Teens Text Sex
Do you ever wonder what other teens think about sex and relationships? Do you have questions about sex but don't know who to ask? Like you, many teens never talk about their worries and concerns because they're afraid of looking silly, uncool, or inexperienced. Many teens don't know who to turn to and ask these important questions.
For these reasons, a teen text line was created in Alexandria, VA through the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP). Teens like you can ask their questions anonymously (that means they do not have to reveal their names or identity) and they will be answered within 24 hours. This book, TEENS TEXT SEX, takes all the questions that have been posed to the hotline and offers them, along with their answers, in the following categories:
Sexual Decision Making
Birth Control and Preventing Pregnancy
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Teens use text messaging more than any other age group. They do way more text messaging (fifty texts a day) than they make calls on their cell phones (eleven calls a day). TEENS TEXT SEX is written in text-message language to hold true to the questions from the text line. Answers involve medically accurate information on sexuality and relationships. Brief information is provided for those who want more facts than provided in the question and answer format. You may want to apply some questions to yourself after reading a particular chapter.
The information in this book is for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. It is meant to help guide discussions not replace talking to a counselor, doctor, or other professional.
Chapter One: Relationships
Question: My boyfriend doesn't ever call me. And I always have to call him first. I've told him before, but he still does it.
Being involved in romantic relationships is fun and exciting, but it can be complicated and confusing as well. Teens on the text-messaging line want to know about going out with someone they like. Our advice is to first get to know a person before deciding whether to date him or her. But how do you get to know someone? What do you talk about? A good guideline is to talk about whatever you might have in common. If you go to the same school or are in the same class, you can talk about that. If you share a class, you can talk about the material you're learning, homework, the teacher, the classroom itself, or the way people in the class act. If you are in different classes or grades, you can talk about sports or school-wide events, people you know, or what's happening around you in the halls.
Teens also wonder what they should expect from their partners when they're in a relationship and how to ask for what they want. In general, you should try to be open about what you're feeling and what you want from the relationship. You have to listen to your partner's perspective too. For example, your boyfriend may not like talking on the phone. Even though you want him to call more, he prefers other ways of being in touch. In a relationship, it's helpful to talk about these types of problems and try to compromise when possible. But if your partner doesn't change or try to compromise with you, maybe he/she isn't that interested in what you want. And you deserve more than that.
There are a couple of basic guidelines about how to communicate with your boyfriend or girlfriend:
As much as possible, talk from an "I" position ("I like when we talk on the phone." or "I feel hurt when you give your number out to other girls.") rather than blaming ("You're no fun.").
Be specific about the behavior you'd like changed ("I'd like it if you called me twice a week." rather than "Why don't you call me more often?").
If you want your partner to listen to what you have to say, make sure you give that person the same respect by listening to what he or she has to say as well.
Another big part of relationships involves love. You may wonder what loving another person or being in love is like and how you can tell the difference. Loving someone means that you care for them a lot, that you will be there for them, and you hope they will be there for you. You want the best for that person. You feel happy and comfortable being with the other person. Being in love includes those things but also involves physical and sexual attraction, feeling a close bond, and, hopefully, commitment.
Trust is an important part of a relationship, but sometimes teens are unsure whether to trust the person they are with. Teens often have both girls and guys as casual friends, and this can cause distrust or jealousy. Insecure teens may not trust their partners, or the other person may actually be flirting or cheating. Sometimes it's hard to tell, but if the person denies doing anything and you have no evidence of anything different, then accept what he/she is saying, unless something tells you differently.
The text message questions and answers that come up on the teen text message line about relationships include:
Starting a relationship
Expectations of behavior in a relationship
What is love?
Parental disapproval of a relationship
Where to go for more support