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Saying no to sex

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In high schools everywhere, teens may be confronted with the idea of having sex with their partner before they're ready. They may not know just how to say no, though.

If this is happening to you, you must tell your partner what you feel. This is the most important time in a relationship to be completely honest with him or her.

When you do say no, be confident so that your partner knows you are serious. Don't be ashamed or embarrassed; stay true to yourself and your feelings.

Explain your reasons for saying no to your partner. Maybe you are not ready for sex, maybe you do not like the risk of pregnancy or maybe you do not want to have sex before marriage.

 List all of your reasons, no matter what they are, so your partner understands why you are saying no. If he or she does not accept your reasons, then your partner may not be the right person for you.

If you are curious about it but do not want to have sex yet, then tell your partner this. Let him or her know that just because you are saying no now does not mean you are saying no forever.

Your partner should not continue to pressure you after you say no. It is your body, and you decide what to do with it.

Do not let your partner say, "If you loved me, you'd do it." Instead, retort back, "If you loved me, you'd wait." Sex is not a test of your love for a person; saying no does not mean that you failed your partner or that you don't love him or her.

If you do say no, be firm. Do not say no and then try to calm the situation with romantic gestures because this just confuses the idea. You must draw the line so your partner gets the idea.

You do not have to have sex with someone just because you are in a relationship with him or her. If your partner tries to pressure you by threatening to break up with you, let him or her do it. No one should be in a relationship for sex. 

"The best discussion to have with your partner is about weighing the pros and cons of the situation, things like STDs and pregnancy," said Darlene McClure, a retired Scott High School health teacher.

"If they care about you, they'll care about you until you're ready," she continued. "When you start a relationship, [sex] is something you should discuss at the beginning. In the heat of the moment, your emotions would cloud your thinking."

If you do decide to say yes to sex, be sure to take the appropriate precautions, such as using condoms and birth control. STDs and pregnancy are always possible, so take steps to prevent them.

The bottom line is that your body is your own, so do not let others decide what you should do with it. And no matter what you decide, do not make the decision lightly. Do whatever you feel is right, regardless of what others think.


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