18 Unspoken Rules About Having Sex In College

College: the place where you can finally spread your wings and become a #RealAdult. This, among many other things, means that you never have to worry about mom or dad walking in on you having sex. Amazing, right? You can now do it whenever you want without the stress of getting grounded/humiliated! Uh… sort of. Unless you live in a single (who are you?), you now have to worry about your roommate – along with an entire floor of friends who go in and out of each other’s dorm rooms as they please – walking in on you. To prevent this, you’ll try the usual tricks: a sock on the door, pretending to be asleep, an urgent text. Yup, there are a ton of unspoken rules about having sex in college, and you need to know them.

I know the last thing you want to do is follow more rules as you adjust to your newfound freedom. Unfortunately, unless you’re into voyeurism (which is not a great idea), you have to. Since college is such a great time for exploring, experimenting, and navigating (nay, owning) your sexuality, there’s going to be plenty of room for awkward encounters and potential tense situations. To avoid those circumstances, there are some rules everyone should follow. Not all of them get discussed or played out in movies and you don’t really know them until you get to college and someone them, thereby becoming the example to everyone to never do that again. Not even the seniors feel all the way confident with these things – I still don’t and I’m 27 – so, don’t feel like you have to show up on the first day of freshman year already a sex wizard or something. These rules are just in place to help you hook up in a way that feels really great for you and your partner. So, get excited – school starts up pretty soon.

1) Tell your roommate if you’re going to have someone over.

Even if there’s potential for sex, give them the heads up to be safe, just in case. There’s always the stereotypical “sock on the door” thing, but unless you want the whole building to know exactly what you’re up to, don’t be so obvious. The only person who needs to know is the person who shares keys to your room and they have a phone that only they use. Just shoot a text and be done with it.


2) Sexy stuff probably happens or has happened while you’re sleeping.

Oops, I said it. Coupled, single, whatever, sexy stuff probably happens while you’re asleep. Regardless of whatever agreement you have with your roommate, someone’s probably touching themselves while you’re full asleep. Your roommate is having a sleepover with their bf/gf? They might not be actively doing it, but they’re probably at least touching it.



The walls are thin, y’all.


4) So, it’s probably best to play music to cancel out some um… sounds.

Spotify is your best friend. Make yourself a playlist and upgrade so you don’t have to deal with commercials (instant mood killer).


5) Judge not lest ye be judged.

Everybody’s figuring themselves out, what they want, and what they like. So, while gossip happens and people will know your business, don’t pass judgement. You’re going through the same stuff, too.


6) Don’t shame someone else for something or someone they like.

Judging is one thing, shaming is another. Don’t do either. Both suck.


7) Don’t make people feel uncomfortable.

By all means, do you. Don’t compromise your living situation or your existing friendships. My best friend lived with someone who had loud shower sex and passed out in the middle of it, forcing every awake party to deal with the situation. Yeah, nope.


8) People will eventually find out who you’re with.

First off, don’t be a dick and keep someone a secret. Second, hooking up within your friend circle or major, this news spreads even faster. You may think you’re being slick, but trust me – everyone’s going to find out sooner or later.


9) You will one hundred percent run into someone you regret hooking up with.

In your pajamas, no makeup, eating waffles with your hands? Yup, they’re going to be there. Buckle up. There’s no avoiding it.



In the future, you have to pay for condoms. Stock up and use them.


11) Learn to differentiate the difference between ex-hook ups and ex-boyfriends/girlfriends.

Here’s a hint: one is still fair game if shared between friends. The other one? Not so much.


12) Be upfront about what you want from the get go.

In terms of wanting to keep it casual, take it day by day, hook up, or start a relationship – be real clear, real quick, and right from the beginning. Period. This will save a lot of hurt feelings and awkward break ups. Set your boundaries at the top and be honest about when things start to shift for you.


13) Only date someone you know’s ex if it’s absolutely necessary.

I know this is a cardinal no-no, but look, you guys – it’s going to happen. The dating pool is only so big in college, I don’t care how big of a school you go to. You can’t control your heart. That being said, only date someone’s ex if it’s absolutely unavoidable. You’re drawn to each other and this might be a big love of your life kind of unavoidable. Otherwise? Not worth putting a friendship at risk.


14) Have a plan in case of pregnancy.

Do you know where the nearest clinic is? Who’s going to drive you there? Where’s that money coming from? How about an adoption agency? How much longer in the semester until you have to take off for a baby to come? Can you go on a temporary leave? I don’t know if you know this, but unprotected straight sex makes babies.


15) Cutting class to hook up is okay, but only sparingly.

One of the best things about college is never having to call in sick to class. You can just skip it! Lounge around all morning with bae and cut class in the name of staying cozy together, but use it when you really need it. It’s tempting to play hooky all the time. Don’t abuse it.


16) Sleepovers are great, but incredibly uncomfortable.

What’s up twin beds? How you doing? You’re going to have sleepovers anyway and make it work. I can’t promise comfort or enough breathing room, but you’ll figure something out.


17) Not everybody falls in love or has tons of sex in college and that’s okay.

I didn’t! And look, I didn’t die and I still had a great college experience.


18) You don’t have to lose your virginity before you get to college.

No one is going to think you’re a freak or a weirdo. There’s more of you in the same boat than you think. Just trust me on this.

What rules do you follow? Which ones do you think need to be changed? Did I forget to include some? Let me know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.


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