In his recent Class Day speech at Princeton University, Steve Carell closed with his version of the “wear sunscreen” list of helpful hints for grads. (Except, of course, the original “wear sunscreen” advice was not given by Kurt Vonnegut during a commencement address at MIT, as the Internets insisted on telling us for years — it was actually a column in the Chicago Tribune by a writer named Mary Schmich.) Anyway, you can read Carell’s list at the end of the transcript of his speech here. (Our favorites:”Only use a ‘That’s what she said’ joke if you absolutely cannot resist.” And: “When out to eat, tip on the entire check. Do not subtract the tax first.”) In the meantime, here is our version of advice for graduating seniors. We can only dream of the day when this list becomes an online sensation falsely attributed to Kurt Vonnegut.
1. It’s pretty hard to have bad sex if you always follow the Golden Rule.
2. We don’t care what you think of condoms — just use them. Also, get tested for STDs frequently and be honest about your sexual history. And get that HPV vaccine!
3. Exercise a little restraint when texting a nude photo of yourself to your partner. Consider cropping your face if you just can’t resist. Here’s a rule of thumb: if you’re not ready to introduce this person to your parents, then it’s probably a bad idea to trust them with your dirty pics.
4. That said, no matter what you think of the body you have now, one day you will look back on it in awe, so consider preserving it for posterity. Ask your partner to shoot you nude (it’s awesome foreplay) — but you keep all the images.
5. Don’t ever gossip about something someone else did in bed.
6. If you’re not having fun with your booty call, then you’re missing the point. Not everyone is cut out for casual sex and that’s okay.
7. That said, it’s okay to enjoy sex for sex’s sake — and don’t let anyone shame you into thinking differently.
8. Monogamy isn’t for everyone, but honesty is.
9. It’s okay to ask for directions — and give them — in bed. It’s even better if you do so in a sexy voice.
10. Porn is not worth losing a partner over, no matter where you stand on the issue.
11. You don’t have to share every sexual fantasy with your partner. In fact, we highly recommend you keep some to yourself.
12. If you like someone, just ask them out already. (And that goes for you ladies, too.) If they think you’re desperate or needy for asking, then screw them and the insecure horse they hobbled in on.
13. There’s no such thing as normal in bed, whether you’re graduating a virgin or you like to dress up like Rush Limbaugh to have sex. There’s only what you like… and what you don’t.
14. You don’t have to be friends with all your exes, and you certainly don’t have to be Facebook friends with them.
15. In the best relationships, sex keeps getting better. But this is not an excuse to settle for someone you don’t have chemistry with — sex can’t get that much better.
16. Finally, when sunbathing nude, don’t forget to put sunscreen on your nipples.