Knowing My Sexual Body
Our federal government
is currently pushing abstinence-only education (see teen
health in the news), promoting the ignorance of teens and young people nationwide.
How will we guard ourselves and our communities against sexually
transmitted infections or unintended teen pregnancies
if we can't speak honestly about sex? I made the decision to have sex as a teen
and it was my sex education that helped me understand and respect my fertility.
It was knowledge shared, not silence, that kept me from getting pregnant.
was seven when my sister taught me about the logistics of sex and babies.
I was ten when my mom told me sex is only for married people and exempted me from
sex-ed in the fifth grade.
I was twelve when I got my first
I was twelve when I learned about masturbation,
condoms and spermicide
I was thirteen when I kissed my first partner.
I was thirteen
when I learned about gay
sex in school.
I was fourteen when my sister told me about the teen health
center at our high school. They were great, she said, and I could get free
birth control there. She told me about the
pill and showed me the ones she was taking.
I was fifteen the first time
I was naked with a male partner. He kept his pants on and I didn't worry about
I was seventeen the first time I wanted to have sex. My partner
was my best friend. The first time we wanted to try, we couldn't find a condom
so he kept his penis out of my vagina. His semen landed on my thigh, but I was
still scared I might get pregnant.
I went to the teen health center at my high school the next day and got emergency
contraception. I took it in secret and I didn't get pregnant.
seventeen when I had my first pelvic exam
at the teen health center. It was the first time I talked to an adult woman about
sex and my body and my options. I told her I wanted to get on the
pill and she helped me. I bled a lot that month. A week after my period, I
bled from the emergency contraception, then I spotted from the pills, and I got
my period again. I had never been so aware of my
I was seventeen when I grabbed a handful of condoms
from the teen health center and tried to have sex. I was also on the pill. I remember
he had a hard time putting that condom on. He was a virgin too and we worked hard
that first night to get him inside me. We went to sleep exhausted and I woke up
unafraid. I woke up knowing I wasn't pregnant and that I loved the feel of our
two bodies in bed. Sex
is not just for marriage for me.
I was seventeen when I missed
a pill and took two the next day. I was seventeen when I thought my period
was supposed to come on the first green pill of my pack and it didn't. I was scared
I was pregnant and I was sure I would have an abortion,
sure I couldn't support a baby, go to college, or live the life I wanted to. I
was seventeen when my period came on the day of the second green pill and not
I was seventeen when I was accepted into college.
eighteen when I went to college and learned how to have safe
I was eighteen when I first had oral sex and decided to use
condoms every time I had sex with a man.
I was nineteen the first time I
kissed a woman.
I was twenty when I learned I could get emergency
contraception from pharmacies in Washington State and carry it just in case.
I was twenty when I performed my first self
exam and looked at my own cervix.
I was twenty when I first started to
use fertility awareness and condoms together.
I am twenty-one and a sexual person.
Abstinence-only education is
not what kept me from becoming pregnant. Knowledge about my body, my options,
and my goals has. Know your body. Know your rights.
is Power. Trust Teens to Decide.
Feminist Women's Health Center