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We're abstinent, but we had anal sex and are scared to death.

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Anonymous asks:

My boyfriend and I are being abstinent until marriage. We only had sex once, we aren't doing it again and want to be renewed as being abstinent, and we are doing that with my cousin and her bf, because they quit after doing it for months, too.

There was only one incident that happened, that scares us both to death. I would never let him in my vagina because that would just ruin our relationship. We had anal sex. I was sitting on top of him, and the he pre-cummed in his pants. He wanted to just stick his penis in my butt, not my vagina, so he did and it hurt soooo badly. He said he cummed while I was on top. I'm not sure if he wasn't in my vagina, though, because I had a tampon in and when I went to the bathroom after all of this happened, I found the tampon all moved up inside my vagina. Then he cummed and took it out, and we stopped, and we both laid next to each other and he stuck his penis back in my butt again. He used lotion so it wouldn't hurt as bad, and it didn't go in far. After the second time lasted for a minute or two, we stopped and decided we should never do it again, because we weren't like that, being all "sexual." That happened on April 19, and it is April 29. We are both scared that I may be pregnant. I never eat a lot, but now I crave food a little more. We are just so scared to death. I never lost my virginity. I was just wondering if the second time he cummed, if it was in my real butt or not, because it felt different from a different position. I want to know if there is any risk at all that I might be pregnant. My period was the 16th-19th, and I really don't want to wait that long to see if I am or not, but I live with my nana and her new abusive husband would kick me out if I even had a pregnancy test so there is not really a good way to do that. I would just like to know all the information, if we should be worried or not, and anything you can tell us. Thank you so much!

Heather Corinna replies:

There's a lot to talk about here.

Let's start by addressing and dealing with your risks. It sounds to me like you're both so unaware of your own anatomy, and were so unfamiliar with what any given kind of sex might feel like that there's no way either of us can say if you only had anal intercourse, or if you had both anal and vaginal intercourse. Either way, though, you've had a potential pregnancy risk. Your partner ejaculated at least once, and even with anal sex, given how slippery genitals are and how close the vaginal opening is to the anus, ejaculate can run down the anus to the vulva to mechanically-speaking, a pregnancy could happen that way, even though it's far less likely to happen than it would be with penis-in-vagina intercourse.

Unprotected intercourse generally presents a high risk of pregnancy, particularly if it occurs during a time in a woman's cycle when she is most fertile. Not knowing anything about your fertility cycle beyond when your last period was, and assuming you probably don't chart your cervical mucus or basal temperature, I'm afraid I can't get much more specific than to tell you you certainly had a risk. Know, though, that what you can do to relax is important for your general and mental health. While pregnancy is always a bit of a gamble -- so even a high risk still doesn't come close to guaranteeing a pregnancy -- even if you are, in fact, pregnant, all of this fear and panic both isn't good for you and isn't going to help you best deal with your crisis.

You've both also had a risk of sexually transmitted infections. If neither of you has ever had any other partner before, for any kind of sex, those risks are minimal, but one common infection that doesn't require previous sexual partnership is a bacterial infection, which is easy to get through anal sex or anal-to-vaginal sex, since the anus tends to contain trace bacteria from fecal matter. In addition, you don't want to put lotions inside your vagina or anus, as those can irritate that tissue and up the risks of wounds or infections. If you're going to have anal sex again, you want to use a lubricant meant for sexual use, a condom, and employ some other basic comfort and safety issues like I talk about in some of the links at the end of this page.

Since it's too late for emergency contraception, there's nothing to do now to reduce those risks. It's too soon for the symptom you're describing to have anything to do with pregnancy, but you can go ahead and take a pregnancy test now: today is May 1st, and just enough time has passed to get an accurate result. I know you say you can't get that test, but you know...you can. All you need are a few minutes to yourself in the bathroom, which you probably get all the time. If you two could find the time and privacy to have sex, you can find the time, privacy and ten bucks between you for a home pregnancy test. Your nana or her husband don't need to know, nor do you need their permission. But you need to know if you became pregnant or not, preferably as early as possible, so that if you did, you can decide what you're going to do about it early. Since you also had a risk of infections, and are worried about privacy and safety at home, it might be better for you to go visit a clinic for that pregnancy test as well as a screening for infections. Clinics like Planned Parenthood have a sliding scale for fees, and your confidentiality is assured. Whatever choice you make in that regard, if it turns out that you have become pregnant, you're more than welcome to come talk to us so we can help counsel you through your options or you can call Backline toll-free at 1-888-493-0092 to get help over the phone.

This all said, you've said in this post that you didn't lose your virginity and said that you two are being abstinent.

While what virginity is and is not is not something medical or actual, but an idea some people have that can differ from person to person, I think it's very important that you acknowledge that you have been sexually active. You have had sex. Most definitions of abstinence simply mean that a person is not having any kind of genital sex with another person: not manual, oral, vaginal or anal sex. Pretending that wasn't the case both can put you at a greater risk of winding up in this kind of situation again, and it also isn't going to allow you to deal with whatever feelings you have about all of this. If you regret what went on, that's something you want to face and address so that you can best talk to your partner realistically about your future choices and also make peace with yourself.

Now, let's gab a bit about the murkier issues.

