Peer pressure is always tough to deal with, especially when it comes to sex.
Some teenagers decide to have sexual relationships because their friends think sex is cool. Others feel pressured by the person they are dating. Still others find it easier to give in and have sex than to try to explain why not. Some teenagers get caught up in the romantic feelings and believe having sex is the best way they can prove their love.
Some things to think about before peer pressure makes the decision for you:
Not every person your age is having sex. Even if sometimes it feels like everyone is "doing it," it is important to realize that this is not true. People often talk about sex in a casual manner, but this doesn't mean they are actually having sex.
Hollywood doesn't show the full story. Sexual situations are everywhere in our culture. They are on television, in movies, and even in commercials and magazines. This is part of the reason why we enjoy these things so much. Just remember: characters in these movies, television shows, and advertisements are actors and actresses. They don’t get STIs or have unplanned pregnancies. You can.
Knowing how you feel about yourself is the first big step in handling peer pressure. It's OK to want to enjoy your teen years and all the fun times that can be had. It's OK to respect yourself enough to say, "No, I'm not ready to have sex." Here are some things you can do to avoid peer or date pressure:
The effects of drugs and alcohol can make it hard to think clearly, let alone make the best possible decisions about sex. While you're under the influence of drugs or alcohol it is easy to make a decision you'll regret later. Even worse, there are some people who will use the effects of alcohol and other drugs to force you into having sex with them.
Practicing what you want to say now makes it easier to know what to say when things heat up. If your partner asks you to do something you're not ready to do, you'll know what to say and how you want to say it. It will also help if your partner tries to persuade you to do something using information you know isn't true. It is important that your partner respects when you say no. If your partner doesn't stop, it is a crime.
Here are some statements that young people often hear. Most of them are intended to trick the other person into doing something they are not ready to do. If your partner uses any of the statements below, ask them to respect you by using some of these responses when you want to say "Not Now":
"You would if you loved me."
Response: "There are other ways to show our love. I'm not ready."
"But, I love you. When you love someone, it's the right thing to do."
Response: "If you really love me you'll respect my feelings and my right to say no."
"Everybody does it. Why are you so special?"
Response: "Not everybody. Not me. It's really important for me to wait until I decide I'm ready."
"I need you. I have to have you now."
Response: "If I can wait, so can you."
"You did it for (name of a person). So, what's wrong with me? Do you think you're too good for me?"
Response: "I don't talk about other partners I've had and I decide when and if I want to have sex. It's not about you."
"If you don't, then I'll find someone else who will."
Response: "If that's all I mean to you, that's what you'll have to do. I'm not ready yet."
Here are some other statements used to try to persuade their partners to have risky, unprotected sex. Your partner should respect how you feel, especially when it comes to having unprotected sex.
"Don't worry. I'll pull out in time."
Don't believe this line. You can get an STI or get pregnant before the guy ejaculates. You can even get pregnant if the semen is near the vagina but not in it.
Response: "That doesn't work for me. If you won't wear a condom I can't feel safe. It's wear a condom or we can't have sex."
"I'm allergic to condoms."
Response: "There are two kinds of condoms latex and non-latex. No one is allergic to both. You'll have to get the one that you're not allergic to. I can wait."
"Partners who are committed to each other don't use condoms."
Response: "I'm not going to take the risk. We both need to be tested for STIs and be committed to not having sex with anyone else first."
"You got me hard and now my balls are hurting. If you won't let me have sex with you now, it's going to injure my body."
Response: "That just isn't true. I talked to the nurse."
"I don't have an STI and you're on the pill. So we don't need a condom"
Response: "The only way either of us can tell if we have an STI is to get tested. You can't tell by looking. I'm not going to take a chance and neither should you."
"Oops, I forgot to bring a condom with me."
Response: "I don't have sex without a condom. So, it's not happening tonight. But there's other ways to be intimate."
"It puts me right out of the mood."
Say that having unsafe sex puts you right out of the mood. Permanently.
"Are you nervous about catching something?"
Sometimes people don't even know when they have infections, so it's better to be safe.
"I won't enjoy sex if we use a condom."
Say you can't enjoy sex unless it's safe.
Remember that no means no. Respect yourself and your partner by listening to each other and making sure you are both comfortable with what is happening.