Sometimes it might seem like every teen is talking about sex and somehow, for both girls and boys, the pressure to lose it can be intense.
Carol (not her real name), recalls how she was tricked into losing her virginity at a young age. She narrates her true-life story.
“At school, I had three girls I considered to be my good friends, though all of them had boyfriends, I was single and intended to stay that way until I finished my secondary school.
“But before our senior three final exams, my friends set a day to lose their virginity and they spoke of it, as is if they were going to watch a movie. I told them I could not do such a risky thing just for fun. However, when they threatened to kick me out of the group I gave in. I was afraid of becoming an outcast, after all I was not the only one who was going to ‘lose it’, I consoled myself.
“Though I had no boyfriend, they hooked me up with a guy, it was like the pact I had to sign to be in their group and knowing that we were all going to do it reduced the pressure. However, after the awful deed, I learnt that the whole thing was a sham! I was the only one who was a virgin, and they were jealous so they plotted to make me be like them. Though I was hurt beyond words, I thank God I did not get pregnant or catch some STD or AIDS.”
Nobody wants to feel left out and it is natural to want to be liked and feel part of a group of friends. Unfortunately, some teens feel that they have to lose their virginity to keep up with their friends or to be accepted.
It does not sound like it is complicated; maybe most of your friends have already had sex with their boyfriends or girlfriends and act as if it isn't a big deal. However, sex is not something that is not only physical; it's emotional, too. Moreover, because everyone's emotions are different, it's hard to rely on your friends' opinions to decide if it's the right time for you to get engaged.
Having sex to impress someone or to make your friends happy or feel like you have something in common with them will not make you feel better about yourself in the end. True friends do not really care whether a person is a virgin or not; they will respect your decisions, no matter what.
Nevertheless, you also have to be alert that even if your friends are cool with your decisions. It is easy to be misled by movies or music videos into thinking that every teen is sexually active. However, teens should be mature enough to understand that movies are created by unreal characters and are mostly based on fiction.
Teens should remember that their ‘tomorrow’ depends on their ‘today’. The good news is that you have a choice. Choose to abstain from sex and study hard so that you have a better tomorrow.