How to Have a Successful Sexual Encounter | The American Word

American Word Logo
An American University student-run magazine since 1999

How to Have a Successful Sexual Encounter

A guide for freshmen (and everyone else, for that matter).

Jenna Fortunati | 9/6/16 12:32pm
| Updated 9/7/16 7:53am

Dan Kilbridge /
American Word Magazine

It’s college, so that means it’s time 2 get laaaaidddd!!!!!!

Or not. It’s college, so that means it’s time to have incredibly awkward sexual encounters (if you decide to be sexually active).

You’re probably not going to get through your four years here without avoiding eye contact or skirting away from someone in TDR. But there’s hope! It is entirely possible to have fun, sexy times with someone who you’re dating or not dating, and to not regret it afterwards. Based on what I learned during my freshman year, here’s how to do it:


… that a “sexual encounter” isn’t limited to intercourse. You can make out! You can have oral sex! The possibilities are endless!

Pick the right partner.

This is a huge part of making your sexual encounter successful. Everybody has different tastes, but I recommend picking somebody who 1) respects you, 2) respects themselves, 3) is not a jerk.

Define your expectations.

When somebody asks you to “Netflix and chill” (please don’t hook up with somebody who says that), decide beforehand exactly what you expect to get out of the “chill” and what your limits are. You just want to make out? You want to have oral sex and not intercourse? Know that, and communicate it very clearly to your partner. Make sure your partner communicates their expectations with you too.

Know yourself.

Have at least a minimal understanding of what turns you on, and don’t be afraid of that. If you’ve never had an orgasm before, there’s a 99 percent chance you won’t have one with the person you’re hooking up with for the first time. Nobody knows you better than yourself.

Ask your roommate, don’t sexile them.

No roommate wants to see you gettin’ busy, and you definitely do not want to be walked in on. Really. It is so awful. Be upfront with your roommate. Say, “Hey roommate, could I have the room for [reasonable duration of time]?” And then specify exactly when that time begins and ends.

Don’t be embarrassed of what you’re doing.

You live in a dorm. You probably have an ancient, creaky AU-issued wooden bed. Which makes noise. Noise that can be heard outside of your dorm. This is okay. It’s college. But if you’re overly embarrassed of people potentially hearing your bed creak and/or other sex noises, you shouldn’t be having a sexual encounter.

Have fun!

Sexual encounters should be fun! The moment you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or disrespected, banish that person from your room. Abruptly jumping out of bed, pointing to the door and saying “leave” has worked well for me in the past. And saying “no” at any point is okay too!

Now go forth, my young padawans! There’s a whole world of non-awkward sexy times awaiting you!