want, you don’t need to justify why you don’t want to be in a relationship,” Juliet says. “Sometimes it’s just a feeling or an attitude that you may have instead of any reason in specific and, while that could be hard for your partner to wrap their head around, it’s a personal choice that doesn’t need someone’s approval.”

    Your heart knows what it wants, it’s just a matter of listening to it. When you have the conversation about not wanting a relationship, it leaves your partner with many questions. You can answer and explain as you please, but it’s important to keep your sanity in mind, too. No good can come from prolonging a partnership that clearly has two different expectations for the near future.

    Dating can be tricky, messy and wonderful all at the same time. It’s okay to explore and get to know yourself in various ways through dates and partners. It’s expected at this age, honestly. Caring for another person means keeping their feelings in mind. If you aren’t looking for something serious but feel that they are, that’s a conversation you need to initiate. It’s never fun to feel like you’re letting somebody down, but in the long run it will save them more pain than they may be able to recognize right now. Be honest with yourself, and the rest will fall into place as it should. Cheers!

    Follow Autumn K. Dube on Instagram.


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    As most people know, going through a breakup is not easy. Either it’s mutual and things just weren’t working out, or it was one-sided and someone is left really hurt. There are so many ways a breakup can be harmful to a person but after some time, eventually you move on. But what happens if one person isn’t over it and wants to try again?  Is there a way to know for sure that your ex is still into you? Here are some subtle and some not-so-subtle signs that your ex is ready-and-eager to get back together.

    Related: 7 Reasons You're Not Over Your Ex

    1. They like an Instagram picture of the two of you from years ago

    There is a huge difference between catching up on your latest Instas and liking a picture of the two of you from a long time ago. If you see this, it probably either means that they are missing you hardcore and “liking” a photo of the two of you from during your relationship is a way for them to say “I miss you” without saying it, or one of their friends is playing a nasty joke on them—either way it’s bad news, or good news if you also are ready to try again. For Rebecca, a junior at the University of Connecticut, this happened to her with her last ex. “Out of nowhere he friended me on Facebook again, after defriending me the year before, and stalked through my Instagram and liked almost every single picture of the two of us together.” She said it wasn’t weird, just surprising because he had shown no interest in her since the relationship ended. It was the first of many signs that he wanted to try again. 

    2. They find literally any reason to talk to you

    For some people, moving forward from a breakup is not easy. Besides just losing a boyfriend/girlfriend, they may have also lost their best friend. This means they lost the one person that they call for everything. If months after the breakup they are still calling you to tell you everything, it means they probably are not over it yet. For Brooklynn, a rising senior at Ohio University, something similar happened to her that gave her a major hint that her ex wanted to get back together. “Last summer, my ex of almost two years texted me out of the blue asking how everything was, but in the same conversation, also asked if I was dating anyone,” she says. She proceeded to tell him that she had just gotten out of a relationship but he still wanted to meet. After they got together for some froyo, he asked her if any of her old feelings had arisen because his did. If the hint of asking if she was dating anyone wasn’t enough, the fact that he is bringing up feelings shows that he is not over her and is hoping that she isn’t over it either.

    3. They post throwback photos of the two of you

     

    Feels

    A photo posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

    You are probably thinking that this is the most obvious one, and it is. Posting a photo of the two of you is BOLD. If your ex posts a throwback photo of the two of you and you were not expecting it, once again, it’s a sign. People in our generation would rather post about things on social media than confront a situation head on and this is just another shortcut to saying “I love you.” Although you don’t see this very often, everyone was SHOCKED when Justin Bieber posted some photos of him and Selena Gomez from while they were dating. It just seemed weird because that’s not something you typically do. At all. If that didn’t get her attention, I don’t know what will.

    Related: 5 Signs It’s Time to Let Go of Your Relationship

    4. They drunk call or text you

    As all of those cheesy Tumblr memes say, you should be totally flattered when a guy calls you when he is the most incoherent, or something like that. Either way, those 3 a.m. voicemails mean way more than just six tequila shots. Jennifer, a senior at Cornell University, says that three months after she and her ex broke up, she got calls every single weekend from him in the middle of the night. Usually, she would just ignore them but eventually she gave in and called him back and “he told me [her] he still loved me [her] and wasn’t ready to move on.” She also says that it wasn’t much of a shocker to her because the act of calling someone in the middle of a busy party is kind of a big deal. “The fact that he was thinking about me when he is surrounded by all these other girls and people said a lot more than his drunk words.” As annoying as drunk calls and texts may be, they are helpful in figuring out what your ex really wants.

