I write both fiction and personal accounts of erotic experiences with lovers on the RASPBERRY RIPPLES blog. The subject “TEENAGE YEARS” left me unsure of which direction to go in. I had a boyfriend as a teenager, who I was with for ten years. Sex came after we had been content for several years with holding hands and making out. I am glad about that.
I know there are teenagers having sex. It makes me uneasy. More than anything, I worry for their mental health. I count myself as extremely fortunate that my boyfriend treated me so well and made the build up to us losing our virginity so romantic and sweet. I knew his family, he knew mine. We spent time as a couple of sweethearts with our families. I felt safe. I was not far off twenty when I had sex for the first time with my boyfriend of almost four years, and I felt loved, safe and ready. Our parents knew we were going to progress our relationship. They made sure we knew we could talk to them and ask them for advice.
If I could give advice to teenagers who have raging hormones and natural curiosity and peer pressure and images of sex and romance thrust in front of them through every form of media it would be: WAIT! It will be one of the best things you can do for your self-esteem and mental health. Don’t be in such a hurry to have sex that your enjoyment of sex is scarred for years to come.
I am going to share with you advice my mom gave me when I was a teenager. I did not understand it at the time – but I do now! Mom elevated sex to me. She compared it to food. It can be nourishing, delicious, satisfying and moreish. However, it can also be harmful, sickening, even poisoning and leave you dreading the experience again.
What sometimes makes a difference is the ingredients, preparation and love that is put into preparing a meal.
Food is I guess is a matter of taste. Ben loves fine dining restaurants. I prefer home cooking. But neither of us enjoy mouldy food, or meat that has not been cooked properly, or rancid sauces, or limp salad, or dry tasteless bread.
This metaphor is not referring to the physical appearance of partners. It is all about the thought and care (or lack of it) that go into sex. Don’t let someone treat you like a cheap packet of chips (crisps) and gobble you down and then throw you into the trash. There are people who will do that. They are pretty callous about enjoying the physical sensations of sex without any concern over your wellbeing emotionally.
If you are a teenager, you may feel you are old enough to do adult things. Why is there a legal age that limits when you can learn to drive and obtain a driving licence? Because driving is a responsibility. The way you drive has the potential to cause great damage, and can even be fatal. Now I don’t want to terrify you, but having sex also carries a responsibility. There is potential for damage. Whether sex will be something positive and enjoyable or something harmful has a lot to do with how you view yourself and how you view others. You are very precious. If someone treats you otherwise, I would back away and run- run for the hills or perhaps the nearest police station!
Someone said to me once, that is good to remember that you don’t know what is going on in the mind of another person. You have no idea how delicate they may be, how close to cracking up or shattering they are. So before you start having sex, presume that they already have picked up some damage along the course of their life, and recognise that the way you treat them can effect them profoundly.
What you may not yet grasp is that adults are very different – very different consciences, very different levels of mental and emotional health – some of them will give you horrendous advice. How I hope you have people in your life who care about your health and your happiness now and in the future. How I hope you will listen to the advice of the people who love you before you make your decisions. Sometimes they may seem boring, but they will be trying to steer you away from distress and agony.
As a teenager you are in a transformative period. The passage from childhood to adulthood means making your own decisions and being responsible for the consequences. You are becoming responsible for the way you treat other people. You have the power to make them feel cherished or to crush them.
You are not just an object. Sex should not be just a physical experience – it should be so much more than that. Sometimes you will hear from people who have had disappointments – failed relationships, abuse, unwanted pregnancies, depression or other challenges that may cause them to present sex to you through their own eyes, based on their own experiences.
The truth is people are imperfect and they may well let you down. Relationships can begin seeming romantic and magical, yet over time, stress and tiredness, different expectations and outlooks can cause challenges. Relationships take effort. Some would suggest to you that it is not worth the effort. They may say just to view people as sex toys and forget they have feelings.
Because sex, like food, can sometimes be a matter of taste, there are people out there who don’t care if there is no love or care that pre-empts sex. They’ll settle for quick almost tasteless bites to satisfy their hunger. There are some who don’t mind eating any old rotten mouldy tripe. They may tell you it is great. But if you knew the state of their emotional health and the state of their relationships, you might realize that something does not add up. I cannot speak for every person, but some people have been treated as if they are cheap chips and thrown into the trash so often, they do not know what it is to enjoy the kind of sex that is more like a lovingly prepared home cooked meal, packed with flavour or a fine dining experience exquisitely executed with with finesse and technique.
If you are in your TEENAGE YEARS, my honest heartfelt advice is don’t rush into sex. Wait until those key ingredients love and care are there. Aim high! Don’t settle for rotten mouldy tripe! I hope your first experiences of sex are delicious and satisfying, and that you feel safe and cherished. Sex should be great, and it is true – the physical sensations of sex can be awesome. But the best sex is more than just physical sensations. Sex, like driving, is a responsibility. So don’t rush into something that has the potential to harmfully impact your emotional health and perhaps your future in many long-term ways. Some of your decisions now will have a big impact on your emotional health and your self-esteem for many years to come.
I hope you enjoy much happiness and good health and great sex for a long time. But there is no rush! Take your time – loving and caring preparation and ingredients make for the best possible sex life!