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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Ryley Wilcox
Ryley Wilcox
News Editor

I found my passion for journalism during my sophomore year of college, writing articles here and there for the North Wind. Since joining the staff this past semester as the news writer, I have been able...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Taking ‘no-strings-attached’ at face value

College students aren’t having more sex than they did 10 or 20 years ago, according to a recent study by the University of Portland. The illusion that we’re hooking up like rabbits stems from the fact that unlike 20 years ago, we now tweet about it, drawing more attention to our activities and bringing the heat on ourselves for being “promiscuous.”

Andy FrakesThe fact that the rate of casual sex hasn’t risen does not mean that it has declined at all, however. The campus hookup culture is alive and well, and everyone seems to know someone who has had a casual fling or two. I have bought condoms at Cat Trax, red-faced and soft-voiced, tucking them in my pocket the moment I exited the store. But after awhile I realized I wasn’t alone in this.

I came to terms with the fact that having sex is normal and I shouldn’t be embarrassed for buying condoms.

There’s still some stigma attached to hooking up, but with social progress has come less judgement for post-party encounters. In fact, as a group we students applaud that sort of thing. High-fives and smirks are the currency of the morning after, as crass as that sounds. This attitude isn’t isolated to guys, nor is it something I particularly condone, but to quote Billy Joel: We didn’t start the fire. We’re just the latest variation of an old theme.

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My freshman year I did something for the first time that I’m not particularly proud of: I hooked up with a girl who I didn’t know very well. We had been carousing with our friends all weekend in the warm weather and sunshine, the now-legendary St. Patrick’s Day weekend of 2012, and she and I thought we had enough chemistry to spend a night together.

This was initially exciting and very surprising. I hadn’t seen many of the prophecies of American Pie fulfilled in my first half-year of college, and now it was happening for me. I foolishly thought I’d made it, that I’d achieved something. I wondered all the time if she might start to like me, or at least want to continue this.

Over the next two weeks she came over to my dorm room several more times, always late at night after she had been out to parties with friends. It took awhile, but I eventually came around to realize something.

This girl was only interested in me for one thing, and that was sex; she didn’t seem to think I was funny, wasn’t interested in paying me compliments and only actually slept over once. Outside of preliminary small talk, we didn’t have much to say to each other.

I had become part of the “booty call” that movies and stories about college had forewarned me of, but I was astounded that I had found myself on this end of the deal.

Around the three-week mark I started ducking her texts and going to bed without keeping my phone next to the pillow. As great as sex is, I decided then that I would probably be better off sleeping with girls that I shared something more than an orgasm with.

I had always seen myself as a relationship type and my conscience, repressed for long enough, could finally be at ease. I had had my fun, but this casual business wasn’t something I could keep doing.

This girl wasn’t doing anything wrong—in fact, I would guess that she was surprised I had more trouble with the concept than she did. Our arrangement at the time was, and still is, commonplace.

For us, though, it came down to a lack of compatibility.

She was all about no-strings-attached action and I thought I could keep up, but I couldn’t, and I was left in the dark as those around me kept following their libidos.

I find myself, with plenty of freedom and opportunities open to me, not wishing to pursue that sort of thing anymore.

I don’t feel embarrassed of the things I’ve tried and no one else should feel shame either, but I know more about myself and the world around me as a result of those things, and isn’t that what college is all about?

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