When are you ready for sex?

As a teenager with raging hormones, sex is something that is probably on your mind a lot. This is totally normal. However, just because you think about sex, and have sexual urges does not mean you are ready for sex. The following is a look at how you can know if you are ready for sex:

  1. Know the risks.
    Sex is about pleasure, but there are risks for some really un-pleasurable side-effects. With sex, you run the risk of STD’s, or pregnancy, etc. However, in addition to that you run the risk of heart break and regret. You can only have sex for the first time once, and if you choose the wrong person, you may end up with disease or feelings of loss. The risks are high, so if you have any doubts it is best to wait.
  2. Know yourself. You are the only who knows you well enough to determine if you have the maturity and ability emotionally to handle sex. You can’t expect someone else to know if you are ready, this is something you have to decide.
  3. Know your would-be partner. Are they trustworthy? Will they handle your heart with care? Are they going to treat you with the respect and care you deserve? If this is the first time you will be having sex, you want to ask yourself if it is their first time as well. Sometimes having sex for the first time with a partner who is experienced can be overwhelming, and leave you feeling vulnerable and insecure. So, consider that, who they are, etc. before you have sex.
  4. Know your reasons. Having sex for the first time because of pressure, not good. Having sex for the first time to spite your mom, not good. Having sex for the first time to improve your image, not good. If you are having sex for the wrong reasons, you should not be having it. Sex is an expression of love, and a fulfillment of intimacy. It creates a physical and emotional bond, and should not be taken lightly, or given without thought. If you are going to have sex, you should be having it because you love someone, and want that connection with them, and because they feel the same way towards you.
  5. Know the facts. The law, the basics of sex, etc. are all a big part of knowing whether or not you are ready. If you are under 18, it is against the law for you to have sex with someone over 18. This is something that many teenagers ignore, but it is a law, and should not be ignored. If you are not already familiar with how sex works, and what is expected, then you are not ready. Do you know what oral sex is? Do you know how to prevent contraception? Do you know how to care for yourself before and after? Do you know what to expect the first time? For a girl it can be fairly painful the first time. For a boy it can end quickly. Do you know what to expect?

What you should know about sex

As a teenager, sex is on the mind, but that does not mean you know what you should about sex. The following is a look at what you should know about sex when you are a teenager, especially one considering being sexually active.

  1. How to do it. Any teen who is going to think about having sex needs to know the basics of it. This means knowing how intercourse works, what it means to have oral sex, etc. It can be uncomfortable to talk about sex, and so many teens are a bit ignorant when it comes to the facts.
  2. The risks involved. Many teens know that they want to have sex. They have sexual urges, and feel a need that they want to fulfill. Many teens think only of the pleasures of sex, and forget the risks. The fact is that sex is riddled with risks, especially for those who are teens, involved with more than one partner, or are not prepared for those risks. Obviously the biggest risk of sex is that of pregnancy. People who wait for marriage have the benefit of a spouse, and many of them are not really ready for sex then, so consider how unprepared you may be as a teenager who has class, a minimum wage job, and live in their parent’s home. In addition to pregnancy, there are risks like STDs, HIV, and emotional risks, such as heartache and heartbreak.
  3. The laws. There are laws about who can have sex with whom. If you are under 18 years of age, you are not legally allowed to have sex with someone over the age of 18. It is important that you remember that, and know any other laws in your state, etc.
  4. The emotional impact. Sex is more than a physical coupling that results in pleasure, there is also a very emotional tie that is created when you have sex with someone. Even when you think you are just having sex for the pleasure, you can’t share that much intimacy with someone without creating a real bond. This means that if you get rejected, if things get confusing, or if a problem occurs, it can be really devastating. The emotional side of sex is something you have to anticipate and understand if you are going to have sex. It can leave you feeling vulnerable and insecure.
  5. The good, the bad, the ugly. Sex feels good, is not bad, but can be kind of gross and ugly at times. Some people consider sex to be a sin if engaged in before marriage. There is a lot of wisdom to waiting, especially as it is going to protect you from most of the risks. It also helps you accept some of the ugly, and not feel like you are putting your relationship at risk. Sometimes during sex people fart, urinate, make weird sounds or say or do things that would be weird or uncomfortable in other situations. Being in a secure and trusting relationship is critical for the good, the bad, and the ugly to all work in sex.

Sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases are common among sexually active teens, and should be given more consideration. Teens should be more aware of what STDs are out there, and that they should be doing to get tested and to be protected against them.

What are STD’s:

STDs are sexually transmitted diseases. They are usually viral, and often have serious side effects, symptoms, etc.

A look at the common STD’s:

BV – Bacterial Vaginosis: This is a sexually transmitted disease common for teen girls, it occurs when the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted and replaced by an overgrowth of certain bacteria. The most common symptoms are pain, itching, burning, discharge, and odor. It is sometimes confused with yeast infections.

Chlamydia and LGV: Most teens have heard of Chlamydia. This STD can damage a woman’s reproductive organs, and make it impossible for them to have children in the future. This is an STD that is often not taken seriously because the symptoms are so mild, and in some cases absent. However, this disease can cause irreversible damage. In a man it often causes infection in the penis which results in discharge.

Gonorrhea: This is another commonly heard of STD among teens. It is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which is a bacterium. This particular bacterium multiplies quickly, especially in warm, moist areas. So, it spreads quickly in the reproductive tract of a female, including the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes. It also affects the urethra (urine canal) in both women and men. The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus. Symptoms of this STD are a burning sensation when urinating, or a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis. Sometimes men with gonorrhea get painful or swollen testicles as well.

Genital Herpes:  This is an STD commonly joked about, but very common. The reason is that most individuals have no or only minimal signs or symptoms so it spreads easily. When signs do occur, they typically appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals or rectum depending on where the herpes is located. The blisters can break and leave tender ulcers.

HPV or the Human Papillomavirus Infection: This is caused by viruses which are sexually transmitted, and infect the genital area of men and women including the skin of the penis, vulva, or anus, and the linings of the vagina, cervix, or rectum. This infection may not show symptoms, but can cause problems with your reproductive tract. Many people will overcome the infection on their own.

Syphilis: This is a common STD that does not have many signs and symptoms, but it can be spread to an infant if you have it and get pregnant. It is also bad for the reproductive tract.

Trichomoniasis: This is a very common STD in teen girls, and puts them at higher risk of getting HIV infected. This is because it causes genital inflammation which increases her susceptibility to HIV.

Avoiding STD’s:

The best and only real way to avoid STDs is through abstinence. Other good ways is to minimize the number of sexual partners you have, as well as who you have sex with. In addition, it is wise to have all partners tested before you have sex with them.

Protection

What you need to protect yourself from during sex: When many teens think about protection during sex the thing that first comes to mind is that of preventing unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. While it is considered somewhat “cool” to be sexually active as a teenager, being a teen parent is far from cool or exciting. However, in addition to protecting against unwanted pregnancy, you should protect yourself from HIV, STDs, and last, but certainly not least, heart break! Heartbreak is common when teens have sex, and most teens do not think about how to protect themselves from it. The following are some tips for protection:

Pregnancy: The best way to protect against pregnancy is abstinence. Find ways to enjoy the opposite gender without sex. However, if you are sexually active, to protect against pregnancy as a girl, consider a pill, patch, ring, diaphragm, etc. If you are a boy consider the use of condoms, spermicide, etc. Talk to your doctor about the option that is best for your body and budget.

HIV: The best way to protect against HIV is abstinence. If you are going to be sexually active the best way to protect yourself against HIV is to have each potential partner tested before engaging in sexual activity with him or her. In addition, certain contraceptives, such as condoms can help lessen the risk, but certainly does not prevent you from contracting it.

