Welcome to Ask Ang, your anonymous campus sexual health resource, brought to you by H*yas for Choice. We are made up of a team of undergraduate students who work to answer your sex questions! We post questions and answers weekly on Sundays. Anyone can submit a question, and the anonymous form can be found here: www.tinyurl.com/askang.
CW: Rape/sexual abuse in question #3.
Where is a place to get (preferably free) STI testing on/near campus?
Thankfully, there are a lot of places to get STI testing in DC. However, the tradeoff you will have to make will be between cost and distance. Obviously, the closest option is on-campus at the Student Health Center. However, unless your insurance has excellent coverage, testing at the SHC will come at a cost. The Georgetown Premier Plan does not explicitly cover any STI testing except HIV testing when receiving services in the Emergency Room.
The best on-campus option was the free STI testing clinic that happened a few weeks ago. The clinic was able to provide testing for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and HIV. HFC hopes that the University will recognize the importance of such a service and both continue and expand this service in the future.
Free and off-campus options will mostly lead you relatively far away, so your choice should be based on what you need to test. If you are seeking an appointment because the SHC has none that work for you, you may look at Planned Parenthood (more information here).
Your best bets for free services will probably be Whitman-Walker Health, where they have a number of walk-in testing options (hours and information available here). You can also find the DC Health and Wellness Center (hours and information available here.
2. What are the best positions for "beginners" besides missionary?
If you’re just starting to explore the world and interested in moving
beyond the classic missionary position here are some great sex positions for beginners! Since this question mentioned the missionary position we will be assuming that at least one partner involved has a penis.
Two easy ones are modified missionary positions that may seem familiar but make a great difference. Doing missionary where one partner has their legs lifted off the bed and pulled in towards your chest or while the partner laying down has a pillow under their hips creates a different angle of penetration that should be pleasurable for the both of you.
Another fun position involves one person laying down on the bed with their legs hanging off. The other person then stands and enters the other. This position allows for the one standing to not focus on using their arms to hold up their body weight and also allows for them to thrust at any pace that feels good for those involved. Having one person lie down fully on the bed and the other sitting on top them with their legs on either side of the others body and then lowering slowly onto the penis is another great and fun position! When on top, you can grind in a slow circle, lift yourself up and down on the penis, push your hips to and away from your partner’s chest to experience a multitude of sensations. This position is can be difficult if their isn’t proper lubrication so you may want to start in another position or use additional lubricant. A final position involves one person sitting in a chair and the other sitting atop them similar to the previously described position. In this position, having your feet on the ground can give you excellent leverage and holding onto the back of the chair can allow for additional support.
We also recommend researching and looking up pictures of sex positions outside of the bedroom so that you can fully understand how to get into that position!
3. (TW: rape, sexual abuse) How do I support a friend who was recently raped? She currently does not want to submit a Title IX complaint, but should I tell her to reconsider?
While there is no one (or easy) way to respond to sexual assault, the most important thing you can do as a friend is listen to and understand her situation. There are a number of resources available both on Georgetown’s campus, in the DC community, and online that might be helpful for your friend.
At Georgetown, there are a number of resources of varied levels of confidentiality. Confidentiality in this sense is about a resource’s reporting obligations to Title IX. Most adults and resources on campus are non-confidential, meaning that if they hear about an instance of sexual violence, they are legally mandated to report that instance to Title IX. While that can sound very scary, a report to Title IX just means that the Title IX coordinator will reach out over email to the person involved (if you had made a comment to a professor, for example, about an anonymous friend, you would get the email) offering to meet and explaining the resources you can access. That email can be ignored. There are also semi-confidential resources, namely the Women’s Center and LGBTQ Resource Center, that will just email Title IX saying something like “a student came in on this day to talk about generally this issue” but will otherwise leave all identifying information out.
