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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Theory about teenagers and sex (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Theory about teenagers and sex
cheiros do ender
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I had a discussion with her in which I asked her what her position was on head jobs and hand jobs (she's 14). She said she'd probably give one in the future. I said yuck. She got angry at me (not going into all she said so you can just assume I'm bias about that bit). I gave her reasons why I thought she should't do it. She kept trying to change the subject.

I asked her if she thought it would be a good idea because it would make her more popular. She said "Of course it would". Then i realised she wasn't anything like the person I thought she was. That was the worst part. All that time we'd talked, the only time she'd listened to me was when I was trying to cheer her up. She said in that very conversation that I argue too much and she just agrees all the time to shut me up.

I blocked her (MSN). No much later I thought we could still be friends and asked her if that was alright. She replied with that. I'm never talking to her again. Instead I came to hatrack to discuss this. Must admit I didn't do a very good job at explaining what I meant (that it only applied to a specific group). Sorry about that.

quote:
Are you saying you don't want to be friends with people who have sex for, what you consider, the "wrong" reasons?
No I have plenty of friends who I believe have sex for the "wrong" reasons. But I won't be trying very hard to achieve the give and take that would be required in such a difference of views between teenagers. That works for me because I really only want a small group of friends at the moment.

I know that sounds snobby, but I quit high school so I have do a lot more to set myself up for a successful future. School, academically, was easy for me. With my current situation I just don't have the time to keep up with that many people.

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camus
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I'm actually more inclined to believe that the reason teenagers do not have sex (or at least postpone the experience) is because of peer (societal) pressure. The body starts telling us at a very early age that it is ready for sex. So what keeps everyone from going around having sex at the age of 13? I suspect the main cause is societal pressure, especially when you consider that marriage and childbearing at the age of 13 was not always abnormal.
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El JT de Spang
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I don't ever think that waiting to have sex is a bad idea. If you think you're not ready, you're most likely right.

My only problem is when people who haven't had sex decide that everyone else should follow their lead, because waiting until marriage is better. If you haven't had sex, you don't really have any personal frame of reference for whether or not it's better to wait. Better than what? Better than getting pregnant, surely. Better than getting an STD, too. But beyond those two, you can easily limit the risks from sex. The objections I mostly see from the 'wait until marriage' folk are concerns about the emotional well-being of making a rash decision. Which varies a tremendous amount from person to person.

So I don't see how "everyone should wait until marriage" is good advice. Some people probably should, and most people probably won't.

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katharina
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I know many won't. That doesn't change my reasons for thinking that waiting is better, for everyone.
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kmbboots
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And in my case, you would have been very wrong. Just as I would be wrong to think that you would have been better off if you hadn't waited.
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lem
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quote:
That was the worst part. All that time we'd talked, the only time she'd listened to me was when I was trying to cheer her up. She said in that very conversation that I argue too much and she just agrees all the time to shut me up.
I applaud only wanting a small number of friends. I have very few friends, and my best friend (apart from my wife) lives out of state. Who are your friends and why they are your friends is purely personal and you are correct in doing what works for you.

That being said...

From the above quote, it sounds like you haven't been a good friend. It sounds like you are dismayed because your friend doesn't change and take your advice. She only listens when you cheer her up.

If she is just agreeing to shut you up then maybe there is something to what she is saying. On the surface it sounds like you need some introspection.

Of course this is a superficial communication. What do I really know about the dynamics of your relationship? If you are upset because she only uses you to cheer her up and she offers nothing to the relationship, then what I said doesn't apply. But it reads like you are trying to make her into something you believe in--and that is leading to arguments, you being hurt at her not letting you shape her, and her just nodding to "shut you up." <-- her words, not mine!

It sounds like your needs are about fixing someone else and not about getting your own form of emotional support. I certainly would never consider someone a friend whose interest in our friendship is based him/her on trying to mold me into what/how they think I should believe and/or behave.

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camus
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It's hard to think clearly and always see the big picture at the young age of 14. I think not having a clear understanding of one's reasons for making certain choices at the age of 14 is quite understandable. I think the bigger mistake is to judge someone and to completely cut them out of your life because of a difference of opinion, one that might change in year or two. After all, how many people are the same person at 20 years of age that they were at 14?
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Amanecer
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camus, I just want to say that I've really come to respect you in the past month or so. This isn't targeted to one thread in particular, just a general feeling that I've had. [Smile]
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password
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Everything else aside, it is disturbing to hear that a 14 yr old say "it's just head", even in hearsay. I'm sure it's not uncommon, but that doesn't make it good.

edit: In fact I'd say the more common it is the worse it is, probably.

