'Sex Was Mysterious, Intriguing And Terrifying'

11/05/2013 03:29 pm ET
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Throughout the next few months, HuffPost Teen is highlighting the way teens think and feel about sex through anecdotes written for our series, "Teen Sex: It's Complicated." All of the authors are teenagers who have agreed to be published anonymously. If you want to share your thoughts, join the conversation here.

By “Riley," 16

When I was 15, sex was mysterious, intriguing and terrifying. It wasn’t until months later when I figured out that I didn’t want to or have to want to have sex with male-bodied people that it became easier. Despite my uncertainties, I was 15 when I “lost my virginity.” He was trans masculine, like me. He was depressed, like me. Together, I felt whole. I felt safe.

We were sleeping together for eight months before the relationship ended, just a few weeks shy of our one-year anniversary. At first I felt ashamed of the blatant truth about the matter, but as we continued to fool around, I accepted the fact that I loved sex. I loved the weight of another person against me, the heat, the nervous laughter, the struggles to remove pants or underwear. Sex was fun, it was simple, and I felt it made me closer to my partner.

Our views of sex are so misshapen by the plethora of opposing messages we see every day. Our parents tell us to not have sex. The media shows us teens have sex all the time, from casual hookups to committed couples. We are told to wait until marriage, but to be safe. We are told that we won’t fit in if we haven’t had sex by the end of high school. We assume so many of our peers are “sexually active,” as the adults call it, but how many of us are actually having sex?

How many teenagers believe that a female-bodied person’s hymen tears the first time? How many teenagers believe a girl can get pregnant from oral sex? How many know all the different ways STDs can be spread? We know how to put on a condom, we know how babies are conceived, but how many teenagers actually know how to have sex?

Whether or not we choose to wait to have sex is our decision, but the truth of the matter is that teenagers receive so much misinformation about sex. The problem is not whether we get abstinence-only sex ed or not, but sex education that covers all the gritty aspects of sex so many choose to ignore. Adults hide the truth about sex from us youth, and that leads to so many messy first times and broken condoms and unwanted pregnancies. We need to know how to have fun, safe, enjoyable sex.

I don’t regret having sex when I did, and I don’t regret that I want to have more. These are our bodies, and how we choose to use them is up to us.

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