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Ask Athena: Q&A With Seven Days' Expert on Love and Lust


  • Matt Mignanelli

I want to pledge a frat, but I'm gay and have a crush on one of the guys in it. Do you think it's a bad idea? I don't think he's gay...

— Crushing in Coolidge

Here's a question for you: How much do you want your heart to hurt?

Think about it. If you pledge and this guy turns out to be straight, or simply isn't into you, you'll be living together and seeing him with other love interests all the time. Don't set yourself up for disappointment. There are other frats to join, I'm sure. Stay away from this one.

I'm shy, and I'm having trouble meeting people outside of my dorm and classes. I'm really interested in finding someone to date, but I have no idea where to begin. Help!

— Loner in Lyman

I promise you're not the only person feeling like a loner — it's tough to find your social footing in college! Luckily, there are lots of on-campus activities, clubs and organizations to join. Look for something that excites you — it could be a bocce ball league or a volunteer group; whatever tickles your fancy. You're more likely to connect with someone when you're both doing something you enjoy.

Bottom line: You can't just wallow in shyness in your dorm. You have to get out there and open up to people. Reach outside your comfort zone and sit next to that attractive someone in the library. Smile. Say hi. You'll be surprised how easy it can be once you make the first move.

I think I might be lesbian or bi. Whatever it is, I'd like to hook up with another girl. How the heck do I bring that up?

— Trying Things Out in Tupper

Everyone discovers their sexuality at a different time. Kudos to you for being brave enough to explore yours!

If you already know and like someone who is gay, talk to her. Tell her that although you're a little confused, you're attracted to her — and ask if she's game for the adventure. If you don't have a specific crush in mind ... well, you're in college. There are lots of single girls to choose from. Just be up-front about the fact that you're experimenting. You don't want your road to self-discovery to be lined with broken hearts.

  • Matt Mignanelli

I want to try a vibrator. Which should I get?

— Self-Satisfaction in Summit

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to your question — pun intended. Just 'cause a vibe works for your bestie doesn't mean it'll work for you. You might like a body wand or massager, which is great for stimulating your clit. In that case, try the Hitachi Magic Wand. If you're looking for some serious G-spot attention, try the Lelo Gigi 2 or Doc Johnson Lucid Dream. And then there's my personal favorite: the Rabbit. The dual-stimulation vibrator is the best of both worlds. Happy shopping!

My roommate woke up while I was masturbating the other day. It was super obvious, and now he's totally weird around me. What do I do?

— Masturbator in Marsh

Whoopsies! It's not the end of the world; he'll get over it eventually. In the meantime, you have two choices: Pretend it never happened, give him some space and wait for it to blow over. Or tell him you're super embarrassed and that it won't happen again. Then stick to your word and find more private moments to get yourself off.

I think my girlfriend is faking her orgasms. How can I tell for sure, and what should I do?

— Suspicious in Skinner

Is she a theater major? Just kidding. You can't tell, really. Some women are very good at faking it.

I say ask her. Don't be accusatory, but say that you're feeling unsure of her satisfaction lately. Let her know you really care about her and want your sexual relationship to be honest and enjoyable.

If she's faking, it might just be because she's uncomfortable showing you how to please her. That's common, and I'm sure she's trying to protect your feelings. This doesn't mean that you aren't able to satisfy her or that she won't ever climax for real. Ask her to share what makes her feel good, and work together on making sex amazing for both of you.

Is it true that a one-night stand will never lead to a relationship? My friends keep telling me that, but I keep hooking up, sometimes hoping these encounters will become something more.

— Horny in Hodson Hall

Yes and no. Listen, one-night stands have certainly been known to lead to lasting love. But they can backfire, too. If you give up the goods right away, there's no exciting anticipation, no buildup. And sometimes it comes off as desperate.

If you like someone, it doesn't hurt to wait and see how he or she really feels about you before jumping into bed. What's the rush? I'm not saying you have to cease your one-night standing. But when the sun comes up, your time with so-and-so might be up, too.