Throughout the months of September and October, 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 "Tom," 18
To me, the word "sex" means... complex
It's difficult being a teenager today. Adults complain about our generation and we get frustrated with theirs. It's as if there is this great divide between the two, with little hope of bridging the gap. That's what makes it difficult for teens like me to talk about sex with our parents, teachers or even adult friends.
Not to mention the mixed messages we get every day: Sex-education is now a integral part of our school lives, teaching us the risks and how to be safe. In contrast, we have our parents, religious leaders and other adults warning us that having sex now is a mistake and something we're bound to regret forever. And of course there's sex all over TV. Teen sex is portrayed as something completely normal because, well, I guess now it is. Sometimes I don't know what to believe.
I'm 18 years old and a virgin. Not to mention I've never even had my first kiss. And being a guy, of course, most people my age think that's completely "mental." I guess I think that too, sometimes. I often argue with myself saying: "Seriously man, how can you be so inexperienced? Your friends are growing up without you. There are probably kids half your age more experienced."
On the other hand, it's not as if the opportunity has never presented itself. I just didn't want to share such a personal moment with someone I didn't really care about or who didn't really care about me -- a kiss or sex. But my friends don't get that. It's tough enough to even maintain those relationships when all I want to do with my friends is see a movie or go out for dinner, when they want to hit the clubs and hook up with as many random strangers as possible.
I think the idea of waiting until marriage is a wonderful thing. As far as I'm concerned, I'm waiting. But is that a realistic or even fair expectation in today's world for both myself and my prospective partner? I don't know. In a time where relationships equal sex for most people it's a little difficult to have the courage to enter any new relationships. I'm afraid that after I open my heart to somebody, my choice to abstain will chase them away and leave me damaged. (Not to be all melodramatic and everything, but -- I might be a guy, but I have those "alone forever" fears, too).
I don't know what the future holds. I don't know when or how I'll lose my virginity, or have my first kiss, for that matter. All I know is I am definitely waiting until I have somebody I truly love and can imagine spending the rest of my life with before even considering sex. I'm 18, what do I know about true love right now? The way I see it, I'm young and have my whole life ahead of me. I trust myself, I really do, and I know that as my life happens I'll make the right choices for me. And those might not be the right choices for somebody else, and that's okay. We all have our own beliefs.
Some advice: What matters is that you do what you believe is right for you. Don't let your friends pressure you into anything. I haven't, and I'm happy about that. It can be really tough, I know. But if you're in my position, wondering if there are people out there who could possibly be in the same boat as you, just know that there are. We're out there.
--Read more from "Teen Sex: It's Complicated":
- "I Expected A Monumental Change In Myself After Sex"
- "Immediately After Sex, He Stopped Talking To Me"
- "The Act Of Sex Scares Me"
- "I Slept Around Because Sex Didn't Feel Like A Big Deal"
- "Being A Virgin Sucks, But I'm Still Waiting"
- "There's No One I Can Talk To About Sex"
- "In Eighth Grade, I Signed A Celibacy Contract"
- "I Feel Like I'm The Only One Who Doesn't Regret Having Sex"
- "I Thought I Was Ready To Lose My Virginity"
- "Sex Is A Symbol Of Popularity At My School"
- "It Seemed Like Sex Was Some Kind Of Boulder Hanging Over Us"
- "I Argue With Myself Every Day About Losing My Virginity"
- "I'm Staying A Virgin So I Don't Disappoint My Family"