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dkw
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quote:
I had a discussion with her in which I asked her what her position was on head jobs and hand jobs (she's 14). She said she'd probably give one in the future. I said yuck.
She probably will. It might not be for awhile -- she might even wait until she's married, but chances are good that at some time in the future she will engage in one or both of those activities.

And I absolutely do not understand the tactic of discouraging early sexual behavior with the idea that it's "yucky." Does it magically not become yucky when you're older/have better reasons/get married?

Edit: And I think she was absolutely right to try to change the subject. Why are you so interested in her attitudes/opinions about sex anyway? Considering your claimed age and considering that she's 14, I'd say it's absolutely none of your business and completely inappropriate for you to ask her about it.

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cheiros do ender
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quote:
Originally posted by camus:
I'm actually more inclined to believe that the reason teenagers do not have sex (or at least postpone the experience) is because of peer (societal) pressure. The body starts telling us at a very early age that it is ready for sex. So what keeps everyone from going around having sex at the age of 13? I suspect the main cause is societal pressure, especially when you consider that marriage and childbearing at the age of 13 was not always abnormal.

How about the complication of it not just being sex. These girls are friends. I don't want to have a relationship with them. I've loved three girls in my short romantic life.

The first was a great friend I liked from the start (first day of high school, first year 8 not from my primary school I met) and I knew I liked her from then. I was too shy then though and later she became too much of a friend. I still liked her for quite a while, on and off, but I didn't want anything other than a friendship with her. I really don't think a relationship would've been better. She was the one who agreed to go out with me if I pulled her name out of a draw, which i did, and then I declined (if anyone remembers me saying that).

The second I've known since I was 10, and lives around the street. I don't know what made me fall for her, but I did, asked her out and she said no. I lost interest in girls for a while.

Then my current (and first) girlfriend came into my life and we're getting married next year. I knew I liked her the moment I met her too, and wasn't willing to let it become just a friendship. It paid off. [Big Grin] I know I made the right decision not to have a serious relationship with another girl (though if the second one had worked out I'd probably be saying the same thing).

Please don't construe this as me thinking any less of people who act/think differently. I keep trying to explain what I mean, and even rereading my own posts realise I suck at it.

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Olivet
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I don't think I would advise someone to make most of the decisions I made, including the ones I think were the best.

I seem to remember telling someone that I didn't think she should abandon her religion for a relationship (even though that is essentiially what I have done, without a whiff of regret, mind you) because I believed that person would regret it.

So, what is best for one person isn't always best for someone else. More people should realize this.

Also, a lot of people who did not wait for marriage (with or without regrets) still advocate waiting.

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Bob_Scopatz
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cheiros...

Part A:
It sounds to me like you gave up on some of your old friends because you didn't like the fact that they are sexually active.

Part B:
It also sounds like you couldn't keep this to yourself.

Part C:
You correspond with a 14 year-old girl asking for intimate details of her sexual behavior.

Part D:
You got angry when that girl changed the subject AWAY from intimate sexual details.

I'm getting a really weird impression of you at the moment, young man.

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cheiros do ender
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"Part C:
You correspond with a 14 year-old girl asking for intimate details of her sexual behavior.

Part D:
You got angry when that girl changed the subject AWAY from intimate sexual details."

Thing is I've never really thought of her as that young. I first talked to her when I was 15/16, and she said she was 15. It was a long time before I found out she was two years younger than me. I shouldn't have asked her a question that I probably wouldn't even ask a 16 year old girl. It was something in my life to do with someone else I'm not going to talk about here, but that's no excuse. If she ever talks to me again I'll keep that in mind, Bob.

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Sterling
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I'll just say that I didn't wait until marriage but did wait until I was well and truly in love and don't regret that. I *am* glad I didn't have sex at the first opportunity presented.

Other than that, I seem to be incredibly in accord with kmbboots, who is saying much what I would quite eloquently.

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pH
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I agree that telling people that sex is vulgar or yucky or dirty is a very, very bad way to go about things.

I'm living proof; I can't read or hear ANYTHING about pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases without having to wash my hands. A lot. I go through a mental struggle in many restrooms because I'm afraid that I will contaminate myself somehow in the process of using them. I constantly struggle with the feeling of being DIRTY, at least partly because I do have sexual urges. Logically, I know that this makes no sense, but I can't seem to convince myeslf of it.

