Let’s talk about sex and dating

TRAVIS HOMENUK/Opinions Editor & ALEX WERENKA 

Dating

Love is in the air. You’re coming back to school looking toned, tanned and ready to flirt. And now it’s time to find love — or at least some fall fun.

Before venturing into the exciting worlds of love, sex and everything that goes with it, we want to first encourage sexual positivity. As students, we are in a place where sex is a means of relieving stress and having fun. Making someone feel bad for their harmless sexual escapades is cruel, ignorant and exemplifies the hypocrisy of double standards. Don’t do it.

Part of dating culture involves being open to sexual experimentation while still being safe and level headed about what — or whom you are doing — so be smart about your encounters and use protection. Don’t forget that condoms are available free of charge in most USSU Centres on campus.

Consent is essential to any and every intimate encounter you may have. Remember: “yes” makes sex, sex.

Also, try not to fall into the trap of heteronormativity — not everyone is straight and not everyone has a defined sexual preference. There are a plethora of new terms to become familiar with such as pansexual, monogamist and transgender. Be accepting at all costs.

In the same vein, be sure that you respect your housemates if you do bring a lover home — unless they are your parents. If that’s the case, don’t worry about it! Your folks have been having sex in your house since your conception. It’s time you got some action too, right?

Now that we’ve covered the precursory actions, it’s time to get down to the fun stuff: how to meet people.

As a student at the University of Saskatchewan campus, be aware that “Usask Confessions” and “Usask Secret Admirers” are going to be rampant with posts about cute people on campus. Sometimes there are success stories that pop up from those who connected as a result of these pages, but mostly it’s people calling out their friends or ranting. Nonetheless, it’s a fun place to announce to the world your newest crush or attraction, so do it! If anyone says that they don’t want to stumble upon a post about themselves, they’re lying.

On the other hand, Kijiji is not something we would recommend checking out unless you are feeling particularly adventurous. There are posts on there for anyone and everyone, though many sound quite questionable. Be aware that if there is a dollar sign in the title or post, that means it’s for pay. We’ve heard of girls selling their own underwear on there as a way to supplement their incomes without full on selling their milkshakes. We know university is expensive, but we hope no student is that desperate. Maybe reserve Kijiji for apartment hunting and couch shopping.

However, there are a few dating sites like Plenty of Fish or Match.com that are viable options. When you pay for an account it usually means you will meet people who are more serious about relationships. Make a profile and talk to some new people. You never know until you try, right? Just don’t make your profile name anything too suggestive, and try to keep your online pictures appropriate.

The nice thing about online dating is that you don’t have to talk to everyone; you can be selective and block people who you don’t have a connection with. We know numerous individuals who’ve fallen in love with their online dating matches, so relationships can be found. You can also find people who just want to hook up, if that’s what you’re looking for.

If you’re a smart phone user, there is a new app called Tinder which is used as a means for men and women to meet up. Similar to Grindr, which is oriented towards male on male fun, Tinder connects you to people within a certain distance using your Facebook information. It’s seems like a good app, though there are not a lot of people from Saskatoon on it yet.

And, in case you’re an old fashioned romantic, one of the most surefire ways to meet new people and create a connection is to talk to them in person. Duh! The U of S hosts events like Usask Secret Admirers Live, which takes place on Sept. 17  at Louis. While meeting people in person is more terrifying, it can also be the most rewarding.

Don’t hide behind the façade of the internet if you can help it! Talk to that cute person in your class, join a club and meet people with common interests, dance with the twerker at the club and be their twerkee, ask for a number or add them to Facebook. Flirt, be charming and, most of all, be you. There are thousands of single people on campus and in Saskatoon. One strikeout is not going to dash all of your future opportunities, so keep trying!

If Honey Boo Boo’s mom found love, we can too.


Graphic: Cody Schumacher/Graphic Editor

  • Wot

    “new terms to become familiar with such as pansexual, monogamist and transgender”

    yeah what’s monogamy i’ve never heard of that before

    • Alex

      It was suppose to be monogamish… not monogamist

    • Taegan

      Also, transgender is grouped in under ‘sexual preference,’ but it’s actually separate from sexuality, it’s a gender identity. Good work on trans-visibility though!

  • Jared Greene

    May I ask what the purpose of this opinion piece was? Your sexually liberated. Good for you. Thanks for telling us. But when you start encouraging people to seek one night stands with strangers online (Tinder, Grindr), I have a problem with that. And adding “be smart about your encounters and use protection” is hardly enough to highlight how dangerous this activity can be. You’re painting a dangerously frivolous picture of sex here, one where everything’s fun and games as long as you consent and wear a condom. Hopefully the audience here is smart enough that I don’t have to explain why you need a reality check.

