From a casual glance at Yik Yak, you’d be forgiven in assuming that the student population of Exeter are going at it like rabbits. Or are we? Our reputation precedes us, but presumably the somewhat tongue-in-cheek references to “Sexeter” didn’t come from thin air. Personally, for every story I’ve heard about a one-night stand, I’ve heard another one about a rejection or somebody’s worry that they aren’t getting enough action compared to the Exeter average. So how casually do students at Exeter really view their sexual encounters?
In response to Exposé’s recent survey, just under half the student population claimed never to have had a one-night stand, with a further 30% having had less than three. Only a cheeky eight per cent said they’d had 11+ one-time encounters. So maybe our reputation is a bit exaggerated after all?
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a meaningless one-night stand. I’ve been there, and I’m neither proud nor ashamed of it; it’s just one of those things which students get up to, and has had pretty much no meaningful impact on my life. But maybe that’s because I’ve had the sense to leave my vaguely questionable drunk choices where they happened, and move on, escaping with few consequences past awkward eye contact in the gym.
I don’t think the people I’d hook up with on a night out are always going to be the same people I could successfully have a meaningful relationship with. Some people have done it, and I know quite a few couples who have met on Tinder, (don’t get me started) or happened to start dating after hooking up casually. But, you know, don’t think it’s for me.
One thing I have noticed at Exeter is a somewhat skewed idea of how to make a relationship flourish. Maybe this is common amongst students nationwide rather than just at Exeter, but there seems to be a trend of having a one-night stand, and then trying to build a relationship off the back of it. Is it just me, or does that strike you as going about things the wrong way around? What happened to meeting someone, and working to form a genuine human connection? Hmm.
It also seems that we need to be a bit more careful during our steamy encounters after a night out, because only 35% of students who responded to the survey said that they’d always used protection. Wrap it before you tap it, y’all. I mean it.
A culture of casual sex at universities across the country isn’t inherently bad. There’s nothing wrong with having a lot of sex, as long as you use protection and aren’t acting like a douchebag about it. The problems associated with it, like slut-shaming and the prevalence of STDs amongst young people, is what we should be getting annoyed about, not whether your housemate has brought back another random from Timepiece Wednesday for the third week in a row.