Take that fucking silver ring thing off your damn finger. You're in college now, cupcake, not high school, and virginity pledges—whether they've been honored or not—will impress precisely none of your new peers.

Once you get rid of the silver ring, there are a few things you're going to need to get.

Get a clue. Even if you had decent sex education at your high school, odds are good that you don't know shit. The "best" sex ed out there is little more than moderately comprehensive reproductive biology. Whatever you learned about zygotes and fallopian tubes, spermatozoa and ova, isn't going to help you now. Reproduction is the easy part—there are over six billion people on the planet; how hard could fucking be? What they don't cover in sex ed is the useful stuff, the crucial stuff, like how to get your ass laid—that's the hard part. Since no one taught you how to talk people into sleeping with you, boys and girls, you may be fuzzy on exactly what consent is ("Yes, I'd love to sleep with you!") and is not ("Dude, she passed out!"). They expect you to learn that, my young charges, by trial and error. But screw up on consent and you can wind up in prison for the rest of your life. So, boys, err on the side of "Yes, I'd love to," and girls, err on the side of being assertive about saying yes or no.

Get birth control. Birth control is everyone's problem—just as much his responsibility as it is hers. Psych! Birth control is totally the woman's responsibility. It shouldn't be, of course, but it is. And why's that? Because women give birth and men don't. An unplanned pregnancy can certainly fuck up a dude's life, but nowhere near as much as it can fuck up a woman's life. To find the location of the nearest Planned Parenthood office—where you can get birth control, STD screenings, the morning-after pill, the new HPV vaccine, and so much more—go to www.plannedparenthood.org.

Get some condoms. Even if you're absolutely, positively sure you're not going to have sex until after you're married—just like Jesus would want, even though Jesus never actually said a word about premarital sex—get a few condoms, toss 'em in a drawer, and forget about 'em. Then, if you get carried away during one of those technical-virginity-preserving-oral-manual-and-anal-sex marathons, you'll have some birth control handy. And always remember: If he won't wear a condom, don't fuck him. If she isn't asking you to wear a condom, don't fuck her.

Get your shit together. This one's for you in particular, gay boys. Getting HIV will not necessarily end your life, but it will endlessly complicate your life. So get informed about safer sex (notice I wrote "safer sex," not "safe"), and practice it. Practice, practice, practice. And remember: Whatever you suffered in high school or your small town or in the sacristy at St. Jerome's is no excuse for becoming a messy meth addict, a sloppy drunk, or a tobacco smoker.

Get serious. Don't believe that people can consent to sex when they're drunk or high? Then don't drink or use drugs. And remember: If you're having sex when you're drunk or high, odds are good that you're having sex with other drunk or high people—which means that neither of you consented to the sex, so you raped each other, so you're even.

Get over yourself. You like what you like, and the sooner you stop worrying about what other people think, the happier you'll be. Are you a straight boy into vaginal intercourse with conventionally attractive women? Great, you'll never have to present a "special" request to a sex partner, nor will you have to worry about your friends finding out. But if you're a straight boy into, oh, being fucked in the ass by fat girls wearing strap-ons, well, don't waste your time having vaginal intercourse with conventionally attractive women just to make your friends think you're "normal." You're not; you never will be. Normal is overrated anyway. Do what you like with someone you like and don't worry about what other people think.

Any questions, class? Send 'em to mail@savagelove.net.