    5. They actually just say “I miss you”

    When you’re a twentysomething, talking about your feelings may not be the easiest thing to do. But for Gaby, a sophomore at the University of Rochester, that is just what her ex did. “He called me out of the blue and asked if we could meet for coffee. I had exams so I was super busy so I told him he could just come to my dorm. When he got there he had this whole thing written about how he missed me and hasn’t been able to think about any other girl beside me.” It was so blunt and straightforward, she said, that she really admired it. “We had a really nice long talk about what went wrong in the relationship and were finally able to move forward and get some closure.” She said that they didn’t get back together but they were able to stay friends and keep each other in their lives. He wanted to be more but she just wasn’t ready for it. But instead of playing games and pretending like he didn’t care, he just told her that he did. For some, it may not be the easiest thing to do to tell someone you want to get back together, but it is the most effective.

    Regardless of how the relationship ended, it happens every so often that one-half of the couple is ready to give it another try. Either they can be completely honest and open and tell you bluntly (like number 5) or they can show some subtle and not so subtle signs. Either way, at the end of the day a conversation needs to be had about what each person wants. So if you are going through a breakup or went through one, however long ago, watch out for some of the signs mentioned above to see if it's time to have a real face-to-face conversation about the future of the past relationship.


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    Alright, you’re crushing hard on someone and they haven’t started to ghost you just yet, so you’re ready to take the plunge and ask them on a date. However, you don’t want to make some elaborate display of affection just to ask them to share eat individual taco twelve packs with you. After all, who would want to make something more complicated than it needs to be?

    We get it, asking anyone can be nerve-racking. But seriously, you should just take the initiative and ask your special someone out on a date. Someone’s got to make the first move. Even if you are a lazy girl, you aren’t necessarily lazy or apathetic, you just implement resourceful hacks to get everything done in half the time. You’re essentially the lazy girl MacGyver.

    And if you’re a lazy gal looking to ask a dude on a date, you shouldn’t use that as an excuse not to ask them. After all, lazy girls ain’t got time for excuses. You’re too busy formulating the latest and greatest abbreviations for already short words, so you don’t have to spend more than a minute sending the perfect text. Seriously, if you’re a fellow lazy girl who’s interested in a cute fella, you need to get over the weird stigma that girls shouldn’t ask a guy out on a date. It’s well past the dark ages and a lazy girl can ask out anyone they want to. Unless you want to ask your dog out on a date, which would actually be pretty awesome. You two could go on a long walk in the park and get some ice cream afterward. Plus, you wouldn’t have to worry about awkwardly bumping into any of your exes.

    This is why you need to eventually woman up and ask your potential new bae on a date, the lazy girl way. Whether you’re a professional lazy girl or you just adopt the lazy girl’s methodology from time to time, there are several ways that even the laziest of lazy girls can ask someone out on a date. After all, lazy girls like to go on dates too.

    Related: 7 Ways To Take Your First Date To The Next Level

    Send them a GIF or meme

    Seriously, who doesn’t love a dank meme or a funny GIF? That’s right, everyone loves them, unless of course it’s some embarrassing GIF of you. In that case, it’s perfectly understandable why you have a hatred of GIFs.

    GIFs are a simple way for any lazy girl to flirt, because you can have an entire conversation without actually typing a single word to them. Want to know how your beau is doing? Send them a GIF of Joey Tribbiani asking literally anyone, “How you doin’?” Did your eye candy send you that same GIF before you got the chance to do the same thing? Beyond them being a total keeper, you can easily send them one of thousands of thumbs up GIFs. It’s literally that simple.

    Plus, sending a GIF takes virtually no time. Well, other than the time you’ve spent searching for the perfect GIF or meme. JK, you actually just went with the first relevant visual that says, “Date?” on Reddit. Unless of course you can’t find a GIF for your specific conversation and you must curate an entirely new GIF from scratch. But let’s face it, you aren’t about to do that — ever.

    Personally, I love using GIFs to ask someone on a date, because it makes the whole date-asking experience less stressful. Because you can just send a special someone a viral image to ask them on a date, you feel less vulnerable because you don’t have to make a big ordeal about asking them out in person. And what lazy girl wouldn’t want to save some time and energy? Plus, asking someone out on a date through a GIF makes the whole experience more fun.

