Swipe left or swipe right?

Tinder.

The Mecca of college dating. When a college student swipes right on Tinder, what might be going through their heads? “Omg he’s so cute”, “I would love to fuck her”, or “Damn she’s fire”. College students instantly reveal their inner SLUT as soon as they open the app. Can you blame them though? Imagine it’s 11 pm on a Friday night … a boring college night just sitting in your room and you’re craving the opposite sex’s attention. So you open Tinder.

giphy.com

And you match with the hottest person you’ve ever seen on campus. You guy decides to link up the same night immediately and sexual things happen. 

That is a typical night of a college student, very normal right? What’s not normal is how nights like this can increase your chances or risks of getting an STD/STI. According to the CDC in 2016: 

  • Young people aged 15-24 account for half of the nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections that occur each year in the United States.
  • Both the number and rates of reported cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea continue to be highest among people aged 15-24.
  • Young women face the most serious long-term health consequences. It is estimated that undiagnosed STDs cause more than 20,000 women to become infertile each year.

This could be prevented, yet with apps such as Tinder, a lot of young college students are forgetting to use protection, get tested regularly, and ask about the status of the individuals they’re having sex with. I encourage my young woman and men, please use the resources provided on campus and PROTECT yourselves by all means necessary. Jmu provides STD/STI Testing at the health center in which you can make an appointment via MyJMUChart. Jmu health center recommends getting tested yearly, when you have new sex partners, or every 3-6 months if you have multiple sex partners.

Naive.

Another vital factor when using Tinder that I think is rarely talked about is how Tinder can be so emotionally damaging for freshmen in college. Most students have no idea how online dating apps actually maneuver. I know personally, I downloaded Tinder the second semester of my freshman year as a joke, but then I got bored and actually started swiping on people and getting matches. I began to speak with so many different guys who actually made me feel wanted and made me feel as if they wanted more than just having sex (I was so naive). A freshman in college … I was so naive and began to give my body to a boy who I actually liked and felt feelings for, yet he had one thing in mind. Sex. Once he received that, his job was done.

A lot of young women my age experience this and we are then emotionally damaged afterward wondering, “what did I do wrong”, “was the sex not good”, or “was my body unappealing to him”. Thoughts that could’ve been prevented if the nature of dating apps were talked about more before young adults head to college. I wish I was told to stay away from these types of apps. I wish I was told to make sure that both parties’ motives are clear in the beginning. I wish I wasn’t so damn Naive. 

I’m not anymore though. I’m a slut, a young woman who knows what she wants. A young woman who can smell bullshit a mile away. A young woman who no longer cares about how she’s viewed by a man. A young woman who is free in all of her glory. 

Israeli activists chant slogans, as they carry placards, during the 7th annual SlutWalk march through central Jerusalem on May 18, 2018, to protest rape culture, including the sexual assault and harassment of women – The campaign, which has gained international notoriety, was inspired by a group of Canadian women who launched the protest in 2011 in response to a policeman’s comment that if women want to avoid being attacked they should not dress like sluts. (Photo by GALI TIBBON / AFP) (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP via Getty Images)

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