Sex is one of the most popular conversation topics in college. While having “the talk” with Mom and Dad in middle school may have been uncomfortable, sex is now a term that’s used more freely and with a lot less shame. Still, the idea of actually having sex isn’t always what it’s made out to be. Whether you’re in a long-term relationship or just having a fling, good sex is an art not easily mastered.

High school is probably the first time sex starts to play a role in our lives. People are a lot more comfortable exploring their sexuality after all those super-informative middle school health classes. Plus, we mature through high school, growing out of our awkward phase from middle school. And with this new, more relaxed attitude toward sex, some of us even feel comfortable enough to lose our virginities. Some may have lost it to the football quarterback or the hot cheerleader or maybe even a best friend.

However, the pressure to do it really kicks in when we get to college. College means seeing fresh faces and having new opportunities with people who may know absolutely nothing about you. The party scene becomes a huge part of our lives. We associate ourselves with bigger crowds of people and drink more than ever before.

And as soon as we arrive at school, many of us expect to have the most incredible sex imaginable. Sadly, that’s not always the case.

Pop culture exposes our generation to great sex. Movies like “American Pie” and “Wedding Crashers” portray sex as this over-the-top experience that you have to try. Girls stay glued to their televisions when shows like “Sex and the City” come on. And of course, pornography plays a role in this over-glamorized view of sex, depicting it as an art that everyone has to master. But the sex scenes shown in the entertainment industry give us expectations about intercourse that are often skewed and unrealistic.

Will Simon, an undeclared freshman, sees the porn industry for what it truly is.

“People watch porn and often think porn stars are naturally skilled, but the porn industry is a business,” Simon said. “These stars we see are trained for what they do. You can’t compare yourself to a professional. That’s like comparing yourself to a professional doctor when you’re just starting medical school.”

That being said, good sex takes practice, regardless of how old you are. You need experience to know exactly what you’re doing. Your first time is often awkward, and can require a calm, romantic atmosphere to make a little more enjoyable.

Additionally, good sex usually requires some sort of spark between two people. Ben Lukens, a senior majoring in sociology, thinks it’s more than just practice that makes sex amazing.

“Yeah, sex does take practice, but I think it’s more about the chemistry that the two people have,” Lukens said.

If your first few times don’t go as planned, don’t be discouraged. You’re still young, and you have plenty of time to perfect the art. Sex can be pleasurable now, but it isn’t necessarily going to feel amazing just because you’re a young adult.

Take time to figure out what feels best. The more you practice, the better you’ll become. Eventually you’ll develop a sort of confidence about your performance.

And good sex requires a lot of confidence. Once you establish security in what you’re doing, it’s a lot simpler to engage in sexual intimacy without feeling pressured or uneasy doing so. And don’t be disappointed if your sex life isn’t what it was made out to be in the movies. You will learn what works for you and what doesn’t, and your experience will be totally worthwhile.