    Ask them to prevent you from becoming a third wheel

    As much as you try to convince yourself that you’re totally fine with being a third wheel with Becky and Justin, it gets pretty nauseating seeing those two make out for the twelfth time when you don’t have someone to nauseatingly smack lips with also.

    Why not stop yourself from third wheeling it — at least for a little while — and solve your dateless quandary? Asking someone to go on a double date with you is a lot less stressful for everyone involved, because now y’all don’t have to put the weight of a steady and interesting conversation on just two people. Now, it’s four peoples’ burdens!

    Rachna Shah, a freshman at Dartmouth University, explains that asking someone on a double date “can often be an easy way to get the guy to know you better.” Which is great idea, because double dates and group dates in general take the tension off every party, because you don’t know to put the put the pressure of holding an engaging conversation between just two people. If anything you could easily just ask your potential lover to help you go on a double date with your bestie. After all, who could leave you hanging like that?
    Better yet, why not ask your friend to hook a girl up? After all, your bestie is probably borderline worried about your love life (or lack thereof) after you’ve tagged along to the fifth “three-person date” this week.

    Send 'em some grub

    After all, the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. Even if they don’t have a heart, everyone likes some tasty food.

    Don’t worry cooking is not necessary for this date-asking recipe. Leann Bailey, a Full Sail University alumna, explains her fail-proof method to asking someone out on a date. “I just randomly send a guy a pizza or a burrito with a goofy pick-up line to ask them out on a date,” says Leann. Woah, how have I not thought of this before?

    After all, who says girls — even the laziest of girls — can’t send a guy an unexpected meal with a cute pick-up line asking them out on a date? Okay, the society might think it’s “weird” (whatever that is), but tell society to shove it! I mean, guys like getting pizza and pick-up lines, right?

    Spontaneously sending someone a delivery of their favorite food is a great way to get them to go on a date with you. While you could deliver them a pizza in person, that's way too much work for a lazy girl like yourself. Instead, you should just craft a great way to ask them on a date and add ask the restaurant to write it in the box, under "special delivery instructions" that every online order form seems to have. Other than the time you spend ordering and drafting your clever pick-up line, this method takes little to no time at all. This way, you can spend the next 45 minutes or so waiting to get a text from the cutie you sent the edible date invite to.

    Just you know, make sure they're actually home when you send them their grub, otherwise their roommate will snag it.

    Seriously, just ask

    No tricks, tips or hacks necessary — just straight up ask your love like interest out on a date. Your best chances of actually landing a date is to bluntly ask. And no, asking your SO or potential SO to hangout is not asking them on a date. Channel your inner Liz Lemon and ask your boo thing to go to a movie or something (so you can sue them for some petty reason afterward).

    It’s 2017 and modern technology makes everything easier and quicker. Some people might find it an informal or insincere way to ask someone out via text or DM, but you should get over that outdated unofficial rule ASAP. While your smart phone might be a crutch in most scenarios, it’s a great way to get over the awkwardness of asking someone face-to-face if they want to go on a date with you.

    Although virtual communication methods might help a lazy gal ask someone out, it can still be virtual impossible for you to get some inspiration to easily ask someone on a date. Like, where do you even start? Don’t worry girl, there are some lazy girl approved texts to send your crush:

    • Hey, wanna grab drinks sometime? (After all, everyone needs to drink.)
    • Can you bail me out and go with me to get food with my bestie and her boo thang? (Who wouldn't help a damsel in distress?)
    • You're hungry, I'm hungry, let's go get lunch. (Short, sweet and to the point.)
    • Are you my appendix? Because I want to take you out. (Who doesn't like a classic?)
    • Wanna go to the dog park and play with strangers' doggos? (Or you know, steal them.)
    • Did you want to come over to my place and eat a bunch of junk food and watch Netflix? (What lazy girl doesn't love a good Netflix and chill?)

    Seriously, forming the perfect text to ask someone out on a date is that simple. If any of the pre-crafted texts above seem too artificial in you and bae's conversation, then feel free to be blunt and ask them to do something specific that you'd know that they'd enjoy. If they like fishing, ask if they want to go fishing sometime. I know, fishing seems like a lot of work for a lazy gal. Trust me, you'll just be sitting there by a relaxing body of water, getting some sun and chatting all afternoon. Just be sure that you're clear that it's just you two, to make it obvious that it's a date.

