Smalls Talk: Intimate Exchange

Saray welcomes Appalachian's Associate Director for Student Engagement and Leadership Dustin Evatt, Assistant Professor in Leadership and Educational studies Dr. Brandy Bryson and Program Director for the Family and Marriage Therapy Dr. Nicholas Jordan to the studio for a discussion of relationships and sex. The group covers safer sex techniques, the importance of communication and shares resources to help you on your sexual health journey.

NOTE: The content of this podcast is created by wellness education experts for mature listeners who are serious about their health and wellbeing. This episode acknowledges that college students engage in sex, and addresses matters of sexual health and safety. If you do not want to listen to that kind of content, you might prefer to skip listening to this episode.


  • Hi Smalls Talk listeners - the content of this podcast is created by wellness education experts for mature listeners who are serious about their health and wellbeing. This episode acknowledges that college students engage in sex, and addresses matters of sexual health and safety. If you do not want to listen to that kind of content, you might prefer to skip listening to this episode.

    Dave Blanks: Hello and welcome to Smalls Talk with Saray Smalls. Saray is the Wellness Coordinator for student programs at Appalachian State University with wellness and prevention services. Smalls Talk is a podcast designed for college students as a means to help them on their personal journey of self and personal wellness. Now here’s Saray.

    Saray Smalls: Hey Everyone, I am Saray Smalls and this is Smalls Talk. This podcast is designed to be the ultimate quickie that will provide you with the energy you need to make informed decisions concerning your total well being as a college student. Each episode of Smalls Talk will feature one of the eight dimensions of wellness including social, emotional, physical, environmental, spiritual, intellectual, occupational and financial. Today’s episode focuses on two wellness areas emotional, specifically as it relates to maintain relationships, and social, which includes the ability to interact with individuals around you as it relates to communication and building relationships. If you haven’t already guessed it, our topic for today is relationships and sex. So welcome my co-host, I am so excited to have sitting here to today. I have three co-hosts for today’s episode and I would first like to introduce Dustin Evatt. Dustin is the Associate Director for Student Engagement and Leadership. Hi Dustin.

    Dustin Evatt: Hi.

    SS: How are you?

    DE: Good, how are you?

    SS: I’m good. Thank you for joining us. Tell us a little bit about the department of Student Engagement and Leadership.

    DE: Yes, so the Department of Student Engagement and Leadership is actually a new office that was formed on campus. It was the merger of our former Involvement and Leadership Office and our Student Programs Office. The purpose of our office is to help students create a transformational college experience. In the areas of Student Engagement and Leadership, we have our ACT Office, our Campus Activities Office which includes programming and clubs and organizations as well as leadership development programs. We are located in room 244 in the Student Union.

    SS: Awesome, thank you Dustin. I also have the privilege of having Dr. Brandy Bryson with me who is our Assistant Professor in Leadership and Educational studies. Hi Brandy.

    Brandy Bryson: Hi Saray.

    SS: How are you?

    BB: I’m fantastic.

    SS: Good, so tell us a little bit about the work that you do in leadership and educational studies.

    BB: So leadership and educational studies is a department in the College of Education that serves both graduate students and undergraduate students. So my particular program is social and philosophical foundations of education, which is a mouthful. Basically, I study the connections between society and schools. Most of my work revolves around social justice and inclusive diversity work with a specific emphasis on studying systems of racism.

    SS: Yes, thank you. Lastly, we have Dr. Nicholas Jordan who prefers to be called Jordan. So if you if you hear me refer to a Jordan throughout this podcast, it's him. He is our program director for the Family and Marriage Therapy Program. Hi Jordan

    Nicholas Jordan: Hi, thank you for having me.

    SS: Of course! Tell us a little bit about the work that you do in Marriage and Family Therapy.

    NJ: Well I am a therapist. Marriage and Family Therapy is a program in the College of Education. We are a graduate program, we teach psychotherapy from a systemic perspective. We focus on working on a relationship, rather than the individual pathology.