If fewer teens were told that sex is a dirty thing, maybe they'd be more likely to educate themselves about diseases, emotional consequences, and whatnot. And maybe if sex wasn't so forbidden, it wouldn't be as much of an issue with teens.

-pH

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lem
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cheiros do ender, you're a boy? I thought you were a girl. Eeek!! I second what Bob_Scopatz said. I thought this was in reference to girlfriends of about the same age talking together.

All of this talk reminds me of Sharon Stone advocating oral sex to an underage girl. The girls is 14. I can't find the website that told her age.

How low is it to wait for a parent to walk away and then advocate oral sex to an underage person? If I were there parent I would press charges--surely there is some legal recourse a parent can take when an adult advocates sexual activity to a minor.

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cheiros do ender
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Okay, (about the Sharon Stone link) is there anyone here who doesn't think that's yuck? And why is the Paris Hilton porn tape thing available for anyone to download on there mobile here? Wouldn't she have to authorise that?
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Xaposert
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quote:
If you haven't had sex, you don't really have any personal frame of reference for whether or not it's better to wait.
I don't think that's true. Most people know some people who have chosen to have sex at a young age, and it's certainly possible to observe the way it impacts them. While you cannot judge how good the experience itself is, at best it is still just an experience that lasts for a very brief time. Thus to say one cannot make judgement calls about sex without having experienced is not any more true than saying one cannot make judgement calls about whether or not one should use crack without having used it.

Almost without exception, those that I know who engaged in premarital sex as teenagers claim it was a good thing, but from observing them you can usually tell it has negatively influenced them - some to a lesser degree, some to a greater degree. Usually it is not in the extreme forms of unwanted pregnancies and STDs. Usually the negative influence comes in the form of: distorted views of relationships (looking for a realtionship to get sex), disrupted relationships, misplaced priorities, disrespect for the other gender, a reduced ability to enjoy themselves when sex isn't involved or implied, etc. To put it simply, I think not having sex makes life easier if you are not married - especially for a teenager. I remember that even in college, you could almost see visually the difference in the way they acted, the way certain attitudes were distorted, and how certain aspects of their life grew more complicated.

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fugu13
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From what I understand, the guy in the tape owns the copyright since he was the one who made the tape with her consent, and licensed it in a contract with a company, though he's since denied that. The contract has been made public, though, and it appears he most certainly did (I don't know if the court case has finished yet).

IOW, its likely available quite legally.

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pH
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:
Almost without exception, those that I know who engaged in premarital sex as teenagers claim it was a good thing, but from observing them you can usually tell it has negatively influenced them - some to a lesser degree, some to a greater degree. Usually it is not in the extreme forms of unwanted pregnancies and STDs. Usually the negative influence comes in the form of: distorted views of relationships (looking for a realtionship to get sex), disrupted relationships, misplaced priorities, disrespect for the other gender, a reduced ability to enjoy themselves when sex isn't involved or implied, etc. To put it simply, I think not having sex makes life easier if you are not married - especially for a teenager. I remember that even in college, you could almost see visually the difference in the way they acted, the way certain attitudes were distorted, and how certain aspects of their life grew more complicated.

And I know PLENTY who haven't experienced these effects. "Misplaced priorities" meanin what, exactly? No one can tell one way or another if someone has had sex. I can guarantee you that; when I still lived on campus, EVERYONE thought that I was quite sexually active...and I most assuredly wasn't.

-pH

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Xaposert
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Misplaced priorities refers to allowing a desire for sex to overshadow more important priorities, particularly long-term priorities. For instance, sacrificing a friendship for sex. Or even, not to mention any specific examples, sacrificing one's relationship with one's roommate in order to have sex. [Wink]

And no, you can't tell one way or another if someone has had sex by looking at them.

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Shanna
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I'm kinda with Sterling here. I'm always so surprised that people assume there has to be two camps: the "teen sex is okay" folks and the "wait til marriage" group. What about something in the middle? I don't think teenagers should be having sex. I'm 20 and when I think back to my high school years, I hardly recognize myself. We've all heard the studies about how teenager's brains aren't fully wired for decision-making yet. I think its important for a person to take responsibility in steps. Drive first, go away to college and be independent, then you can worry about longterm risks to your physical/mental well-being. People shouldn't take on the dangers of disease, pregnancy, and emotional trauma if they don't know how to pay rent or budget their lives.

