Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

If you are under 18 and dating, does sex come up as an issue and if so, how do you deal with it?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) February 14th, 2012

Supposedly sex is so much easier these days, but still, I imagine it can be as complicated and confusing to navigate this rite of passage today as it was when I was a teen.

Do you want to? Do you not want to? When are you ready? Do you get pressured? By whom? What did you say/do in response? Did you pressure? Who? How? What happened?

What are your values? Is virginity something to save? Get rid of? Do you sneak around to have sex? Are your parents cool with it? Do you even talk to them about it?

So many questions, and I feel like they should all be real questions, but there are too many, so feel free to answer one, all, or some of them. Or talk about whatever this brings up for you.

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20 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

My mom never really gave me a solid sex talk. She just kept reminding me to use condoms and don’t get anyone pregnant.

Unless someone is super religious, sex wasn’t a big deal to some people. Some made it seem special by only doing it with people they were in relationships with, but then they started doing it everyday or whenever they could.

I think most people I know just avoided telling parents, as I heard multiple stories of people being caught, or people being grounded from their parents finding out somehow, including me.

I didn’t really think about sex as special, I just kinda wanted some, lol. My first real girlfriend approached me and made it pretty easy for me, since she always invited me to her place and/or came to my place when my mom was gone or something.

tedd's avatar

My parents never gave me the talk. In fairness my parents were divorced, and I lived with my mother, so awkward there… plus my stepfather was not really fit in my eyes to give the talk. There was the talk about it with my peers in school, but opinions on it varied. Some people had sex before we left middle school, others were staunchly not going to give it up yet for a variety of reasons.

My first real g/f, wayyyy back in sophomore year of high school, was the wait til marriage type. I was not. I was more than okay with waiting for a while though, especially since I’d never had sex either, and this was the first serious/physical relationship I’d ever had. I suggested it several times, maybe even tried, but she stopped me every time, and it never did happen (in fact to this day she’s a virgin to my knowledge, as she ended up becoming a lesbian 5–6 years after we split). I had one other serious g/f while in high school. She was not the wait til marriage type, but things didn’t progress that far before the relationship failed.

In the end I ended up losing my own virginity to a girl I worked with in my senior year of high school. I was very much into her, and we had “dated” for roughly a month before it happened. She had already lost her virginity, and much to my dismay, our relationship ended shortly after the act.. as she went back to the x b/f she had lost hers too. I didn’t have a serious relationship again until my Junior year of college. In retrospect I wish I had lost it to either of the two g/f’s I had in high school. Even if it had been too soon with the second g/f (the not-wait one), it would’ve been a better way to lose it I think.

I hid the sex stuff from my mom (not just sex, but oral sex, yada yada, etc)... But less because I thought she would disapprove, and far more because I thought it would be just incredibly awkward. It wasn’t the type of thing you just up and talked about with your peers either, but some of my closer friends knew what was up. Typically if anything happened with a girl while I was in high school, it meant we were alone at one of our houses. Sometimes we’d just be alone in the basement watching a movie or something, but more often than not there was no “authority figure” home.

muppetish's avatar

Meh. I wasn’t eighteen that long ago, and I can say that sex was a non-issue for me.

I was a sexual being, yes, but it didn’t consume my entire life. I didn’t have sex with anyone while under eighteen and it wasn’t for any reason other than I had not met the right person. I didn’t want to look back one day at my first and think, “My god… what the hell was I thinking?” And I had more important things on my mind, too. Relationships were never priority one for me during high school. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t feel pressured. I felt secure that when the time came, I would know what to do and would feel no regret.

I don’t see what is wrong with either end of the spectrum (sexual activity versus none.) I don’t think of myself as a superior person for waiting. Some of my friends started sooner because they felt it was the right time, the right person… others regret when they started. That’s life. We all can make our own decisions.

My parents didn’t really give my siblings or I “the talk”. They don’t comment on this aspect of my current relationship, either. If I were to raise a child in the future, I would try to be more open about the topic.

