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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » The Pill and First Time Concerns

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Author Topic: The Pill and First Time Concerns
sweet_thing
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Ok, this might seem like a lot, but I feel like a lot has happened and is about to happen.

I've never had sexual intercourse before, and I feel like I'm ready to, but I'm still a bit confused. My boyfriend and I have talked about it a lot and he's very much ready, but it's very clear to him that I'm still second guessing the matter. At times I feel I'm more ready than anything, and thinking about it makes me so excited. But at other times I feel that I can't work up the confidence to say, "ok let's do it." I came really close to last night, but I chickened out at the last minute.

My boyfriend and I have performed oral and manual sex on each other, and we really love each other and want to take it a step further to really express that. We're both comfortable around each other and confident with our bodies. But I just start thinking and get so worried. I worry about pregnancy, whether or not I'll be any good, whether or not this is going against my personal religious beliefs, or if it'll be painful or unenjoyable. All of these thoughts get in my way so much, it drives me crazy. My boyfriend is not a virgin, but I know he will be good to me because he always has been. He truly cares about me and my decisions, and wants me to do what I believe is best. I just don't know what to do when the moment comes again.

I also started taking birth control last Sunday, so it's been a week and it should be working now. If STD's aren't a concern, and I take the pill regularly and correctly, are condoms still really necessary? Should I wait a full cycle on the pill before having sex without one? That was one of the reasons I stopped my boyfriend last night because I wasn't sure. I told him afterward that when we did have sex I wanted to use a condom for the first time at least (again, cause I wasn't sure).

So yeah, I know this seems like a lot, but I really need some advice/questions answered.

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Heather
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Let's sort out the less complex matters first, okay? Then we can dig into the more complicated stuff.

If you just started taking the pill last week, to play it safest, you want to wait until you're unto the second pack to only use that alone, without backup. If you started it at any time other than on the first day of your period or by the first Sunday after, you'll need to wait that long for full effectiveness, absolutely.

STIs are always a concern with any kind of sex we have with anyone, primarily when it is oral, vaginal and/or anal sex. If and when both people have never had any other partners for any other kind of sex, those risks are low to none, but that's not the case in your partnership, since you express that your partner has previously had at least one other partner.

So, the reduce those risks as best you can, what you'll need to do is a) be in a sexualy exclusive relationship for at least six months, b) use condoms/barriers for any oral, vaginal and/or anal sex for those six months, then both get tested for STIs at the end of that time. If, at the end of that time period those tests all come back clear and you are both going to stay exclusive, if you wanted to ditch condoms you could consider your STIs risks very low.

In terms of pregnancy and just using the pill, if it's okay really depends on what you're comfortable with. The pill is around 92% effective in typical use and 99% in perfect use. I like to remind people few of us use any method perfectly all the time, so it can be smart to think more of that typical use percentage. If you're comfortable with that level of risk, okay. If not, you may want to stay backing up with a second method. I also like to remind people that we always need to know that any time we have the kind of sex that can create a pregnancy, we need to make sure we're okay with even the smallest risk: we're not always.

Does all of that clear up the more practical issues for you?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get 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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sweet_thing
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Thanks a lot, this does clear up some issues. I asked my boyfriend about whether or not he had been tested before and he seemed a little hurt by the question, like I didn't trust him or thought he wasn't clear. But we talked about it and he realized it was a more than reasonable question to ask, and plans on getting tested in the near future.
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Heather
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Love and trust don't really change whether or not someone has an STI, just like they wouldn't change if someone picked up a cold or a flu. Viruses and bacteria don't care about that stuff, they just care if you've been in situations where they can hitch a ride, really.

So, all that info sorted, want to move on to the interpersonal stuff?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get 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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sweet_thing
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Thank you, yes.
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Heather
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You got it.

So, like I was just telling another user, I think it can help to recognize that besides posing pregnancy risks, and often being something where people have bigger expectations, intercourse is really only one other kind of sex. However other kinds of sex have been going in your relationship is probably how this is going to go.

So, how have you been feeling about those other kinds of sex? Have those been feeling good for you, physically and emotionally? What about for your partner? Do you feel like you two have built some good sexual communication with those?