As for sex being "dirty," I think there's a difference between "diseased-dirty" and "morally-dirty." pH says she falls into the first category, but I suffered from the latter. My family is not very religious but I did hear alot in school, media, television, books, movies, magazines, etc about how women are "used" and treated as objects in sexual relationships. I felt guilty and stupid for allowing myself to become vunerable.

I'm all about educating and discouraging sex in teenagers, but I also worry about the longterm effects. There's a whole lot of "sex is bad" messages being given to teens rather than "sex for teens" is bad. Putting too much negativity on the act, rather than the age of the participant, is setting up problems for everyone, even those who choose to be responsible and wait.

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TomDavidson
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quote:

And no, you can't tell one way or another if someone has had sex by looking at them.

I'm curious, Tres, how then you were able to detect the ones who'd had sex in sufficient numbers to use the phrase "almost all."
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pH
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quote:
Originally posted by Shanna:
I'm all about educating and discouraging sex in teenagers, but I also worry about the longterm effects. There's a whole lot of "sex is bad" messages being given to teens rather than "sex for teens" is bad. Putting too much negativity on the act, rather than the age of the participant, is setting up problems for everyone, even those who choose to be responsible and wait.

Exactly. I don't think teens need to have it hammered into their heads that they should never, ever, EVER have sex because sex is an awful, disgusting, wrong, or dirty thing. Granted, not all teens who are taught that sex is dirty will make the leap to sexual contamination like I did (and that, unfortunately, started when I was eight...and became terrified that I was pregnant). But here's something I've never really understood about teaching teens that sex is wrong:

There isn't some magical moral switch in your head that's flipped when you say "I do." I think emphasizing the wrongness or dirtiness of sex is likely to create problems even if the person DOES wait until marriage. I mean, you've had all this stuff thrown at you about purity and not defiling your body or that of your beloved...that seems like the kind of thing that would be hard to suddenly let go of on the wedding night.

-pH

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password
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quote:
Originally posted by pH:
There isn't some magical moral switch in your head that's flipped when you say "I do." I think emphasizing the wrongness or dirtiness of sex is likely to create problems even if the person DOES wait until marriage. I mean, you've had all this stuff thrown at you about purity and not defiling your body or that of your beloved...that seems like the kind of thing that would be hard to suddenly let go of on the wedding night.
-pH

well put.
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Swampjedi
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I second that (what password quoted).
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Xaposert
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quote:
I'm curious, Tres, how then you were able to detect the ones who'd had sex in sufficient numbers to use the phrase "almost all."
"Those who I know who engaged in premarital sex as teenagers" is what I said - and that refers to friends of mine who either told me or who I in some other way found out they were having sex.

quote:
There isn't some magical moral switch in your head that's flipped when you say "I do."
I don't think the "wait till marriage" has to do with your head. I think it has to do with the fact that you are then committed to one permanent relationship. That solves most (not all) of the complications that usually arise from sex.
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pH
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But Tres, if they hadn't told you, you couldn't have been sure. There really isn't any indicator, one way or another. People that I'd been friends with for quite some time had no idea that I was a virgin until someone else made it public knowledge. Guys I DATED had no idea, as long as they didn't press the issue. The thing is (I started a thread with this title long ago), "virgin" is not a personality trait. It's not something you can see in the person's face, and it's not something that you can necessarily determine from his or her actions or lifestyle.

-pH

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Peek
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i have hung out with the worst of the worst and I was never once "peer pressured". i think it's bull. i always did what i wanted to, not what my friends suggested i do. i dont know if its just because my peer group was druggies and goths, but they never pressured me to do one thing. so chill dudes. start thinking for yourselves if youre still in high school and if you are getting peer pressured, your friends aren't friends.

Dude [Cool] peekaboo

Yeah.

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Peek
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...and sex isn't evil, so chill my dudes. i dont care how old you are, if you are doing it for the right reasons (your own personal reasons) and being safe about it, you aren't a bad person or someone doing a bad thing. just be yourself, do it for yourself and the right reasons for you, and protect yourselves.

Dude [Cool] peekaboo

Yeah.

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Xaposert
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quote:
But Tres, if they hadn't told you, you couldn't have been sure. There really isn't any indicator, one way or another.
Yes, I agreed with that. You can't tell whether or not someone is a virgin by looking at them.