STD’s: Sexually transmitted diseases are common among teens because they do not plan sexual partners out well, and thus do not always get tested before engaging in sex. In addition, many teens think of themselves as somewhat invincible, and sort of think of STDs as something that happens to other people, not them. To protect against STDs you can practice abstinence, which is the safest option. Other choices include having potential partners tested. Contraceptives do not really protect you against STDs. Neither does asking your potential partner if they have any STDs, some do not have symptoms, and it is embarrassing to admit to STDs, so even if they do have one, they might not tell you.

Heartbreak: This is the hardest thing to protect yourself against when it comes to sex. It is really easy to get your heart broken if you are a teenager engaged in sexual activity. This is because it is a shared intimacy that many take for granted. If it is given without a true commitment or level of feelings, you can get rejected, and that rejection is felt deeper because of the intimacy that sex inspires. Thus, to protect yourself from heart break when it comes to sex, you should choose your partner carefully. You want to ensure that they are someone trustworthy. You want to make sure that you are not pressured to have sex. If your partner says that you will have sex with them if you love them, etc. then you are probably in for some heartbreak after you give in.

Why putting out is a bad idea

teens kissingPutting out is a bad idea because. UMM… there are a million reasons, but let’s just take a look at some of the top. In fact, here are 3 big reasons why you should not put out.

Number one: You get a reputation.
If you are the type of girl who is willing to kiss on the first date, and go further on the second, or even the first time you meet, that says something. What it says is never good. Sure it might get you some more guy attention, but it is not the right kind of guy to be attracting. You will have a reputation for being easy, or being someone to go to when someone is looking to get some. This will be fun at first, but after a while it will start to be really upsetting. You will never know if a guy likes you for you, or if they are just interested in you because you are known for putting out.

Also, along with this reputation come people treating you poorly or differently. Girls will hate you because you throw yourself at a guy, or at least are easy, and so you will get more attention. But once again, let me remind you, this is not the right kind of attention to be getting, and it is not the kind of attention that will make you happy.

Number two: You are in danger of health risks, STD’s etc. When you put out, and you gain a reputation, you become a magnet for other people who are open with their sexuality. This means you may have sexual partners who have had several other sexual partners. This means your risk for disease sky rockets. There is not full proof way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases except to not have sex, or limit your sex to one partner who also limits their sex to only you. Even if you are only making out and stuff, not having sex, you still run the risk for getting sick, diseases, mouth herpes, etc. Putting out is a bad idea. Bad for your self image, bad for your health.

Number three: It becomes extremely difficult to get into a good relationship. Some girls put out because they are not yet interested in something serious, but want to enjoy some physical contact. This seems logical. The problem is, if you are always putting out, and never making any commitments, then you become undatable. Sure you are great for a hook up, but as a girl friend? Not a chance. What guy would want to date a girl who has been around? Most guys find this really unattractive. So, when the time comes that you are ready for a good relationship a couple things happen: you question if the guy actually likes you for you, or just wants to get some, so you are very insecure in your relationship, which is not attractive. Second, you have a hard time attracting the kind of guy you want to date because you are not the kind of girl he would want to date.

It is so easy to think short term. You want physical contact, so put out on a the first date. However, thinking long term is so much better for you. If you want meaningful relationships later with out the insecurity and doubt most girls face, then be selective about who you engage in physicality with. Even if it is just a kiss.

Slam on the breaks, how to slow down a physical relationship that is moving too fast

girl angry at her boyfriendAre you in a relationship and it is heading towards sex? Or any other physical aspect that is too far for you? Are you ready for that? If things are moving too fast physically in your relationship, and this makes you uncomfortable, here is what to do:

  1. Talk to your boyfriend, let him know you are uncomfortable. Chances are he is just doing what his feelings and hormones are pushing him to do, and he probably thinks you are feeling the same way. If you do not talk to him about how it makes you uncomfortable, and tell him you need things to slow down, he won’t know to do that. He might have an idea, but let’s face it, guys are not exactly experts at picking up on hints or signs. So, when you are not in the heat of the moment, tell him that when you get too hot and heavy it makes you uncomfortable. Then ask him to respect that and let him know that when you are ready you will let him know, but that timeline is up to you. Also, let him know that it could be a while, and not to expect anything. If he pressures you, the best way to slam on the brakes is to just break up with him. If he really likes you e will get the hint, you will get back together, and he will not move faster than you are ready.
  2. Don’t get in those situations. Another way to slow things down when a physical relationship is moving too fast is to avoid situations that lead to getting physical. Go out with friends instead of alone. Do not fall prey to sticking at home and watching movies with a big blanket covering you. Don’t lay down next to each other, stay sitting up. Don’t watch movies if you are having trouble. Don’t stay out too late. If you are tired, go home. Just remember, if you are with other people, and you are involved in activities, chances are, you won’t get into trouble or make a physical mistake.
  3. Break up. One big way to slam on the breaks is to simply break up with the guy. If he is moving too fast for your comfort, and you have voiced it, even once, then that is a big sign you need to break up. Do not let yourself get used. Do not let a person talk you into something you are not comfortable with, something that is against your standards, your faith, or your feelings. So, end the relationship. If his intentions were good, he will work toward winning you back, and he will take things much slower from there.
  4. Commit to yourself. One important part of slowing down a physical relationship that is moving too fast is to commit to yourself that you will not let things go further than you are ready or comfortable. So, if you want to limit things to making out, holding hands, and pecks good bye, don’t let even the slightest grope go. You have to be committed. You have to stop him and tell him not to do that again. If he does, you have to end things. This is the only way you will get the respect you deserve physically, and the only way to truly slow things down if he is pushing hard to heat things up.

Showing off your curves without looking trashy

blonde  in leather jacketJust because you have boobs, a butt, or a nice curvy figure, does not mean you have to look trashy when showing it off. You can let people see that your body is hot, without letting them see your whole body. So, how can you show off your curves without looking trashy? Try the following:

Wear things that are form fitting.
You can buy clothes with darts, seams, and pieces that are made to cover you up, but still sit right on your body to show that you have curves. Quit hiding behind bulky sweats, wear a nice tailored skirt, a structured jacket, or a nice pair of jeans that actually fit.

The right style and size for your body is important. You may wear a really cute shirt, and on any one else it would look classy, but on you-trashy! Why? Chances are it is the wrong size or style for your body. When you shop, be sure to try on clothes that fit you. Clothes that are made in your correct size will do wonders for showing off your curves without making you look like you are going to pop out of the outfit. Not sure of your size. Most size charts have measurements, so take a long a sewing measuring tape, and measure your bust line, waist, hips, etc.

Blazers, jackets, and structured tops are great for showing off curves without looking trashy.
You can button a blazer that is the right length, and because of the way it is structured it will highlight your chest, and you tiny waist, and really point at the fact that you have a great body, and yet it is a blazer, so unless you aren’t wearing anything under it, no one can say you look trashy. Choose jackets, blazers, and structured tops that go well with jeans and dressier clothes, and be sure to get the right size in the shoulder and arm length.

Skirts. Skirts are a great way to show off shapely legs without looking trashy. That is if you choose the right style and length. For most curvey bodies, a fitting pencil skirt, or a fitted at top, and flow at bottom skirt that hits just below the knee is best. Don’t go too short, that looks trashy. Don’t go too long, it makes you look short.

Tailored clothes. Let’s face it, if your clothes fit right your curves will be noticed, and not for the wrong reasons. So, get your clothes altered to fit you the way they are supposed to.

Layered. Layering is a great way to show off your hot body without looking trashy. If you want to wear the shirt with the plunging neckline that draws attention to your great chest, then pair it with a lacy toped camisole, and you accomplish two things, you are still classy, and you show off your curves.

