A Short and Sweet Take on Sex At Swat

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Let’s start this article off with our campus cliché: running into your hook-up from last night’s sweaty Beyonce party at the grill line this morning at Sharples. You are embarrassed, and, if you drank the Paces punch, possibly very, very nauseated.

Should we continue with a warning? (THIS COULD BE YOU!) we could, but we won’t.

Hooking-up – anything from making out to sex – in college is complicated. Yeah, there is a hook-up culture, but there is also a Swarthmore culture, and they intersect in strange ways.

You think your new Beyonce-friend is ignoring you? They might just be super shy, or they might not like you. Who knows? Swarthmore is weird that way. We tend to be really good at talking about the politics of sex (see here, here and here), and less good at navigating actual relationships.

We are not going to write you a recap of your ASAP workshop, or tell you that sex is should always be consensual (DUH), but we will encourage you, above all, to talk about sex. Talk to your Beyonce-friend! Yeah it’s awkward, but you’ll feel worse (and crazier) trying to avoid them (it’s a smaller campus than you know now). Also talk to your friends and get their advice. Also go talk to CAPS, the Sexual Health Counselors (SHCs), your RA or groups like Clothesline Project, The Swarthmore Queer Union and Speak 2 Swatties.

For the most part, our Swat Bubble is loving and accepting of all sexualities and attitudes towards sex. Don’t forget that: you’re not alone in any of your endeavors (even if you’re going at it alone, or not going at it at all). Talk it out, seek help when you need it, and have fun!


  1. Note that there is also sex on campus outside of hookup culture. A lot of people date, have partners, theres even a poly presence on campus. Most relationship types are here and have their niche, so don’t worry if you’re not into partying.

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