But that doesn't mean having premarital sex (particularly as teenagers) doesn't potentially alter one's behavior or attitudes in negative ways.

quote:
if you are doing it for the right reasons (your own personal reasons) and being safe about it
1. A "personal reason" is not necessarily a right reason. "Because one wants to make their ex-girlfriend jealous" is a personal reason - that doesn't make it a right reason.

2. You aren't being safe about it unless you are married or equivalently committed to a single relationship. Otherwise most of the dangers are present.

[ April 01, 2006, 07:55 PM: Message edited by: Xaposert ]

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pH
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POTENTIALLY, any number of behaviors could affect someone in negative ways.

-pH

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:

But that doesn't mean having premarital sex (particularly as teenagers) doesn't potentially alter one's behavior or attitudes in negative ways.

Or positive ways.

Sex is a powerful, powerful gift. Anything that powerful has its dangers. You can never make sex "safe". Even if you are married.

But it is a good gift. To deny its goodness carries its own potential for hurt and perversion. And rather than preparing us to face both the dangers and the joys of sex, it makes us afraid and confused.

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Xaposert
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How so? What great positives does premarital sex contribute to one's life in the long run that it is worth the dangers and problems inevitably associated with it?

I've been told doing drugs is a great experience too, and that I shouldn't deny it's goodness. But I'm inclined to believe something needs to offer more than a few brief moments of extreme satisfaction to justify far more permanent long term dangers.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:
How so? What great positives does premarital sex contribute to one's life in the long run that it is worth the dangers and problems inevitably associated with it?

I've been told doing drugs is a great experience too, and that I shouldn't deny it's goodness. But I'm inclined to believe something needs to offer more than a few brief moments of extreme satisfaction to justify far more permanent long term dangers.

I would imagine it contributes many of the same positives that sex between married people does, a physical expression of love, comfort, joy tenderness, intimacy, etc.

For some of us, all sex - premarital or not - does offer more than "a few brief moments of extreme satisfaction."

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Xaposert
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quote:
I would imagine it contributes many of the same positives that sex between married people does, a physical expression of love, comfort, joy tenderness, intimacy, etc.
Yes, but there are plenty of other safer and often longer-lasting means of expressing those same things. I suspect there's a problem if you need sex to express love, comfort, joy, tenderness, and intimacy in a realtionship. What's so uniquely valuable about sex that it's worth risking unwanted pregnancies, STDs, relationship troubles, etc. and that one would not be willing to wait until having a more permanent married relationship in which most of those problems are rectified?
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kmbboots
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Again, the same things that are uniquely valuable for sex in general. And marriage is not a guarantee against unwanted pregnancies, STD's or relationship troubles.

And not everyone gets married.

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Kristen
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quote:
What's so uniquely valuable about sex that it's worth risking unwanted pregnancies, STDs, relationship troubles, etc. and that one would not be willing to wait until having a more permanent married relationship in which most of those problems are rectified?
This really seems to be indicative of the attitude taught in most sex education classes eg. having sex creates a domino effect of bad consequences. It certainly can have significant consequences, but whether they are horrible, avoidable, or mangeable is an individual decision.

Most of those problems you mentioned are extremely unlikely to occur in mature healthy, trusting relationship in the first place: you can get tested for STDs, the two of you can have a policy about pregnancy, and if the relationship is stable, I'm pretty sure having sex would only make the two individuals closer.

Granted, the people in the relationship could be married, they could be adults who are not at that point in their lives when they want to marry, or they could be a homosexual couple in the deep south [Wink] . I definitely agree with kmbboots here.

X, those problems you mention are real, but they deal more with the character and maturity of the people involved rather than the status of the relationship.

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Xaposert
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If you are married you are generally capable of taking care of a child. If you are married you should know if your spouse has an STD. If you are married you are not going from relationship to relationship, so that issue is out. If you are married there is no risk of one-night stands. If you are married you can be pretty certain your physical expression of intimacy is matched by true feelings.

And if one doesn't marry, I don't see why they should think they should have sex anyway. I'm sure not getting married has benefits, but it also entails sacrificing the benefits of marriage. I don't think not having sex is the end of the world.

quote:
Most of those problems you mentioned are extremely unlikely to occur in mature healthy, trusting relationship in the first place: you can get tested for STDs, the two of you can have a policy about pregnancy, and if the relationship is stable, I'm pretty sure having sex would only make the two individuals closer.
I'm not sure the relationship is "stable" unless it is a marriage or something equivalent. Otherwise they can usually break up pretty quickly and easily, leaving things like children in the middle. And I'd think very few teenage relationships qualify as stable.
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Chungwa
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I'm a little surprised at this notion that premarital sex can only negatively affect the people doing it.

