The following content may contain things that may be triggering for some readers. It also contains content that may not be appropriate for all ages. If you do not wish to read this post, just look at this cute puppy instead!
For Parents: I know I have some younger readers and this post offends you in any way. Its my personal belief that teenagers know about their options when it comes to their sexual health and well being. I've known far too many people who have no idea about their options. I want to be a source for those who have no where to turn. Thank you for understanding :-)
First off I want to start this post off by saying I am not personally condoning any kind of behavior. Ultimately the choice is yours to do what you wish with your life. I am simply giving you the tools and information (that I, myself know of) to help you out. In high school I took a sexual education class that talked more about saving yourself and abstitence than it did about being safe and the tools to keep yourself safe in case something happened. I don't believe thats right. Some parents are fearful to talk to their kids about sex and sexual health because they think that by telling them how to be safe that they will have sex so a lot of them just never have that talk with them, which is sad in my opinion. Thats why i'm making this post! I don't know everything and I'm not claiming to know everything so please, if i'm missing something you think is important go ahead and add it in the comments. Or even better make your own blog post on it and link it down below! I'll check them all out!
Sex isn't something you should be scared of. As humans we are sexual beings and it isn't something you should shame yourself for. You shouldn't feel guilty and you shouldn't be made fun of for it. I'm not here to tell you at what age you should have sex, or shouldn't have sex. If you should save yourself for marriage or not because thats YOUR choice to make. Everyone is different.
As teenagers romantic and (or) sexual relationships become very complicated because the brain isn't yet fully developed. Teenagers rarely know how to be in healthy, trusting relationships. Not because teenagers are stupid or "can't love" its simply because they are unexperienced in being with another person. Now obviously this doesn't apply to everyone but some relationships (adult and teenage) can become abusive without the victim even knowing. Why? because so many people are uneducated about mental abuse. People often think abusive relationships are obvious. Physical bruises, black eyes.. Those sort of things. The stuff you see in movies. Thats not the only kind of abuse that exists. We've all heard that story about our friend or a friend of a friend who is with their boyfriend/girlfriend who won't let them have friends. They're constantly checking in on them wondering where they are. Calling them names and making fun of them constantly. Basically controlling them... Well thats not what a relationship is supposed to be. That is not healthy.
Typically its very hard for victims to leave someone who is abusive. If you are friends with someone who is being abused don't "give up" on them because they won't leave. If you are being abused please tell a trusted adult or friend that can help you get our of the situation. You don't deserve it and you can escape. If you feel alone and that you can't trust anyone there are chat lines like this one where you can speak with someone who can lead you in the right direction. To educate yourself on teen dating and abuse laws in your state click here. For information on LGBTQ laws on abuse click here. If you are worried or unsure if you are in a mentally or physically abusive relationship I highly recommend checking out loveisrespect.org. They have tons of information, safety plans, and quizzes you can take!
The next thing i'm going to talk about is rape. Which is a very touchy subject. Anyone can be raped. Male/female/trans/unidentified there is not just one type of person who is raped. The steps you take right after being raped are very important. Your mind might be jumbled but remember these things if you have been raped:
- Do not shower
- Do not comb your hair
- Do not change your clothes
- Go straight to a hospital emergency room and have them call the police so they can report it (if thats what you wish to do) or call 911 if your life is in further danger. If your life isn't in danger you can still call 911 and have them take you to the hospital.
The reason why you shouldn't shower or change your clothes after being raped is because further evidence can be collected that otherwise wouldn't if you showered or changed your clothes. If you are scared of going to the hospital alone or if you are scared of telling a friend or family member you can call 1(800)656-hope and they will direct you to your local national rape crisis center and someone from there will accompany you. If you are confused on if you are being sexually abused or not click here to read about different kinds of sexual abuse. If you have been sexually abused in the past and need help healing rainn.org is a fantastic website in which, you can chat online with someone who can help you take the right steps to get you mentally healthy again. There is also tons of information on those who need help helping a loved one get better after what they've been though.
I'm not telling you these things to instil fear in you about rape, I just want you guys to know what to do if something did happen to you. To read my post about rape culture click here.
Next I'm going to go more in depth about consensual sex. Consensual sex is sex that is being positively allowed by both parties. This can be in a relationship or not. Some people believe sex should be ALWAYS with someone you love. Not with someone you purely have lust for. Im not here to tell you what is right and wrong. Because there is no absolute human right or wrong for sex. There is only religious and personal morals. Either is okay if YOU believe it is okay. Don't worry about what is okay for someone else. You are your own person and can make your own choices (hopefully after reading this post they are much safer choices!)
I want to talk about Planned Parenthood because they are an amazing company that helps millions of people every year and whenever someone comes to me asking for help I always lead them in the direction of PP. If you've ever wanted to go to the doctor for any reason but were scared because your parents would tag along and you needed something you were afraid to tell your parents about PP is there to help you. Not only is PP an amazing resource for sexual health but they can also help you with your overall health. If you are having sex you NEED to be using protection. Always. ALWAYS. There are so many types of protection it can be difficult where to start. There are not just condoms. but thats a great place to start. I'm not going to go very in depth about STD's because honestly, i'm not too knowledgeable about them. So if you are worried about STD's click here.
If you've been wanting to start taking birth control but you're scared to go to the doctor with your parents PP often offers protection for free. I personally know tons of people who regularly obtain their protection from PP for free or really, really cheap. You are not obligated to attend with your parents. I cannot tell you WHAT kind of protection you should use because every single person is different and everyone has different needs so seeing your doctor or a PP doctor can really help! They can test you and let you know what kind of birth control or protection is right for you. If you became pregnant you DO have options. Abortion is a scary word to a lot of people but for some it's something that needs to happen. I personally believe that abortion is a key tool that shouldn't be outlawed. It should ALWAYS be openly available to everyone.
Don't ever let someone fool you about protection by saying they're "clean" using protection not only protects you against pregnancy but it protects you against STD's. Protect yourself always. Sometimes people don't even know that they have something so always play it on the safe side.
I'm hoping to make more of these posts about different subjects talked about in this post but for now I just really wanted to get this out! I want the absolute best for all of you and never want to see anything terrible to happen to you. If you have any questions you can leave them down below and i'll do my best to answer them all! I love you all so much :*