Do not wear the following:

  • Low cut shirts that make your boobs hang out.
  • High cut skirts or shorts that when you bend over show off a little too much.
  • Too short or shirts that are always showing off your midriff, and back when you bend over or pick things up.
  • Too tight of clothes. If you can see your bra line, your clothes are too tight. This does not show off your curves, it shows off your blemishes. Even super skinny girls look funny if their clothes are too tight.
  • Lycra, cheap, etc. If the clothes you wear look trashy because they are cheap, made of trashy material, etc. you will look trashy.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, how to get him to respect your physical wishes

girl glaring at boyWhen you are dating or even in a serious relationship it is important that he respects your physical wishes. If you have things you are not comfortable with, he should know that and respect that. In order to get him to respect your physical wishes you need to set boundaries to govern behavior.

Boundaries provide the ability to have relationships where both people are committed to preserving trust and upholding the value and worth of each other. If you set a boundary, and he crosses it, then a trust is broken. You need to set your boundaries with him and make sure that is clear.

Boundaries are best understood when they are clear. When you do sports you know what the in play boundaries are, and in a relationship it should not be any different.

So not be shy about setting boundaries. Boundaries are a good thing. In sports you get rewarded for staying in bounds, and the same goes for relationships. They have a more rewarding and fulfilling relationship because both parties exhibit respect and trustworthiness.

Boundaries also set up in order to protect the players. In hockey, a strong elbow check is a foul; the penalty is a shot or time in the box. There should be a penalty in your relationship when a boundary is crossed. This penalty may be severe like breaking up, or it may be less severe like spending time apart, or only dating in groups because of the temptation when alone.

In your relationships as teenagers, boundaries are significant. When you set boundaries for your relationships you give yourself to opportunity to work on your skills within the boundaries. You will learn important aspects of relationships that will help you in future relationships. For example, you will learn how to have a relationship that is not 100% physical, which is what many teens fall into the habit of having.

Boundaries regarding physical intimacy are not about keeping all the “fun” away from your relationship, they are about making sure you protect yourself emotionally and physically until you are truly ready for the level of commitment physical intimacy means and requires. Physical intimacy is meant to help bond and unite people. If you ignore its power, you disregard the wonderful opportunity it provides. So, it is important that you not only talk to him about you physical wishes, but together you should plan and consider the most appropriate boundaries physically for you within your relationship.

When getting him to respect your physical wishes, be clear about what is acceptable for you, not only within your comfort level, but also within your faith level. Discussing these boundaries and be sure they understand that they are to be held accountable to the standards you set. This does not have to be a big serious scary conversation. Just tell your boyfriend what your standards are, what your boundaries are, and ask him to respect them. Then say that if he can’t you will have to break up. Then most importantly stick to your guns about it. If he breaks a boundary, and you do not hold him accountable, he will continue to disrespect your physical wishes, and you will have an unhealthy relationship where you are left feeling used and uncomfortable.

In summary. Set boundaries. Understand the importance of having boundaries, and help him to understand that as well. Then hold him accountable for upholding these boundaries. If you do this he will respect your physical wishes.

Feel good about your body

two girls looking confidentFeeling good about your body is sometimes hard, but there are things you can do that will help you to feel good about who you are, and in doing so, you will respect yourself more and gain the respect of others.

Don’t deprive yourself.
Too many girls think that the only way for them to look good and feel good about their body is if they never touch a treat. The problem with this is that if you do that, you will end up binging later. So, treat yourself once a week. If you know that once a week you can pour a bag of skittles, or your favorite chocolates into your happy mouth, this splurge will make it surprisingly easy to eat healthy meals the rest of the week. So, you want to eat healthy, but you also want to be able to have a treat every now and then as well.

Drink water, drink water, drink water!
Two quarts of noncarbonated water a day works miracles in how you look and how you feel. If you want to feel good about your body, you need to start by feeling good. So cut back on the soda and sugared fruit juices, and load up on water. Carry a water bottle around with you, and drink it all day. It will help you get healthier skin, improve your diet, and will make you have more energy.