I said this earlier, but my sexual experiences have been very positive (I said only positive, which I suppose is making a rather large claim, considering how big of an issue sex is). I'm also not with the person who I first had sex with, so I'm not in some sort of "we'll be together forever" stage (I'm just speaking about myself here, I'm not saying people in their first relationship are naive).

I think this really gets back to different things working for different people. Sometimes I'm sure premarital sex can have very negative effects. But for some people it is an extremely rewarding and enjoyable (both physically and emotionally) experience.

Edit: So if someone doesn't want to get married they don't deserve to have sex?

That's a very interesting judgment.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:
[QB] If you are married you are generally capable of taking care of a child. If you are married you should know if your spouse has an STD. If you are married you are not going from relationship to relationship, so that issue is out. If you are married there is no risk of one-night stands. If you are married you can be pretty certain your physical expression of intimacy is matched by true feelings.


Those things are neither always true for married people, nor always untrue for unmarried people. Do you really think that married people don't have one-night stands? And my physical expression of intimacy is matched by true feelings.

quote:
And if one doesn't marry, I don't see why they should think they should have sex anyway. I'm sure not getting married has benefits, but it also entails sacrificing the benefits of marriage. I don't think not having sex is the end of the world.
I don't think it would be the "end of the world" either, but my life would be poorer. Why, exactly, should I deny myself and my partner that joy?
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Kristen
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Xapo:

I do think you are right in that married couples, by the nature of their relationship are in a far better position to deal with or avoid the consequences of sex than teenagers. However, as I have been saying, that depends on the individuals involved. There are many heart-breaking AIDs stories where a wife contracted it from her cheating husband and unwanted pregnancies when the couple was far too poor to support the child.

While, in general, teenagers are probably not as well-equipped to make the choice to have sex, there is no reason to assume that covers all of them.

Also: When you think of sex as being a benefit of marriage, realize that in most cultures, it wasn't. More specifically, for women it was a benefit of marriage but not for men. Complete purity of the male before marriage is a relatively new concept in mass culture (obviously, it differs with religion etc). It was ideal, of course, but not unacceptable if not. So if you think that sex is an intrinsic part of marriage that is obviously cool as it's your belief, but in no way is it a universal or historical standard.

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kmbboots
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(making a mental note of whom to invite to the next orgy)

Seriously, it seems as though people are making two assumptions here to which I most strenously object. That a) married sex is somehow magically "safe". Thinking that once you are married everything will automatically work out is dangerous. And b) that non-marital sex is necessarily careless, selfish, and empty of any deep or profound love.

[ April 03, 2006, 02:38 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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theresa51282
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quote:

And if one doesn't marry, I don't see why they should think they should have sex anyway. I'm sure not getting married has benefits, but it also entails sacrificing the benefits of marriage. I don't think not having sex is the end of the world.

I don't get this paragraph at all. Why should someone unmarried have to sacrifice anything simply because that thing is also enjoyed in a marriage? Because people in marriages share kissing does not mean that unmarried people can't have the same thing. I understand that not having sex isn't the end of the world but I don't understand why having or not having sex is not best made on an individual case by case basis rather than based upon broad generalities. Being unmarried does not equate to being promiscuous or irresponsible. I think with the ever increasing age of marriage, the notion that sex should only be for within a marriage is becoming quite outdated (although I understand religious reasons, I just don't think someone else's religion should effect how others chose to live their lives). I think a thirty something unmarried couple is on average any less equipped to deal with the consequences of sex then the straight out of college newlyweds. Furthermore, I think there are a lot of unmarried couples out there that I have a lot more faith in their ability to be faithful to each other than some married couples I know. The generalities just don't seem to work.
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pH
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The thing is, we idealize sex a lot. Just like we seem to believe that people will magically be able to flip the "sex is dirty" mental switch at the drop of a hat when they get married, we for some reason expect that sex is going to be some spectacular, moving event that changes the way one looks at the world and makes a relationship different and magical and starry-eyed fluffy unicorns.

I really don't think it is. Yes, sex is something that's very personal and should be approached with a respectful attitude. But I don't think that your whole world is suddenly going to change because you've had sex.

-pH

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