She dated her first boyfriend for about six and a half months. Even though the relationship was fulfilling, it was clear to Zoe that her partner had become emotionally abusive and was only invested in the sexual aspects of the relationship. This eventually led to doing things she had not consented to.
It makes a relationship go a lot smoother. At first she was blind to the issue, but after being confronted by her mom, her friends, and her family, she had a wake up call and decided it was time to end the relationship.
I lost that aspect of myself and I became very passive, and he became very aggressive. Besides the immaturity, the biggest challenge for Zoe in high school relationships is finding the right balance between herself, her partner, school, extracurriculars, and work.
This is especially important when having sex for the first time, and Zoe stresses how important it is to have conversations about it. Even though there were moments of pain and tough periods, there were also some of her best memories and happiest moments. You get that release of endorphins.
Smith is 17 years old and has been sexually active since the summer after his junior year. He and his first partner, who is now his ex-boyfriend, both thought in depth about the decision to consummate their relationship.
The teenage boys had been dating for a couple months at the time. Because of his sexuality, his biggest concern about having sex is contracting AIDs, due to the statistically high rates in the gay community. He strictly practices safe sex. Consent and openness are also important for him. For Smith, sex without complete honesty is the equivalent of not having consent. He was once slept with a person who was in a relationship, unbeknownst to him. He still feels bad about it to this day.
Over social media, he got a text from a boy who wanted to hook up. He went to a local hotel to meet him, and they ended up in bed together with another guy as well. The parents of one of the boys walked in; and, other than the expected awkwardness, one thing was immediately clear: Coming out almost serves as a signal to the gay community that one is ready to date.
He mostly finds his partners and gets requests over social media and the internet. All the gays follow all the gays on social media. Everyone has a Grindr account, everybody just like hooks up with everybody. Another obstacle in the sex lives of gay people, other than the limited dating pool, is the confusion over virginity.
He thinks virginity is like the first time you have sex, and I agree: For me, I think virginity is kind of like experience. Once you have sex with a certain amount of people, not just one time.
Then, you are truly experienced sexually with different people, different tastes. Inexperience can also equate to virginity. Virginity is precious and beautiful for Smith, though. It was with a friends-with-benefits at his house, prom night of last year. I did it instead of going to prom. It was kind of a weird experience. Almost a year later, Landon remains unsure if he regrets this decision. He claims it shaped who he is.
Although he has supportive parents, his sexuality still troubled him. I used to hate myself for my sexuality. However, he still encountered some stigma. Landon has mixed views about this. He generally prefers guys to girls. However, it still implies that there is a quantifiable number, which Landon says is not the case for him. He thinks this could be due to the greater stigma and shame against girls who have sex.
He has never been shamed for not being a virgin. For him, it was always easy to know his sexuality; if you find yourself innately attracted to someone then the logical conclusion is that you should label yourself accordingly. Emotional connection are not a priority for him, as long as everyone is safe.
For this very reason, Landon has mostly had sex in a car. He has never told his parents explicitly about his sexual activity; however, he assumes they are aware. He has never experienced shame personally for not being a virgin. His bisexuality has been the biggest source of criticism in his life.
Gay guys are obsessed with straight guys in a sexual way. To them, I am half-straight. Landon thinks there is too much pressure and hype for sex.
For him, it can just be fun. Is it going to be as good as I want it to be? For Landon, the first time someone has sex is just that: One of the most common fears about being sexually active is unplanned pregnancy, especially for teens. Horror stories of teen girls having to give up their education and young life to raise a child are all too common in the media, from television shows, news articles, movies, and even books. Sarah became sexually active when she was 15 years old, and at the beginning was terrified of becoming pregnant.
She would immediately assume the worst. But at the beginning it obviously scared him. Talking about that with someone is nerve wracking. She said that if she ever turned out to be pregnant, she would probably get an abortion. The average woman loses her virginity at 17 years old.
She advises to only become sexually active when you personally feel ready and to only have sex with someone you know well and trust. Be responsible and be safe. The lack of in-depth sexual education in American schools, coupled with the taboo surrounding teenagers and sex is the cause of high teenage pregnancy rates in the US.
Sarah took sexual education middle school, and felt it was lacking in useful information about safe sex. According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, comprehensive sex education has shown to lower the amount of teen pregnancy, not increase the risk of teenagers being sexually active.
A relationship is defined as the emotional and sexual connection of two people; however, today, the the actions that constitute a relationship can mean so many different things. Religion was the main factor behind their decision to abstain, but they also prefer to focus on strengthening their emotional connection to one another. Some conflict among peers has come from their decision but the couple will not waver from their core beliefs.
Throughout the obstacles they have faced in their two year long relationship Bill and Clarine find comfort in each other and how strong their emotional connection is. As they struggle with their decision they remember the ramifications early sex has. The couple is mature enough to know that the choice is for them to make, and they believe that, in order to have a safe and special first time, by saving themselves for marriage they will prosper.
The couple has no regrets or doubts for abstaining and are very willing to wait to explore the sexual side of their relationship until ready. The problem with virginity is the stigma that surrounds it and how that has become an impediment on coming-of-age and embracing sensuality. Here we find the sexist roots of the V-card that objectify women as a prize for unmarried men.
The problems with this idea are endless— hello sexism and heteronormativity. But essentially, the main problem with the concept of virginity is the negative culture created from being a virgin for too long. Teens are growing up thinking they must lose their virginity before they are out of high school. Any concept that shames youths for having or not having sex is detrimental.
The culture of slut-shaming derives from a mindset that challenges teens regardless of actual sexual experience. Breakfast Club, a film released in , is famously quoted by our oh-so-relatable high school freak: This shame culture also applies to young men.
Women are either ridiculed for having sex too early cue the slew of slut shaming names or idealized far beyond attainability for creating a perfect model of chastity if they wait until marriage.
Many people credit religion as the motivator for abstinence until the wedding night, but how could everyone expect two people to enter a marriage— assuming it will last— and plan to remain faithful to only them without exploring a part of their relationship beforehand? Yes, sex should not be the main reason for love or matrimony, but it is a healthy part of most relationships.
This is no way suggesting that marriage cannot be healthy or prosperous without sex; asexual relationships and marriages are as valid as they are existent. Modern day relationships should be moving away from tradionality— the stigma of moving in with a partner and exploring physical parts of relationships before marrying, needs to go.
If you are unfamiliar with that term, a hymen is thin membrane that partially closes the opening to the vagina. Many young women break their hymen before their menstrual cycle begins from sports like horseback riding, biking, or water skiing. Commonly, a hymen breaks when inserting a tampon.
Losing your virginity is usually viewed in a heteronormative light— this leaves the LGBT community left questioning in the dust. What about all the other ways? Here lies the underlying issue: As long as both parties are consenting, mutually benefitting, and understand the potential ramifications of their choices, then sex is okay.