In terms of on-campus, completely confidential resources, Georgetown offers a number. Most are housed in Health Education Services, including Jen Schweer, Jennifer Wiggins, and Carol Day. The best way to contact one of these three clinicians at HES is to email email@example.com, which connects to all three and will enable whoever is soonest available to set up an appointment. All resources at HES are always free. CAPS also has a clinician, Dr. Erica Shirley, who works specifically around trauma, and victims/survivors of sexual violence can get a semester of free counseling from CAPS. Reaching out to one of these resources will never get back to Title IX unless consent is explicitly given for that.
Helping your friend understand all of her options in terms of resources can be helpful, but you should also respect her decision if she doesn’t want to use them. More information about on-campus resources can be found here and more from HFC about on- and off-campus resource can be found here.
Finally, remember to take care of yourself! Supporting victims/survivors can require a lot of emotional labor, and it is important to remember that you are best equipped to be there for your friend if you are taking the time to recognize what kind of support you yourself may need. If can be easy to feel like you have to be strong by ignoring your own emotional needs, but remember that you can still be a good friend without necessarily providing everything. Make sure to recognize and enforce your own boundaries, and if it feels like too much, reminder her of the professional (and free!) resources available. Self-care varies from person to person, but RAINN has some good tips about how to take care of yourself while supporting your friend. You can also reach out to any of the Georgetown on-campus resources about how to be supportive.
Some more resources on supporting survivors can be found here:
4. So what's the deal with wearing a condom during oral? I never ask them to put one on but I know it's healthier. I just don't find it sexy and think it kills the mood.
There are STI’s that are spread through oral sex, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. During oral sex it is possible to transmit STI’s both from the mouth and throat, and from genital areas. Viral infections such as herpes and HPV can be transmitted as well (e.g., if someone with an oral herpes infection performs oral sex, they can potentially give their partner genital herpes; likewise, someone with a genital herpes infection can potentially transfer that infection to their partner’s oral area)
Using a condom or dental dam during oral sex does reduce the chance of transmitting or receiving STI’s. However, it’s not a very common practice. 85% of sexually active adults have given or received oral sex but some studies find that around 20% of that number has ever used a condom for oral sex. Like any sex act, therefore, it’s up to you to determine what level of risk you’re willing to take. If you are engaging in unprotected oral sex, though, you should ensure that both you and your partner(s) are tested for STIs every few months.
Avoid latex and lubricated condoms for oral sex, they usually have the worst taste.
Try flavored condoms or condoms marketed specifically for oral sex.
5. I'm a bisexual man who likes bareback sex (giving and receiving). How often should I get tested for STIs? I'm on PrEP.
The CDC recommends that all sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men should be tested for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea at least once a year. If you have multiple or anonymous partners, you should be screened more frequently for STDs (e.g., at 3-to-6 month intervals), or at least for every new partner you have. Even if you are on PrEP, it is advised to get screened for HIV every three months to make sure that this HIV prevention strategy is working for you.
6) Is pegging normal? How do you ask your partner about it?
Every healthy, consensual activity is normal! Because a lot of the time we only see certain sex acts (like heterosexual penis-in-vagina sex between a cis man and cis woman) depicted in media, we forget that there are tons of other sex acts out there that are not only “normal,” but also can be really fun and pleasurable.
Pegging usually involves a cis woman anally penetrating a cis man using a strap-on dildo. Anal penetration can be very pleasurable for male-assigned folks, because it involves prostate stimulation. If you’re considering trying pegging for the first time, you’ll need a dildo, some sort of strap-on harness or dildo compatible underwear, and lots of water-based lube. There are lots of great options to check out here.
In terms of talking to your partner about it, it’s best to be upfront and honest that this is something you’re interested in. Consider pulling your partner aside for some one-on-one time, and mention that there are some new things you’ve been thinking about trying. Make sure to also ask your partner what new things they might be interested in--you’ll never know where your fantasies/kinks overlap if you don’t ask! If your partner brings an interest like pegging up to you, be open minded and don’t kink shame them! Ultimately, open communication and ALWAYS consent can go a long way in ensuring that you and your partner are on the same page sexually, and that you’re trying new things that can potentially become favorites in your bedroom rotation.
Read more about pegging here.