Work out at least ten minutes a day.
You are busy, you are balancing school, friends, boys, etc. But, try it, watch how those few moments of exercise change your appearance and your life. You will start to see a difference, your body will get tighter, your clothes will fit better, and you will look good and feel good about your body. Pick a time and stick with it, ten minutes is all it takes, but thirty minutes is even better.

Schedule fitness appointments in writing each week.
For you to feel good about your body, you need to commit to doing the things that make you feel good. So, commit to working out ten minutes each day by writing it in your planner, on your schedule, or even writing it on your mirror so in the morning while you get ready you see this and remember to get your exercise in for the day. One other great option is join a sports team at your school and go to practice.

Don’t stop eating-stop eating in front of the TV.
Food is a glorious part of life, it is fun, a great way to socialize, and can be very comforting. It deserves your full attention. If you eat while you watch TV, you’re not giving it that attention and you’re probably overeating. So, feel better about your body by eating at the table, and learning how to proportion your meals better.

Pick goal for your body and let that motivate and inspire you.
You want to feel good about your body, well then work towards a goal. Forget everyone else, and focus on how you look and feel compared to how you used to look and feel. Even Reese Witherspoon is going to feel bad about her body if she compares it to Angelina. So, quit comparing yourself to others, and you will find that pretty soon you will feel good about you.

Stand up straight and tall.
If you look confident and like you feel good about your body, soon you will start to be more confident and you will feel good about your body. So, practice good posture, and keep your head up.

Date, have fun, and have moral standards? It is possible, how?

young people eating pizzaMany people wonder if they can have fun dating if they have high moral standards. It seems like everyone drinks, smokes, and has sex these days. So, how can you go out, date, and enjoy yourself if you have moral standards?

The following are some ideas for how you can date, have fun, and have moral standards at the same time:

Date people with the same standards: it is hard to go out on a date and have fun if your date is expecting something you aren’t willing to do or give. This will mean that the entire night you will feel awkward or guilty, and at the end of the night he will feel lead on, disappointed, and unhappy with you. So, one of the best ways to have fun while dating, and still maintain your moral standards is to date people that have the same standards you do. This could be people within your religious affiliation, or it could be people you meet and talk to. Whomever it is, make sure you are on the same page as far as expectations and standards go, and that neither one of you will leave the date feeling awkward or uncomfortable because boundaries were crossed.

Stay out of situations that lead to immorality: It is possible to date, have fun, and still have moral standards even if you date people without the same standard as you. You just have to take a lot of extra precautions. You have to limit your activities to things you do as a group. You will want to stay where nothing can happen, and you will want to inform them of your standards upfront so that they do not have expectations you can’t or won’t meet. So, when dating someone with different standards from your own, go to BBQ’s, carnivals, bowling, play sports together, or get together with a large group. Do not go to movies, stay in and watch a movie, hit the beach, go hiking alone, or anything that might put you alone and in a regrettable situation.

Rules of thumb for dating and maintaining moral standards:

  1. Don’t go alone. Group dating is the best way to keep things PG
  2. Inform them. Just tell the guy that you only kiss, nothing else, or whatever your moral standard is. Then he knows and is less likely to try anything.
  3. Avoid guys with reputations. You won’t be different than the other girls this guy has nailed. So, don’t think you will be, and you will have a much easier time keeping your moral standards.

Ideas for dates that are conducive to maintaining morality:

  • Bowling at a local alley
  • Miniature golf
  • Swim at a recreation center
  • Hit the beach with a group, and in the light
  • BBQ at someone’s house, with lots of people.
  • Hike with friends and have a picnic
  • Tennis, volleyball, basketball, and other sports.

While not everyone at your school, in your group, or in your city has moral standards, you will be surprised to find out how many of them do. So, don’t just go with the popular crowd, or do something because you think it is expected. Hang out with the type of people who don’t expect you to do things you are uncomfortable with. You will feel better about yourself, and have a better time dating if you maintain your moral standards.