    SS: So interesting, y’all make my job sound boring (everyone chuckles). For our listeners, you know that we start every episode off with a game. So I have a game for our co-hosts today and it’s called what do you know. Of course it’s all questions about sex and relationships. So let’s get started with Dustin. Dustin what are the five types of love languages?

    DE: The five types of love languages? Gifts, I know receiving gifts.

    SS: That’s right.

    DE: Spending time together, quality time together. Also umm touch.

    SS: Yeah it is

    DE: Umm, I don’t have the other two.

    SS: No? Brandy, do you know?

    BB: Acts of service and affirmations.

    SS: Yes!! Words of affirmations. So like “hey you look amazing today” and “oh thanks!” Alright, Jordan. One in how many people have genital herpes?

    NJ: Umm two?

    SS: No. God that would be awful.

    NJ: (stammers) Umm four?

    SS: Close, it’s six. One in six people have genital herpes.

    NJ: Oh, I’m so sorry.

    SS: Yeah. And most don’t know. So interesting fact there. Now, I am bringing it back to Brandy. True or False: A female, or internal, condom also referred to as FC2, can only be used for vaginal sex.

    BB: False?

    SS: You’re right!!! Yeah!!! So internal condom, or FC2 or female condom can also be used for anal sex. So Jordan, define consent.

    NJ: Saying yes to sexual intimacy each and every time it happens.

    SS: Every single time?

    NJ: Every time. I know that it’s an awkward thing, but hey...

    SS: Great sex begins with a yes.

    NJ: Yes

    SS: There you go does anybody else want to add anything? Brandy do you have any additional?

    BB: Silence does not equal yes.

    SS: You’re right. Silence is not consent. Consent is also clear, knowing, voluntary permission through words or actions for another individual to do something that affects the individual giving consent. Consent is based on choice and must be informed freely and actively given, and mutually understandable indicating a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon activity. Dustin!! Tell me one way that birth control works.

    DE: One way is a condom.

    SS: Yes, as a protective barrier. But if we are thinking about the birth control pill, how does that work?

    DE: Okay, so it shuts down the fallopian..It stops the eggs from being produced?

    NJ: I am so glad I didn’t get this question (all laugh loudly) so glad.

    SS: Yes!

    DE: It doesn’t produce the eggs in the uterus?

    SS: Hmh. Okay so suppressing ovulation. Ovulation does not happen when a woman is on birth control, right. Another way that it happens is by thinning the walls of the uterus. If the lining of the uterus is too thin then an egg cannot attach to the uterus and develop into a baby. Also thickening the cervical mucus. The mucus is very thick there when a woman is on birth control so the sperm cannot enter the cervix, which means it cannot get into the uterus to fertilize a potential egg.

    DE: Wow.

    NJ: Well, you pay attention to bio then in fourth grade.

    SS: They’re not learning this in fourth grade.

    BB: You learned this in fourth grade?

    SS: I didn’t get this until college.

    BB: What state did you grow up in?

    NJ: North Carolina, down in Raleigh. I learned from, what was her name Ms. Harrison?

    SS: Shout out to Ms. Harrison, she was doing it.

    NJ: I learned all about cervical mucus in the fourth grade.

    BB: Wow, good for you.

    SS: I learned abstinence only.

    SS: Hello! Me too growing up in South Carolina.

    SS: So the last question I have is for Brandy. Brandy about ages 18-24 represent what percent of the sexually active population?

    BB: 61 percent?

    SS: Ooo, that’s a lot. Not that much. Second guess?

    BB: 37 percent?

