Romance According to Kate

Kate Ostler

(Brent Schwert)

Dear Kate,
The weather’s been great lately. Can you say anything about the advantages and disadvantages of getting it on under the radiant spring sky?
-Interested in “Outdoor Recreation”Dear Interested,
Yes, in fact, I can chat a little bit about why – and why not – to have some frisky fun in the open air. Most of us learned about the “birds and the bees” from our friends at school, older siblings, or parents, but I would be willing to bet that very few of us have put the knowledge to good use outside, right next to real birds and bees.
On a residential campus like ours, it can sometimes be hard to find a spot where you can, literally, get hard. Some people may seem to think that a good spot to get laid is somewhere outside, free from roommates, noisy neighbors, or other distractions. While on the one hand, this arrangement may seem sensible, you have to remember the risks involved.
Take care to find a good secluded spot, somewhere security won’t pass by to awkwardly chastise you. Also be sure not to make too much noise, as the beauty of the outdoors often lies in its serene setting and quiet atmosphere. Don’t infringe upon anyone else’s space, e.g. try not to do the deed in front of someone’s bedroom window, or on a front porch.
And finally, of course, watch out for the obvious hazards: poison ivy, pinecones, stinging insects, etc. You don’t want to have to explain to Nurse Carol exactly how you got that rash on your penis.

Dear Kate,
I’m fairly religious and have had doubts about any premarital sex, but I’m starting to rethink this whole “virgin” thing. Any advice?
– Virgin with an Urgin’

Dear Virgin,
I think that this is a very personal issue that probably won’t be resolved overnight, and certainly shouldn’t be pending any exaggeration or clever pun denoting “advice” on my part. However, there are definitely some things to take into serious consideration before deciding what you’re going to do.
First of all, make sure that whoever you’re looking to hook up with is not a middle-aged scientologist looking for some decent publicity and a woman to carry his spawn. Once you’re fairly certain that you haven’t been brainwashed, think about exactly why you’ve suddenly decided that it may be time for you to change your religious or moral values.
For some people, there may be a legitimate shift in thought concerning matters such as this, as college is undoubtedly a time when many people experience a lot of personal growth. For others, this change may merely be reflective of a desire to fit in or become someone different from who you are. A few years ago, I was under the impression that everyone at college would be infinitely more experienced and less awkward than I was. I was absolutely incorrect. The reality is that many of us are still really unsure about romantic relationships, especially those concerning sex, and that – as clichd as it sounds – is okay.

Please send questions to Kate Ostler’s mailbox at the Union Information Desk or