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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » So I tried talking to my boyfriend about the risks...

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Author Topic: So I tried talking to my boyfriend about the risks...
GleeRoxJill
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im a pregnancy freak out. i've been raised in a way that if i get pregnant i will be disowned, thrown out, become the disgrace of the family.

pretty much, a spiritual and emotional death will result from it.

Which is why I'm sooo careful and paranoid.
My boyfriend is the first boyfriend that i've been together for a year with, which is a long time. though we're both Christians, there has been some lines that were crossed. We are both still very much virgins. But there has been some hand touching stuff going on. I've talked about it with him multiple times and he knows how scared I get after we do things like that.

Yesterday, we engaged in some things that I wasn't comfortable with. He already had a boner so he adjusted it with his hand so it wouldnt be so bulgy. he started rubbed my triangle(my "mon pubis?")I told him to stop. He tried again. I told him to stop again. he kept on doing it, and moved even further in.
then he started grabbing my butt, and putting his fingers lower between my butt cheeks really close to my vagina opening. I slapped him and told him to stop. he tried again. I told him to stop. Then he stopped kissing me, I asked him why and he said it was because I killed the mood. So I felt bad and decided to let him him touch whatever.

this has happened SO MANY TIMES. like usual, I went home and started freaking out about how WHAT IF there was pre-ejaculation on his hand??? WHAT IF the live sperm were able to travel to my vagina?

I told him when he called that what we did made me really anxious and I'm just not ready for it. He started calling me ridiculous. he said I was annoying him, frustrating him. he said my worries were stupid and illogical.

I asked him if he even cared that I was worried and what we did wasn't comfortable for me?? He said he would care if I made more sense.

Well though it may not make sense to him. It makes sense to me. and i knew perfectly well that anytime there's sperm to genital contact there is a risk for pregnancy! and IM the one who's going to have to take the consequences for whatever he does to make him happy. Now he says we can't even hang out anymore because he's tired of dealing with me being paranoid with the touching.

Maybe I am a little paranoid. maybe im just cautious. but shouldn't he be a little more respectful of my wishes? I don't even know how to approach him about this situation.

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Heather
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Before we say ANYTHING else, let me say that your boyfriend does not sound like a safe person for you to be alone with. He's clearly totally ignoring and disrepecting your boundaries. That just is not okay and is not what someone safe who cares for you does.

The way he is talking to you about your boundaries is also just plain awful.

My personal advice to you is that you really think about terminating this as a romantic/sexual relationship. It doesn't sound like he WILL talk yo you about it with care and respect, so I wouldn't know how to tell you how to try beyond how you already have. You "making sense" shouldn't be what matters to him: someone who loves you won't do things you say no to and/or which make you feel scared and unsafe in any way.

I know a year is a long relationship, however, sometimes long relationships turn bad or show themselves up to be cruddy ones.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
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

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GleeRoxJill
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Heather, would it be weird to be in a relationship for over a year and refrain from sexual things? I don't think I've ever met a couple who's dated for over a year and don't touch each other sexually.

It's not like I don't want to do it, but since I'm not ready for a kid I don't feel like I'm ready for sexual things either since there's always a risk.

I feel like its my fault that I'm so scared about getting pregnant in like every way. I mean, every other couple that we know are already "doing it" by their like 5 months or something. He is a GUY, and I understand that he has needs and wants. I feel like it'd be too cruel to ask him to stop touching me there, because the things we do pose such small risks.

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Heather
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For older adults who went into a relationship saying what they wanted was a sexual relationship, yes: that would be unusual.

For younger people, no: it's much more common. But still, it's about how you frame the relationship. If you were clear you didn't WANT a relationship with sex in it and someone else wanted one, the impetus is on them to see that you two want different things, and to choose a partner who wants more of that they do.