    SS: So much closer, it’s 25 percent. So they represent 25 percent of the sexually active population, but the kicker is they represent 50 percent of all new STI cases and that’s why we are having this conversation. Thank you for playing our game. So to introduce our topic today, you all know that I am working in wellness and prevention services, and last year we had the opportunity to complete our campus wellness assessment. We found that 56 percent of respondents self-identified as sexually active. What was interesting was that less than half of those respondents reported using protective barriers every single time that they had sex. So that’s another reason why I wanted us to have this conversation today and really dive into relationships and sex. Thinking back too, I thought of the difficulty of navigating a relationship with sex and school. Maybe even a job, caring for our parents, caring for a sibling all while in college can be a lot to handle. So this episode will focus on a variety of experiences and offer some tips about relationships and sex. In one word, tell me something that you think every relationship needs to have.

    DE: I would say trust.

    SS: Trust? Brandy?

    BB: Communication.

    SS: Communication, Jordan?

    NJ: Balance.

    SS: Balance. I feel like every relationship should have presence. So presents like gifts but presence as in being there physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. There should be some type of connectedness. In conversations that I have had with my friends, sometimes with my students, I typically find that the one thing that you feel is necessary for a good relationship is something that you often experienced in your childhood, so there’s an expectation for it, or it is something that you never got in your childhood so you long for it even more in relationships. Jordan I see you thinking. Do you agree with that?

    NJ: I’m trying to identify those things in myself, but I feel you on that.

    SS: For myself presence is really important to me. For those that don’t know me really well, I do not have a relationship with my father. I grew up in a single parent household with my mother so I lack that presence of a father. So in my relationships, I find myself longing for presence. That stability of having someone around. That’s why I really appreciate touch as my love language. So I feel like the thing that I didn’t get in growing up is what I long for in my relationships. So how does that dynamic play out for you guys in your current or previous relationships?

    NJ: I think that connects for me because I saw that my parents did not have a very balanced relationship. It was really skewed toward my daddy needed to be taken care of and my mom was supposed to do it. I think that’s why balance is so important to me in relationships, and fairness.

    BB: I would agree. I think that communication is something that is really big for me because it’s not something that was really modeled for me, at least not effective and healthy communication. My parents both struggled alcoholism, my mom and stepdad specifically, and so they never really communicated. They just fought. My dad was more of the let’s sweep it under the rug and not talk about it. So it’s not something that I really saw, so it’s become really important to me to have healthy communication in of all my relationships.

    SS: Dustin what about you?

    DE: Yeah, I would also agree. You know, when I say trust I think my parents really did role model that for me as a child. They’ve been married 34 - 35 years. So part of that was having that trust in the relationship and I think that they role modeled that for me and my brothers. So I think that the trust is really important for me in my relationship, in my current relationship. Knowing that we can be there for each other through relationship and trust, I think, are the two critical pieces of having a healthy relationship.

    SS: So how do you all set that expectation in your relationships? The balance, the communication and trust. Do you verbally say, “Hey I need this?” What’s that expectation aspect? Brandy what about you?

    BB: I communicate it. (All laugh). Actually before that communication can happen one of the things I’ve really had to work on, particularly growing up in that household with a good deal of dysfunction, is knowing what I need to actually be able to communicate what I need to someone else. Then being able to hear what someone else needs as well. So it’s kind of that give and take. That communication piece of what we are willing to give and what we need from our partners to give is incredibly important.

    SS: I agree. What about you [Jordan]?

    NJ: Me too, I think of relationships as business transactions, but not quite a bank kind of thing, but close to it. So the currency in relationships is love and trustworthiness so we bank that up over time. So if we are loving and trustworthy, then it builds up an account in the relationship. So for me, in terms of building balance, I am very direct in what I need. That’s what I want. Sometimes it is tough on my wife because being direct is not always good and helpful in certain situations, but I am direct about those things. Here’s what I want, and don’t want and I need that from you too.

    SS: Dustin you wanna weigh in on that?

