Some people will tell you that resolutions are meant for a specific season; they are to be done in the middle of the winter, at the beginning of the each new calendar year. Myself and your vagina would beg to differ. Although New Year’s Resolutions have their place, resolutions are best made when your schedule is about to solidify and your focus is about to shift (read: the beginning of the school year). Especially in regards to your sexual health, now is an ideal time to get your priorities set. Street has compiled a list of five start—of—year promises that you should make to your vagina to get you started. Feel free to commit to any and all of the upcoming five; your vagina will thank you.
1. Protect her from STDs.
How you decide to do this is up to you; we recommend using condoms regularly unless you’re 100% sure that your partner is 100% clean. According to CDC data, people aged 15-24 are accountable for half of all STD infections each year. Now everybody take some rubbers. (Ed. note: this applies just as strongly to all you men and your penises.)
2. Keep tabs on her health status.
In order to know how well resolution #1 is going, you’ve gotta monitor what’s going on down there. An annual STD test is between $10 and $30 and easily administered by SHS. Plus, they’ll even put the charge under a generic name like "Student Health Appoitnment" to keep your parents from asking questions about the bill. Time to commit yourself to getting “cold medicine” every so often this year. Start with a preliminary test to see that everything is settled after your steamy summer fling, and promise to keep up the practice. Your vagina and your future partners will thank you. (Ed. note: see ed. note #1)
3. Get to know her.
Vagina’s are complex beings, and if you ever expect anyone else to figure yours out, you’re going to have to do it first. There’s nothing shameful or inherently dirty about female masturbation, or figuring out what you like— no matter how much our society tries to tell you there is. It's a healthy and integral part of the female sexual experience, just as much as it is for males. Ignore the haters and do your thing. Find out what works for you.
4. Check in with her immediately post-sex.
She’s just gone through quite a bit; make sure she’s all good. Take a quick bathroom break and get a minute to yourself to evaluate the situation. One simple pee break post—sex prevents most UTIs. You and your vaginal health are worth it.
5. Decide on what birth control you’ll use for her, if any at all.
You’ve just gotten your semester schedule, so you know what time might be best for you to regularly take your pill of choice. Or, if you’ve been thinking about some other method for a while now, take advantage of a semi-light workload in early fall and schedule an appointment to get your IUD or other comparable device. If you don’t want to use invasive methods, start now with tracking your cycle so you can estimate your levels of fertility and plan accordingly. Nowadays, there’s even an app for that.