You say that you two just aren't sexual. Here's the thing: people are sexual. Most animals (which we also are) are sexual. That's simply one basic part of who we are. Now, that doesn't mean we are all sexual in the same ways or have the same sexualities: we don't. It also doesn't mean we have to be sexually active, or have sexual partnerships, or that the fact that our sexuality is a part of us means we will be compelled to do things we don't want to do when it comes to our ethics, values or goals and plans for our lives. But this is another place where I'm seeing you deny something which is not only factual, but clearly factual for you and your partner: obviously, you two did or do have sexual feelings for each other. You two are sexual. Just acknowledging that, rather than trying to pretend it isn't so, is going to help you better manage those feelings and make choices best in line with what you really want and believe is right for you.

Too, the idea that your vagina has the capacity to ruin a relationship troubles me. Your vagina is part of your genitals, no more or less so than your anus. And those places are parts of your body just like your mouth, feet or elbows are. If one of those places is something you feel is sacred, it only makes sense that all of your body is sacred. We can't piecemeal our bodies in that way. By all means, it's very important that any two people only have any kind of sex when they feel it is right for them, but one kind of sex versus another isn't going to ruin a relationship, which is bigger than your body parts. Things like not communicating well or clearly, having one partner coerce or manipulate another, staying together or in a certain way when it isn't a good fit for both partner's wants and needs can ruin relationships, but a part of your body doesn't have that power. Forgive me sounding a little cheesy, but if your vulva or vagina have power, the power they have is positive, not negative: after all, the whole world was literally born from those places. Your clitoris has more sensory nerve endings than any other part of the male or female body. And it's a part of the whole person you are. There's nothing dangerous or damaging about any of that. On top of that, I'm bothered by the fact that this seems to have happened only based on what your boyfriend wanted to do. Any kind of sex between people should come out of a shared desire and want for that sex, and not just what one wants. In a healthy sexual relationship, one partner isn't active and the other passive: both partners have a say and both partners are active partners.

I also want to make sure you realize that all kinds of people who have been sexually active don't continue to have sex routinely or daily once they become so. We will all have times when we want to have sex and times that we don't, for a whole lot of different reasons: from just not being in the mood, to having other priorities, to relationship problems, to being too tired to ethical issues like yours. Sex with a partner isn't a Pandora's Box that once we open it, we can't shut. For every single one of us, even those who feel fine about being sexually active, we are never obligated to have sex at any time, for any reason, and we'll often be opening and shutting that box in life. Everybody does that to some degree. We don't need to make special pledges or call it "restoring virginity," to do that. Even if you do get married, you're still going to -- or you certainly should -- have the option of not having sex for periods of time for any reason at all.

Over the years that I have counseled teens about sex, I often see young people who are pledging abstinence taking some of the greatest risks when it comes to sex.

That isn't surprising, since a lot of those who are have very little information -- or a lot of misinformation -- about sexuality, sex and sex safety, many do not have things like condoms around in case they change their minds, and too, many who break those pledges, or who have ideas about "technical" virginity also tend to feel very guilty and shameful about sex, which makes it tough to be realistic and safe. The data we have so far on those who pledge abstinence, as well as the hands-on experience we've acquired, shows us that very often, those pledging abstinence are sexually active or do become so before marriage, and it can be particularly dangerous since those people often feel they have to keep their sexual activity -- often engaged in without condoms or other safer sex helps -- a secret from everyone else in order to avoid judgment. Understand, too, that for most people who have become sexually active, and who remain in those relationships, even when both folks decide not to have sex anymore, that delay will usually be more like a few months than a few years, no matter the reason why they decide to put sex on the back burner.

So, what I'm going to suggest is that you and your boyfriend take some steps to prepare yourselves for any sex, even if right now you feel sure you won't decide to have sex again.

There's no harm in him learning to use condoms and the two of you keeping condoms and lubricant around, or in researching and/or obtaining methods of birth control. Having the material things you need for sex around and knowing how to use them does not obligate either of you to have sex nor does it encourage sex. There's no harm in talking about how, in the future, you might be able to get the sexual healthcare you need, and how, should one of you have an interest in sex again, you will both talk about those desires and wants first rather than wind up in the middle of them wordlessly. There is no harm in both of you finding out more about your anatomy and what poses pregnancy and infection risks. There's no harm in you learning about the sexual response cycle and how to experience pleasure, rather than pain, if and when you do become sexually active again, even if that isn't until marriage. Marriage in and of itself doesn't mean sex will be pleasurable, doesn't mean one or both partners will always want to risk pregnancy, or doesn't give you to tools to communicate about sex and set healthy limits and boundaries. These kinds of things and more are not going to get in your way of NOT having sex if that's not what the two of you want. In fact, the more realistically and openly you talk about it, the more likely you are to only do things you both really feel okay about and ready for. And as you're discovering, there can be real harm in not discussing or doing these things.

Even if you don't have sex again for years, do decide to marry and that's when you next have sexual contact, you'll have laid down some great groundwork in advance for having a healthy sexual relationship later. And should you find that, like this last time, you both do have a change of heart, and decide you want to have sex, you'll be prepared to do it far more safely and not have to go through this kind of panic.

Lastly, I want to be sure that you're safe where you're living. You say that your nana has an abusive husband. Whether or not you are pregnant, please know that there are things you can do to be sure you have a place to live, and a place that is safe for you and the people in your family. If there is abuse in your household, you can call a hotline (like Childhelp -- 1-800-4-A-CHILD -- or the Domestic Violence hotline -- 1-800-799-7233) or you can contact your local social services department to report that abuse and get help finding a safer place to live.

I'm going to load you up with a bunch of links I think will be helpful for you and your partner to talk about. Again, no matter what you're going to decide to do now in regard to your sex life, to assure that you are healthiest and happiest in body, mind and heart, you have to address this stuff and really talk about it, and do so with information that's accurate, realistic and sound.

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