Columns / Discourse / November 9, 2011

Ask Advocates for Choice: The morning after

AFC (Advocates for Choice) will have a weekly column answering campus-submitted questions about sexual health and other related topics.

This week’s question: How do you deal with “last Saturday night” the morning after on such a small campus?

Sunday brunch. One of the most popular meals of the week, but also one of the most dreaded. There you are, eating with your friends, when your hookup from the night before walks in. You freeze, unsure of how to act.

Though this moment can be awkward, running into past hookups is bound to happen on a small campus like Knox. Whether it happens in the caf, the library, or in one of your classes, it’s impossible to avoid people forever. Too often, seeing each other around campus turns into tense encounters where you only ignore each other.

However, you can avoid turning this into an embarrassing situation. The first thing to remember is that it’s probably awkward for the other person too, particularly if you didn’t know each other very well before this happened.

This interaction doesn’t have to be awkward, and you can avoid that if you both react calmly. The best reaction to this situation is a casual “Hey, how’s it going?” There’s no need for a lengthy conversation, unless you feel comfortable doing so. But completely ignoring each other will only make things worse.

Keeping communication open is also key if situations develop farther down the road, such as STDs or pregnancy. You don’t have to become best friends or start dating, but you should be able to speak to each other without being embarrassed or uncomfortable. Ideally, all these hookups should be occurring safely, with the use of condoms to prevent both of these situations.

That’s not always the case, especially on a college campus when alcohol and other substances might be involved. Worst case scenario, you need to be able to tell your previous partners about serious situations.

On a final note, keep yourself safe. Use birth control in all sexual encounters, regardless of whether it’s a random hookup or with your significant other. Running into your hookup from the weekend will happen at some point on this campus, but it doesn’t have to be awkward. Stay calm, and remember both of you were involved. Feel comfortable talking to each other, and who knows? It could turn into something more.

Emily Fuentes

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