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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » "I have no one else to talk to about this."

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Author Topic: "I have no one else to talk to about this."
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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That's something we hear fairly often here from users who are sexually active, and struggling with or worried about something.

Here's my thought: what do we think about the idea that if a sexual partner is the ONLY other person you have to talk to about sexual concerns, and especially if even talking to that person isn't something a person can or wants to do, that it's not the right time to be being sexual with someone?

In other words, that (and we do mention this in our readiness checklist), making sure you have some good support, and people you CAN talk to, first, before becoming sexually active is super-important? That becoming sexually active when you're in serious social isolation as far as this goes, is a really crummy idea?

I think so, for a host of reasons, especially when I see the outcomes of people doing otherwise.

But what do you think about that?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Patricia H
Volunteer-in-training
Member # 103815

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I can't stress the importance of the sexual readiness checklist; if I had known about Scarleteen and ran through the checklist prior to my own sexual debut with my first partner, I think I would have felt more prepared and had a better sense of what I was or wasn't prepared to engage in. That being said, I could never solely rely on my sexual partner to discuss sexual concerns with, simply because there is so many things wrong with the picture, Heather's aforementioned reasons (partner may not be able/want to) notwithstanding. And neither should anyone.

It's easy to see how, given inadequate education and preparation, that the transition to being sexually active can feel rather sudden. That immediacy, compounded by inexperience, not being ready, and being super young, can be extremely overwhelming to many people--hence, a lot of preventable mistakes being committed, high-strung anxiety, and lots and lots of fear to go around. But none of that should be an excuse to not have anyone to talk to about sexual concerns; in fact, if such were indeed true to begin with, that in itself is a red flag and should be noted as a sign from Guidance that now is simply not the right time to be engaging in sexual activity.

Being sexually active is--and should be--a choice many of us make at some point in our lives. To me, I see it as a whole new chapter in one's life, with a whole new level of complexity to be reckoned with. Because it's not just about the sex, be it with oneself or anyone else--it's also about how one deals with oneself and one's partner(s) both inside and outside the realm of sex. And when one is young and new to all this good stuff, it's super important to team up with people and resources other than one's sexual partner for help and guidance; chances are, one's sexual partner is just as clueless. And believe me when I say there is nothing worse than feeling stuck with someone who doesn't know any better when a huge sexual concern/emergency is staring both of you in the face at some ungodly hour in the night.

Ideally, one would have supportive parents and/or family system one could rely on as one embarks on one's journey of sexual exploration and enlightenment; but, too, a gynecologist or a trusted medical healthcare practitioner one has a good repore with, is available, and can provide medically accurate information and options. And of course, we're always here on Scarleteen.

However, I'd also like to make clear, too, that as much as it is important to have a good support system other than one's sexual partner, nothing can substitute for being educated. Knowledge is power, and the more one knows--about legitimate pregnancy risks, safe sex practices and how to enforce them every time, STIs and the activities that puts one at risk for them, where and when to go for testing & screening, birth control options, emergency contraception, navigating relationships, recognizing signs of abuse in a relationship, and how to ask for and talk about sex, just to name a few--the more likely one is able to make sound, healthy decisions like a well-educated, responsible adult, and also find sex to be a lot more fun and enjoyable when one isn't always worrying about pregnancy and infections.

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Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. - Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

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