#1 Everyone’s doing it.
First of all, you’re not “everyone.” You are a thinking person who can make your own good choices. Second, everyone’s not doing it. It just seems like it sometimes. It’s true that about half of teens today are sexually active. But that means half are not having sex.
Of course, you wouldn’t know that from watching movies or television! Sex sells, so they show it. Even if what is constantly on the screen looks good and makes you curious or anxious to try it yourself, remember that most of what you see is a lie. Models are airbrushed, sex scenes are carefully choreographed, and the relationships shown aren’t real.
The media’s purpose is to entertain. It rarely focuses on the inner feelings of individuals with goals and values. Don’t buy the lie that life revolves around people having sex.
#2 I enjoy sex.
Do you really? Most teenage girls don’t. They find it rushed, unromantic, and awkward. Many feel empty and used, with regrets in the morning. Studies prove the best sex is married sex with its vows of love and security. Sex, like fire, is powerful, wonderful and important. But both are also potentially dangerous. Fire in the fireplace is safe and enjoyable, while flames that get out of control can be horribly destructive. The same is true with sex. Physical intimacy in a fully committed, faithful marriage is awesome. Outside healthy boundaries, though, it is unfulfilling and without true promise. Girls do not enjoy short-term pleasure when it ends with long-term pain.
#3 I like that it gives me control.
Sure, you can get a guy to breathe heavy and be lost in the passion of sexual pleasure. You can get a temporary thrill. But let’s be honest. You’re sacrificing some of your own good character. Also, things that seem controlled can spin out of control quickly (And please don’t kid yourself that oral sex isn’t sex – it has all the same risks of unmarried intercourse except pregnancy).
Sexual response is natural in guys. Just because your boyfriend is turned on doesn’t prove anything about his feelings or intentions toward you.
You’ll be smarter to spend your time on worthwhile things that you totally control and can be proud of in the long run. Do a job especially well, become more disciplined in your studies, eat healthier, change your hair color, etc. And, know that waiting for marriage shows ultimate control of your own body.
#4 It makes me feel loved and attractive.
Unfortunately, what you feel is not necessarily real. Oh, a guy might say the right things to make you feel good about yourself. He may compliment you on what you are wearing (or not wearing!). And you might respond to those flattering words, especially if you don’t feel loved unconditionally by your dad. But, here’s the sad truth. Young men in general don’t have to love a girl – or even find her attractive – to have sex with her. Want to feel truly special? Try joining a club or sports team. Volunteer, find a church youth group, write a letter-to-the-editor, work out, deepen a friendship, baby-sit, connect with your parents or become responsible for a pet. A woman is truly beautiful because of the character she develops. Any guy worth dating will affirm that in positive ways. He will appreciate things about his girlfriend other than the possibility she might be “available.”
#5 I’m in love. He’s the only one I’ll ever be with.
Why don’t you take a poll, asking women if they thought their first boyfriend would be their one true love? Many gave away their virginity with the idea that feelings of love and commitment were mutual. But the truth is that the younger you are when you start having sex, the more partners you will likely have over your lifetime.
Very few women are now married to those first boyfriends. That means each woman had to explain something to the man she chose in the end: He was not the first to unwrap what should have been her beautiful wedding gift to him. The decision of who will have the honor of being your husband takes time, maturity and life experience.
You will have greater difficulty in forming and sustaining a stable marriage and also in finding personal happiness if you begin sexual activity in your teens.
Waiting is so worth it!
#6 It brings us closer together.
It’s natural that you would feel close. Women do feel bonded emotionally to their sexual partners. Men are not wired that way, however. Their primary focus is on physical satisfaction. So, you might get along better on the surface because you are both having your immediate needs met. But, you shouldn’t mistake that for real intimacy. What you really need is to have common interests and beliefs. If you don’t have fun eating out, going to a movie or just talking, you don’t have a solid relationship that will last. In fact, you might stay with a boyfriend longer than you should because of what you have invested physically. The eventual break up will tear you apart as you grieve over what you gave away and can never get back.
#7 We’ve dated a long time . . . it’s the next step.
It’s true there is a natural order to things. For sexual intimacy, it’s best to be friends first with a slow progression toward marriage (and an exciting honeymoon!) and then possibly parenthood.
