Looking for the 411 teens ask...

Does oral sex count as real sex?
This is a legitimate question. It seems everyone has their own moral perspective about oral sex. But, let’s talk about the practical and medical aspects. The straight answer is YES! Webster’s dictionary defines intercourse as “physical sexual contact between individuals that involves the genitalia of at least one person.” Both Webster and medical experts agree that oral sex is sex. Research shows that STD’s can be transferred via oral sex. You can look up more info on this by going to the Center for Disease Control.#1

Is it true there are "things" that you can do so you won't get pregnant?
There’s a lot of talk out there about so-called ways to have sex without getting pregnant. Most of it is just talk- not true. You need to know that sometimes people use “trash” talk to get someone else to do what they want them to do, i.e. pressuring someone to have sex. Here are some examples to watch out for:

  • You can’t get pregnant if it’s the first time you have sex. NOT TRUE
  • You can greatly reduce your risk of pregnancy, but not eliminate it. #2
  • You can’t get pregnant if you wear a condom. NOT TRUE.
  • You can’t get pregnant if you do certain strenuous activities after sex, like jump up and down. NOT TRUE
  • You can’t get pregnant if you use the pull out method. NOT TRUE, there can be sperm present before, during and after sex.
  • You can’t get pregnant if you are on your period. NOT TRUE
  • You can’t get pregnant in certain sexual positions, like if the girl is on top. NOT TRUE
  • You can’t get pregnant if you have sex in a hot tub, pool or bath tub. NOT TRUE

How do I say yes to my goals and desires when it means saying no to someone else's?
Whether it’s about making decisions on what clothes you wear, who you will hang out with or where you will go to college, in the end these are all personal decisions you make and you will own. Good decision making starts with getting good, solid info to help you form your own personal action plan to reach your goals. Remember that goals are something you can control. Desires on the other hand are your wishes for a particular outcome, but often are not controlled by you. IE You desire it to be a sunny day, but it ends up raining. You can want the sunshine with all your heart, but you can’t make it happen. It’s the same in relationships. You can want/desire that someone like you, but you can’t make them!

Having an action plan for your Sexual Integrity requires you to know what you want and what you don’t want. You can make it happen, even if you get off course, you can control getting back on the plan. NEVER let someone else define your goals!

When I'm at a party and everyone starts hooking up, what should I do?
Just like the answer to Leyla’s question, you need to have an action plan for your Sexual Integrity. Included in your personal plan should be what some call an “Exit Strategy”. This is your plan you make in ADVANCE on when and how you will get out of certain situations. Let’s say people start drinking alcohol or doing drugs when you are present. Research shows that 13% of teens report having done something sexual while using drugs and/or alcohol that they wouldn’t have done while sober. #3 Further studies indicate that drugs and alcohol can also influence non-consensual sex resulting in the major contributing factor in 90% of date rape cases. #4 Assuming you don’t want to do these things because you know that these actions might compromise your goals, you need to have a ride home I.E. call a taxi, call a trusted friend or one of your family members.

As to the concept of “Friends with Benefits” you need to know that it just doesn’t work. Research suggests that during sexual activity the brain releases hormones that bond partners together emotionally.#5 The emotional consequences of FWB might be seen where what starts out enjoyable, can lead to jealousy, frustration and heartache. Just ask anyone who has tried this kind of sexual relationship. Sex is not just physical. Having sex can affect you emotionally, mentally and socially. Again, you know your goals and only you can determine how you will protect your plans and dreams.

 Here are some further questions for you to research answers you can live with:

  • What am I going to do if I feel pressured to do if I feel pressured to do something I don't want to do?
  • If you have already had sex but you don't want to do it in the future, what is your plan?
  • How would you help a girlfriend who finds herself pregnant?

Some more info...

  • 1 out of 3 sexually active women becomes pregnant at least once by age 20. #6
  • 1 out of 2 sexually active young women has had a genital Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). #7
  • The younger a person is when they start having sex, the greater the chance of getting an STD. #8
  • 2 out of 3 teens who have had sex wish they had waited. #9



#1 www.cdc.gov
#2 CDC “Condoms Fact Sheet in Brief” 5/2009
#3 The Youth Risk Behavior Survey between 1991-2001
#4 www.factsontap.org
#5 McIhaney,Jos (S.), Bush, Freda(McKissic) Hooked :New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting our Children. 2008
#6 National Coalition to Prevent Teen Pregnancy 2009
#7 Center for Young Women’s Health 2009
#8 Children’s Hospital Boston 2009
#9 The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy 2007