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You’re 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. It’s 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 hadn’t done it.” -Mark

“I just wasn’t 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 free.”

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 didn’t want to take any risks.”

Some teens have sex because they think it will be exciting and it’s the thing to do.

Jenna says, “I had sex with my first boyfriend because I was afraid he’d break up with me if I didn’t. He dumped me two months later! Now I’m in a new relationship and have decided to wait.”

Mark explains, “My friends and I didn’t let sex stand in the way of our goals. Instead we focused on sports and having fun as a group. Now I’m 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 didn’t use them because they could have made me do something I’d be sorry for.” -Jenna

Waiting can be tough, but it’s 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...

There’s less to worry about

Relationships are less confusing

It’s 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 Health’s AIDS/HIV and STD Hotline at 1-800-243- 2437.

idph online home

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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