The second I did meet the right person.. :)

King_Pariah's avatar

My parents thought sex before marriage was immoral, stupid, and just downright wrong and that’s what they told me when they decided to have the talk when I was 17, because I was their child and no way I’d be actually doing it… I lost my virginity at the age of 13… They didn’t realize until I was 17 on the verge 18 what was up and even then they had nothing to prove it so all they could do was accuse me and say that I wasn’t so sneaky, but they never saw anything. And of course, they thought I had just started.

jca's avatar

I am not presently under 18 and dating, but I can tell you that when I was 14 I was seeing this guy, and I gave in to the pressure and did the deed.

laineybug's avatar

I’m dating someone right now, he’s the first person I’ve ever dated. So far it’s not an issue, and I hope the topic doesn’t actually come up anytime soon. We’re still very young and he’s very sweet to me, so I don’t think it will be an issue for a long time.

wundayatta's avatar

Wonderful answers, people. This is really helping me get a perspective on the topic (of parenting).

nromstadt's avatar

I was eighteen not so long ago…

My parents never sat me down, but I had older sibling, so the issue came up… (like when my brother was caught having sex and I heard my mother screaming at them to get out of her house….) and it was always, “If you get pregnant, I will not raise your illegitimate children.”

I was so afraid that I could get pregnant, that I just chose not to. I was in a “serious” relationship from 16 to 18, and I’m more than sure he would’ve liked to. In fact, I remember him getting made fun of because we didn’t.. Personally, I just think there is no need for kids to be having sex in high school. For the most part, what it seemed to do was cause drama and teen pregnancies.

As a junior in college now, I’m still surprised by the number of people I meet that are still, or were virgins until 20+ years old. I felt like everyone in high school was doing it, but I must’ve been wrong. Can’t say I’m glad I waited, as I sometimes feel like the boy in high school “deserved” to be the one.. but we can’t go back in time.

As far as parenting style… my mom’s severe approach worked with me, and my sister. Neither of us had sex until we moved out. Not so much with my brother…. I know the parents that were really cool with it… provided their children were being safe… and some of their children really turned out alright, too, I suppose!

JLeslie's avatar

@nromstadt I will not raise your illegitamate children. Ha, that made me laugh. My mom said basically the same, but left out the word illegitamate. The way I understood my mom was already raising her children, not going to raise mine, and if I did become pregnant I would be on the abortion line. I was kind of scared of an abortion, so I got birth control really fast when I started having sex. I told my mom when I lost my virginity and she took me to the doctor.

nromstadt's avatar

@JLeslie It was (and has been since) actually phrased as ‘bastard children’, which makes me smile even more. Wasn’t sure if that was allowed to be posted.

JLeslie's avatar

@nromstadt Well, my mom’s point was she was never going to raise any of my children, don’t count on her help. I should not have children unless I can afford and care for them. Even if I am married and 30 years old, don’t come to her to regularly watch the baby while I am at work, or a 6 year old after school.

beccagolling's avatar

First off, I am almost 18. And yes, I have had sex.Not because I was pressured to. But because my bf and I have been together for quite a while. And he is the one I plan on marrying. We do sneak around to have sex. At first I wanted to save my virginity. But, well, I am so in love with him I couldn’t help myself. If my parents ever found out they would be very mad. They want me to wait until after I’m married.

wundayatta's avatar

@nromstadt and @JLeslie Your discussion about bastard children is interesting, at least in comparison with my own feeling about this. Due to my infertility, it took us a long time to have children. My daughter was born when I was 40. We have spoken of issues of infertility in the past (though not recently), and I have told her that I would not kick her out if she were to get pregnant.

If fact, my feeling is that if she were to get pregnant, I would be happy to keep her in the house and help out with the baby as much as I can. This is for any number of reasons. But some of them are I would like to see her have a child as young as she chooses to, since I want to see my grandchildren grow up as much as possible. Also, I know that people who go after careers, tend to not have kids until their late thirties, where they can suddenly discover infertility (as I did), and then they can be screwed, as far as kids are concerned.

