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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Follow-up to "Risky Business"

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Author Topic: Follow-up to "Risky Business"
VioletAlanna
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Member # 100954

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First of all, I want to let y'all know that your "Risky Business" article appeared at just the right time for me, since I'm struggling with some of that stuff right now. That said, I didn't find quite my specific situation.

I'm one of those folks who are terrified of taking risks of sexual consequences. I've been with my boyfriend for almost a year now, we're monogamous, he's tested clean and I've never had a sexual relationship before, and we're careful to avoid situations that risk pregnancy (which right now means keeping multiple layers of clothing barriers for genital contact--I don't even trust my luck on the low-percentage chance of pregnancy that birth control/condoms would have).

But the thing is, our relationship has been ramping up. Over the past few months, we've consensually bypassed previous "stop" lines, and now exchange dry, manual, and oral sex. And it's really great, and it's pleasurable for both of us...but I'm worried that my hormones (I know it's really a matter of "ours", but I've always been able to say no before, and now I don't always want to) are going to move us into what I would consider "risky" practices. I had thought my previous "stop" lines wouldn't change, but then I found I wanted them to. What if it happens again, this time with "risky" lines?

Any teeny tiny risk of pregnancy is too much worrystress for me. I don't want to deal with that. But I've never had to stop myself from crossing lines that I *wanted* to cross before, and in the heat of the moment, I sometimes want to cross them now. I believe that my boyfriend would be fine and happy crossing them with proper protection.

Any advice for this balancing act?

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Onionpie
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Hi VioletAlanna, welcome to scarleteen! First off, we do ask users to use the term "clear" instead of "clean", as the latter insinuates that someone who tests positive for any STIs would be "dirty". Thanks [Smile]

I also think that thinking about this being your "hormones" controlling you or taking over isn't going to help you out with thinking about this. Instead, realize that your desires are a part of you, you have complete control over them, so you DO have the ability to decide what to do and what not to do.

It sounds like what's causing you issue is that in-the-moment, you really enjoy yourself and feel that you would enjoy participating in other sexual activities as well, but that you realize that after-the-fact you will NOT feel so good about it, and so you're having a hard time stopping yourself in-the-moment.

This is a really hard thing to balance. But it's great that you're self-aware enough to realize that you'd be stressed out after-the-fact if you do anything sexual that poses a pregnancy risk. And you also seem aware that it's important to feel good about sex, not just during, but before and after as well. That's some very important stuff!

But you're right that if you know you won't feel comfortable with/happy about taking part in activities that may pose pregnancy risks, you shouldn't move into doing those things yet. That's why I think it's important to think about your desires not as your hormones being in control of you, but just as a desire that is part of you. That might help you to overcome feeling like you might "accidentally"/just-happen-to do things you won't feel good about later. And if you remind yourself, in-the-moment, that you won't feel comfortable about it later, that might help you stick to what you know you will feel comfortable with. What do you think?

It might also be an idea to talk to some in-person support about this. A professional like a counsellor would really be able to help you out, and they would be able to work with you so that you can learn to be less anxious around pregnancy risks. Does that sound like something you'd be willing to/able to try?

Posts: 1311 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
VioletAlanna
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Member # 100954

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I guess I have to get used to the "desires are a part of you" deal because I've never had any significant sexual desires before this relationship--I thought I was a romantic asexual for a bit of time. So now both the desires and the wish to hold back on them are new to me.

At this point, it's experimenting with where the "stop" line falls that's worrying me, since we're getting so much closer to risky behavior, and I've been developing a "We can always step back again" mentality instead of my usual "Better safe than sorry" one.

I think the thing I'm wrestling with is how different this situation is from my usual M.O. In the past I've been the one saying "STOPSTOPTOOFAR!" and now I want to keep going on much more major activities. Bleh.

I don't know about a counselor--and I don't know that I *want* to be less anxious about pregnancy risks, since I *really* don't want to risk pregnancy at this point in my life--but I am hoping to talk sometime soonish to an adult friend who teaches liberal sex ed. Until then, I'm just trying to figure out as much as I can...

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Onionpie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 41699

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Okay, it's definitely understandable that you'd find it hard to find a balance when these feelings are new for you and possibly even changing the way you identify. That's always big stuff.

Have you talked about these feelings and your concerns around them with your boyfriend? I think it's important to discuss it with him so he knows where you're at with everything and can be as supportive as possible.

There's a difference between being cautious about pregnancy and taking precautions to ensure as much as possible that a pregnancy wouldn't occur, and being *anxious* about pregnancy. Does that make sense to you? Do you understand how those two things might be separate and different?

But of course, if you cannot risk even a slight possibility of pregnancy at this point, that's obviously totally valid and the best idea in that situation is to do what you're currently doing -- not participating in the kinds of sex that pose that risk. However, that would be filed under "taking precautions", which doesn't have to go hand-in-hand with having anxiety around pregnancy. Know what I mean?

Posts: 1311 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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