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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » abstinence

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Author Topic: abstinence
erikablue
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Member # 30383

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I am a journalist for Teen Vogue magazine writing an article about abstinence. Is there anyone who would be willing to speak with me about their decision to wait?
Posts: 2 | From: Brooklyn, NY | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LilBlueSmurf
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 1207

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Have you okayed this with MizScarlet?

If not, you need to do so (boards@scarleteen.com). If so, we (as moderators) haven't heard anything about it yet and will need to wait until we do to reopen this thread.

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Nursing is a work of heart!
~ unknown

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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(Emily, I'm down with this so long as the appropriate credit is given to Scarleteen.com, per our copyright on the boards and posts here, and so long as whatever identities any posters give you are respected per privacy.)

So, folks, gab away!

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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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-Lauren-
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I guess I'll be the first one to speak out, then. I'm assuming you mean abstinence for any amount of time, as opposed to abstinence-till-marriage.

I met my boyfriend (then 18) when I was 16. We decided early on that we were serious about following the law, and that at that point in our lives, we simply didn't have the capacity to worry about the consequences of sexual behavior. I was still in high school, and he was a struggling college student still trying to decide his major.

We waited for about 2 years. By my 18th birthday, he had a decent job and about $5,000 in his savings account, and we both had a more mature view of the world. We went to get tested together, and he was able to pay for, and support me getting, hormonal birth control. To this day I still am unable to have intercourse due a health issue, and he's been very understanding and supportive all along.

Sex, to me, is not a one-shot deal that you should give to only one person for eternity. I think sex is best enjoyed when both partners are fully prepared for the consequences involved and care for one another's feelings and comfort. For me, that simply wasn't possible at the age of 16, and I'm perfectly happy with the amount of time I waited until this would be possible.

- Lauren, 18

[ 08-21-2006, 01:32 PM: Message edited by: Miss Lauren ]

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Faith54
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Like Miss Lauren, I'm assuming you're speaking of abstinence in general (since you won't find many waiting until marriage cases here). I had sex for the first time June 19th, with my boyfriend of 14 months. We are both 15. Believe me, it was not in the heat of the moment. I looked up everything I could about birth control months in advance, plus I wanted to be completely sure before we did. That night we were sure. We were prepared, and it just felt like we had made a good decision.

I never believed in saving myself for marriage, just waiting until I was 120% positive I was ready to handle it. I still read up on sex and birth control, and my boyfriend and I have a solid, healthy relationship. I don't regret a thing.

(My name is Katharine and I'm 15)

[ 08-21-2006, 04:21 PM: Message edited by: Faith54 ]

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"My grandmother never gave gifts- she was too busy being raped by cossacks." ~ Woody Allen

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kitka
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I was 6 weeks away from turning 24 when I first had sex.

My decision had nothing to do with religious beliefs or my parents' beliefs, or worries about pregnancy or infection. (With careful safe sex practices, the latter is not a concern for me).

I waited because I wanted to share myself with someone who cared about me deeply, and showed me that in what he did and what he said. Before I met my boyfriend, I had one sexual offer. I turned it down because I knew that I didn't feel emotionally secure in that relationship.

My boyfriend's helped me see that sex shouldn't be restricted in a healthy relationship.
Even though his religious faith (Catholicism) forbids pre-marital sex, he and I both know that physical intimacy is an essential part of our relationship.

I'm glad that I remained abstinent until I was in a mature relationship. But I'm also glad that I chose to become sexually active. The emotional and spiritual joys of good, safe sex are unparallelled.

I'm glad I didn't wait until marriage either. This way, I know that all aspects of my relationship, from the emotional to the sexual, are exactly what I want.

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bluefreak44
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I'm not currently abstinent, but I waited until I was married, at age 20, to have sex.

There were many factors going into my decision. It was a spiritual issue. As a Christian, I believe the Bible teaches that it is wrong to have sex with someone other than one's spouse. So before my husband was my spouse, I didn't have sex with him. I don't try to push this view on others, though. I just let them know how I feel about it.

I'm also a bit of a romantic. I love(d) the idea of sharing so intimate with only one person. I can't separate intimacy/attachment from sex. I know that's just the way I'm wired. I love that my husband and I have only been with each other. However, I don't know that I would feel any less of the situation if he had been with someone else previously. I really can't say. I just know that in our current situation, sex is something just for us, something to special and intimate that we refused to share that with anyone else.

Finally, others around me helped encourage me in my decision to wait. My youth leader told me once that she was really glad that Chris and I were waiting because some of the younger members of the youth group looked up to us, and we were countering the bombardment of secular media messages that say everyone's doing it. My family also knew our decision to wait. I didn't want to disappoint them. And I didn't want to disappoint myself. Waiting was a standard I set for myself long ago, and it's one I didn't want go back on.

Abstinence isn't always all puppies and sunshine though. I didn't get much attention from guys in highschool, and sometimes I wonder how much that had to do with my known reputation for not putting out (I don't think the lack of attention was based purely on looks, because other girls with less-than-chaste reputations, regardless of their looks, were often pursued by guys). And once my friends started having sex, they treated me like some naive child excluded from their adult club. That wasn't a good feeling either. But personally, I know it was all worth. That conviction was very much reaffirmed on my wedding night.

Sara, 21

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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(Bluefreak, I just wanted to drop you a note letting you know that I'm glad you're here. You usually just do such an excellent job voicing your views and experiences in this arena without the prosletyzing and judgment that we too often see brought here when it comes to abstinence-pre-marriage from a religious perspective. Thanks for being you.)

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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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bluefreak44
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Wow, thank you. I've sometimes felt like a bit of a nuisance, so that's really nice to hear.
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proofman
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Hey, sorry but I have a quick question to Kitka. You said that your boyfriend helped you realize that sex shouldn't be restricted in a healthy relationship, how'd that happen? I'm just curious since I'm currently undergoing some--reevaluation of my beliefs. It's confusing to say the least...
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greenl1ght
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My experience is similar to Bluefreak's (I'm not married yet, but engaged). However, I'm not religious and I'm very liberal.

Again, this comes with a sort of romanticism and an unwillingness to seperate the intimacy from the physical act of sex. I wouldn't want to divorce the two. And it's something so special I wanted to share it with only one person. My fiance had had sex once before and it did sorta hurt me but it was a long, long time ago and it was a terrible relationship he was pressured into.

I also waited for psychological reasons. I may be liberal, but I like my monogamous relationship. I think there's a reason the divorce rate is so high. I think there's a reason people go through complicated relationships and break-ups time after time again. I think you can condition yourself to devalue sex if you have the wrong attitude. I think it's something sacred, not in the religious sense, in the human sense. A lot of people I know have sex without love, then confuse sex with love. For me, the love came first, uninfluenced by physical things, then the sex. That's just my opinion and I don't force it on anyone else, but I'm very glad I did it and I know my relationship is better for it.

Posts: 4 | From: New York | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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