    After all, honesty is the best policy, so why not be straightforward with your courting approach? You can save so much time by just asking a person on a date. If they say yes, that’s awesome. If they say no, that’s a lot less awesome. Regardless, you can get on with your lazy self, so you can have more time to be productive and update your LinkedIn profile. Who are we kidding? In true lazy girl fashion, you haven’t updated that thing in years — it still says you’re a babysitter in Rockford, Illinois. In reality, you’re just going to have more time to binge-watch Netflix, gorge on pizza and use the excess grease as a 5-minute moisture mask. I definitely haven’t done anything like that before.

    You might think the hard work is over, but a lazy girl’s work is never done. While you’ve found the easiest hack to asking your crush, now you actually have to prepare for your date. You know, by finding the perfect lazy girl approved outfit to wear and an easy breezy hairstyle to match.


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    Maybe your partner doesn’t hit you, but he constantly compares your body to other women. Maybe he doesn’t push you around, but he tells you how stupid and worthless you are whenever he’s been drinking. Maybe he tells you you’re crazy. Maybe he doesn’t hurt you physically, but he might as well because you feel that the emotional scarring runs deeper than the physical ever could. 

    Writer and artist, Zahira Kelly, created the hashtag #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou to start an important conversation about the non-physical domestic violence that women experience every day. Across the internet, stories of verbal, emotional, financial and sexual abuse were outpoured by women in heterosexual relationships about the non-physical intimate partner violence that they experience regularly.

    As collegiette women we need to be equipped to recognize the signs of emotional abuse so that we can engage in healthy relationships with partners who respect us, and also take action if we aren’t being treated like the queens we are. Below are common types of non-physical relationship violence that you may not be aware of. They are just as harmful as physical abuse and need to be acknowledged and understood so that everyone can recognize the signs of a dangerous relationship and take action. If any of this is triggering from a past or current relationship, please reach out to The National Domestic Violence Hotline for support.

    1. He treats you like property instead of a person.

    You alternate between living as an isolated trophy girlfriend and being micromanaged into a Stepford wife. It’s confusing as hell, but whatever way he treats you always leaves you feeling like you don’t belong to yourself. This feeling means that your partner is exercising coercive control over you in which he intimidates you while simultaneously isolating you from everyone else, so that he can essentially mold you and treat you however he wants.

    “My boyfriend dictated every aspect of my life,” says Caitie, a junior at Biola University. “I let him control the way I ate so that I would stay skinny. He told me who I could and couldn’t hang out with. He told me how I should feel about my family, and what career path I should go into. Every time I let him influence me, all of the things he did and planted in my head were all to his benefit. I can’t believe I lost myself for so long. None of what he made me was actually me, but I was scared to stop going along with what he said because I knew he would leave me.”

    Christina Kaviani is a campus psychologist and the coordinator of SAFER at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which is an organization that provides education and support resource for addressing sexual assault, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. She has found that the problem coercive control is a prevalent issue within college relationships just like Caitie’s.

    "This cycle of emotional abuse and total life control can only be stopped if we educate young women," says Kaviani. "It takes an internal recognition to see the cycle of violence their relationship keeps them in, but first colleges need to provide information on relationship violence so that women can recognize it at all. The difficulty is that college women often deeply love their partners, and won’t be willing to act against him or challenge his control."

    This type of emotional subordination is a key factor in emotional abuse. Never let your partner take advantage of you or degrade who you are. You are strong, and this is something that can be overcome by reaching out to your support systems or a college counselor. You are not in this alone, and you are capable of regaining a life independent of him.

    Related: I Was a Victim of Domestic Abuse on Multiple Occasions

    2. He either takes your money or makes you feel guilty for spending his.

    Financial abuse is even less talked about than emotional abuse, but it occurs in 98 percent of all abusive relationships. Our experiences with financial abuse as collegiette women might be different than those of a married couple, but it still sneaks in to relationship violence in college. A lot of us college students are poor AF, so it can be nice to date someone who has money in college, because it means a free dinner every now and then. The dark side of this is that you may have found yourself in a position when you rely on your partner for money, or vice versa, and that money becomes something to hold over you so that you don’t leave the relationship.

    “I’m a first generation Mexican college student, and I could barely put myself through my first year of college by myself,” says Claudia, a recent graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles. “My sophomore year I started dating this guy who was really well-off financially and his family was really well-off. We dated for a long time, and because of that he felt responsible to help me out with money and some bills when he could because it wasn’t a hardship for him and his family wanted to help. I can’t believe I didn’t see the signs of financial abuse the first time he coerced me into having sex with him. He had helped me with a car payment and later that night wanted to have sex. I was on my period, and I said no, but he made me feel guilty by bringing up that he helped me with cash and that I should have sex with him. This sort of thing happened for another year until I left him, and then he stalked me for almost a year after our breakup.”

