You’re Never Too Old for “The Sex Talk”
Parents should be having “the sex talk” with their twenty-somethings: Agree or disagree? Nothing sounds more terrifying than sitting down and discussing the best water-sex positions with your middle-aged parents. On the other hand, there is something to be said for having open conversations about sex and its consequences, not just when you’re a brace-faced teenager who can barely differentiate between the genitals of a hamster and those of a human, but also when you’re in your twenties and more likely to actually be having sex.
Why is this so important? Because the notion that it’s just crazy, wild teenage dropouts who get pregnant unintentionally is false. Actually, more than half of all unplanned pregnancies among unmarried women are to women in their twenties—women of all races and all income and education levels.
I’ve only recently started following the life of HelloGiggles author Kaitlyn Perry. Kaitlyn is a recent college graduate who blogged her way through her period of unemployment. She is now happily employed at the publishing company of her dreams. Currently she is on maternity leave because she is 7 months pregnant. As of now Kaitlyn’s story looks like it could have a fairytale ending, but her journey there wasn’t all flowers and sunshine. And for many women who unexpectedly get pregnant, the path forward isn’t easy.
Kaitlyn found out she was pregnant from a phone call from her doctor. Fortunately, that call was interrupted by a call from the publishing company where she now works, offering her a full-time job. After telling her boyfriend (now fiancé) and parents about her pregnancy, she had to figure out when to break the news to her boss at her new job and contemplate the possibility that she could be terminated. As Kaitlyn points out, even though it is illegal, some companies will still fire a woman if they reveal they are pregnant soon after their start date.
For every three women in their twenties who have an unplanned pregnancy, one of them is below the federal poverty line. Kaitlyn was lucky to have gotten a job when she needed it the most. She was lucky to have the support of her parents and her boyfriend. She was also lucky her company was so understanding. But there is no reason to leave your life to luck when you can take control of it.
If you’re going through tricky economic times, that’s even more reason to make sure your birth control is covered. Being in a monogamous relationship is not an excuse to become lax about using protection. Kaitlyn is proof that unplanned pregnancies don’t just happen to the stars of Teen Mom. They don’t just happen to girls who are “sleeping around,” as every episode of Maury had previously led me to believe. If you’re not using birth control—every single time you have sex—they can happen whether or not you have a steady job and whether or not you have the support of your partner or your family.
There are lots of birth control methods to choose from and they may be more affordable than you think, so if you’re not using birth control or not happy with your method, it might be time to try something new.
Bird and bee image borrowed from this great post on TheycallmeJane’s Blog.
Bisi Orisamolu is an intern for the entertainment media department of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. She’s a Georgetown University undergrad and a social justice advocate who is passionate about a million things. She loves chocolate covered pretzels, discovering good books, and aimless wandering. Stay tuned for the resurrection of her personal tumblr boris321.tumblr.com. In the meantime you can find her on twitter @Bisi_O.
Breastfeeding is awesome for your baby. Not so awesome as a birth control method.
Or is it? For more detail on this 100% natural but not exactly low-maintenance method, check out a Provider Perspective on the topic.
5 Things I Wish My Mom Had Told Me About Sex
Recently I asked how you learned about sex. From what I gathered from the people I spoke to, most of us did not get the “sex talk” from our parents. We talked about sex with our friends or older siblings, or just learned as we went along. This got me thinking: What would have been nice to have known as a teenager?
Here are 5 things I wish my mom had told me about sex:
1. “It’s not that serious! Go ahead and love him, but love yourself more.”
Though I probably wouldn’t have listened at the time, I wish someone would have qualified the love I was in during high school. The love that had me sneaking out my house in the middle of the night and made me lie to my parents about where I was and what I was doing. Now, looking back, I can only wonder what the hell I was thinking. Not only was I giving up my goodies—disrespecting my parents and therefore myself in the process—but it was all for a guy I wouldn’t even give the time of day to if I met him tomorrow. #LessonLearned
2. “You deserve an orgasm just as much as he does.”
Now, I know a lot of grown women don’t necessarily know this either, but I really wish it was on a billboard somewhere. Sadly, it wasn’t until my last relationship that I figured out how this truly goes down. In the past, the window for me having an orgasm was dependent on it happening before his did. Well, in a healthy sexual relationship (I’ve discovered) after one person gets their needs met, they will then be that much more invested in doing whatever it takes to get their partner’s needs met too. There are many ways to keep the party going…
3. “Talk about the sex—before you have it.”
I don’t know about you, but I never talked about sex with a guy I was dating until after we’d had sex. And I’ll admit it’s because I felt like talking about sex wasn’t something that “good girls” did. In my mind it was better to “go with the flow,” making sex something I allowed to happen to me—instead of it being something I thoughtfully made a decision to have. I wish someone had told me that asking, “What’s your favorite position?” or “How often do you like to have sex?” would only make asking, “When was your last STD test?” or “What type of condom do you prefer?” easier.
4. “Sex is amazing, but good sex does not equal a good relationship.”
Sex feels good. If it didn’t, surely it wouldn’t be so prevalent in our society. But obtaining this thing called sex is no reason to put up with a crappy relationship. My first boyfriend once told me, “Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere—the sex is too good.” And that was completely logical to me at the time, because anyone that could make you feel so good had to be good for you… right? WRONG!
5. “Be comfortable.”
Though I believe it’s okay to sometimes step outside your comfort zone and put on some lingerie or some matching underwear for your partner, what you’re wearing or doing should never make you feel awkward or uneasy. When you’re comfortable, you’re confident. And who doesn’t find confidence sexy? I’d say most guys and gals do (and Bedsider’s Frisky Fridays back me up).
Did you get any of these lessons growing up? What do you wish your parents told you?
Veralyn Williams is a Multimedia Freelance Journalist currently working in New York City. She has spent 4 years at WNYC Radio working with various departments including: Radio Rookies, Culture, News, and Freakonomincs. Also freelancing for Black Enterprise, BronxNet Television,Bedsider, and The Museum for African Art. Her independent work is featured on her website VeralynMedia.com. Through all of her endeavors she aims to give a voice to perspectives that are often forgotten in the media.