He was a really sweet guy. For a couple of months we just kissed, but as the feelings got stronger, I knew the next level was coming up soon. That meant it was time to have The Talk. When I was younger, I ignored these signs, and just let whatever happens happen. I had never had THIS talk with any guy.
I never really thought I would actually talk about getting tested before having sex. (Let's be real, who wants to wait for the results?!)
But after years of working with teens, and watching my adult female friends deal with their unexpected pregnancies and sexual infections, this was the first time I actually mustered up the courage to have the conversation myself!!
As it turned out, he didn't mind at all, and we got tested together. He invited me into the nurse’s office to hear the results. it wasn’t comfortable by any means, even though he was very kind about it, but it was more “responsible” than I had ever been before.
I’m just trying to say I’m more familiar with the risks and consequences than most people are (thanks, Karen & Jim!) but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I finally asked someone to go get checked. I know that still didn’t mean we were completely “safe” or “protected” — but I also know that when my hormones are out-of-control, this is the best my brain can do.
I didn’t get any guidance on these things when I was young. It took my own efforts for 20+ years to finally grasp it in my 40s. If I had had Jim and Karen in my life when I was a teen, I’m not going to say that would have prevented all my poor choices, but I am convinced it would've saved me from multiple sexual experiences that I now wish I didn’t have! *~*~*
These days its fashionable to believe that teens will be able to process the complex data they are given about sexual consequences, and ding! suddenly be capable of having the “Let’s be Responsible” Talk. But the reality is, this conversation is difficult for adults, let alone teens with far fewer skills and life experience!
Even the invention of apps like “Check Mate” (which discreetly stores and provides the results of STD screening histories), still requires a person to rely on the truthfulness of their potential sex partner, someone whose main objective — let’s just call a spade a spade — is to use you for sex.
“Use” doesn’t mean “abuse.” This person might use you nicely, and provide adequate or fair compensation emotionally, financially, romantically, etc. But the cold hard truth is it IS a sexual transaction. And having years of “sexual transactions” is unlikely to be the kind of training that will produce “happily faithfully in love forever.”
The only proven and effective training for “happily faithfully in love forever” is the ability to control impulses and become “other-centered.” And there’s no “app” for that!