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The Simpsonian

This weekend I had unprotected sex, and I am freaking out that I might have an STI. What do I do?

Hi friend,

First of all, how did we get here? Was the unprotected sex because you both clearly consented not to use a condom, did you forget or was it not something you wanted to do?

Having unprotected sex with a partner you trust still puts you at risk for STIs and pregnancy. Unfortunately, not everyone is honest when it comes to their sexual health history. Some STIs don’t show symptoms for a while, or at all, so your partner might not even know that they have something when they pass it to you. If you forgot to use protection, it might be handy to keep protection nearby for easy access.

Before engaging in sexual activity, it is important to have a conversation with your partner to make sure you are both crystal clear on your plans for protection. It’s much easier to talk about it when you’re upright and clothed, I promise. Talk to him about why safe sex is important to you and what protection you prefer to use. If he objects, he’s a dick. What you chose to do with your body is your prerogative; you should think about the risks you are willing to take, and any partner who cares about you will respect that.

Now that we know how to avoid this situation in the future, here are some steps you can take to check your sexual health. First, do a self-exam so that you can identify any symptoms that might have appeared (no symptoms does not mean you are clear). Check out your downstairs and become aware of any swelling, irritation, bumps, smell or unusual discharge. This step is helpful so your doctor can more easily identify the problem. Do not look for your symptoms on WebMD. You will think you are dying, and you are not. You can look up STIs on sites like Planned Parenthood or Before Play for more information.

The next step is to have an STI test by a health care provider. Nothing to be worried about. Your doctor shouldn’t be judgmental, and his or her goal is to keep you healthy. They will ask you some questions about your sexual history and this specific situation. Then they will recommend a physical exam, blood test, urine test, cell/saliva sample or a combination of the four. The physical test consists of your doctor examining your genitals for what you examined in the first step. The other three tests just consist of your doctor gathering samples from you. Your results should be ready within a week. None of it is painful. It might be awkward, but it’s better than having an STI and passing it on to future partners.

You can go to a provider through your insurance such as Planned Parenthood or the UnityPoint Clinic in town. If your parents pay for your insurance, keep in mind that they will receive a detailed report of the services you received. If you want to be confidential, you could find a Title X provider, such as Planned Parenthood where you could decline your insurance. In that case, they would charge you on a sliding scale which would be much cheaper than paying the full cost.

Is your sex life in shambles? Ask Millie! www.askmillieSC.tumblr.com.

— XO, Millie

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A note from the editor:

Without a doubt, there are two things all college students have on their minds: homework and sex. Whether partaking in the hookup culture, doing it with a significant other or abstaining from sexual activity altogether, students make decisions about sex frequently.

Our new column, XO, Millie, will explore these issues and more that students face on college campuses.

Sex and relationships can be confusing for a college student. Leaving home for the first time and landing in a pool of potential partners can be overwhelming. With the sexual revolution over, our generation has no qualms about no-strings-attached hookups, and this is very evident on college campuses.

With this, though, comes side effects such as sexual assault, unprotected sex and at the very least, hurt feelings. College is a time to find who you are, who you like and what you like. We hope XO, Millie will cover a wide range of serious topics pertaining to college students that The Simpsonian has not touched on before.

Through this column, we hope to educate our campus on the one thing we know is happening on our campus — and every other campus for that matter. There’s no use in denying or ignoring the truth that college students are having sex. We’d like to know that we are helping them be safe about it.

Simpson has created a safe and open environment where students can decide their gender identity and sexual preferences and not feel like they are being judged or ignored. We want to cover these topics in a safe and appropriate manner and we think XO, Millie is the perfect outlet to do so.

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