*Disclaimer: The views of the women in this article are not being pushed on any of our readers and may not apply to the women population as a whole. The views may also differ from the views of the Tribe 21 team. All viewpoints, opinions, and experiences were volunteered. The women’s/men’s names in this article are anonymous to protect the privacy of the women/men. Tribe 21 is not promoting or opposing the actions of having sex. If you choose to engage in the experience, you are doing so of your own accord and we ask that you always have consent and use protection.
When I was thinking of what kind of article to write this month, I thought of things young women would want to know but would be afraid to ask someone. In this day and age anyone under the age of 35 is called a “millennial” and that has a bad stigma to me. Then I began to think of different things that have a bad “stigma” attached to it that may or may not actually be “bad” depending on what someone believes. The purpose of this topic is to show different viewpoints of sex before marriage and give different advice and opinions to our readers who may be struggling or wondering about this sensitive subject. Me being the author, I am remaining neutral and this does not reflect my views one way or the other.
Okay, first before we go on I have to hit you with the education and the two keywords that go with this article: Consent and Protection.
Consent. Permission, from all people involved, for anything to happen is very, very, very important. Consent is key to get from both people no matter what. If you chose to have any kind of sexual experience you have to make sure that both people involved are not impaired by any kind of substance and are 100% willing to proceed with the experience. If you are at all uncomfortable you do not have to go on. Sex is a mature thing, should not be forced, and needs to be approached in a mature way.
Protection. Protect yourself no matter what. You only have one body and one life so protect yourself from unexpected and unwanted diseases, infections, and surprise babies you’re not prepared for. Protection can be in multiple forms such as condoms (98% effective from unwanted pregnancies, STD’s and STI’s), birth control (99.9% effective when used correctly for unwanted pregnancies, but 0% effective at preventing STD’s or STI’s when used alone). These types of protection can be found at little to no cost in stores, as a prescription, or at a health service office on college campuses. Also don’t be afraid to get tested not only for your own health but for anyone else’s as well.
Being a young woman in this constantly changing world is hard. There are standards that are put on us like how we should act, how we should present ourselves, how we should be home makers; there are laws on how to treat our bodies and criticism that is placed on us if we’re not thin enough, outgoing enough, wear makeup, have short hair, love who we want to love…whatever else you can think of. I’m here to say that no matter who you are, what you look like, what you decide to do in life, if it makes you happy-do it ( no pun intended with the theme of this article). I wrote another article for Tribe 21 about loving yourself. If you begin to love and respect yourself for what you were born with you would be amazed on how you view things as you go forward. This being said, loving yourself also comes along with knowing what is or isn’t right for you. In this instance, we’re talking about sex.
Do not feel ashamed for things that you have done. If you’re struggling with this, you can’t change the past but you can learn from it. Experiences, mistakes, and regrets are all the learning curves of life and everyone makes them. Nobody is perfect. Do not let anyone look down on you for things you have learned from and grew as a person because of it.
Don’t be ashamed for still being a virgin. If you are a religious woman (or man) and you value that sex should be between a husband and wife then you hold true to that. Stand firm in your beliefs and don’t let anyone devalue them. A man worth having is a man worth waiting for. Also if you’re a virgin because of any other circumstance or belief, that’s okay too. Don’t let the thoughts of “everyone is doing it” get into your head because let me tell you- not everyone is doing it. Your day will arrive where you find the person of your dreams that you can share intimacy with. Don’t give in to the pressure of society or from your peers. Don’t be afraid to say “no” or “let’s wait” or ask yourself “is this truly right for us…for me?”
If you and your partner decide to have sex before marriage and it is consensual and protected then that’s okay too. A good friend once was giving me advice on relationships and she said some people get married within six months, some get married within six years, they just have to find out what is right for them. Just because something is right for your friend, doesn’t mean it is right for you. Each person is different, each relationship is different. The only way to really know what you want to do or how comfortable you are (or are not) with something is to be real and be open. Communication is key in any relationship but even more when taking the next step.
Bottom line you are in charge of your own morals, beliefs, actions, reactions, and bodies. Clearly here, there are multiple options of what does and doesn’t work for these women. What you decide to do with your body and your relationships is your business and your decision. Whatever you decide to do- approach it with an open, mature, and cautious mind. The world is a hard place but ultimately you are responsible for you.
If you are thinking about having sex, you need to talk openly with your partner about it. Talk about are you emotionally ready? Are you physically ready? How are you going to take precautions? Should your parents know? Sex is a very sensitive subject but I can’t make that decision for you, I can only give you the education about it and opinions of other young women possibly in your shoes.
If you would like to join the conversation use #AskLizzieT21 to ask your questions or give me your input! (Accounts have to be non-private for me to see your hashtags)
Read more about Lizzie here.