One thing that usually matters in how good we feel about any kind of sex has to do with if it's okay with whatever our own values are. You say you're worried this may be outside your religious beliefs. Can you fill me in some more on that? Has the sex you've been having so far felt okay to you in terms of your values and beliefs?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get 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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sweet_thing
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Overall the other kinds of sex that we have had have been very good. We understand each other's preferences and we're able to talk fairly openly about it now. For me, emotionally and physically, I really enjoy it. There's something truly amazing about trusting your body to another person, and having them trust you with theirs, and we both feel that this is very powerful and intimate. The few times when my boyfriend accidentally hurts me, I tell him and he is truly sorry and makes sure he is careful the next time. And he gets sad and apologetic when I don't orgasm, but I still enjoy it anyway, and I always tell him that he doesn't need to give me an orgasm to make me happy (which is true).

I'm a christian, so I was raised with the belief that sex before marriage was wrong, despite the fact that both of my parents had sex before they were married, and that many people in my family and church were not virgins before they were married as well. I'm not saying that I condemn any of them: we're all human. But I'm not saying that they should be my example either. My mom doesn't necessarily support the idea of me having sexual intercourse, but she says she won't stop me from doing so, or doing it as safely as possible.

That being said, I was a little confused at first after my boyfriend and I had manual sex for the first time. At first I felt that I had violated my beliefs. But when I thought and prayed about it, I realized that I did it with someone I truly loved, and the fact that we were able to express it in such a way was some justification for me.

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Heather
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Okay.

It sounds like, for starters, you two have a pretty excellent relationship, and that your sexual relationship is going well. The one thing that leaps out at me as something you may want to make sure to talk about around intercourse is that that is, by itself (if not combined with other activities) a sexual activity where you're probably less likely to orgasm than you have been from the others. And yet, it's one where a lot of people get even more upset if people don't orgasm and take it more personally. So, given that's been an issue already, you may want to talk about that together as you decide on this.

Per your values, I'm having a hard time getting a feel for if this kind of sex, or any other, is really feeling like it's okay for you or not. The best advice I can give you around that is that if it really doesn't feel okay in that regard, you probably want to take some more time to think this through, maybe even the sex you're already having.

Maybe that thinking (or praying, if that's part of your process) will bring you to the conclusion that your values are different than you thought, and allow for sex when there's love there. Or, maybe you'll come to the conclusion that that still doesn't really feel okay for you. But it sounds like you might need some more time to sort all that out, and I'd encourage you to only have any kind of sex that really feels okay for you all around, including spiritually.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get 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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sweet_thing
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Thanks so much Heather. I've been really happy with our relationship so far. [Smile] I am aware that I am less likely to orgasm with intercourse, but it doesn't really bother me. I'm a little concerned that he might be a little upset if I don't, but I'm not really sure. He's already more experienced than me and is probably aware that I won't, but I might ask him about it anyway.

As far as beliefs are concerned, I think I am coming to the conclusion that my personal beliefs are just different. I've been considering the idea of intercourse for well over several months, and I realize that, other than the pregnancy risk, it's (like you said) not much different from other forms of sex. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to give in mindlessly to some sort of temptation, but then I realize that it's a choice that I've been debating over and considering thoughtfully. And I've considered before that if I were to decide to have sex before marriage, I wanted to do so with someone I truly cared about (and that cared for me as well).

Sorry, I know I sound a bit contradictory.

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Heather
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Personal values and religious beliefs are often complex, especially around sex. So, I don't think you sound contradictory, I think you just sound like you're grappling with some big, complex stuff.

Please know that so long as no one is doing themselves or anyone else harm, I don't think there is any one right or wrong set of values or religious beliefs around sex or anything else. So, so long as yours have your own best interest and that of others at heart, consider yourself supported, whatever those beliefs and values may be.

But I think it does sound to me like you might feel better about this if you gave yourself more time, and also talked with your partner about it some more. It might help to bear in mind that not doing a thing doesn't mean we don't want a thing. In fact, taking more time to do something we really want to do can often be something we do simply because we do want to do it so much, but are also invested in it being as awesome as it can be. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get 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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sweet_thing
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Thanks so much Heather! All of this really helps. I'll consider it some more and talk with my boyfriend. He's been really good not to push the matter on to me, and wants to make sure that I'm ready all around for whatever we do. This really helped my confidence a lot. I didn't really have anyone else to talk to.
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Heather
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Happy to help! And I -- and the other staff and volunteers, as well as our other users -- are always around when and if you want to talk about this, or anything else, some more.

I'm glad this helped you feel a bit better. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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