    In college, it’s best to keep money separate from your relationship, because you never know what will happen with your partner. It’s dangerous to give your partner financial power over you because it’s an easy tool of manipulation and coercion. In fact, try to avoid mixing money and relationship dependency until you’re actually married with a bunch of kids and have to pay the bills as a unit. Until then, go dutch, and each buy your own Taco Bell.  

    3. He manipulates you into uncomfortable situations.

    While your partner may not physically force you to do something, intimidation and coercion are severe verbal forms of domestic violence. He uses tactics, deception and manipulation to corner you into a situation. This is a psychological form of consensual assault that’s not okay.

    “When I was in college I was repeatedly psychologically coerced into having unwanted sex, drinking and generally making decisions that were emotionally harmful, and my partner knew it, and he continued to manipulate me so he could get his way,” says Kaviani. “Now, I see this same thing everyday with the young women I counsel, and I’m happy to share my testimony with them. My college partner was a master manipulator, and he knew how to read me. He would guilt trip me, tell me I was stupid and acting like a pussy or threaten to leave me whenever I challenged him. If your partner ever uses emotionally degrading tactics on you, it shows a sign of disrespect, and may even be a greater indication that this person is suffering from a personality disorder.”

    A partner who truly values and loves you would never force you into anything, plain and simple. Do not allow yourself to be vulnerable to manipulation, and always consider your own needs above anything else when under this kind of pressure. Remember that you can always say “no” and that your partner will hopefully have to respect that.

    Related: My Boyfriend Sexually Assaulted Me & I Didn’t Realize It

    4. He purposefully makes you feel insecure about yourself.

    Let’s be real—as college women we are already riddled with insecurity about everything, and we don’t need some loser telling us that we have fat thighs or cellulite as chunky as chili. Still, verbal abuse where you partner constantly puts down your physical attributes happens—a lot.

    “He compared me to all his ex-girlfriends,” says Whitney, a senior at the University of Massachusetts. “He would compare my body to random women he saw walking on the street. One time he said I should try to look more like a video game character, which was an elf. What?! He didn’t say this kind of stuff all the time, but to this day it sticks with me.”

    Even if your partner is saying something that hurts you unintentionally, you need to bring it up in a neutral and safe space, and approach the subject very sincerely. Don’t immediately blame them, and tell them how horrible they are, but make sure they know that their words are not okay.  You especially need to address the issue if he is purposefully making you feel like crap about yourself. This type of verbal abuse will haunt you for years. If someone is going to be critical and negative, ditch them. They’re not as important as your self-worth.

    5. He makes it your fault—always.

    Have you ever approached your partner about a sensitive subject, only to find yourself put in the position of the bad guy? You go to talk to him about a habit that upsets you or something he said to a friend that hurt your feelings. Suddenly he’s yelling at you, telling you that you’re imagining things and lying his way out of being accountable for his actions. He makes you feel crazy, and you start to believe it.

    Let me tell you, there is NOTHING WORSE than making a woman out to be a confused psychopath all because she has feelings or opinions.

    My freshman year of college I found myself in a long-distance relationship with my high school boyfriend. When he got to college he quickly developed harmful drug and alcoholic abuse tendencies that caused him act in ways that dishonored our relationship. Needless to say, I was pissed, and would openly confront him about his actions to try and work through them, but was met with a brick wall. More like a brick wall shooting fireballs at my face. After three years of dating me, he decided to tell me I was crazy and that he hadn’t been doing anything wrong. I had imagined everything because I secretly had trust issues and this was a manifestation of my problems. I believed him. I spiraled into severe depression, thinking that I actually was crazy until the moment he broke up with me. Two months after our relationship ended he admitted I had been right all along, but by then it didn’t matter because I was left with depression and anxiety, and scars that would long outlive him.

    Take note ladies—if your partner ever makes your feelings your “fault” or tells you you’re “crazy,” then you punch them in the face and sashay away.

    If you take away anything from this, please understand that emotional abuse is more often than not a precursor to physical abuse. Do not let the significance of emotional abuse go unrecognized, and encourage yourself and your friends to engage in dialogue and action that ends it. Resources and further information on abuse can be found through your college’s counseling office, in the Breaking the Silence Handbook and through the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Every woman should be safe and respected in her relationships and we will get there, one positive relationship at a time.