Sex Appeal

I have the right to do anything.

But perhaps not everything is beneficial?

I have the right to do anything.

But perhaps not everything is constructive, not everything builds you up, does it?

As a student, away from the life we had at home, we can “do anything”, with new levels of freedom than ever before perhaps. When it comes to sex, I’d say the “right to do anything” increases, with thousands of us intensely sharing life together, living in close proximity with bedrooms everywhere and not a parent or guardian in sight. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like during our school years we were naïve to sex and as a student you suddenly discover this element to human interaction, of course not. But I wonder how our experiences and perceptions of sex, change and develop whilst at university?

On a night out, it’s not difficult to spot the people who are going to “get lucky” as they leave the club early with a new night-time companion on their arm...waist... and unlike at home perhaps, you actually have the ‘freedom’ to take someone back to your house, because who’s going to tell you off or check on you in the morning anyway? And if you’re in a group of guys or girls who decide the “success” of a night is hinged around a physical conquest… how easy is it to go against these social expectations? And what does it matter anyway, when you’ve got thousands of people your age to choose from and you’re young, single and ready to mingle…

However, I’ve also walked through more tough situations than I’d want to count, with friends in the fall-out of last night’s sex appeal. Whether it be taking them to get a panicked pregnancy test, GUM clinic trips, or a strong coffee and a cry over not hearing from the person they met, all the way to the grief and pain of dealing with abortion and abuse, I can’t pretend I haven’t seen the consequences of “the right to do anything” that sex at Uni can sometimes mean for people.

I don’t say this to be shocking or to try and sensationalise anything, because to be honest the vast majority of people reading this will know exactly what I mean because that’s their experience too. I say it to begin the honesty that’s needed for this conversation.

The opening lines of this blog are a paraphrase of what Paul quotes in 1 Corinthians 10 (v23), a chapter chewing over how all humans are tempted to do stuff that in actual fact, does more damage than good to us, but that we also have the power and option to resist. It’s worth a quick read now.

I want to open up the debate on sex, as we have done with my blogs Drunk and Skint.

When it comes to sex, regardless of whether you follow Jesus or not, what do you think to Paul’s view that although technically you can choose to do anything... not everything is beneficial? And not everything you can do, would actually build you up, and strengthen you, as a person? Has that been your experience?

Upon becoming a student, how have you changed or remained the same when it comes to your attitudes and actions concerning sex? How did you experience the culture in terms of sex, when you entered the world of university? 

For those of you who follow Jesus, do you find it harder to stand your ground and not sleep around if your housemates are living a different way to that? Or do you find it easier to stand up for believing God made sex as a gift to be enjoyed within his creation of marriage, when you can be the clear odd one out? (For example, my boyfriend coming to visit me at uni but staying in my room whilst I slept on my housemates' floor in my halls of residence, was a brilliant chance to live differently I found.)

This is the space for discussion. Once again, this is not space for anyone to preach at anyone else, or judge anyone else for their opinion. I want us to be honest about our views and experiences of the sex-element to uni culture, reflect on it as current and former students, and perhaps through this, figure whether we’ve learnt anything. So, sex appeal: how does it affect you, especially at uni, and what do you think about this stuff?

Miriam Swanson

Global Student Mission Leader

Miriam helps equip the church for student mission internationally. She's based in the USA and hungry to see young adults follow Jesus with all of who they are. 

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