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Before you have sex, think about your sexuality first

Posted on December 16th, 2011 by Alley Pezanoski-Browne No Comments

Courtesy of studiostoer (via Flickr)

For a teenager, it can feel like the only conversation you hear about sex is just don’t have it. But there’s a lot more to think about and learn before you even start asking the do or don’t question.

As a teen you will have sexual feelings (duh, I know). It should also go without saying (but unfortunately doesn’t) that having these feelings is completely normal and nothing to feel ashamed about. But with these new feelings comes new responsibilities. The most important responsibility is the one you have to yourself in developing a healthy sexuality before you even think about having sex.

Sexuality refers to how we all experience and express ourselves as sexual beings. While sex is between partners, your sexuality is yours. You wouldn’t take the SATs without studying, so don’t have sex until you’ve really thought about some important questions, which we’ll get into in a moment. It’ll only lead to better sexual relationships, and relationships in general. Believe me, you’ll be ahead of the game if you start thinking about your sexuality now.

And it’s never too late. Even if, like Lonnie and Tye in 9ine, you’re dealing with the consequences of sex already, it’s still important to think about your sexuality.

So, here are the questions to ask your self:

How does my body work?

The human body is pretty incredible, and there is a lot to know – from puberty to hormones to how the body experiences attraction to reproduction. Learning about your body is a good first step to developing your sexuality. I’d suggest starting with Sex: A Book for Teens: An Uncensored Guide to Your Body, Sex, and Safety, written by 9ine’s very own associate producer Nikol Hasler, for some frank, accurate information about your body.

How do I feel about my body?

Whew, this is a complicated one! We get so many messages from outside ourselves that affect how we feel about the way we look. Ariel Levy, in her book Female Chauvinist Pigs (which is definitely worth reading) talks about how teens receive the message from mainstream culture that they should be sexy, but not sexual. Getting square with your opinions on what sex, being sexy, being sexual mean to you is important. When you add sex, as well as your partner’s opinion to your life, it can affect your body image. Having a healthy body image, no matter what size, shape, height, or weight you are, isn’t easy and may be a lifelong process. But you deserve to love your body and the way you look.

How do I feel about me?

Sometimes people (of all ages) use relationships to fill up areas where they feel incomplete. Do you want to have sex because you think it will make you feel more complete in some way? Maybe not, but it’s an important question to ask. What do you think the purpose of sex should be? What do you want it to be for you? And it’s VERY important to realize that who you are is a lot more than who you are sexually. A rad thing about being a teenager is that it’s a time to decide what you think about the world, what things you like, and what you want to be and do in your life. Sex can take up a lot of mind space, but make sure you give yourself time to think about these big, fun life questions.

What sort of relationships do I want to have?

Love experts say you attract the kind of relationships you think that you deserve. A lot of people think that you can’t help who you fall in love with, but this isn’t really true. You have the power to decide what you want to bring into your life, and you deserve to be in relationships with people who treat you well. And if they don’t treat you well, it doesn’t matter how hot they are. So what do you want? Who do you want? More importantly, who do you want to be in your relationships? Think about all of these things before you have sex, because sex is an important part of a relationship, but it is only one part.

Here are some resources that are specifically about teen and young adult sexuality:

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