    DE: Yeah, for me and my partner now we both communicate in different ways. For me personally I appreciate it more when I know something is bothering him - like I can tell in his body language - course he doesn’t want to acknowledge it. He just kind of sits there and waits for things to get kind of brushed underneath the rug and things, but I’m like no let’s talk about it. I do give him his space. I think that’s important in relationships is to know when we give our partners the space to process things themselves and also to process things together is important. I think that’s when that critical piece of trust and communication really come in. I think when you find that commonality, that deeper commonality in the deeper values

    SS: What is something that annoys you all in a relationship? So the relationship is going good and the honeymoon phase is suddenly over. What is something that you just can’t deal with? Jordan is ready. Go ahead Jordan.

    NJ: Passive aggressiveness (all oooo simultaneously). Passive aggressiveness. If you have beef with me, just tell me what I did. Just give me the opportunity to either fix or decide that I’m not going to do anything about it. Like just give me that opportunity, like don’t be snide with me.

    SS: Oh, I am so passive aggressive.

    NJ: Ugh!!

    SS: If you text me and I’m mad at you, I’m just not going to text you back. I want them to think about what they did and they don’t even know what they did wrong.

    NJ: It’s more than just the texting. It’s not just being ignored, but if you have a problem just tell me.

    SS: Okay, Dustin what about you?

    DE: Clingy, being too clingy. I appreciate independence, but an agreement of what independence looks like and support each other in that way. I think for me, once that honeymoon phase is over, it was recognizing that we are both busy with other things. It is about how do we support each other while keeping with our unique personality and approach. But yeah clinginess can get a little over the top.

    NJ: I think I might be clingy!?

    SS: (laughs) Doing some self-discovery on the podcast.

    NJ: It is up there.

    BB: I would have to say complacency. So after that honeymoon phase is over, just becoming complacent in relationship and yourself just becoming stuck and not really working on being intentional with each other, if you’re in an intimate relationship. But it also extends to other relationships as well. So complacency is my pet peeve.

    SS: I definitely think is that idea of someone trying to think for me. So I’m all into receiving advice from people that I am really close to or “oh this happened at work.” I am fine with advice. Then when you start to give unsolicited advice and saying “you need to do this” or “what you should do is…. It can come off as “I the man think that you should do this.” I need to feel like I can be an independent thinker or person...independent of you while still being in a relationship. So that’s important for me.

    So diving in a little bit more, do you think your ideals and expectations regarding relationships are the same for sex? So thinking back to our one word from earlier, mine was presence and I see that play out in intimate relationships and sex as well. Do you all feel like communication and trust and balance are the same when it comes to sex also.

    BB: Absolutely. I think that in terms of sex we need to be able to communicate our desires and communicate things that we are not into and make that communication happen in a proactive way. That way everyone gets his or her needs met.

    DE: Yeah absolutely, I would agree. I think that the hope for me would be developing those before you get to the sex component. Developing those deeper values of communication and trust and balance. Then when you get there, it’s already natural. If you are already practicing that then by the time you get to the intimate side of things, then you’ve already set a strong foundation and a strong relationship. You know that you can fully trust the person and be all in and be your full self. So I think that those are foundational pieces.

    SS: I definitely agree with you. Just thinking back to my time in college. So we can all just take a few quick steps back to our times in college. Did you ever communicate your turn ons and turn offs, wants and desires with any of your partners at that time? Jordan?

    NJ: I know that didn’t. I don’t even know if I had the language for it back then. I don’t think it even occurred to me that was okay to do. No, never communicated those things.

    SS: Why do you think that is? Why do you think we didn’t communicate that in school? For me, I feel like sex was always taboo. Like you do not talk about. If you’re doing it then you do it behind closed doors and you don’t tell anybody because your family is going to be sad. Maybe there was this expectation that you were to them this nonsexual person until you were married. I was not supposed to have sex until I was married, but I want to have sex and I don’t know how to communicate that because I was never allowed, but it feels good…

    NJ: It’s weird because we don’t really talk about it so it’s not a surprising that I didn’t have language around it at that time. It was taboo; you didn’t talk about it what you liked because then that meant you were out there in the street. It meant negative things, so then when it was actually time as a reasonable consenting adult it was hard. I didn’t have the language to say, “hey I like this” or even that it was okay to say liked something.