You do NOT have to tell me why you don't want to be sexual. Not ever. I don't care what anyone's reasons are for wanting or not wanting sex: as should be the case with everyone, so it is with me. All I need to know is what you do and don't want. They why of that, when it comes to how someone else reacts, should be irrelevant. If a person I'm dating says they don't want a sexual relationship, I don't question them or argue with them. I don't ask them to make a compelling argument that proves why I should respect their needs.

I listen, I make a note of it, and then I just decide if that's going to work for me or not. If it doesn't, and I like that person, then I have a friendship with them instead.

Don't go to the "but he's a guy" place. I know you don't mean to, but that actually demeans plenty of men who have no trouble respecting the boundaries of their partners, even when they'd prefer the boundaries were different. Your boyfriend does not have a biological imperative to act this way: plenty of guys do NOT act this way. And women have sexual wants and needs just like men: it's not just guys who are sexual.

Plus, if you're just talking about physical sexual needs? His body -- just like yours -- is just as satisfied physically by his hands as by a partner. You have sexual desires, too: would you say yours would mean it was okay to keep touching someone when they are slapping you away? or that your sexual desires made you unable to keep from treating someone like that?

You're not being cruel by having the boundaries you need. He's being cruel by disrespecting them.

Can you do something for me for a second? Can you just take a minute, sit back, close your eyes and envision a relationship with a guy who does NOT act this way and who IS respectful of your boundaries?

Once you do that, can you tell me if that looks better or worse to you than what you have now?

[ 11-29-2009, 03:45 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
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

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GleeRoxJill
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Thanks Heather. It almost felt like I was being manipulated....

and the situation i described doesn't pose a risk right?

Im so sick of doing things with him, then sit here for hours almost crying from anxiety.

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Heather
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No, I don't see any pregnancy or STI risks here.

Do you want to keep talking about this, perhaps also talking about the whole of your relationship, not just the sexual part?

While this behavior all by itself earnestly is more than enough for me to feel the best thing I could tell you to do is to sever this relationship, or at least the sexual part, I know that's not easy and that you might need more to think about first. I also know that a post like this doesn't tell me much about the whole of a relationship.

What's it like otherwise? Why have you stayed in it: what are the best parts? Does he do things like calling you stupid otherwise? Does he disrespect your boundaries or your saying no otherwise?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
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

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Heather
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(By the by, if I don't reply back right away, it's b/c a friend came by and I may be out. But I'll be back around shortly.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
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

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GleeRoxJill
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He's a really nice guy most of the time. It's just our boundaries have been a little blurry since we hit our 6 months. Like I previously mentioned, we were both raised in strictly christian families, so when we first started dating we said "just kissing and holding hands, no touching"

obviously, we started touching. Ever since my first pregnancy scare, I talked to him and told him NO MORE TOUCHING GENITALS!! that was a month ago.

he's been a bit bitter about it. almost angry. it's hard to bring the subject up to him, cause he would just give me silent treatments.

he's normally a really nice guy. its just when it comes to sexual stuff, seems like he lets his urges control him.

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Heather
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So, at the least, it sounds like this is just someone it's important you're NOT in a sexual relationship with, or a relationship he thinks is or will become sexual.

How might you feel about making clear this will NOT be and, if you still like him and want him in your life, suggesting you two become friends? That way, if he wants a sexual relationship, he can seek that kind of relationship out, and you two can have the kind of relationship that does work for you both -- a platonic one -- together.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
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

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GleeRoxJill
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im going to let him know that we're going to stop hanging out a while and think about what we're doing. if he gets mad at that, then i'll put an end to things.

but for some reasons, every time i tell him im worried about what we did (for some reasons i still believe it can lead to pregnancy) he just completely stops talking to me. but honestly, if he never pressured me then i wouldnt HAVE TO WORRY.
sometimes i understand why he'd be annoyed with me not wanting to do anything though. i guess my reasons are a bit ridiculous. ones like the one listed below...
if he touched my breasts with pre-ejaculate on his hands and i took a shower 5 hours afterward, would the sperm still be alive before the shower? because it wasnt exposed to open air but instead under my layers of clothes.

