Caitlyn Harkins is an English sophomore, Mustang Daily copy editor and sex columnist.

Prior to coming to Cal Poly, I dreamt of college as a magical place devoid of parental oversight. As I packed my bags, I made sure to pack a few extra reams of condoms too.

When I arrived in San Luis Obispo, I realized that no parents does not mean no rules. There were roommates, residential advisers and neighbors all in relatively close quarters — people I didn’t necessarily want to know about my antics.

So, here are some tips on how to be sexually active while still being respectful in college:

Talk to your roommate(s) about when — if ever — you can have someone over for a hookup. If you are in a situation in which there are two or three of you sharing one dorm room (I’m looking at you, red bricks), discuss whether or not you’re OK with this well in advance of your roommate bringing someone home from a party.

Designate the cues you’re going to leave for your roommate(s) to let them know when you’ve got someone over. A simple text message is brilliant, but you Cal Poly students are more clever. Leave a rubber band or sock around the doorknob to not only let your roommate know the deal, but your entire floor too. Respect your roommate though — don’t barge in while your roommate is in the middle of someone, and don’t leave your roommate without a place to sleep for the night.

Be well aware of the noises you make. Yes, I know dirty talking, screams of desire and moans of ecstasy make you feel like the sex gods you all are, but I can guarantee your neighbors aren’t interested. I know the dorm beds are really squeaky, both from personal experience and from my upstairs neighbors, but there’s not much that can be done about that. You can, and should, control your other noises. You don’t want to find out later that the entire floor knows you like to be spanked.

Clean up after yourself. Don’t leave condom wrappers, used condoms, dental dams, lube packets, washcloths or tissues with semen on them, sex toys, whipped cream (by the way, if you use food during sex, make sure to wash afterward so no one gets an infection), porn or edible underwear around the room.

If your roommates happen to be your parents, follow the guidelines above but err on the side of discretion. Unless, of course, you want your dad to cook breakfast for your partner or one-night stand.

So, remember that with these newfound college freedoms come new responsibilities. Bottom line: don’t let your sexual desires make enemies out of your neighbors.

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