Elizabeth Manning/Editorial Artist

We learned a lot about our fellow Bearcats from reading this year’s Pipe Dream sex survey. For one, it’s hard to see campus, and the city for that matter, in the same way after seeing all the different places students got it on. Some of your sex stories made us laugh or cringe, while others just left us with more questions than we started with.

One thing that stood out to us were the responses to the question “What’s one thing you wish your partner knew about sex?” Of more than 200 responses to this question, nothing was too out of the ordinary: I wish my partner knew more about this body part. Go slower! Go faster! Be gentler. Don’t be afraid to be rough. It hurts when they do X. I’ve always wanted to try Y.

While these responses were pretty much what we could have expected, reading them showed that a lot of students have a problem with one of the most important parts of sex: communication. Most, if not all, of these issues could have been solved if people were more vocal about what they want from their partner.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s far from easy to have candid conversations about sex with a sexual partner, especially if you are casually hooking up, in a new relationship or lack experience with your partner’s body or sex itself. You may worry about insulting your partner’s sex skills, embarrassing yourself or being judged.

Yes, talking about sex can make things a little weird, but what’s weirder is thinking it’s okay or normal to finish up and realize you’re still unsatisfied. In the short term it might be uncomfortable, but being able to communicate openly about sex will drastically improve relationships, sex and your feelings toward them in the long term — emotionally and physically. Plus, it probably won’t be nearly as awkward as you think.

Chances are your partner won’t judge you for stating your preferences, and if they do, they aren’t treating you with the respect you deserve. You’re already getting naked and doing the deed, even if you’re new to hooking up (with each other or in general); when you’re baring it all you might as well make your wants known.

If anything, the results of the survey should be encouraging. There are hundreds of students out there who have questions, desires and fantasies that they are waiting to try.

If you’re one of the 44 percent of respondents who has never had a threesome but wants one, you can’t have one without first gaining the courage to ask for it. If you’re one of the women complaining yet again that a partner can’t find the clitoris, give them some pointers. Sex can be a learning experience for everyone, and if college is going to be full of hooking up, it might as well be educational. Don’t be afraid to put your preferences out there; it could open you up to a whole new level of intimacy.

Click here to view the 2017 Sex Issue