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Heather
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Here's the thing, though: we shouldn't need ANY REASON AT ALL for someone to say no and to just respect that no.

Fear about pregnancy from manual sex is, indeed, unreasonable. But! It may well be that some of why you keep feeling so afraid is because you know you're with someone who you clearly can't trust to respect your limits and boundaries. THAT is a very, very reasonable fear and a very smart reason to nix sex with that person.

As well, even if your fears aren't reasonable, you have them, and sex making someone we care about feel afraid should be something we want to help them with, not make them feel the same or worse, and if helping means no sex, then okay.

I see lots of good reasons not to be sexual with this person, including the fact that at this time, you're clear you want to take NO risks at all. But even if none of your reasons were seen as good by anyone? You're still saying no, and that should still be respected by anyone who cares about you.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
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

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GleeRoxJill
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I called him up last night and talked to him about respecting my boundaries and how the fact that he kept going even when I said stop is not okay.
I mean, he didn't apologize for it. But, he seemed to have accepted it. Grant it he is not happy about it...but I think we'll work it out?
Hoping. What bothered me was that he started blaming me for it. Remember how I told you that he said i killed the mood and it made me feel bad? So I started touching him outside of his underwear because I thought he would be less annoyed/frustrated if I did that. But I made sure stayed far away from the wet spots. He said if I was even possibly pregnant it'd be my responsibility because I could have touched a wet spot and touched the edges of my underwear when I went to the bathroom.

it made me sad. everything's my fault.

I just want some reassurance Heather. Whether it was showering? or touching? or touching the edge of my underwear. If it didn't feel like there was anything on his hands nothing will happen right?

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Heather
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I really need to say again that I just don't think this is a good person to be in any kind of sexual relationship with. I just don't.

Everything is not your fault: you're with someone who is framing it like it is and refusing to take responsibilities for himself. You're also doing sexual things now just to try and appease him which just isn't emotionally healthy.

I don't see any pregnancy risks here. But I do see you in a relationship that clearly isn't a good one to be in that is likely to result in your feeling good about yourself or having a real partnership.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
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

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Stephanie_1
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Hey GleeRoxJill: I’ve been following your posts and I hope you don’t mind if I add in a few things here.

First, I want to make sure you really understand that your partner really is doing everything he can to make you blame yourself here. Can you try something for me? Look at the words he’s said to you, and really try to imagine a time when you would ever say them to someone else. Do they sound fair coming from your own mouth? Are these things you would say to a partner, someone you supposedly care about? If the two of you were in opposite positions (He were you and you him), would you ever consider placing blame as he has?

Sometimes when you look at things from the other side of the road, it shows them in a different light. The feelings he gives you (Where you say you feel like everything’s your fault, and where you feel like you *have* to do something to please him), those aren’t the feelings you would have in a good healthy relationship. They’re not feelings you would have being with someone that fully respected you as a person, as a partner, and especially respected any and *All* boundaries that you decided were right for you. You *Deserve* someone that will respect your boundaries. You *Deserve* someone that will treat you well, listen to you, and not make you feel like everything’s your fault even though it most certainly isn’t.

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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atm1
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Hi Jill,

I just want to chime in here with a personal story. When I started dating my current partner, I mentioned that I wouldn't engage in a particular activity for the time being.

He didn't ask questions, he just said okay, and stopped asking for that activity. When I suggested it months later, he asked me if I was sure it was okay.

This is not some impossibly high standard to hold a partner to--my partner showed me very basic respect by his actions. And that's the way things can and should be in relationships: boundaries should always, always be respected.

This is *his* issue, not yours. There is something wrong with him that makes him feel entitled to sexual activity that you don't want. Unfortunately, there are guys out there who have this attitude. I've been raped by one of them, and I strongly believe that for many men, the attitudes they have about not respecting women's boundaries (from using disrespecting language to not taking no for an answer) are the very attitudes that later in life can lead them to rape their partners.