    • Blair Woynarski

      Well, it is an opinion piece and thus not guaranteed to appeal to everyone.

      You’re sexually conservative. Good for you. But you don’t need to get so worked up over this article. I hardly see it as encouraging wild and wanton acts of carnality. It’s just giving people options and trying to clear up some of the social stigmas about sex in college.

    • Jared Greene

      I actually fail to see much opinion here, other than “Kids are horny. Try to get laid somehow!” But thank you so much for opening my eyes to the world of sex and online dating.

    • KJ

      Did you only read the one paragraph about Grindr or something? The author’s goal is to educate readers on how to date safely, and go about looking for what they’re interested in. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but a lot of university students are ok with casual hookups or one-night stands, regardless of the author’s “encouragement”. The author also mentions dating sites for people looking for a more serious relationship, which you either didn’t read or chose to ignore. In addition, the author tells people to AVOID kijiji because it’s sketchy when it comes to dating; again, the goal is to keep readers safe.

      So, content of the article aside, stating “hopefully the audience is smart enough that I don’t have to explain myself” is an extremely dishonest way to argue a point, because you’re attempting to tag anyone who questions your unstated reasons as stupid. What exactly are your reasons for being against people having sex?

    • Jared Greene

      I’m sorry I forgot to mention the rest of the article. It was a masterpiece of journalism. Back to why Grindr is dangerous.

      “Hey kids! Are you looking for something fun and safe? Do you want to hook up with a stranger who also wants to hook up with strangers? Do you want AIDS? Do you want to go into someone’s basement, realize you’re with a freak, and then get raped? Then ask your parents to buy you GRINDR for xmas!!!”

      But make sure you avoid Kijiji. Because Kijiji is for freaks.

    • KJ

      Ok first of all, this is an article for University students, not kids. Anyone going to University is above the age of consent and can make their own choices. I’m not even sure if you’re really ignorant or just trolling at this point.

      All you’ve done is picked up on a single piece of advice you disagree with, and the best reason you can come up with to disagree is “having sex with strangers will definitely give you AIDS and get you raped”. There are more dangerous ways of meeting people, and avoiding discussion is a good way to push people into making stupid, uninformed choices.

      Meeting up with anyone you’ve only talked to online is obviously dangerous, and maybe the author should have done a better job of illustrating that point, but that doesn’t mean the entire article is worthless. And you still haven’t said why you’re against one-night stands or casual sex in general… if you assume every person you meet is going to rape you, you’re going to have a very sad and lonely life.

    • Jared Greene

      Maybe you should re-read my initial post buddy, I never said I was against one night stands or casual sex. Maybe the U of S is made up of kids because apparently this one can’t read OR pick up on sarcasm.

    • T

      Sarcasm doesn’t work too well over the internet…

    • Jared Greene

      Oh buuuurrrnnn!!!!

    • Guest

      You might find this useful: http://bit.ly/14ZWXIp

    • nah

      that’s the point of an opinion piece, its a personal article about something they want to talk about. Not necessarily and opinion, but that in the title is to let you know its not a reflection on the organization its self, just one writer.

    • Jared Greene

      Considering Travis is the Opinions Editor, I’d question just how independent this “opinion” is from The Sheaf as an organization. And in light of the recent frosh week scandals across the country, you’d better hope you emerge from this unscathed.

    • GoodTimeChamp

      Jared can you explain how this is in any way related to the recent frosh week situations? Does this article explicitly encourage rape culture? You’re grasping at air here. Get over it, people have sex and talk about it openly.

    • nah

      just being and editor does not mean you dont have opinions outside of the organization. This doesn’t really have much to do with a high school frosh week as we are all consenting adults and not in highschool. Its less likely when you openly talk about sex and its pros and cons that there will be bad outcomes this is to inform that sex is good most people love it, and there are many people of opposing genders getting close in university, so if you like sex be smart. plan and simple.

    • Blair Woynarski

      OK, let’s settle this. “The Sheaf” does not have an opinion. “The Sheaf” is made up of several university students who, contrary to popular belief, do not agree to become a hive mind upon beginning their terms. “The Sheaf” does not put forth official statements about what it believes or doesn’t believe as an organisation, except in rare circumstances (in the 1970s “The Sheaf” took the position of being pro-gay rights, and if you’d like to complain about that, you’re welcome to). An opinion’s piece, whether it’s by the Opinions Editor, the Editor-in-Chief, or a random student volunteer, is just that: an opinion. The opinion of one person and no one else. “The Sheaf” being a newspaper, is not in the business of silencing opinions just because they might ruffle the sensibilities of certain people on campus. If you want “The Sheaf” to censor the news, please come out and say so.