When sex is put first, it can negatively impact everyone involved:
- Children born outside of marriage who often grow up in single parent homes.
- Women who now can’t have kids because of damaging STDs they got from sexual partners along the way.
- Parents who had hoped their teens would not have the worries and dangers that come with teenage sex.
Be smart. Set limits (no touching in bathing suit areas) before each date. Surround yourself with supportive friends and go out with guys who respect your stand. Stick with healthy first and next steps in your dating relationships.
#8 My boyfriend will break up with me if I don’t.
Breaking up is a possibility whether you are having sex or not. Nothing outside of a faithful, committed marriage has promise. And think about it. If your boyfriend says you are special enough that he wants to share bodily fluids, shouldn’t he think you’re special no matter what? Is a guy worth having if he threatens to move on because you won’t take physical risks with him?
There are a lot of great guys out there who won’t put that kind of pressure on you. There are some very responsible guys who won’t get you drunk so that your defenses are down, giving you an “excuse” to have sex. (FYI – More than a third of sexually active young people report that alcohol or drugs have influenced their decisions about sex.)
There are guys who will agree with and support your decision to save sex for marriage, guys who will respect you, now and in the morning. Hold out for one of those guys. They do exist!
#9 I owe it to him.
So, he treats you well. Maybe he buys you beautiful jewelry and gets you things you need but can’t afford. Or, he takes you exciting places and helps you get through difficult family circumstances.
A desire to thank a generous boyfriend is totally appropriate. But, there are lots of ways to express gratitude that don’t involve sex. Be creative: Cook him a delicious dinner, go with him to a ball game, bake brownies, make a scrapbook, frame a picture, write a poem or run an errand for him. A relationship is not a game where you keep score.
Your body is not some prize to be awarded to the lucky winner. Don’t ever tell yourself – or let a guy make you feel – that you “owe” your boyfriend. After all, unselfish people give their kidneys to complete strangers and even they don’t expect sex in return!
#10 It’s not that big a deal.
There are a lot of young women who would tell you differently. In fact, one survey says that of those who have had sex, 8 in 10 young women ages 13-21 wish they had waited longer (6 in 10 guys say so). It becomes a big deal when it catches up with you.
Consequences could include any one of 30 sexually transmitted diseases! Bacterial STDs don’t always have symptoms. They are often untreated and unknowingly passed on to others. Viral STDs have no cure. None. And, of course, there is a chance of pregnancy. Condoms and birth control pills are not always effective. They are definitely not the answer. Every year one in four sexually experienced teens acquires an STD and about 1 million teenage women become pregnant. Even if these issues do not affect you, emotional, social or spiritual scars may impact you long past the teen years.
The risks of unmarried sex – disease, pregnancy, disappointment, heartache and loss of self-respect – are not worth it. You may already know that if you’re sexually experienced. What you should also know is that each day is new and full of opportunities for different decisions. Don’t think because you’ve made poor choices in the past that you can’t start making better ones today. There is complete pride in being a virgin, but there can also be pride in knowing better and then doing better.
Picture your best future. Remember that what you do now will affect you later. And don’t let anyone keep you from achieving your goals. Still think you want to have sex with your boyfriend? Think again!
- ^ “Fertility, Family Planning, and Women’s Health: New Data from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth.” Vital and Health Statistics. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 1997:23 (19).
- ^ “The Harmful Effects of Early Sexual Activity and Multiple Sexual Partners Among Women”: A Book of Charts. Rector, Robert E.; Johnson, Kirk A., Ph.D.; Noyes, Lauren R. and Martin, Shannon. The Heritage Foundation, June 23, 2003.
- ^ Survey Snapshot, “Substance Use and Risky Sexual Behavior: Attitudes and Practices Among Adolescents and Young Adults.” Kaiser Family Foundation, Washington, D.C., February 2002.
- ^ “Teen-agers Under Pressure,” Seventeen Magazine, article published in conjunction with EDK Associates and the Ms. Foundation for Women, May 1996, p. 148.
- ^ The Alan Guttmacher Institute, “Sex and America’s Teenagers,” New York, AGI, 1994, p.38.