One of my favorite TV shows when I was a teenager was the series “Dawson’s Creek.” The series centered around best friends Joey and Dawson and portrayed their experiences from high school and into college as they made and lost friends, entered and left relationships, and grew up. The show was aired from 1998 to 2003 and was one of the most popular drama series of its time. It dealt very realistically with many issues that teens can be faced with, from bullying to dealing with a parents’ divorce, and I think it did this so well that the lessons from the show are still applicable even today.
One of these lessons was about figuring out when you’re ready for sex.
We often get questions here on Scarleteen from people who are thinking about becoming sexually active and don’t know how to figure out whether they are ready for that step. Like so many aspects of sex, this “readiness” is something a lot of peers refer to but few can quite explain.
If you ask most people what it feels like to be “be ready,” the answer you will often get is that you will know it when you experience it. This vagueness can obviously lead to a lot of uncertainty. Will I really just know? If I’m still wondering, does that mean I’m not ready? What if I never feel like I’m ready? (Of course, that’s not how sex educators tend to talk about readiness: we usually will have some answers for you and can give you help thinking this through, like this.)
Because this worry is so ubiquitous, it’s also something that’s been picked up by the writers of TV series. On Dawson’s Creek, this happens during season four, when Joey grapples with the question of whether she is ready to have sex with her boyfriend, Pacey.
Joey started seeing Pacey at the end of season three. We know they have been friends from childhood and they’re very comfortable with each other. When Pacey, who’s already had sex with previous partners, makes it clear he’s interested in sleeping with Joey, she doesn’t know how she feels about that.
Read the rest from volunteer Joey (oddly enough!) here!