    SS: Another note with this podcast is that we want you all to feel that you have permission to have these conversations with your partners. Really talk about what it is that you like, want and need. A lot of our students coming to college are not sexually active as shown by our assessment. For a student exploring sex … interesting fact about Saray I didn’t start having sex until I came to college. Mom knows so if she's listening we have had that conversation and you know. So for those students who are navigating sex for the first time how would you recommend they figure out what it is that they like?

    NJ: The first thing I will say is sex is okay. We are trained to think a lot of negative things about sex, but it is okay. If you want to do it then that’s your decision you don’t really need… it’s up to you and you don’t what you want to feel okay in doing. I think that’s the first thing I would say to them and then talk to them about what you are saying about being able to communicate. Learning to communicate your turn-ons and turn-offs that's okay too. Explaining to somebody how they can please you is a good thing and if they do that it is also good, but they aren’t magically supposed to know. I’m always confronted by not in just terms of intimacy, but relationships in general where couples say “Oh my gosh they should know this or they should know how to do this.” Well they’re not going to know that until you tell them. It is okay to talk about these things and talk about the things that you need and want.

    SS: I think another point about that too is thinking about masturbation. It is an important one because it’s awesome and also knowing how to please yourself enables you to be able to tell your partner how you like to be pleased. I like to be touched here… touch me there. Also tip if you ever want to masturbate in front of your partner do that too it can be really great. Lots of smiles…

    NJ: This is my kind of show…

    DE: The after dark show.

    SS: We are going to give them tips though! Students who have never engaged in sex though need to figure out what they like. Have some time for yourself.

    NJ: Please wash your hands and be courteous to others.

    SS: Wash your hands before and after masturbating. Also lubricant. A lot of y’all out there are using lotion, baby oil and hair grease y’all need to stop.

    NJ: Hair grease? That does not seem comfortable.

    BB: Coconut oil is multifaceted.

    SS: Come on coconut oil! Yes!

    BB: “If you like Pina Coladas…”

    NJ: If the temperature changes to quick you can burn yourself with coconut oil can’t you?

    BB: You don’t heat it up first.

    NJ: Maybe I don’t know how to use coconut oil.

    SS: If you are trying to figure out where to get lubricant there is lube available in Wellness and Prevention Services and I will give you guys some more information about that towards the end of the show. So step one… let’s think about some steps to success for sex. Let’s research. Where do you do sex research? Who do I talk to? Where do I go?

    DE: I would say get on Google. Start searching randomly and go from there. Also make sure you are looking at credible sources to make sure… Safety in sex is important to make sure that you are taking care of yourself and as you're experimenting you and your partner are being safe in multiple ways.

    SS: Two parts, if you are going to Google just go ahead and start with Planned Parenthood their website is multifaceted and has everything. They have videos and how to’s it is great. Look them up if you are trying to figure some things out or testing. Back to being safe they’re a wide variety of protective barriers out there. Do you guys know some of the different protective barriers available?

    BB: Condoms, female condoms, birth control pills.

    NJ: Protected from STI’s or babies? There are important differences there.

    SS: You are right. Male condoms or external condoms protect from what?

    NJ: Babies and diseases.

    SS: Yes, two fold whereas a birth control pill only protects against unplanned pregnancy. So birth control pills or hormonal birth control does not protect you from an STI, but also thinking of other ways to protect against STI’s. Dental dams. A lot of students and even adults are not aware of what dental dams are or how they work, but it is a barrier method used for oral sex. Performed more so on to vagina, but also performed on the anus so it is multifaceted in that way. All right, so how do you recommend talking to your partner about safe sex and getting tested? Is that a conversation you all have had in the past with a partner or currently?

