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The Scarlet & Black

SHIC on abstinence, asking for handcuffs

Dear SHIC,

I’m a fourth-year student and just wanted to make it known that college life doesn’t have to include sex. It hasn’t for me and I’m perfectly content and comfortable! I appreciate all that you do, but am curious to know of SHIC’s sentiment on abstinence. After all, you are the Sexual Health Information Center.


Curious Observer

Dear Curious,

Thank you for reaching out to us with this question! We’re very happy to address it!

Indeed, our name can create a certain stigma around campus. We sell condoms and sex toys on the regular and have mountains of pamphlets on safe sexual encounters. By our own admission, we work mostly with those curious about or engaging in sexual activity. We love what we do to ensure that tools for safe sex practices and confidential sexual education are accessible on campus! But this should never manifest into a notion that SHIC doesn’t acknowledge, if not embrace, the practice of abstinence on campus.                      

Bearing in mind that we share a campus with a student body that possesses a multitude of personal values and ideals, SHIC stands for any means of attaining personal comfort and well-being. Sex, or lack thereof, is an act of self-expression that is unique to each person on the planet! We encourage you to be YOU and absolutely nothing more. Truly. And if you find yourself in a situation that takes you well outside of your comfort zone, please be honest with yourself! Only you know your needs.

Throughout this entire journey, please know that friends who don’t respect your practice of abstinence aren’t true friends. The same applies for girlfriends and boyfriends, too. Stay firm on your stance! Our educators are always available to help get that conversation started.

We encourage you to come visit us sometime to further chat, whether or not it’s related to sex! Together, we can work towards an all-inclusive experience at Grinnell that respects all viewpoints on topics such as sex. We are located on South Campus, Main first. Please send some love to our Facebook page also! Our educators look very much forward to seeing and/or hearing from you.

Much love and hugs,

<3 [shic]   

Dear SHIC,

How do you ask your partner to use handcuffs on you during sex?

“Bad” Good Girl

Dear “Bad” Good Girl,

Kudos to you on trying to make your sexual life more adventurous! I would say the best way to ask your partner would be to start a conversation and bring it up.  It’s healthy in any intimate relationship to talk about your sex life at least every once in a while, and if you don’t already, this might be a good way to start. Here are a couple ideas on how to broach the topic: you could talk to each other about your fantasies, or say you had an idea on how to spice up your sex life, or even just come out and say what you want. Yes, I know there is a small chance that your partner might think you are weird, in which case, you simply need to talk about it more with them, so they understand that being handcuffed is pleasurable for you. Remember, that your partner may be unfamiliar with handcuffs in the bedroom, and may need an explanation on how they are used. They don’t want to feel like an uneducated klutz if they have never used them before. Your partner may not have a clear understanding of why you want to be cuffed and how it may be pleasurable to you right off the bat.  A good idea would be to have them tie you up with a scarf or something (be careful that it’s not too tight) to ease in before handcuffs.  Looks like it’s cuffing season 😉

Have fun and be safe,


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