TeenHealthFX hears what you want – you want to have sex with your girlfriend and you want to experiment. However, we are left wondering how much you know and care about what she wants. If you have been trying to initiate physical intimacy and are getting pushed away, then FX is going to assume you are missing one important factor here – a conversation about it. FX strongly suggests some serious talk about this before you continue to just act on what you want.
Tell your girlfriend you want to find a time when the two of you can talk privately and without interruption about one aspect of your relationship. Once you are alone with plenty of time to discuss the issue, let her know your feelings about sex – do you want to have sex, you just want to “experiment” with some things before going all the way, and what exactly do you mean by “experiment?” Be as clear as possible with your girlfriend about where you are at and then ask her what her feelings are about having sex. What are her beliefs when it comes to starting a sexual relationship with someone? Has she ever thought about how she would know when she was ready? Has she ever considered having a sexual relationship with you?
If either or both of you are having trouble coming up with where you are at in terms of sexual readiness, consider the following and talk about your answers with one another:
· Am I emotionally ready to handle the complex feelings that often come up when it comes to being sexually active?
· How educated am I about sex – the physical nature of sex and how it all works?
· What do I know about how pregnancy occurs and how STDs are transmitted?
· Am I ready to take responsibility for protecting myself against unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs?
· Do I feel comfortable talking to my doctor about safer sex and sexual health matters?
· Do I feel comfortable talking to my partner about safer sex and sexual health matters?
· Am I prepared emotionally, financially, and in all other ways to deal with being pregnant or having an STD since having sex (even safer sex) opens up the possibility for both of these things to happen. (Remember that only abstinence can protect 100% from unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs)
· What are my values and beliefs about sex? Should sex happen with marriage only? Once I’m in a serious relationship? Once I’m engaged?
· How do I feel about the relationship I am in? Do I love this person? Does this person love me? Can I trust and depend in this person to be there for me in a caring way?
· Will having sex as a teen influence my reputation with my peers in any kind of negative way?
· What are my family’s cultural, personal, and religious beliefs about sex? If I make a decision about sex that is different from what they believe in, could that hurt my relationship with my family or with people in my community?
· How do I want my first time to be?
· How will I feel about myself if I become sexually active? Will I feel good about myself or will it negatively affect my self-esteem in some way?
Keep in mind that the point of this conversation is so that you can communicate to one another where you are at and get a better understanding of where the other person is coming from. It is not to manipulate or pressure her into doing something she doesn’t want to or isn’t ready for. If your girlfriend is not interested in sex or sets certain limits in how far she is ready to go, it is important that you respect where she is at if you truly care about her. It may feel frustrating and disappointing to you that she is not on the same page right now – but try not to let those feelings get in the way of the good things you do have with your girlfriend or turn you into someone who pressures her about it.
If you and your girlfriend decide you are ready for sex, then it is important to consider your safer sex options. Generally, teens who decide to be sexually active are recommended to use a condom each and every time they have vaginal, anal, or oral sex to protect against the transmission of STDs as well as unwanted pregnancies, as well as a back-up method of birth control such as the pill. Talk about what safer sex methods you will use, strongly consider meeting with your doctors to discuss this prior to becoming sexually active, and talk to each other about how you will deal with situations like an unwanted pregnancy and the transmission of an STD.
If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.