Spotlight on Scarleteen: Sexual Milestones

Baseball is America’s favorite pastime. All you need to do is eavesdrop on a few conversations to see how much people’s love for this game of bats and balls and bases has permeated everyday life. In fact, you may have heard one such phrase just the other day, and chances you don’t live next to a baseball stadium. For those you who do not speak American English, here are some examples: “To be thrown a curveball” is to get hit with an unexpected surprise and “hit or miss” means you could take something or leave it.

Although it’s not as official as baseball, it’s probably safe to say that sex is another favorite American pastime. Then again, this comes at no surprise when you think of how often baseball terminology is used in sexual slang. First base, second base, third base, home– honestly, they actually seem way off base to us here at Scarleteen. As you can see from these conversations on the message boards, such this phrasing can be confusing and misleading. First base means one to one person and another thing to another person. Additionally, there’s always the question of how, or if, these base applies to people who are queer or just flat out reject such sexual pigeonholing. The same goes for the concept of virginity– a social construct rather than physical feature– which means different things to different people. All things considered, this seems really out in left field.

Sexual milestones: In this new message board thread, long-time Scarleteen volunteer Jill, formerly known as ookuotoe, encourages users to think outside the ballpark to define their own personal Sexual Milestones. Jill was inspired to start this thread after reading a recent post by Scarleteen neophyte bluejumprope on redefining virginity. Here is a taste of what the various posters have had to say.

A biggie is people’s informed and empowered choice to be– or not to be– sexually active, alone or with a partner. acgal thinks back to when she decided she was “ready.” She ended up “fully satisfied” and “she “still is.” For dancrgrl, it was “being comfortable talking openly about sex and sharing fantasies with another person.” nerdygirl19 recalls her most powerful milestone at a platonic sleepover when she and now-fiancé “ended up curled up next to each other in separate sleeping bags.” She says that it was at non-sexual yet intimate moment that she felt she could trust her partner. fallchild’s story has an ending that is different but also happy; she brings up how break-ups don’t have to be bitter, such as the time she realized “that a friendship was a much better choice.”

Another common thread is realizing– and being ok with– one’s sexual orientation, something Jacob and many other posters share here. September sheds light on how some sexual milestones can carry special significance for survivors of abuse. On a lighter note, rosalinespork thinks back to the “first time feeling really, really aroused” and then is cool enough to admit it was while “reading a terrible romance novel.” paper towel even gives shout out to her trusty dollar store as she remembers “buying a home pregnancy test from dollar tree,” followed up by a trip to “Planned Parenthood together.”

People’s recollections of their Sexual Milestones run the gamete from fun and frisky to serious and awe-inspiring. Each person’s experience is unique yet everyone’s sexual milestones have this in common: ownership of and pride in one’s sexuality. These posts also show that being sexually active with a partner is not a requirement for reaching sexual milestones, something Scarleteen has been touting all along.

Now it’s your chance to get involved and have your voice heard. Want to read their words firsthand and add your own? Just head on over to the message boards – we’d love to hear from you!

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