Youre a teenager. You want independence, respect and good
friends. Believe it or not, saying no to sex is one way to get these things.
When you decide to wait to have sex, you prove your independence, get
respect and make sure your friends like you for who you are. Its
important to be confident of your decision. No one knows better than you do,
and you know what feels right for you. Mark, Tanya and Jenna are proud of their
decision to wait.
I had the same pressures and curiosities that you do, but I thought it
through and waited to have sex. I heard too many kids say they wish they
hadnt done it. -Mark
I just wasnt ready. My friends and I decided there were other
things we wanted to do besides have sex. That way we could focus on us and not
worry about things like birth control and diseases. -Tanya
You may already know that not having sex protects you from...AIDS/HIV,
sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and having a baby.
Tanya agrees, One great thing about waiting was being worry
Mark remembers, My girlfriend and I figured out ways to show we care
about each other without having sex. We kissed, hugged and snuggled a lot. We
didnt want to take any risks.
Some teens have sex because they think it will be exciting and its
the thing to do.
Jenna says, I had sex with my first boyfriend because I was afraid
hed break up with me if I didnt. He dumped me two months later! Now
Im in a new relationship and have decided to wait.
Mark explains, My friends and I didnt let sex stand in the way
of our goals. Instead we focused on sports and having fun as a group. Now
Im going after my goals and heading off to college.
Jenna sums it up, When you plan to wait, you take charge of your life.
You can focus on you, your friends and your relationships.
So how did Mark, Tanya and Jenna stick by their decision to wait?
We kept the lines of communication open. I found talking strengthened
our relationship and helped us understand each other better. -Tanya
We set clear limits in advance so we could relax and enjoy each other
physically without having sex. -Mark
I know drugs and alcohol affect your judgement and I didnt use
them because they could have made me do something Id be sorry for.
Waiting can be tough, but its worth it.
Despite what you might think, not everyone is having sex. Teens who
choose to wait find a lot of positive reasons to stick to their decision...
Theres less to worry about
Relationships are less confusing
Its easier to be independent
You can find other ways to show your love
You can focus on yourself and what you want to do
You can focus on future goals
If you want to talk to someone confidentially about respecting your mind and
protecting your body, call the Illinois Department of Public Healths
AIDS/HIV and STD Hotline at 1-800-243- 2437.