February 14, 2005
As college students, we think it is important for adolescents to know and understand the issues of sex.
In the following, we will attempt to define through our own experiences, what the important issues, definitions and concepts of sex are for adolescents. These should be useful as they search for and find their own sexuality.
We think it is crucial to define sex because we want adolescents to feel informed about their bodies regarding sexuality, the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases/infections and unwanted pregnancies. Forming views about sex leads to self-awareness and personal growth including knowledge about oneís own comfort levels and limitations. It is not obligatory to define sex, but it may be helpful to cope in a society obsessed with labels and definitions.
Hopefully, this dialogue will help eliminate the taboos of discussing sex, especially in regards to adolescent sexuality.
Definitions of Common Physical Sexual Acts
Fellatio (blowjob, head, going down on): licking or sucking of penis
Cunnilingus (going down on, eating out): oral stimulation of clitoris, surrounding region, and or vagina
Handjob: manual stimulation of penis by hand
Fingering: manual stimulation of vagina and or anus by hand
Masturbation (jacking off): manually stimulating oneís own genitals
Vagina (generic sex): insertion of penis into vagina
Anal (sodomy): insertion of penis into anus
You can be that particular type of virgin, if you have not taken part in that particular activity listed above
The physical act of any of the activities listed above
Virginity across Generations and Cultures
The definition of "virginty" varies across all cultures; Even within one culture the definition has mutated over time.
At one time, virginity was defined by whether a man/woman has married or has parented a child. Even today, in some African cultures, a marriage has not been finalized until consummation is proven by the birth of a [healthy] child.
In more recent times, conservative views have altered our culture's view of sex and virginity. That is, oral sex has come to be commonly defined as sex in the traditional sense of the word.
More accurately, virginity can be defined in many ways by what a person has not yet done (oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex, etc.).
Sex and Love
Do you need to be in love to have sex? Why does everyone talk about waiting for the right one to come along?
I think adult ďexpertsĒ have expressed worry over what seems to be a disconnection in teenagers between sex and love. ďHooking upĒ scares them, but why? It seems many of our parents went through a whole decade of, ďfree love.Ē I think the main reason for this is that sex is a big responsibility and can lead to many consequences. Pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases are things that would be hard to deal with in your teenage years even if you did love the person you were having sex with. One thing I think that is overlooked in the matter of sex and love is that a good portion of those ďyoung adultsĒ are taking care of themselves emotionally and physically. I believe even more would take care of themselves if they had the freedom and comfort level to have discussions openly about sex. I think sex and love are more compatible when they go together but I also know people who are happier by themselves. The point I would stress is just the responsibility that comes with the consequences of sex. I know those consequences are easier to deal with if you have someone who will love and support you regardless if it is a lover, a friend, or a family member.
Sex VS Relationships
Is sex necessary in a relationship? Is a relationship necessary to have sex?
Sex can play a large role in a relationship. Sex can improve or lessen intimacy, partnership, emotions and the general quality of a relationship. In serious relationships, couples often "make love." Though sex in a relationship can be amazing, one does not need to have sex in a relationship. Nor does one need to be in a relationship to engage in sex and enjoy it. If one is mature enough to handle the consequences and guard his/her emotions while engaging in sex out of a relationship, enjoy it. Sex should be enjoyable whether one is in a relationship or not.
1. Dear Sexpert,
I have been dating a boy for about 6 months and he has brought up the topic of sex many times. I am not sure I want to start having sex yet because I am quite young and donít know if I am ready to lose my virginity to this boy. If I do choose to start having sex with him, what is considered safe sex? From Confused and Cautious
Dear Confused and Cautious,
First of all, from the sounds of it, I donít think you should be having sex yet. Sex is a serious thing for a person and can lead to many mature issues to deal with such as pregnancy, STIís, and serious emotional attachment to that person you are involved with. It doesnít sound as if you are prepared to deal with the consequences that sex can bring to your life. However, for the future when you find the right person at the right time, I will explain what safe sex is for your safety. Safe sex is when you and your partner use protection such as a condom, the birth control pill, the patch, the sponge, the ring, cervical caps and/or spermicide. All of these help to prevent pregnancies and the condom helps to prevent STIís. Hopefully youíll learn more about these preventatives in health class soon! Good luck and listen to your gut instinct! - Sexpert
2. Dear Sexpert,
A few nights ago my boyfriend and I were fooling around and I gave him oral sex. I am really worried because he came in my mouth! Could I be pregnant now? I heard that if I swallow, it will go into my body and make me pregnant! Is this true at all? Please respond SOON! From Should I Have Swallowed?
