High School Senior

Friday, March 14, 2014


Dear Patrick: My boyfriend wants to go all the way and I am not ready. I offered to go a little further and have oral sex with him, but he turned it down as soon as he realized I expected him to get his face wet. I also wanted to use a condom. He says condoms are for wimps, and no real man with a big cock like his needs to use his tongue to satisfy a woman. “Besides, that’s just nasty,” he added, which made me feel really bad about my body.

            I told him we had to take a break because I was tired of all the arguing. It’s been almost two weeks since I saw him, and I just miss him so much. It seems like all I can think about is how nice it would be if we could be together and I could feel his arms around me. But then I remember what he said about me and I just feel sick to my stomach. I was offering to do something with him that I have never done with anybody else. To me, that was a big deal, but he just brushed it aside like it was nothing.

            If I try to talk about this with my mom, she will just freak out and tell me I am too young to have sex, then I will get grounded. She doesn’t understand that almost everybody in my class has already had sex, and they talk about it all the time. I get called “The Virgin” and guys tell me they won’t go out with me because I am “stuck up” or “uptight.” Other guys target me to see if they can score, and some of them have been really good at pretending they actually cared. My best girlfriend got dropped by her guy once she gave in, then everybody called her a slut. Meanwhile, he was some kind of big deal for getting his cock into her. He got high-fives, and she got hissed at in the cafeteria. That seems pretty unfair. You can only lose your virginity once, and I want to make sure I won’t regret it.

            I don’t know why guys put so much pressure on you for sex, sex, sex, but if they get it, they behave like they are angry and ashamed of you. Can you help me to navigate this stress?



High school boys can be big jerks, and grownup boys are often not so different. I firmly believe that men mature more slowly than women, so they won’t know the things that you have figured out and written about above until they are ten years older than you are now. Sad but true. Evolution has perhaps made women a little smarter than men so they can protect their children and hopefully keep the heroic impulses of men under control so they don’t get their noses broken or die before they win a chance to be revered as wise, white-haired village elders.

            These theories are, however, probably not much help for a girl who is lonely and wants her boyfriend to behave better. I empathize with your fantasies about getting back together with him. The question to ask yourself, however, is whether things will be any different than they were before. Has anything happened to change his way of thinking about your body and about sex? Or is he still selfishly focused on his own pleasure, even if it comes at your expense? I am very concerned, for example, about his refusal to use a condom. Other forms of birth control do not provide any protection from sexually-transmitted infections. Many young people think they do not have to worry about this because they have not had a lot of experience. But it only takes one time with an infected person to become sick yourself. This is why the rate of HIV infections among people 21 and younger is a scary statistic to look at.

            Because we live in a society where young men are encouraged to get as much sexual experience as possible and young women are told that if they have sex, they are trash, you have more at stake here than he does. You have more to lose. We also have to consider research that shows he will enjoy his first sexual encounters and you probably won’t. A guy who refuses to go down on his girlfriend is being the wrong half of a horse. On the icky scale, getting a mouth full of cum has to rate higher than gently tasting the less pungent or abundant moisture of an aroused vulva.

            I personally hope you will stick by the rules that you outlined in your letter. The first time a person has sex can shape their attitude toward lovemaking for the rest of their life. There is no way to guarantee that it will be a wonderful experience, but starting out by wanting a partner who is safe, respectful, kind, and madly in love with you is a good start. Being a teenager is rough because your hormones are kicking up like crazy. Nature probably wants us to reproduce as soon as we are able to do so. But we don’t live in caves any more. Young women who become mothers have severely limited options. A man who cares about you will want to protect you from unwanted pregnancy even if it means he has to give up some of his own pleasure and wear a condom. Birth control is the responsibility of BOTH partners, and until somebody is mature enough to have that problem covered, they are not mature enough to deserve an orgasm inside somebody else’s body.

            When it comes to your peers calling you The Virgin and hassling you about your standards, take their claims of sexual experience with a grain of salt. There are probably more sexually active teens in your school than the PTA would ever believe, but there is also probably a lot less sex than the jocks and cheerleaders are claiming. People want to fit in. If they are in an atmosphere where having sex is cool and not having sex makes you a nerd, they will lie and create an imaginary life where they are hitting it twice a day. Baloney.

            I think that if you can find a way to comfort your self when you feel lonely, you will get through this okay. Right now it might seem like your boyfriend is the only man who will ever care about you or be special to you. But if he won’t adjust his attitude and behave, he doesn’t deserve the risk he is asking you to take. For one thing, he needs to show you that he has the ability to empathize with other people. He is not the only person in the room. Sex changes a relationship. It takes it to another level. If he can’t empathize with you (see things from your point of  view), he isn’t ready to be intimate, no matter how many times a day he has to hide an erection with his geometry textbook.