Are You Sexcessful
Sexuality can be an affirming and exhilarating aspect of your life. Sexcess—sexual happiness and success—is something that many people want, but do not know exactly how to achieve. You have the right to choose if and how you express your sexuality. It is also your responsibility to respect the rights of others. Remember, consent is sexy. UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services encourages all students to adopt the following sexual communication tips in order to achieve sexcess!
The Basics of Sexcess: Consent
The first step to sexcessful communication is consent. What is consent exactly? Consent is the process of sexual decision-making in which each partner freely, knowingly and enthusiastically communicates a clear desire to participate in a specific sexual activity. Consensual sex can occur when one person asks to initiate a certain sexual activity, and the other responds with a free, knowing and enthusiastic, “Yes.” By free, we mean that the “Yes” is delivered without the presence of threat or coercion. Knowing refers to an awareness and understanding of the sexual activity. One must also express the “Yes” with enthusiasm in order to demonstrate that the person is actively excited to engage in the sexual activity.
*Consent is required by criminal law and by the University of California Standards of Conduct for Students. Sexual conduct without consent, or after consent has been revoked, is sexual assault.
Strategies for Sexcessful Communication
Power and control are two major facets in all communication interactions. When communicating about sex, both power and control need to be balanced by all partners in order to communicate sexcessfully. We define power as the ability to influence others and control as the ability to restrict others from doing what they want. The following tips provide techniques to incorporate a balanced amount of power and control in your sexual communication that will ultimately help you and your partner(s) achieve sexcess:
Power and Control
- Listen actively (check your understanding and ask for clarification)
- Speak assertively (try not to be passive or aggressive)
- Consider your partner’s thoughts and feelings to be as important as yours
- Participate equally in decision-making processes
Another fundamental aspect of healthy sexual communication is the ability to talk openly and honestly before as well as during all sexual interactions. In order to communicate sexcessfully, it is important to know your own desires, curiosities and limits. Also know that these desires, curiosities and limits may change over time—which is perfectly normal. Below are some tips:
Sexy Talk Tips
- Think about your desires and boundaries
- With an open mind, ask if they are interested in being sexual with you
- Watch and listen carefully to the other person’s response
- Respond accordingly and with respect
Healthy sexual communication will help lead to a better sexual experience for all parties. Not only will speaking with power and control guide your sexual communication to be clear and respectful, but it can also fuel sexual passion. In the process of becoming sexcessful, keep in mind that you have the right to speak up both before and during sexual activity. Here are some additional tips to help you and your partner(s) engage in healthy and pleasurable sexual activity:
- Make specific requests
- Speak up if you are unsure
- Speak up if you change your mind
- Check in with your partner(s) (pay attention to verbal and nonverbal cues)
- Ask if you want to do something else (for example to move from kissing to touching)
Sexual Satisfaction for You and Your Partner(s)
Did you know that our bodies thrive on the chemicals released during orgasm? Sex is a healthy activity. There is more to sexual satisfaction than physical contact. People are turned on not only by physical features and abilities, but also by personality characteristics. It is important to know what your specific turn-ons and turn-offs are for both physical attributes and personality traits. Take some time to reflect what yours are and be sure to communicate them to your partner(s). Another great way to improve sexual pleasure is with condom-safe lubricant. Wetter is better! Lubrication can increase sexual pleasure for both men and women.
How You Can Have Fun and Practice Safer Sex
If you are considering becoming sexually active, remember to take certain precautions before any sexual activity. Safer sex is the best sex! Both male and female insertive condoms are extremely effective at reducing the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy when used correctly. Keep in mind that the birth control pill, patch, ring, diaphragm, etc. is just birth control; it will not protect against transmission of STIs. To maximize reducing the risk of STIs and pregnancy, consider using both a condom and another form of birth control. You and your partner(s) may want to consider getting tested for STIs before becoming sexually active. Many STIs have no symptoms, which means they could be transmitted without anyone knowing.
Celebrating Sexcess: 2014 Sexcessful Campaign at UC Davis
To help promote the sexcess of UC Davis students, our Health Education and Promotion (HEP) team will be launching the Sexcessful Campaign beginning Monday, February 10th - Friday, February 14th. We want to know how UC Davis students define healthy sexual communication. HEP encourages all students to join the conversation and let us know what sexcess means to them. There are two ways students can participate: online or in person. Online, students may submit individual or group photos holding a sign that says what sexcess means to them. Photos must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. In person, students may visit the Love Lab at the ARC Lobby on the following Thursdays: February 6th, and February 13th from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM or at the Student Community Center on campus on Wednesday February 12th from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM where HEP volunteers will be able to take a picture of them. Photos will be posted on the Love Lab’s Facebook page within five days of being received. All photo submissions will be entered into a raffle to win an “Are you Sexcessful?” t-shirt. We encourage all students to keep the conversation going by liking, sharing or making their photo submissions their profile pictures once published on the Love Lab’s Facebook page. Examples from Project Sexcess 2013
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Author: Alexi Foster
Posted: Tuesday, February 4th, 2014