    DE: So when I first met my partner we both had a conversation we had been dating for a few weeks and when it started to get serious we talked about how we were both going to go get tested. That was an important thing so we both went, not at the same time, but at the same location. It was actually really cool to be able to share that experience it sounds odd, but it was actually cool to be able to have that conversation and share that with each other. To know 100% that we are there for each other and we are starting fresh and clean. It would have been a turnoff for me if Tyler and I would have had that conversation and he would have said no I’m not going that or shut it down. That would have been a red flag for me. How could I be able to trust if you are not willing to take this step, so that was an important component that he was able to do.

    SS: If he hadn’t been into getting tested do you think you could have been into exploring your relationship with him?

    DE: It would have been difficult. Probably not. To me that would have been a red flag of why don’t you want to go get tested. There would have been another step or another layer we would have had to work through or communicate through.

    SS: For our students that are listening getting tested is really important and if that is something you feel that you want to talk to your partner about then please do. A lot of times there is this fear of “I don’t want to get tested because I’m afraid of what the result may be. What if I really do have something?” The truth is it is good to know you have and STD or an STI so you can get treated. A number of these STI’s are treatable or curable so the longer you wait to get tested living with something the worse off it could be. Definitely encouraging our listeners who are sexually active to get tested regularly and for regularly it depends on the person. For myself I get tested at least once a year every single year like clockwork as far as those with multiple partners I recommend you get tested with every partner. Whether it is before which is great or even after having engaged with a new partner you should still get tested. What are some other tips for success for our students? We have talked about safety steps and testing…

    BB: Well connecting this back to the emotional and social aspects of wellness as it relates to relationships and sex. Coming at this from the perspective of one, I won’t speak for all, but as a sis-gendered hetero woman I think it is important for young women to remember that despite however we have been socialized around sex our sexual needs are important. We are not here for just the pleasure of men at their whim and I think that is an important aspect of thinking about our own sexual needs. Be able to be a little more assertive about our needs and getting those needs met in a healthy way that doesn’t make us feel like we have been cornered into participating in activities that we don’t want to. Also to just reclaim that freedom to explore sexually.

    SS: I agree completely. Anything else you all want to add?

    NJ: Thinking about sex as a black male we are hyper sexualized and over sexualized so speaking out to other black men who are regular black dudes with penises that are regular sizes and things like that. We hear those messages too we get those messages and are bombarded with those things. I want to encourage them to know those are negative messages and have a negative impact on us. We are just normal regular sexual beings like everyone else and not some magical unicorns in the forest. We are regular people and that is important to remember.

    SS: Okay and I respect you for that.

    NJ: Thanks?

    SS: So Jordan and Brandi both mentioned some points that I also think relate back to identity. So thinking about some of the identities that you hold that may intersect with your sexual desires, needs or expectations. Do you feel like there are other expectations that are placed on you based on an identity that you hold? I think for me as a black woman it is twofold. For me growing up I was always told boys, books and babies don’t go together so even in college I was in a mindset that you are at college to get a degree don’t worry about boys because they lead to babies. Hence my struggle with relationships … thanks everybody for those tips. Also as an adult know thinking that I should be this super feisty and fiery person in the bedroom because I am too over sexualized. Do you feel like there are other identities that you may carry that are stereotypes about who you are supposed to be sexually?

    DE: You know for me being a gay man is that all we think about is sex and that is all we are ever after. That’s not the truth. When you think about relationships there is so much more than sex and sex is a component of really having a deep commitment and relationship with someone that you care deeply about and love and so I think that there are all these stereotypes-- I remember my first intimate experience with another man was-- it was scary. It was super scary because all these stereotypes in my head about anal sex and all these things that were running through my head about AIDS and everything. Growing up in a very southern conservative household and what that meant and all these things that were playing around in my head so first off doing the research and reading what other people were experiencing and reading narratives-- I didn't have anyone to talk to at that point but just reading online and learning more and getting more comfortable with the topic and so definitely the stereotypes around gay men and AIDS and all you think about is sex all the time and overcoming some of those social barriers and social norms I think was tough but definitely doable.

