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.

Emotional health and sex

Sex is not just about your body, it also affects your emotional side. Thus, if you are a teen considering sex, your emotional health is an important factor to consider. As a teenager it can feel like you are constantly on an emotional roller coaster, and sex ramps that up a lot. The confusion, game playing, heart ache and heart break can put you over the edge and give you an emotional melt down if you are not emotionally healthy.

The following is a look at emotional health and sex:

How do you feel about yourself? A common malady of teens is that of doing things because they do not like themselves much. If you are doing things to fit in, to be accepted, or for love because you do not like yourself much, you are not in the emotionally healthy state you should be in. Do you regularly dress or act a certain way for acceptance? Have you ever done something against your personal values in order to fit in or be accepted? This can be stuff like drinking, drugs, etc. or it can be sex stuff. If you do not like yourself, you can’t expect others to like you for you, and so you do stuff you shouldn’t. Sex requires emotional health, and should not be engaged in until you have the confidence and love for yourself.

How much do other’s treatment of you affect your moods? If a boy likes you do you find yourself in a great mood for days? If a girl winks at you, do you find yourself elated? What if the opposite happens? Are you depressed? Many teens allow how others feel and treat them to greatly influence their moods. It is normal to be happy or excited when someone you like likes you back, but you can’t let that be the determining factor. If it is, you are not emotionally healthy enough for sex. What will you do if after you have sex with someone, they kick you to the curb? What happens if they use you and lose you? What if they ignore you, quit talking to you, or make fun of you? Until you can determine for yourself how you feel, regardless of other’s feelings, treatment of you, etc. you are not ready for sex.

How much does your mood change in the course of a day? As a teen it is normal to have a bit of an emotional roller coaster, but during any given day you should not be experiencing deep depressions, and high highs. You should be fairly level in your emotions.

Your emotional state is an important thing to consider. Many a teen has done things they regret in the heights of emotion. Many teens have their lives crushed because they were not emotionally ready for rejection that often occurs after sex. After sharing so intimate a part of yourself, are you emotionally healthy enough to be able to withstand rejection? If not, wait for sex. It is normal to feel pain after rejection. However, if that pain turns to self loathing, or thoughts of suicide, etc. you are in trouble. Instead of risking it, consider waiting until you like yourself enough to deal, whether someone else likes you or not.