By Sassy S.
I don’t usually take forever to get ready, but the week before Safer Sex Night, I fulfilled every sort of girlie stereotype. Everything was carefully planned out–the outfit, the shoes, the make up. By the time the dance rolled around, I was more than ready for my nearly naked debut to the Oberlin student body.
All week, I had done my best to ignore the numerous opinions about Safer Sex Night that upperclassmen wanted to share. They all seemed to have the same reviews–either it was really good or not worth anyone’s time. As a freshman, though, I thought it important to develop my own thoughts on the topic. While I did my best not to get my hopes up for a university-sized blow out, I couldn’t help but be excited to see what the buzz was all about. Beginning November 5th, the seven-day countdown was on, and with each passing day I grew a little more anxious.
I started my readying process early Thursday evening. The dance was later that night, and I still had so many decisions to make and important minutiae to remember– Should I wear the black lingerie or the red lingerie? Should I wear my heels or rock my cowboy boots? For the closest shave, use conditioner, but don’t forget the lotion! Gotta make sure my stomach is tight. Make-up, hair, outfit…check, check, check. Once all the details were in order, I let my night begin.
I started in my dorm room, getting ready with my lady friends. Roommate #1 was the DJ, playing music so upbeat that dancing was practically required. With the beat in the background, we continued to get ready for our night, doing hair and make up, giving and receiving outfit advice, and allowing the music to prepare us for what we were about to experience. Those who were ready earlier than others pressured those remaining to hurry. Pictures were taken as we all cooed at each other’s appearances and laughed at the idea of walking around campus half-naked. Jackets, tickets, and ID’s were grabbed as we all ran out the big doors of Baldwin and out into the promising night.
The cold wind, which normally wouldn’t have intensely affected me, attacked my bare skin. After a shudder and a squeal, I forced myself to ignore the chill and get to my destination as quickly as possible. My group scampered over to the ‘Sco, all the while, giggling at our own and each other’s indecency. As I walked the sidewalks, I glanced around at what I could see of Oberlin’s campus. Through the dark, I could see more groups of laughing people, arms hooked around waists, that were carelessly and excitedly making their way towards Wilder. I could hardly wait to see what they were all wearing, let alone what they looked like wearing it. I could feel the anticipation building.
I stepped into the mailroom, relieved to be free from the cold. I gathered my important belongings (Nikon D40 and student ID) and somehow managed to squeeze them into my mailbox. I locked it, knowing that regardless of what happened the rest of the night, those items were at least safe and easily obtainable. I stood in line for admission and once the yellow band was secured on my wrist, I headed down the hall to the ‘Sco.
Just before I entered, I paused to take a quick glance at the scene. Being at Safer Sex Night was like invading a scene from a dramatic teen movie. Bodies were everywhere. Nearly naked people were all up in each other’s business, grinding on one another to the bass of the music. There were complicated corsets accompanied by matching bras and underwear surrounded by boxers and compression shorts. Accessories, nearly pointless, swung from bodies and added to the exotic scene. The stench, at first, was an overwhelming combination of hot sweat and body odor, but as the night wore on, it became less noticeable.
As gracefully as possible, I worked my way in to the sea of people. I subtly tried to check out everyone else’s appearances while, at the same time, trying to make sure my outfit was still just right. After a certain point, however, both were practically unfeasible. Hundreds of people were packed into the tiny space, leaving me with a limited view of anything below the belt and little to no room to adjust myself accordingly.
Unsurprisingly, prior to my arrival at Safer Sex Night, I had felt a nagging curiosity about what it was going to be like to see my classmates scantily clothed. Would the smart girl in my class wear fishnet stockings and stilettos? Was that awkward kid going to wear boxers or briefs? How would these people look without their clothes on? I didn’t even get a chance to judge. Before I knew it, I allowed myself to settle into the rhythm of the music, dancing by myself or with whoever was around me. My friends and I were happily surprised to find that most of the guys we danced with either asked our permission first or would linger until we gave them “come hither” looks, accepting their propositions. After a few trips outside to catch some fresh air, I was having a great time.
One o’clock was too early for the party to end. Even after the music had stopped and the DJ informed us we didn’t have to go home, but we had to “Get the fuck outta there,” I was still anxiously looking around, waiting for the next big thing to happen. The crowd dissipated, people paired off and headed out, but I was determined not to let my night end so abruptly.
I spent the next few hours taking Rideline from point A to point B, trying to maximize the fun I was having. After running in to a group of friends here, showing up at a party there (where others were clothed and I was not, I might add), and taking pictures along the way, I ended up at A-House, riding the night’s high as long as it would take me before I crashed.
Needless to say, I did not go to class the next day—when I woke up, my first thought was “Oh man… it’s only Friday.” I used my camera and other people’s stories to fill in details of Safer Sex Night that I had forgotten or not noticed. After having returned to my dorm, my friends and I nursed ourselves back to health, laughing and squealing when we heard the shenanigans everyone had gotten into after the music had stopped.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first Safer Sex Night experience. Oberlin may not be on any top party school lists, but we sure know how to get (nearly) naked and have a good time.
**All photos posted with consent of those photographed.