I think Heather's on the same page here, which is why she's emphasizing that she doesn't believe that it is *safe* for you to be in this relationship. It is very, very clear that you saying the word "no" means next to nothing to him. Honestly, that scares me, and I think it should at the very least make you very worried.

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GleeRoxJill
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we're not going to be doing anything like that anymore. I am taking control now and Im going to protect myself. Thank you for you guys' concern, and I understand everything you've said. I'm not going to be hanging out with him, even in public for a long while, I'm pretty busy with college apps right now anyway. What he did days ago was enough of a repulsion for me to back away.

Really, I will protect myself. I just talked to my best friend's mom. and she told me that any guy should feel grateful that I would share my body with him, and it should be a privilege not a demand. And he should never ask for more than what I'm willing to give. She said that my body is precious and I should not give it away so easily. Even if he doesn't respect my body, I still have to.

Thanks guys [Smile]

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Heather
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Go best friend's mom! Seriously: that's great you had someone in-person to talk to, and great that she said the things she did to you.

I'm very glad to hear you'll be taking some space away: as you can tell, we were all feeling pretty concerned.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
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

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GleeRoxJill
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Yeah, and she's a great woman too...and a nurse for like 13 years.

she had my best friend when she was 17, it was a mistake but she kept the baby. so she was telling me how as a woman we should feel even more compelled to protect ourselves because the mistakes can result in another life form.

now i just have to deal with my own anxieties. *sign* i've gone through this so many times and this is not a good time to be scared with SAT and college apps around the corner

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Heather
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I agree. I think it's actually a very good thing that right now, you have parts of your life you know really need your attention and your mind, parts that will likely play a much bigger part in your whole life and what you can do with it than a boyfriend now can.

It might be helpful, for you, and if you need to say something to him again to get the space you need, to maybe just develop a simple sentence you can get used to saying to support that, like "Right now, I have things I need to do which may influence the whole of my life. To do right by myself, and take care of myself best, I need to focus on those and not this right now."

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
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

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GleeRoxJill
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how long can sperm survive on warm skin? like underneath your clothes?
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atm1
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Under your clothes where they're likely being rubbed and squished? Probably under 5 minutes. On skin not under clothes? 20 minutes or so.

Again, as Heather said, you haven't had any pregnancy risks here. The best thing for you to do is to focus on the work that you have (since you said college apps) and try to use that to distract you from your relationship (and the pregnancy worries that go along with it).

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Padlock
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I concur with Heather in that this is not a guy that you want to be in a relationship in. A guy's age plays no factor in respecting boundaries and learning when NO means NO! In no way should a partner plead,beg,whine, or manipulate you to break these boundaries.

Clear communication of what you want sexually to your partner is vital before even beginning sexual activities. By mutually agreeing before hand on whats "ok" and what is "not ok" then there is no confusion.

If he can not respect this then move on. There are plenty of guys your age who will communication and respect your boundaries.

When you say NO say it loud and mean it when you say it.

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atm1
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Actually Padlock, the onus shouldn't be on Jill to say no, and certainly not to say it loud.

Here, we try to emphasize an enthusiastic consent model--a yes means yes way of thinking, not no means no. In a yes means yes way of thinking, consent isn't assumed until one partner says no, it has to actively be stated.

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GleeRoxJill
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Thanks guys, for your concern. I have dealt with it and my boyfriend and I had a talk last night. We're on a break now, we won't be seeing each other for a while.

