Questions About Sex

Are my feelings normal?

It is normal to have mixed feelings about sex or to feel confused about it. We get different messages about sex from our parents, our church, our culture, school, the media, and our friends or partners. Sometimes you might feel like your mind says one thing and your body says or feels another. This is very normal.

Whether sexual feelings are new to you or not, you may have questions or you may be feeling some peer pressure about sex and sexuality.  Changes in your body during adolescence can be confusing, because your body may seem ready for sex, but you may not feel ready for it. You may also be confused about what sex really is: does it include oral sex? Intercourse? Touching? What are the risks of becoming sexually active? What does it mean to be abstinent? What if I’m attracted to the same sex or feel like I’m in the wrong body [link to don’t fit/belong]? These are all normal questions you may have.

There are a lot of strong images and messages in movies, music videos, and video games about sexuality. Even young women can be portrayed as sex objects, and males are often portrayed as using women only for sex. These can lead to even more confusion and/or pressure about sex.

A healthy sexual relationship includes respecting yourself and your partner, feeling ready for sex, and taking steps to be responsible in preventing negative consequences (such as unwanted pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Infections - STI’s, HIV/Aids).

 

Should I be worried?

Sometimes it is hard to know if you are involved in a sexual relationship for the wrong reasons.  If you are wondering about this, you should ask yourself the following questions:

 

 

About my sexual behavior

  • Is it making my life better or worse?
  • Does it feel good?
  • Is it putting me or others at risk (for example, sexually transmitted infection)?
  • Do my partner and I only have sex when we both want to?
  • Do I feel like I need to lie about having sex?
  • Is it hurting me or my partner physically or emotionally?

 

About my sexual relationships

1.) Does my relationship make me feel good or bad about myself?

2.) Does it fit with my personal and family values?

 

Asking ourselves these kinds of questions can help you figure out if your sexual relationship is healthy, or if it is putting you at emotional or physical risk. Sometimes people who have experienced childhood sexual abuse or sexual assault may express themselves in sexual ways that can be harmful to themselves or others. If sex hurts you or someone else, or you feel that you have no control over your sexual behavior, this might be a sign of a problem. If you are worried about your sexual behavior, it is important to talk to your parents, your doctor, a trusting relative, your school social worker, counselor or therapist in your community.

 

You should be aware that any type of sexual contact (touching, kissing, groping, oral sex, intercourse) without your permission is called SEXUAL ASSAULT and is a crime. It doesn’t matter if it is your partner, a friend, or a stranger. If someone forces you to have sex against your will, this is called RAPE. It doesn’t matter if you said yes in the beginning; if you changed your mind at any time, no means NO and no one has the right to demand sex from you.  Even if you were dressed “sexy”, drinking too much, or passed out and couldn’t say no, you still did not give permission for sex and this is also considered sexual assault. Your body is your own and you have the right to set limits and feel good about this decision.

 

Tips for Prevention and Wellness

Learning about your body and changes in your body that happen in your teen years will help you understand that what you are feeling in your body is normal and what you are thinking and fantasizing about is also normal.

 

Accept who you are, your sexual orientation and gender identity. But know it’s okay to not be sure if you are “gay”, “straight”, “lesbian”, “bisexual”, or “transgendered”. It may take time to figure this out, or you may not be ready to identify as one or the other.

 

Learn to communicate your values and be strong in your decisions. Learn to be assertive not aggressive, when communicating what you want and need in your sexual relationships.

 

It’s your body--set your personal limits and boundaries, it’s your decision.

 

Challenge what you hear and see in the media, TV, video games and music videos, it’s not reality. Sex sells, but it’s not always as glamorous as it seems and it has real consequences.

 

Challenge the roles and expectations for males and females as shown in the media.

 

Make healthy sexual choices with the knowledge you have; if you need more information, get it.

 

Remember that a healthy relationship is where both partners have a voice, feel equally respected and valued, and never feel pressured to have sex.

 

If you are confused or have questions about sex or your sexuality, speak to a parent, doctor, school social worker to help clarify and inform your decisions.

 

 

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