    SS: Just to give you guys your challenges for the week, so you know every episode features challenges so you have to do a little bit of homework. So, challenge number one, we spent a lot of time talking about the importance of communicating in our relationships; so take some time to really think about the one thing you really need in a relationship and why you feel that you need it. Whether its balance, whether its presence, if its communication, where is that coming from for you? Really sit down and think, “Why do I feel like I need this? How do I need it to occur? And where is it stemming from?” Secondly your challenge is to communicate about sex where you don't have sex. Whether you’re currently sexually active with somebody or you’re considering becoming sexually active one tip that I always like to give students and my friends is to talk about sex where you don't have sex. So if you primarily have sex in the bed or bedroom don't sit there after sex and say, “hey, I didn't really like that blah blah blah” or “you should do a better job of…” That's not really the best space, maybe on the drive to cookout or on a hike or walking the Greenway you can bring it up and really talk about it, especially beforehand. So really communicate about sex where you don't have sex. Thirdly if you are or considering becoming sexually active please visit Wellness and Prevention Services on AppSync to request sexual health resources from the Condom Fairy. The Condom Fairy is a resource available to all of our students here at Appalachian. The Condom Fairy specializes in barriers; male and external condoms, female condoms or FC2, internal condoms, as well as dental dams, water based lube, silicone based lube and flavored lubricant. Whatever it is that you need the Condom Fairy has. Please go on that site on AppSync and request your barriers. It's like a prescription almost so they are ready within two to three business days so if you request on a Friday you may not get it on Saturday so if you're preparing for the weekend request it a couple days in advance to make sure that you get your needs met. And then the lastly, I think we drove this point home a little bit earlier, is to get tested. Every student at App has one free STI test so that's for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, its one free urine test available through Student Health Services each academic year. In addition to that you also have access to HIV and syphilis tests, which is a blood test available. I want to say it's either $16 or $18 but definitely call Student Health Services or visit their website to find out that exact cost is. So cohosts, any takeaways? What are some of the things that you took back from today’s conversation about relationships and sex?

    NJ: Everybody's different, everybody’s relational and emotional needs are different than others and that's okay. You have to figure out what works for you, and something that might be great for you may not work for other people and that's okay. You have to be able to talk about it and figure out if it’s going to work for you and for the other person or people.

    BB: Spend some time exploring who you are, what you want and what's important to you. Understanding your needs first, learning how to communicate those needs and being in a relationship where those needs are respected, listened to and valued.

    DE: I think the key for me was communicating with your partner. When and if that time arises, it's going to be super awkward but its super important to have that conversation. You have to have that courage to open up that door because if your partner doesn't open up that door someone in the relationship needs to. Making sure you have that bit of vulnerability and you’re putting yourself out there. That process can be scary but in the long run you're going to feel better about having communicating that, and you’ll probably have a better time too.

    SS: So it sounds a lot like communication, understanding your needs, what works for one doesn't work for all, and my take away; just masturbate. If all else fails spend some time getting to know yourself, if it works, it works. Be yourself. So, song selection for the episode: Katy Perry “I Kissed a Girl” (plays song). So in this song Katy Perry says that she kissed a girl for the first time and she liked it and is trying to figure out why that is. She’s trying to navigate this experience that she has never had before. Again, a lot of that happens for our college students regarding sex and relationships at the same time “this is all new for me, I don't know how to manage” and so definitely take some time to explore what it is that you need and like and how to communicate that with yourself and with your partners as well. I think that's all that we have for you guys today. Any final thoughts before we wrap it up? Pun intended. (Laughter) I think that's it, thank you cohosts for your thoughts and perspectives here today and thank you to our listeners as well, y’all have a good one.

    Dave Blanks: You've been listening to Smalls Talk with Saray Smalls. Wellness and Prevention Services are located on the second floor of the Miles Annas Building. You can contact that office by calling 828-262-3148 to learn more about the services offered. You can also contact Saray by email at