Now I just have to deal with my anxieties. its easy for you to say "take your mind off of it and focus on college apps"
but the scary thoughts about possibly being pregnancy is killing me and preventing me from thinking about anything else but this. I had a dream last night about being pregnant!

it seems like it's SO easy to get pregnant. and everything that's one in a million will happen to me. like, if a little sperm can make it to your butt, it'll find its way to your egg! I keep seeing images of a little sperm just swimming around. they only have one goal right??? and that is to fertilize an egg. anything is possible. even when i dont even hold hands or touch my boyfriend at all, I still wash my hands 3 times before I wipe. I avoid touching the center of my underwear but grab it by the edges.


people keep telling me it's not likely, but even the mere possibility of it kills me. Ever since my first pregnancy scare, the idea of being pregnant never left my mind. it's the biggest distraction, and every time I think about it it almost makes me sick to my stomach.

I have NEVER had a problem like that before. I've always been straight As, model student. As soon as I realized my body is capable of doing something that will destroy me, I stopped feeling motivated, all I feel is fear from pregnancy.

I keep thinking what if the sperm lived through the 5 hours on my chest and got washed down to my vagina area and got pushed up when i dried myself? I kept thinking about what if I touched my underwear? What if there was pre-ejaculation on his hand and it swam to the entrance of my vagina?

is this common among young girls???

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Padlock
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I apologize atm1 where I teach we emphasize strong language and clear communication before any activity engages. This is also to protect yourself when a boundary is crossed to prevent from becoming a victim.

GleeRoxJill, it is very very rare to get pregnant by sperm that is outside the vagina. Furthermore, sperm cannot travel to your vaginal area when it is on your skin. As stated on other threads, sperm only lives 2-3 hours max on the skin in the most ideal conditions. Plus your vaginal canal is 6-7" long, which is a extra long side trip for the sperm to swim through.

If there was pre-ejaculate on his hand, then there is a very high probability that the sperm is already to weak to fertilize a egg. Remember there is a average of over 50 million sperm in ejaculation and only ONE impregnates a egg. It is a tough and dangerous journey through the vaginal,uterus, and tubes for sperm.

If you are scared of begin pregnant then you should consider refraining from sexual activity that invokes ejaculation or contact with your genital area. Living every day in fear will cause you a lot of stress which is not a good thing!

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atm1
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Jill, since your anxiety is this bad, I'd encourage you to look into counseling, either through your school or a referral from your primary care physician.

While yes, worry about becoming pregnant is common among young, sexually active women, this level of anxiety is really not healthy and goes above and beyond what most people experience.

I'm really sorry you're going through this, but at this point, I do think that you need some in person professional help to get through it.

(And Padlock, to make it clear, my views also come from my own background. In my case, I knew that saying no more assertively and loudly and trying to fight would only result in me being raped *and beaten.* Often the choice is not between "be assertive and not be a victim" and "be a victim" but rather between "be assertive and endure worse injuries" and "shut up and hope for the best." There are some great studies of rapists out there where they say that they know they force women to do something against their will, they just do not believe that that is wrong. So person saying "no" has been clear--the person hearing it just doesn't care.

Clear communication is important, but emphasizing the importance of a clear "no" over the importance of a clear and active "yes" is deeply problematic for a whole host of reasons)

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GleeRoxJill
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but what if the sperm was kept warm on my skin since it could have been under my bra or shirt and kept protected there. without being squished or anything. i keep believing that when i showered 5 hours later it could have traveled down from my upper body down and get pushed onto to my vagina opening when i dried myself??

i dont really know where to seek professionals...our school counselors are not into this kind of stuff.

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Karybu
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Sperm needs the fluid it's in to survive - once that's gone (and it dries up pretty quickly) it isn't possible for the sperm to survive any longer. Pregnancy from what you've described just is not possible.

Per seeking help for your anxiety, your school counselors are not the only option. If you have a primary care physician, they would be able to refer you to a counselor. We can also help you track down other resources for counseling in your area if you'd like to let us know your zip code.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Jill, it might help some to take a better look at the male anatomy. If you do, you can see how whether it's inside the testes, the seminal vesicles or the urethra, it's in HIGHLY protected areas which are like that because it really needs that kind of protection to stay viable.

Here you go: Man's Best Friend - Male Sexual Anatomy

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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

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