Kevin Muller: Save up for the car of your dreams
“How many sexual partners have you had?” asks a dashing young feller to his blushing lady during a spirited game of question-and-answer over wine at a local pretty-fancy restaurant.
“I…” she begins, pausing in thought. “I don’t know.”
The boy bunches his brows, a nervous smile. “You don’t…know?!?”
Her eyes fall into to the spaghetti. “I LOST COUNT AFTER SEVENTEEN.”
Okay, so not every college student is as promiscuous as this poor example, but the attitude that having unattached sex with flings, friends and flesh is no big deal is disconcerting and depressing. Yes, it’s biology; yes, it feels pretty cool to do it; yes, you’re only young once, but how long will it be before you’re hanging from chandeliers and coating your skin in molasses just to keep things exciting?
For me, having sex is like going to McDonald’s. When I was a kid, I only got to go every once in a while – the Big Mac was a treat that was anticipated and savored over for weeks at a time. Now that I have a car and a credit card, I can indulge my fast food fetish whenever I want. It still tastes as good, but something is missing and it’s not the trans fat. You do something too often, and you lose sight of what it was that made you love it so much in the first place.
This is not a plea for pre-marriage abstinence but rather a request on behalf of The One that you may cross paths with someday. Your sex is probably the most private and intimate gift you can give to another person; don’t you want it to be something more than a cheap commodity? Even if your adherence to this advice means that you’re a terrible lay, you’re giving the man or woman on top of you an experience that was earned and a part of yourself that is rarely had.
Sex is yours to have and yours to give, and it holds exactly as much value as you give it. Choose wisely.
Kate Hayden: Don’t buy a car before you drive it
Oh, the random hook-up: taboo in many circles, yet a staple of many a college student’s experience.
They’re certainly not for everyone, but they can be perfectly appropriate, not to mention enjoyable, for both involved parties. Anyone who refutes the previous statement should visit the Inn Between on a Friday night; without even crossing the threshold into the stench of sweat, Old Spice and cheap booze, one can bear witness to one of these encounters. Set up a lawn chair in the parking lot if you don’t mind being one creepy son-of-a-gun.
But I digress. What, after all, is so wrong with a random physical encounter? Who’s to say that it isn’t something akin to trying a new hairstyle or test-driving a new car? Let’s consider this, for just a moment.
Before I bought my car, I decided not to take it for a test drive. It was, after all, brand-spanking-new and getting fantastic reviews from Consumer Reports. The gas mileage was fantastic (35 miles to the gallon, anyone?) and the exterior was certainly aesthetically pleasing. What’s not to like? Turns out, the Chevy Cobalt is neither the smoothest ride nor the most durable piece of equipment. Every time I turn the key, I pray the engine turns over without a fight. Regardless, it’s entirely my fault for not doing the proper research and for not taking the car for a spin before I laid down enough to lease what I thought was a quality car.
In some ways, random encounters are much like a test drive. Let’s say you’re standing in the Vital Spot – because, let’s be honest, no one cool sits – and you see an attractive guy (or girl; whatever you’re into). You ask the opinion of the person standing next to you, preferably one standing without the support of strangers or the barstool in front of them, and it turns out that she’s the guy’s ex. Blah blah blah wonderful guy, blah blah well-endowed. Great! We’ve got the thumbs up on both the physical and emotional aspects of Mr. Dream Boat.
Now, let’s be honest. We’re college students, and a vital portion of our intimate relationships comes from their physical nature. True, this might not always be the case, but it frequently is. I’m going with the numbers on this one.
So, you strike up a conversation, have a few drinks, and make plans to see whatever crappy flick is currently showing at the local theater. Lovely. I bet you’re psyched. You go out on a few dates, spend some quality time together and eventually take that next step. Surprise! Your views on intimacy don’t quite, erm, mesh. In a big way. And now, my dear, you’re in the proverbial pickle. You’ve developed feelings for someone with whom you do not agree on an absolutely vital topic. Enter inner turmoil, unhappiness, and undue stress.
Bet you wish you’d taken that test drive, eh?