    • George Costanza

      >”Good Christian values”
      >2013
      >I seriously hope you guys don’t do this

  • ThinkAboutIt

    What a terrible article, I’m as sexually active as almost anyone else I know, but this article is offensive and shows a twisted world view. I have been a u of s student for several years now, and even in the rowdiest pubcrawl group you would be hard pressed (no pun intended) to find someone who could identify with or benefit from anything in this article. You are promoting things like dating on KIJIJI which is FAR from normal or safe even if you are a transexual pansexual monogamist (and trying to make it sound safer than an actual dating site?????) Lets face it, first year students are basically little kids (though they may be legally and physically somewhat adult), and this article sounds like its addressing little kids with the worst advice ever (except for the last paragraph.)

    This is not surprising though, I remember seeing similar (though much less bizarre and lecherous sounding) sheaf articles when I first came to U of S, but quickly realized that the only people who see the school primarily as a source of sex and drinking are the AUTHORS OF THESE WEIRD ARTICLES. 95% of students will have normal dating relationships just as they might have had before university and as they will have after university.

    Lets just be thankful that prospective profs would never read the sheaf anyway, because this is what we are offering as our official school newspaper.

    • Jared Greene

      I, for one, cannot wait until Travis and co. start applying for jobs and these articles pop up when they’re googled. Goodbye any kind of career dealing with kids.

    • Taegan

      “You are promoting things like dating on KIJIJI which is FAR from normal or safe even if you are a transexual pansexual monogamist (and trying to make it sound safer than an actual dating site?????)”

      Haters gonna hate. I’m actually all of those things (and I don’t use Kijiji, dear g-d! No one should do that).

    • ThinkAboutIt

      I was supporting you not hating you.

  • jewboy

    booo talk about something important

  • H.R.

    “… we want to first encourage sexual positivity. As students, we are in a place where sex is a means of relieving stress and having fun.”
    I wouldn’t define sexual positivity as using people like sexual objects and then throwing them away at will. Sex is a means of relieving stress and having fun when it’s part of a healthy, serious relationship; outside of a genuine relationship, sex is a means of creating a deeper, underlying tension, conditioning people to become used to treating humans like material objects, desensitizing them, supporting the factors which make divorce, eating disorders, poor self image, teenage pregnancy, rape, and other ills common in this society.

    “Be accepting at all costs.”
    You absolutely do not have to accept anything with which you don’t agree. You should use your own judgement in deciding what is acceptable and what is not. However, you should be tolerant and respectful of other peoples’ decisions and their right to have an opinion.

    “Making someone feel bad for their harmless sexual escapades is cruel, ignorant and exemplifies the hypocrisy of double standards. Don’t do it.”
    Encouraging young people to objectify their body and the bodies of others, and to conform to the idea that having sex with random people is okay, is ignorant, cruel, and exemplifies the height of naivety and lack of true self-respect. Don’t do it.

    • OrInsistItDidCreateTension-.-

      I agree that every person should use their own judgement to not do things that they do not want to and are outside their own ethics.
      Apart from telling others how to live.

      Both in having casual sex, and not having casual sex.

      The important part is that it is morally acceptable to those taking part. Nothing more, nothing less.

      But I guess I’m bias since I’ve had sex outside of a relationship that has not created deeper tension. We just needed to unwind, weren’t seeing anyone, acknowledged our own incompatibility relationship-wise, but sexual attraction to each other.
      I guess that’s wrong in your view?
      Well that’s fine, keep that view. But do not expect me or others to live by your rules.

  • Luis

    As helpful as this article is intended to be, I think that it can be just as harmful. Yes, it is giving students resources to meet others, which is great. Especially for students who haven’t been networked in to the university community yet. What bothers me is the mention of sex as being a fun and casual stress reliever. This topic can spark many feelings in the comment section, hence why the debate is usually heated. But, leaving emotion out of the picture, I want to say this; You need to be really careful when you think about who you are writing to. To many in this audience, sex is an exclusive, and very special bond with the man or woman you love. Sex can also be dangerous, in that when you meet that guy/girl and have a “casual” sexual encounter, you are exposing yourself to any infections that he/she may have, and may not even know that they have. In my opinion, Sex is serious. As great as it is, it can be just as damaging. And what we don’t see is the emotional damage that people experience as a result of sexual openness. Many people feel it, (in my experience: females) but do not express it.
    Call me old fashioned, but it is my view that we as men should care for and guard the heart of our girlfriends/wives. Many men (Including me) Could not, in their whole lives, begin to understand the emotions of the women in our lives.
    Those are the reasons why I believe that Sex should not be a “Stress reliever, and a means of having fun.” I believe that sex is the most intimate expression of love that you can show to someone. I would encourage the Sheaf to be a little more careful in the future of how they paint the picture of sex.
    This is just my opinion. Take it with a grain of salt.

