Waiting Until Sex Ed
Originally Published: August 25, 2015
Revised: September 22, 2015
It was a bright and warm afternoon in June. Just like most days, my boyfriend and I were doing homework together. Sprawled out on the couch, his glasses dangling from his teeth as he squinted at his homework, my boyfriend was hard to resist. Laying my notebook down, I barely gave him a moment’s warning before initiating a make-out session. As we kissed, the same sparks I’d felt for the past two and a half years came alive in my mouth and in my head. All I could think was, Wow, I love you. And that’s when I pulled away and said, “I—I think I’d like to have sex with you.”
Instantly, I saw excitement grow in his eyes as he nodded, “I want to, too.”
My heart skipped a beat as he pulled me up to talk about pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), protection and the actual grand event, which wouldn’t occur for another entire month.
Our education in no way, shape or form encouraged us to engage in pre-marital sex; instead, it educated us on what our decision would mean.
Class First, Sex Second
A year earlier, my boyfriend and I were in similar position. There was a sort of friction between us, the-sparks-flying kind. We knew we were in love, and we knew we wanted to take that next step. There were just some reservations. Were we ready to deal with an unplanned pregnancy, should the situation arise? I was not on a hormonal form of birth control. Would condoms be enough? Would this strengthen our relationship? Or hurt it? While our bodies were ready, our minds weren’t. We knew we wanted to take that next step with one another but not just yet. So, we decided to wait…until marriage? No. Until health class.
According to Guttmacher Institute, only 22 states and the District of Columbia mandate comprehensive sex education. Unfortunately, we live in New York, which is not one of those states; fortunately, our high school is known for providing excellent sex education. My boyfriend and I were required to take health class at some point in our public high school career. We elected to take our class at the same time. And it proved to be just what we needed.
Sex education in our health class went over nearly everything—all forms of birth control, STDs, pregnancy, abortion, abstinence, you name it. As we learned, we began to conceptualize our own ideas about sex and how we wanted it. We didn’t want it as some spontaneous thing, but as something we knew a lot about. So, when it came down to it, we could simply focus on the special part of sex: being close to one another and taking the next step in our relationship.
The Power of Comprehensive Sex Ed
Educating yourself and your partner, whether it be through a health class like ours, talking to an adult or teacher, or going online, such as to Sex, Etc., can not only keep you safe and informed but can also strengthen your relationship. Equipped with all the facts, we made informed decisions about which protection to use and had discussions about which STDs we could still be exposed to as well as how we would react to an unplanned pregnancy. It reduced the pressures surrounding sex and answered all those questions swirling around in our heads.
When the day finally came (drum roll, please), it wasn’t perfect. Most of it was fumbling and awkward laughter. But we knew it would be like that. Waiting until health class and receiving the education we needed to have a healthy sex life made that first time and all the times after perfect in other ways. It was consensual, loving and informed. We knew exactly what we were getting into and what it meant for our relationship and at the end of the day, it made our relationship ten times better.
Our education in no way shape or form encouraged us to engage in pre-marital sex; instead, it educated us on what our decision would mean. We knew what we wanted, and we wanted to do it safely. Fortunately, we were lucky enough to receive that education beforehand. Otherwise, we may have gone into it blindly and uninformed.
To this day, we have no regrets.
*Ally is a pseudonym for an 18-year-old contributor who lives in New York.
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