Each year The Times High Education Supplement (TES) publishes its league tables; benchmarking UK universities against each other on the basis of student satisfaction, employment prospects and, of course, grades.
At the same time a separate University league table is published by Student Beans with their sexy alternative to University stats. Surveying thousands of students from across the country, their aim is to find out which University is the most shag-tastic.
Topping the list in 2014 was the University of Brighton, with an average 10.59 sexual partners per student and climbing a whopping 20 places. It fought off stiff competition from the likes of University of Chester and Liverpool’s Hope University to ride on top (excuse the sexual puns…). At the very bottom of the list was Bath Spa University, where study clearly takes priority over sex. You can take a look at the full league table here.
The same research tells us that in the UK, 51% of all students will have a one night stand during their higher education years. With the vast majority, worryingly, doing it unprotected – 51% of female students and 61% of males. Come on guys - what's happened to your condoms! Add to this that 25% of students lose their virginity while at University, it seems our future graduates are a spicy bunch.
In our Freshers Week blog, we shared some of the ways students can have safe and confident sex. Though when you’re having it, where do you go for advice?
Get advice. Get tested
If you’re anything like us, the sex education you had at school would have been very basic. Condom on a banana anyone?! It’s unsurprising, therefore that almost two-thirds of respondents (64%) in the Hexjam Students and Sex survey 2015 said they wished they had better sex education at school.
Thanks to the internet though, students are able to access this information at the touch of a button. Lots of Universities also offer advice through their Student Advisory Teams; details available through your Student Body or the University website.
If you're having unprotected sex there is, however, only one way to know for sure whether you have an STI and that’s by getting tested. If you’re having sex with different people, do so regularly.
Getting tested and treated for STIs is extremely straightforward and confidential. You can go to your GP or local sexual health / GUM clinic (again your University can direct you) regardless of whether or not you have symptoms of an STI. You will be able to access discreet advice and usually pick up some free condoms. Make an appointment or drop-in, which ever works for you; you’ll be tested for all kinds of infections, have everything explained and made to feel at ease. Results are provided in a couple of days for the common STIs, with infections such as HIV being returned within 7 – 10 days.
If you prefer to self-test, then you can do so for chlamydia and, since April this year, HIV.
- Chlamydia - depending on your age and location, this self-test maybe free of charge. Check out freetest.me to find out more. Tests are also widely available in high street pharmacies including Superdrug and Boots for a small cost.
- HIV - sent in a discreet package to an address of your choice, the BioSure HIV Self-Test can is really easy, and gives you your result in just 15 minutes, no sending off to labs and no waiting. It is more than 99.7% accurate, but only from 3 months after the time of exposure. It costs £29.99 including P&P. You can get more information about this kit and facts around HIV transmission, which is growing in prevalence amongst young heterosexuals, HERE
Many say that their time at University was some of the best of their lives, and with all this sex we can hardly argue with that. Just don’t burst the bubble by failing to protect yourself or seeking out the right advice if you need it. There’s no need to feel embarrassed or feel too anxious. Testing is quick and painless, even for men, and really effective treatments for all STI's can usually start as soon as the result is known. So have fun, stay safe and get checked.