    • Thanks

      I know, as soon as you read that line its like BAM, now I know what the writer is telling the readers. Its not about dating safety, or about a positive dating culture, or even about the possibility of careless sex and the consequences. It seems like a desperate, sexually repressed attempt to list places to find sex at any cost, and its completely unrealistic for u of s, at least. I wish the sheaf’s writing actually reflected the social atmosphere of the university, not just propaganda from a small club who want to prove how great they are as activists for specific causes.

    • Blair Woynarski

      Literally, anyone who is a university student can write an op/ed piece for “The Sheaf”. ANYONE. You feel like your beliefs are under-represented? Good news. You can write your own article, e-mail it to the opinions editor, and see it magically appear in print a week later. There is no conspiracy. It really is that simple.

    • Sexually Positive

      Well, that’s just, like your opinion man.

      No one is asking you to take part in casual sex.

      The best way is for all people involved in the sexual encounter to make it plain from the start what they’re looking for. Be it an ongoing casual thing, a one-night stand, or a more serious exclusive or poly relationship.

      I am afraid that since I, and I know I am not alone, do not consider sex as the most intimate expression of love that I could show someone – it is just sex.
      Yes, it has connotations and it is not something you’d do with just anyone; but nor is it some sacred act to only be performed with a consecrated individual.

      I would say that men and women can both be emotionally wounded by sex, especially when there is a difference in the parties views of how things stand between them. Again hence why I think it is good to be clear; at which point the harm comes from lying.
      Also: there are many women who just want casual sex and not the emotional baggage of a relationship.

      I would agree that one should use a condom when having sex with someone whom you do not trust or who is unsure as to their sexual health.

    • Guest

      Thank you for sharing your opinion. I respect the fact that you shared it respectfully. However, I think that further discussion could become more heated.

    • RoboGuest

      Your views on what it means to be a man in the context of how you care for your female spouse is extremely simplistic, and slightly sexist.

    • Guest

      Yes, this is your opinion. It is what works for my wife and I. However, I would try and refrain from trying to define someone elses views so hastily in the future. Especially with such little dialogue.

    • Blair Woynarski

      Yes, that’s your opinion. And the article is someone else’s opinion. What’s the problem?

  • yojo

    WIth the stress of starting a new semester i dont think most students are coming back DTF, If youre DTF ever, then the start of school is no biggie, and summer is just over and it was a better time anyway. Stop making the school seem dirty!

  • broomgrass

    A pretty meh article, but holy Batman comments section.

  • anomynomynous

    The article mentions using condoms once, Grindr (the anonymous male sex app) once, discourages heteronormativity once (so they should be thinking about the LGBT students too – in this case, the gay ones)…

    and mentions that Saskatoon has the highest per capita AIDS rate in the country a total of 0 times. (BTW we more than double the next closest province)

    I think that might have been worth mentioning along with all your sex positivism. Scare ‘em into making sure they use protection, or whatever.

    Someone is going to accuse me of being homophobic for suggesting gay men are most susceptible to AIDS. Too bad 1) statistically, they are, and 2) I’m gay.

    • hello

      Actually, according the most recent numbers, gay men are not the most susceptible to getting HIV (and haven’t been in Saskatchewan for a long time – yes, it is still possible, but they are not the most directly affected).

    • DTFU2

      The sheaf ran a great article during summer break on saskatoon’s dire HIV situation. Turns out its mostly injection drug users. So… You’re pretty wrong

  • hello

    I think many of the commenters are missing the point of this article. The authors are really trying to encourage people to engage in whatever type of activity they desire (be it dating, a relationship, sex, or none of the above) in a safe and positive way, while merely providing tips of how an individual may be able to access any of the aforementioned activities. Sex is only one part of the article, and it would be silly to assume that casual sex doesn’t happen. This isn’t a ‘silly Sheaf editor being a pervert’, this is reality.

    The authors are trying to create a positive atmosphere, letting individuals know that they should not be judgmental towards those who may engage in activities that, while perfectly healthy if practiced safely and with consent, may not be totally acceptable for others to practice. That is fine. But don’t be mean about it. Just because you may not do it, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening and that it’s wrong.

    Sounds like some of you may do better to relax and have some casual sex.

    • ya

      No one needs instructions or permission to have casual sex, though you seem to revel in your perceived naughtiness of it. Not a bit of information here about safety, health or anything useful. This does not paint a picture of reality, at all. Dating exists at uni just like everyone else in the world: Some people want to wait a bit to have sex, others will do it without a second thought. This article paints u of s like a whorehouse.

    • I’llGiveYouASingleEntendre

      What’s wrong with whorehouses? At least whores usually know the important of safe sex.
      All universities are a bit like them.

      And I don’t see anything in this article claiming that dating doesn’t exist at the U of S.
      Besides, who doesn’t like to put out on the first date?