I even have this theory that we should parent our grandchildren so as to encourage our children to have children earlier. In fertility is a big issue, and it is growing to be a larger problem, I think. If Grandparents took care of grandchildren, then the parents could be free to both have kids and to stay in school and build careers.

Such is my idea. I imagine it would not be a popular idea, but it seems like a reasonable idea to address certain problems, I think.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta I can empathasize with your feelings on the topic. Remember I was quoting my mom. I never felt it was a moral issue in my family, so the wed and unwed was not the emphasized part of her warning, it was more about being too young or unable to care for the child, and that having a baby might interrupt my own pursuits in life. However, my mom always always said, once you are reasonably ready to have children, which did basically include married and financially able, have children as early as possible. I always accepted this as sage advice, and indeed tried and did get pregnant at about two years of marriage at age 27.

nromstadt's avatar

@wundayatta I understand your situation, and I know that infertility is common… but I know far too many girls who got pregnant in high school and dumped the children on their mothers.

While you may like to raise your grandchildren – many people do not. Personally, and please don’t attack me for this… I think that you should not have children unless you can support them financially and emotionally – and that was my mother’s idea too. Yes, families and grandparents should be involved – as I had a wonderful family and childhood – but they should not be burdened with grandchildren that they did not create so that their own children can go off and live their lives. If there was a low population crisis, I might feel differently.. but, as it is, I think there are enough children in this world.

JLeslie's avatar

@nromstadt I think the norms are very different from family to family. In some families grandparents minding the children is rather common. The extended family might live together or very close by. If a women works while her mom does much of the caring for her child, then when she becomes a grandma she might willing care for her own grandchild. In @wundayatta situation that does not seem to be the case, but it is for some cultures and families.

I too, if I had children, would look forward to grandchildren. Since I had terrible fertility problems, and would worry I will be old or dead when my grandchildren might be born, and I can understand not wanting to discourage my child from having a baby. I can’t imagine telling the to get pregnant before they are ready, but I might be more loath to tell them to get an abortio if it happened. I could never ever imagine giving up a child or having a child of mine give up theirs. It would have to be under the most horrific of circumstance, life and death.

nromstadt's avatar

Maybe I just watch too much Teen Mom.

If there were fertility issues that ran in my family, or I had reason to believe that I might have difficulty later on, I’m sure I would feel differently. I just grimace at the idea of encouraging young, likely unestablished women (like myself….), to have babies.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I didn’t want a baby. I made certain that wasn’t possible at all when I was a teen. There’s plenty o’ fun to be had without intercourse.

My mom’s conversation with me about pregnancy began when I was about 11 or 12. She told me she’d always be there for me, there’d never be anything I couldn’t tell her, that if I ever got pregnant she’d help raise it….yada yada.

F*ck! That was enough to make me wait! There was no way in hell I was going to have a kid. It took me years to figure out that I might want one…Then like @wundayatta there was a whole fertility issue.

I am going to be very careful about what I say to my child about sex & raising babies. I don’t want to take the conversation too far one way or the other.

wundayatta's avatar

@SpatzieLover The outcome of that conversation… or maybe the impact of that conversation is just too complicated to predict. Maybe by appearing not to condemn teen pregnancy, we instill this desire not to become a teen mother in our children. Or maybe it’s for a whole set of other reasons. My daughter believes in personal responsibility. How she came to believe in that, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just something we live. Maybe it’s school. Maybe it’s things we’ve said personally.

We’ve always emphasized the importance of education. Maybe it’s not very hard to see the impact having a baby will have on your educational career. She reads a lot. Maybe she read any number of stories about it.

She is a good kid. I think she’s earned a lot of consideration if she ever makes a mistake of that magnitude. She knows we want grandkids and she knows how old we are. None of us knows how it will all play out, though. I just hope we’re all flexible enough to deal with whatever happens without freaking out about it.

missscarlet36's avatar

Say “No, I am very expensive and you don’t have enough money or stuff to buy me.”

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