Dear Should I have Swallowed,
Well, youíre definitely not going to get pregnant from swallowing your boyfriendís semen during oral sex. However, whether or not you should have swallowed is completely up to you. Just know that either way, you can not get pregnant from solely oral sex! Although you can transmit STIís through oral sex so a smart thing for him to do is wear a condom the next times or make sure that he is clean of any infections. - Sexpert
3. Dear Sexpert,
Iím a fourteen year old guy and I masturbate almost everyday. None of my friends talk about doing this and I feel like Iím some kind of freak of nature. Is masturbation normal or am I the only person doing this my age? - From Freddy Fingers
Dear Freddy Fingers,
This is a completely normal thing for you to be doing. Youíre a hormonal teenager and it is completely normal for a boy your age to be experiencing these things. Your classmates are probably masturbating just like you but they are too embarrassed to actually say anything about it. Donít feel like a freak of nature. I think if you werenít masturbating youíd be more like a freak of nature, so donít worry Freddy Fingers, youíre fine!! - Sexpert
4. Dear Sexpert,
I am a 15 year old guy and I am starting to wonder if I am a virgin or not! Iíve given oral sex to my girlfriend many times but I never considered this to be like the typical sex where you no longer have your virginity. Am I technically still a virgin or did I lose it the first time I went down on my girlfriend? Thanks much! - From Really Confused in Virginville
Dear Really Confused in Virginville,
I think that this is a personal opinion type of question. In my opinion, yes, you are still a virgin, but if you think that oral sex qualifies as sex, then no, you arenít a virgin. Take some time and decide what you think for yourself and your life. If youíre mature enough to be having oral sex, youíre mature enough to decide if you are or are not a virgin anymore. Iím sorry for the vague response, but it truly is your decision. - Sexpert
5. Dear Sexpert,
I am a really confused teenage girl. My boyfriend and I were dry humping a few nights ago and this lead to me having an orgasm. Is this sex? I was told by my friend that if I orgasm itís from having sex, but Iím not sure this is accurate. Is my friend right this time? - From Stupid About Sex
Dear Stupid About Sex,
Dry humping is not sex. You are able to orgasm in many ways, most of them not even being from the act of sex. If you are a female and your partner is a male, sex would be the penetration of his penis into your vagina, or your anus, if you have anal sex. Dry humping however is being clothed and there isnít penis/vagina contact so you have nothing to worry about regarding whether or not you are having sex. Glad I could be of service - Sexpert
6. Dear Sexpert,
I am a 14 year old girl and I gave a boy in my grade oral sex recently. A few days afterwards I had what looked like canker sores on my lips and around my mouth and a little even in my mouth. Could this be from giving the boy oral sex or is this probably just a really bad mouth sore? Iím really scared and donít know what to do! Any advice on what this could be? From Canker Sore
Dear Canker Sore,
There is a very good chance that this could be herpes on your mouth if you got it recently after you gave this boy oral sex. Because I canít see it I canít be sure exactly what it is, but if you donít typically get these kind of sores on your mouth, it probably is from the night you spent with this young man. As much as you might not want to get it checked out by a doctor, this is probably the smartest thing you could do. They are professionals and know how to take care of the problem and make sure that it is herpes or another STI that you could possibly have transmitted. The advice I can give you though is to make sure that your partner is 100% clean and 100% honest with you about his sexual past so that you donít get things like herpes or even worse, AIDS. Call your doctor today! - Sexpert
7. Dear Sexpert,
I am embarrassed to say my age because I am really young and am already having sex with my boyfriend. I want to have sex the smart way, but Iím not sure if I can get birth control without my parents finding out. We use a condom but Iím scared of getting pregnant with using only this so I wanted to get on the pill, but Iím not sure if I can afford it or if it is legal for me to even get a prescription of the pill. Do you have information about getting on some form of birth control at such a young age? - Young and in Love
Dear Young and in Love,
First of all, I am very proud of you for being a smart girl and knowing that safe sex is the only sex you should be having. A condom is definitely a necessity when having sex to prevent STIís but it is also very effective birth control. I do not condone having sex at an extremely young age because you might not be prepared for the consequences that sex can bring such as children or sexual infections, but if you are going to have sex you should use something else besides the condom just in case it breaks. I also think that if you are mature enough to be having sex, you are mature enough to tell one of your parents that you are sexually active. Then you wonít have to sneak behind their backs about getting birth control and theyíll respect you for being open and honest with them. If you really are too uncomfortable talking to your parents about this issue, Planned Parenthood is always a good option to check out. They typically give the pill to women for a much cheaper price than a pharmacy and will also keep your information confidential. Planned Parenthoods are usually in most towns or go to www.plannedparenthood.com for more information. - Sexpert