So, here’s a thing I’ve seen happen:
- People get really into social justice...
I’m wondering what a good age to have a ‘relationship' is? I'm 13 and I've sort of began to have stronger attractions both emotionally and physically to boys. I'm not sure if I'm ready for a relationship and I'm scared that if it doesn't work (for example, if I'm frigid or something) it will ruin our friendship. I know it's not much of a big deal but I just want some help and reassurance.
Heather Corinna replies:
Hooray for thinking about what you might want or feel ready for in intimate or dating relationships before you pursue them! So often people just kind of passively fall into relationships and only then try and figure what they want and need. It’s not impossible to do it that way, and there are some things we can’t sort out until we’re actually in something. But taking the time to first get a general sense of what you want, need and feel okay about before getting into relationships is a much better foundation for good relationships you feel good about.
Getting into intimate relationships is a big deal. Same goes with choosing to start a brand new and complex area of your life. You don’t need to say it isn’t a big deal. You know it is — and I agree! — which is why you are asking what you are and have the concerns you do.
There really isn’t any good age (or bad age) for any given kind of relationship in a general way, because age is only one part of that and because people of even just one age — like 13 — are still so different.
A certain kind of relationship might feel just right for one person who’s 13, and so wrong for another person who is 13. You might find that dating one person feels like it’s not right for you at all, but dating someone else feels like the most perfect thing of ever, because who we’re in a relationship with, how we feel about them and and ourselves within that relationship and the whole context of our lives, and what that particular relationship is like is most of what determines, at any age, if a romantic or sexual (or any!) relationship feels right. When I say feels right, I mean that emotionally, we feel good about our relationships, our choices and actions in them; good about ourselves within the relationship, and what goes on in that relationship is what we truly want and also know we capable of dealing with and managing.
Read the rest here
"Respect" is not something that adults are entitled to and that children are the providers of.
Respect is how we treat others. We respect the fish. We respect the bunny. We respect the cats. We respect the dog. We respect the two year old, the four year old. We respect the seven year old. We respect the adults. We respect each other. We respect the house and the things inside of the house by putting them away and keeping them clean and by not breaking them. We respect the people that deliver pizza. We respect the people that deliver the mail. We respect the people that we share sidewalks with and that we share subway cars and busses with.
I will not throw a tantrum when I’m being treated disrespectfully by someone smaller than me. I will treat them with respect, and I will remind them what respect is.
They are not my example. I am theirs.
Respect can be hard. It takes time to learn. I’m all grown up so I’ve learned it and can be their consistent example.
I am 25. I am a virgin. I went on this date with this guy. We were trying to have sex. He didn’t put his penis inside of me. I was in pain. I panicked. I told him , I am not ready. I don’t know him very well. I did not want to sleep with him. I was freaked out. He told me, you are 25. You should be ready. My friend told me to purchase a vibrator that will help me be more comfortable with sex. Do you think I need more foreplay? Is there something wrong with me? Is there a way I can make the experience better for me?Heather Corinna replies:
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you. But, boy howdy, does it sound like plenty was wrong with this situation.
You did not WANT to engage in sex with this person.
You were also clear that you didn’t feel ready to have sex with this person once it was obvious to you that you felt that way.
The right response to that from him should’ve been something like, "Oh, okay, let’s stop any of this, then. Do you still want to hang out some more tonight, or would you like me to go and give you some space? Are you okay? Is there anything I can get for you or do for you if you’re not?"
NOT, "You are 25, you should be ready." UGH.
If anything, that response makes clear THAT guy probably isn’t ready to be sexual with other people, because that’s just not how we respond to another person in this situation when we’re actually respecting and regarding them as a person. It’s not like people come with some kind of timer that goes DING! at or by a certain age and then they’re done when it comes to being ready for — or interested in — sex with any given person at any given time. You’re a person, not a roast in the oven, for crying out loud.
I suspect that what will make any sexual experiences better for you are what tend to make them good for pretty much everyone.
Read the rest at Scarleteen here.
It’s been a few months now since Heather posted “Back Up Your Birth Control Backup Day” making it crystal clear that, despite some pretty unethical misinformation given to young people seeking it, emergency contraception in the US is totally legal to sell to people 17+ without prescription.
It was few days later over here in the UK that I read a blog-post from a student in London that she had been refused emergency contraception, but not because of her age:
I went to a Boots pharmacy which said on the door come here for emergency contraception. So, I went in and asked and the woman pharmacist told me that due to her religious beliefs she was unable to serve me the morning after pill.
Which had me asking myself what the law actually is in the UK. Despite not having a uterus of my own, I’ve still bought emergency contraception with a partner and would appreciate knowing. After doing a bit of research, and with some help from the wonderful Dr. Petra Boynton, here’s what I found out…
Read the rest at Scarleteen here.
The influence of politics on science and women’s health was once again on full display late last year. In December 2011, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius blocked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of Plan B One-Step’s over-the-counter (OTC) status. It would have been the first time emergency contraception (EC) would be available without a prescription for women of all ages. Instead, it was the first time a HHS secretary overrode the FDA’s decision to approve a medication.
While Secretary Sebelius’ decision to intervene and block Plan B One-Step’s OTC status was shocking on several fronts—given the mounds of scientific evidence proving EC as safe and effective for adolescents and this Administration’s pledge to scientific integrity—those of us at the Center for Reproductive Rights saw it as “déjà vu all over again.”
We’ve been battling the FDA’s politicization of EC for over a decade—trying to hold the FDA accountable in federal court for treating EC differently than any other medication.
Read the rest over at RH Reality Check here.