Once a friend of mine got her hands on a whole library of sex ed tapes from around the world, and held a viewing party at her house. There were two: the first, an abstinence-happy 1980s piece of work (featuring one of the Coreys!) that warned you were like a delicate flower, and each time you had sex it was like pulling off one of the petals until there was nothing left and you died.
The second one was an amazing video from the Netherlands that went into everything — masturbation, sexuality, attraction, changes etc, but the most controversial part was not in fact the two cartoon teenage bodies writhing together on a bed but the message that came next: that it was ok to say no. And even more controversially, that it was ok to want to have sex and still not be ready, to want to make out but not “go all the way” and to tell someone to stop and they were supposed to then listen to you.
That’s what stuck in my mind when I read the below story, a part of my “losing your virginity series” (the string of comments on the first post are amazing by the way, I highly recommend reading them). I’m not sure about the rest of you, but that “it’s ok to say no” message wasn’t one I got as a kid — you either made out and had sex, or you didn’t make out at all. There was no “waiting until you were actually ready” in-between. Anyways, enjoy:
How I learned about sex:
When I was in the third grade, I had a crush on a boy in my class. Some kids were teasing me about it and kept saying, “You want to do IT with Mike!” But no one would tell me what “it” was. I went home from school that afternoon and asked my mom to explain “it.” Little did I know that she had books prepared in her nightstand! She sat down with me and, with the help of some photo illustrations, explained how a man and woman have sex. She told me that sex was something that only married men and women did. I was so grossed out that I hoped to never have sex with anyone! (Only later did I form my own opinions about who should be having sex with whom and when.)
How I lost my virginity:
I had been dating Kevin for months. We were both virgins and had discussed becoming sexually active. He was ready, but I wasn’t. He didn’t pressure me; he was willing to wait until I was comfortable. Having been raised under the premise that I would save myself for marriage, I was torn between my own desire to share my sexuality with someone I was truly in love with and the terror of my parents finding out that I hadn’t upheld their standards. Many of my friends were having sex, and it sounded like fun. I wanted to see what all the excitement was about.
Kevin’s parents were out of town that summer before our junior year of high school. As we showered together, Kevin gently asked if I might want to have sex. I declined, and he didn’t bring it up again. After the shower, we continued fooling around, but my mind wasn’t on Kevin. What was I waiting for? If I wasn’t ready to have sex with someone I was deeply committed to, then when would I have sex? I realized that no one was going to give me permission to be sexually active; I had to grant myself that privilege. It felt right to me, and I was tired of conforming to my parents’ moral code.
I pulled away from Kevin. “Yes,” I said. “Yes, what?” he asked. I explained that I was ready, and he pulled out a condom from his nightstand. We were together for the next four years, and I have very positive feelings about losing my virginity to him.
PS – As I mentioned in my first post — Planned Parenthood of New York City has some great guides on how to talk to your kids about sex, and is currently running a campaign to make sure all kids in NYC are taught accurate, age-appropriate sex education.
Similar Posts (automatically generated):
- Hotel rooms are where all the best sex happens anyways. by Erica June 23, 2010
- Your virginity is a delicate flower, and if you give it away it will wilt and die. by Erica June 23, 2010
- Queer Virginity by Erica June 24, 2010
- How can you have sex when you don’t even know what sex is? by Erica June 24, 2010
- One last note about sex, stories, and the whole ‘Jesus as cockblocker’ thing. by Erica June 28, 2010