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Girl Regrets Having Sex
Q: I know that I'm not a parent, but I'm a teen, and I have a queston about sex. I found out a lot of kids at my school are doing it. I am ashamed to admit that I have also. I don't remember much of it, because it was at a party and my friend had bought some beer and I got drunk. I ended up having sex with some guy from my school I barely knew. I feel unpure and very dirty. Is there any where I can get help without my parents finding out? What do you think I should do?
A: I am sorry that you have been introduced to sex in this way. Feeling "unpure and very dirty" is certainly something you don't want to feel again, no matter how many other kids in your school are having sex. At a young age, you have discovered that having casual sex as if it were a drunken sport cheapens you. You wanted to be popular and accepted by your peers. You probably wanted to see what sex would feel like. Getting drunk caused you to disrespect yourself. Knowing why you treated yourself with such disrespect will help you make more mature, self-respecting decisions about sex (and alcohol) in the future. Now I think you can really appreciate how most girls say they would give anything to take back the first time they had sex. You will learn that sex in a mature, committed loving relationship is an important part of an intimate, caring relationship.
If you are concerned that you may be pregnant or are worried about having contracted a sexually transmitted disease, please call your area Planned Parenthood office - their number is in the phone book. They will counsel you and help you get any tests you require. I guarantee you that they will treat you with respect and compassion. I'd also like you to consider talking to your parent(s) about what happened. I know that you believe they will respond in negative and irrational ways. I know that you might feel shamed if you told them, thinking they would lose all respect for you. But they were teenagers too, tempted by the same things that caused you to make this mistake. If you could summon up enough courage, you could give them a chance to understand and to be supportive.. I know that's asking a lot of you but you may be very pleasantly surprised at how they will appreciate your courage and your confiding in them.
If you feel more comfortable talking with just your mom, maybe reading "Venus in Blue Jeans: Why Mothers and Daughters Need to Talk About Sex", by Nathalie Bartle, before you talk to her will help you discuss this incident and other sexual matters with her.
Please make the call that I suggested and get some counseling and support. There are more kids your age postponing sex than you might imagine. I know that you want it to be much more than what you experienced. Forgive yourself, get some, help and think about reading that book and talking with your mom. Thanks for writing.
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Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.