So you’ve got a boyfriend and you’ve been going out for a while. You’ve dated a number of times, shared a coffee, been to some restaurants maybe, seen a movie and stolen some kisses. There’s been some hugging and touching and maybe even some petting and more physical stuff. Now your boyfriend is starting to talk about sex but you’re not sure if you want to go that far.
This is a common scenario for many teenage girls and you need to think seriously about it because sex at any age is a serious matter. It’s not just a physical thing – if it was, life would be simpler! However, sex also has emotional, psychological, social and spiritual aspects to it which you need to think about. Perhaps you’ve never thought of those before, so let me fill you in!
You probably know what to expect physically – you learnt it in biology class at school, you’ve seen it in movies, talked about it in the schoolyard. However, there are emotional issues, too.
You are a HUMAN BEING, consisting of body and soul. What you do with your body affects your soul, and vice versa. If you are sick in the hospital because your body is not well, you might feel isolated and alone in your soul; if you are depressed in your soul, this manifests itself as tiredness and lethargy in the body. Sex is no different. You need to feel happy with the idea of having sex in order to truly enjoy it in your body. Many married women with a husband of many years have negative feelings about their sexuality and this affects their ability to enjoy sex, so if you’re with a short-term boyfriend and underage, how amazing do you think this sex is going to be, anyway? You need to feel safe before it can feel good for you.
In addition, everyone wants to feel special, worthy, accepted and loved. People feel like this when those around them treat them well. Teenagers with loving parents who care for their kids, whose parents are always there for them, whose parents are firm but allow their kids freedom and privileges, who love their teens with no strings attached, will feel special, worthy, accepted and loved. Teens such as these have high levels of self-esteem and are able to resist peer pressure to conform to the values of teens around them. Conversely, teens whose parents are unreliable, inconsistent or dysfunctional will have issues concerning feeling special – instead, they will feel unworthy, unaccepted and unloved by their parents. These teens therefore need much more acceptance from their peers in order to feel special and as though they belong. They will be more willing to accept the values of teens around them, even if those values include some antisocial behaviours. When it comes to sex, you need to question your motives and think about whether agreeing to have sex with your boyfriend is truly because you feel happy to do it, convinced that it will enrich your life experience, or whether you are doing it simply to feel like you belong with him so that he will accept you because you need to feel special and wanted. Teens who have had sex under these conditions report a “feels so good, hurts so bad” experience, where, even if they enjoyed the sex (which, unfortunately, is unlikely for your first time), they have feelings of being used and sense that the things they believed in and dreams they had have been degraded and devalued, since they gave themselves body and soul to another human being and that person just walked away as though those things didn’t matter. Plus, teens who have had multiple sexual partners develop psychological problems, do poorly at school, often drop out of education, get pregnant earlier, feel depressed, find it harder to hold down a job and do well in life and feel less happy than those who chose to wait until they were older.
Sex definitely gets better with age. Almost everyone in their 20’s, 30’s or older, when asked if it was a good idea for them to have had sex when they were teenagers, say, “No, it wasn’t – I should have waited until later”. Most people report that their first time was pretty poor-quality sex, with it being a fast, hurried experience – the boy’s hands shaking as he undoes the buttons of her shirt, clumsy kisses, groping hands, smudged make-up, the boy spending 10 minutes just working out how to take her bra off, elbows jabbing her, then 30 seconds of uncomfortable thrusting before it’s all over and he falls asleep. Is it really worth it?
Spiritually, there are issues, too. If you come from a religious background, a decision to have sex now will affect your relationship with God, maybe people at church or your place of worship, members of your religious community may become judgemental and so on.
So, as you can see, sex when you’re a teenager introduces a lot of serious stuff into your life. In my personal opinion, a decision to have sex now is rarely a good idea. I would be incredibly surprised if you had sex now and told me that it was amazing, you felt your life was enhanced, your values and beliefs were strengthened, your self-esteem rose to a higher level, you felt accepted by everyone in your life and your view of the world and life in general was improved. To be honest with you, this is unlikely.
I am an expert in PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, which is a concept designed to make your life the best it can be. A sexual relationship ought to be one of the greatest, most amazing experiences of your life. I want you to DREAM BIG, believe in yourself, feel your future is limitless, be filled with natural self-confidence, be bubbling over with enthusiasm for all the excitement life will unfold for you. I want you to reach for the stars and know that you have God-given talents and abilities that you can use to make this world a better place, so that you can put them to work to create a life and legacy that fulfills you, brings you meaning and offers you the comfort of a good conscience and a life well-lived, so that you can experience HAPPINESS, which is achieved through LOVING and BEING LOVED – and not just for a short time, but for the rest of your life.
So now I want you to be bold and believe in yourself and be upfront with your boyfriend. Tell him straight that you care about him, love him (if that’s true) and appreciate his desire to express his love for you in this most personal and all-consuming way. However, you want to feel that you are special to him, and not just another conquest; and that you are worth waiting for. If he can wait for you, you will wait for him, and the sex will be all that much better for the fact that you waited. Tell him he needs to accept not just your body but all your dreams, values, beliefs, wishes and hopes for the future. You want to share that future with him because you think he’s worth it. Now, if he accepts all this, all well and good, but if not, you need to ask him why he can’t wait for you. Why does he need sex right now when you’re not even 18 yet (remember, what he wants to do with you is against the law, by the way). What are his plans for your future together? Does he even have any plans? If so, what are they? Is he thinking long-term or is he an “if it feels good, do it” type of guy?
One of the major disadvantages of teen relationships is that they last such a short time. I really hope your relationship is not like that and lasts a long time because the dreams, values, beliefs, hopes, wishes and ideals that you bring to the bedroom are the things that define you, and they ought to stay with you forever. If he loves you, he should love all these things about you, and since they should be with you forever, then HE needs to be with you forever. How can you guarantee that he’ll even be around next week? The best guarantee he could possibly give you would be to MARRY you, but that’s years away into the future.
So I invite you and challenge you as a young person to believe in yourself, stick up for your dreams and in what you believe, and say NO to your boyfriend, and any other boyfriend, until such a time as he is willing to make a commitment to be with you for the rest of your life – and YES, that does indeed mean that I am asking you to embrace that highest of ideals, that holy of holies, that paragon of romantic relationships which is “NO SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE”. It still remains the best way to ensure your happiness, dreams and personal development as an individual with the minimum of heartbreak and the greatest chance of living a life of meaning and self-fulfillment. It is the fast-track to happiness and psychological wholeness and it would be very remiss of me as an expert in personal development not to point it out as the ultimate goal for all those wishing to bring their romantic relationships in line with their plans to live the life they’ve always wanted. Plus, guilt-free sex feels amazing!
However, should you eventually decide to have sex with your boyfriend, I will not judge you, give you a hard time or lead you on a major guilt-trip about it. It remains your decision and I feel confident in you that you will make the choice that feels best for you. Many of the issues I have raised, which sound so “heavy” now, are mainly to do with your age. By the time you are 25, they will seem a lot lighter, and by the time you’re 35, most of them will have disappeared. I will always stick up for you and respect you, whatever decision you make.
I hope this helps you make the decision that feels best for you and I wish you all happiness in the future!
Oliver Chapman is an up-and-coming expert in Personal Development who specializes in Health, Wealth and Relationships. This article comes under Relationships. To discover all of “Olly’s Six Principles” to living your ideal life, subscribe to his five-part e-mail series and ongoing newsletter to get tips and advice on how to live your dream life! To sign up, copy and paste the link below into your web browser – forms.aweber.com/form/70/719421870.htm