Being a sexually active teenager gets such a bad rep. Even so, my sexual debut at age 14 still makes my list of top sexual experiences of my life.
I learned a lot about myself as a sexually active teenager through good old fashioned trial and error; one of my favorite ways to experiment. I certainly knew much more than the teenage guys I engaged with that often got me labeled freak. I embraced the titled. Through my early experience I was able to direct and lead my own, unique sexual journey.
Now, I am a force to be reckoned with within the bedroom and beyond. I am a connoisseur of sex.
I’ve had beautiful sexual experiences from age 14 and even before then as I mentioned in my post Creating the Sexually Liberated Woman.
We don’t all operate on the same energetic frequency even at the same age. Access, exposure, and our ability to process affects the way we define the events of our lives. It’s important that we not define other folks experiences based on our own judgements, morals, and principles. Everyone should be allowed the space to do this for themselves.
I say this because when I mention having made my sexual debut at 14, there’s a jaw-dropping response without knowing a single detail of the encounter. Yet, I remain confident in the truth that I know something they don’t.
I was recently having a conversation with my granny and we talked about me as a sexually active teen. It was a very candid and refreshing conversation as I discussed with her where all the adults went wrong when it came to addressing the situation.
That conversation got me thinking about the things that might have made my journey as a sexually active teen a much safer one.
A few things I needed as a sexually active teenager. And none of this is up for debate as far as I’m concerned.
Age appropriate conversations about real life sex and relationships; educating through actual experiences
This would have been nice to have. I’m 33 years old and to this day not a single adult that ever had a hand in raising me has sat me down to educate me on the ins and outs of sex. Two kids later, it’s not something I’m expecting, but it was certainly something I deserved; someone to talk to me like I had enough sense to make decisions about my body, because that’s what I did anyway.
As a teenager, I practically ran our household as my mom worked long overnight shifts as a hospital nurse. I was a parent to my siblings, and I also managed to have really good grades, graduating with honors. In retrospect, I had a lot of responsibilities for a high school aged teenager. I never understood being responsible enough to undertake those duties yet being perceived as too naive to make decisions about my own body.
I needed in on all the other stuff, too. The being in love, the connection, the emotions, the unseen consequences, the beyond physical pleasures of sex.
Some space and privacy
I’m a writer. My deepest thoughts and feelings were often recorded on the pages of my journals, including the ones about sex. This often resulted in a total invasion and disregard of my person privacy which would end in fiery teenage rage and the destruction of trust and safety.
On one such occasion I was beaten for writing my thoughts and feelings about a boy I never kissed. As a teenager, I deserved the space to privately express my thoughts. I’m still unpacking all the trauma and misinformation from that experience.
An outlet/A mentor
If my journal wasn’t safe, then I certainly needed some other neutral outlet. As a teen, thoughts of sex can me powerfully overwhelming. That was certainly the case for me. More than anything, I needed guidance and direction, but because that wasn’t an option, I often had to lead on my own which turned out well for me. It could have been much better had I had someone whom I could confide in to help me make sense of what I was experiencing.
A clitoral vibrator/encouraging masturbation
At this stage, my curiosity of sex was more pleasure based than anything. Bottom line, I needed to feel good. Sex has never been about love for me. In fact, sex and love didn’t even come into play for me until I was 18 and actually fell in love. Go figure!
I didn’t masturbate much as a teenager because it was frowned upon. I did masturbate, though. As a teen, I mostly enjoyed clitoral stimulation and having access to non-penetrating sex toys would have done me a lot of good. There would have been a lot less risk taking on my part.
Comprehensive sex education including books about masturbation, sex, and sex toys
Like I mentioned before, the bulk of my interest in sex was curiosity; the mechanics, the pleasure, the purpose, the interaction. If there had existed a “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: Exploring Sex” book, I would have devoured it.
Even as an adult, it suffices me to know about things without ever having tried them. Comprehensive sex education might have saved both me and my parents the grief of teenage rebellion. Because it was the only thing I was rebelling in, jajaja.
Alone time with partners and a safe place to have sex
My mom gave me this option inside her home when I was 18. From a mental health perspective, this did me so much good. My boyfriend and I didn’t feel like we were sneaking. We took our time. We explored one another and we felt no shame to hide our use of condoms. I wasn’t on birth control, yet we spoke openly in regards to tracking my period and ovulation.
I taught him so much about himself. I felt trusted and that brought me so much peace of mind. Teenage angst completely subsided really and truly. My mother and I were able to cultivate a magical relationship from that point forward.
A parental escort with a loose leash- present mostly for protection and not control.
I enjoyed dating as a teenager. I still enjoy dating. What I didn’t enjoy is the way guys would attempt to coerce, pressure, and persuade me to do things I didn’t feel comfortable doing. This would often cause me to explode in anger and lecture. You’ll still get the same reaction to this day. Consent has definitely been on the list of top turn-ons.
Despite some negatives, I still wanted to date and having an adult nearby would have made for a more reassuring experience. I would have had back up in my initial “no”. With the stories I’ve heard, me saying no in the way that I did could have ended badly. Fortunately, this did not happen in my case.
I didn’t date much because peer pressure was a huge pet peeve for the same reason I rebelled against my parents; I have my own mind and I am capable of deciding for myself so get off my back. I certainly would have felt safer dating with a parental escort.
“I have my own mind and I am capable of deciding for myself.”
I don’t mean trust me not to have sex or engage in sexual activity. I mean, trust me to be able to make the best decision for myself in any situation. For the most part, that was a given.
It’s kinda crazy in retrospect because my mom really like most of the guys I choose for myself. She just didn’t want me to have sex at all which seems contradictory in my mind just cause I know myself.
A lack of trust, giving or receiving, wreaks havoc on any relationship. Knowing my mom trusted me was certainly reassuring and inspired a series of responsible decision making on my part. Funny how that works!
Friends I could talk to about sex
As surprising as it may seem, most of my friends weren’t sexually active.
In 11th grade I found a friend. We were the same age, in the same grade, and we were both sexually active. Oh what a relief that was. We’d talk about “skating” every fucking day in class and during lunch hour. We’d change names, but we’d keep all the details and it was the most magical thing ever.
It was a certain change from older girls talking at me about sex and from my parents lecturing and punishing me. I needed her at this stage in my life. We had a similar curiosity for sex. Where many of the girls around us seemed to be doing it for the guys they liked, we were definitely in it mostly for ourselves.
Being a sexually active teenager was not easy yet I absolutely enjoyed the experience. I understand that my parents did not know any better and I appreciate my mother for acknowledging that and apologizing. For that, I cannot use that same excuse for not being everything I needed as a sexually active teenager for my own children.
A friend of mine said to me, “I hope this turns out well for you, Victoria.” I am absolutely faithful that it will.
What does your teen need to be safer and have more support along their journey whether they are sexually active or not? Well that is something only you can be the judge of and a conversation worth having.