Sexual Health and Safety
Crushes are something that all girls have experienced one way or another. However, dating goes a step further. Feeling some type of an attraction to someone can be a nice feeling, but at what cost? Does this person make you feel good about yourself? Do you trust yourself to make good judgments when finding a partner? Simply, are you ready to be in a relationship?
No matter what, always listen to your intuition when dating someone. You should always feel safe and secure when you are with someone. Always.
Make sure to avoid things such as drugs and alcohol especially when you are out on a date with someone that you may not be familiar with. Sometimes people will slip date rape drugs into drinks without the other person knowing. It is important to be present because sometimes being too intoxicated can lead to a string of bad decisions that you might regret.
Before having sex, think of the option of birth control. As seen on www.girlshealth.gov, “most birth control methods work either by preventing the egg from being released or by stopping the sperm from getting to the egg.” If you are not very sure on how this is supposed to be used, make sure to ask your doctor. However, if you are taking it, be sure to use it the correct way and remember to be safe. Also consider how well each kind may work and if they are efficient. Which one do you feel you will use every time and in the safest way possible, and whether or not it will protect you from STDs (or sexually transmitted diseases which are never good for your body).
Please talk to your parents about questions that you may have surrounding sex and what it means to have healthy, wholesome relationships. Before having this conversation, make a list of things that you might want to ask or things that might spark your interest. You could start with questions like “What does dating someone mean to you?” or using T.V. shows as your starting point and foundation. I know that it is easy to feel intimidated by parents, or anyone older than you, in fear that they will shut you down but you will soon find that most adults are happy to have young people come to them and help them learn these kinds of things.
According to www.girlshealth.gov, “remember that you deserve to make your own decisions about sex and not feel rushed or pressured.” You do not owe anyone sex. This is not something that you have to immediately do either. Sex that you do not agree with, or did not give permission to allow, is not consent. If you are ever in a position where this has happened to you, be sure to contact an adult. And always remember that it is never your fault.
As stated on www.teens.webmd.com, “continue to see your primary healthcare provider for regular checkups, so you can feel your best and have someone knowledgeable to go with your questions or concerns.”