I was inspired to do this post by Alex and her amazing post – if you haven’t read it, you really should. I was also inspired partly by a favourite author of mine, Louise O’neill, who often talks about consent and topics such as that.
In this post, I’ll be talking about sex. Consent. Choice. All of that – so, if you feel uncomfortable, don’t read it – though give it a go, because we should talk about this more. I really hope this doesn’t make me sound So pretentious, but here goes.
Unless you’re asexual, at some point in your life, it’s likely you’re going to want to “do things” with someone you’re romantically interested in – whatever gender that may be. If it’s NOW, you shouldn’t be ashamed, or feel like you’re too young to experience this kind of thing. At the end of the day, it’s your body. They’re your thoughts, your choice, and if you’re sensible, go for it. Just ask yourself if you’re sure. THAT’s important.
My mother would say the exact opposite. She tried to talk to me about this, a few months ago, and I listened to what she had to say and then said I knew most of it already from the internet, my friends, or from things my sister told me long before the idea of even mentioning the subject came into my mum’s head. You learn things, whether you want to or not, about people and their bodies and about sex and how it works.
You might be asking, “WHY are you talking about this? You’re not my parent. GOD just stop, you’re WAY too immature for this.” If I was, I’d be quite worried. But honestly? Someone needs to talk about this. The majority of you reading this are teenagers, and teenagers are curious. You’ll probably have got a talk from your parents, or the school (actually let’s face it, sex education in schools only tells you, “DON’T HAVE SEX EVER USE PROTECTION (which you should do) BE CAREFUL OKAY”).
If you DON’T feel comfortable doing something, with anyone, DON’T DO IT. If you’re unsure, or horrifically nervous, WAIT until you feel more sure about what you’re doing. You shouldn’t be stuck in a situation where you feel pressured – by pressure, I partly mean someone asking you over and over to do something – “C’mon, just send me ONE picture; it won’t do any harm!” Or, “Oh, it’s just ONE little thing – you’ve done all these things with me before – don’t you trust me?”
I also mean the unobvious pressure; the pressure from yourself. You might tell yourself that you’re nervous, that you’re going to do it wrong but that you trust the person – or you might be thinking, “SHITSHITSHIT they won’t like me any more if I don’t, I NEED to.” If the person’s decent, they’ll understand you don’t want to send that picture, or have sex with them – to be frank. It’s OKAY to not want to do things, but it’s also okay to do things: IT’s YOUR CHOICE, as long as you’re ready.
It seems quite surreal, me writing this post and talking about such “mature” things, but I think this post is overdue. Not everyone feels comfortable with talking about this – in fact, a lot of people don’t – but TALK. Ask questions, maybe to your friends or whoever you feel you can say the word “sex” to without cringing or screaming in embarrassment.
Another thing is that other people will act differently to you. Some people wait until marriage to have sex because of their religion or beliefs; others don’t see losing virginity as important. Some people are completely confident talking about their bodies; others feel self-conscious and upset. Remember that what people choose to do is their own choice, and though you may act differently, don’t shame someone for having had sex with their partner relatively soon into a relationship – for all you know, they could trust each other completely. As well as this, don’t shame someone for not doing ANYTHING physical with their partner – they might not want to, or their relationship isn’t about the physical aspect.
Recently, I’ve felt much more comfortable talking to people about topics like this, and I can set boundaries about what I am and am NOT okay with doing at the moment, but that’s just because I’ve been more comfortable talking to my friends about it too, so it’s made me feel less awkward bringing the subject up in other places. But that’s just me: you might be completely different.
Should I talk about this more often – about “controversial” topics – or was this WAY too mature? What do you think about the whole topic – whatever age you are? 13, 16, 19 – really, it’s okay to talk, because it’s better to know than to just jump in at the deep end and think “SHIT, what am I doing?!”
Remember: if you ever feel uncomfortable, stop. If something’s wrong – if you feel like the person who you’re with is pressuring you, even unknowingly, STOP. Consent is important, because it’s your body.
From Elm 🙂