For one, there are many ways to experience physical pleasure that do not involve having sex. Having sex will not make you mature. In fact, one of the key components of maturity is responsible decision-making.
Being an adult is much more about the choices you make and the values you establish than about isolated actions. But having sex is a brand new decision each time. The resistance our decision-making inertia comes up against is thought — thinking about the choices we make and why. In the article on Personal Agency, we discussed the importance of making decisions from within yourself.
Your decision to have sex should come from you. Intimacy Intimacy is a special feeling of closeness shared between two people. Most romantic couples strive for some level of intimacy in their relationships; this can be achieved through physical means such as sex, cuddling, kissing or hand-holding as well as emotional means, such as the sharing of thoughts, feelings and values verbally.
Intimacy can be a healthy reason to have sex, so long as the components of sexual readiness discussed in Part 1 are in play. If your partner is less committed to the relationship than you, you stand to get hurt if intimacy is your reason for choosing to have sex. However, in a trusting relationship where both partners reciprocate feelings and are emotionally mature, intimacy can be a healthy reason to have sex.
It should not be demanded in exchange for something else, such as the maintenance of a relationship.
The type of intimacy shared through sex may make a relationship stronger, but there is no guarantee of this. To be popular Just about everyone would agree, here and now, that popularity is not a healthy reason to have sex. However, the social pressure young people face makes this reason very tempting. Eighteen percent of teens in the survey above reported the desire to be popular as a reason for choosing to have sex.
First off, you should know that not everyone is doing it. Regardless of what others are doing, though, it actually has no bearing on your own emotional, physical and intellectual preparedness for sex. Good decision-making comes from within yourself and is not strictly determined by outside factors, such as what other are doing. Young women in particular may have heard that the first time is very painful, accompanied by the breaking of the hymen and a bunch of blood, making it seem like something best gotten over with.
Check out the article, The Hymen: A Membrane Widely Misunderstood , for clarification on the hymen myth. Check in with the components of sexual readiness in Part 1.
If the other person is having sex with you for, say, reasons of reputation, you stand to get hurt when your desire for love and a sense of worth fall through. While being respected is important, since it generally stems from behaving in a respectable manner, a true sense of self-worth must come from yourself. Any reason for not wanting to, then, is a good reason not to. The following are some common reasons young people choose not to have sex. Adolescence is a time of intense emotional, intellectual, psychological and physical development.
Not feeling ready means not being ready; feeling too young means being too young. Worried about what others will think At first glance, this might not seem like a very healthy reason not to do something given what was said above about the importance of making decisions from within yourself. However, part of sexual readiness is being emotionally prepared for the consequences of sex, one of which is how those you love and respect regard your choice.
A basic part of respecting others involves caring how they think and feel, and trusting their judgment. If you trust the judgment of parents, friends, mentors or other respected people in your life along with your own , then not wanting to disappoint them or strain relationships with them is a legitimate reason for waiting. If you believe that sex should be reserved for marriage, for someone you love, for people older than yourself, etc. There is a concern, particularly among relationships between young people, that this can lead to significant pain if the relationship ends, or if the other partner is not as invested in the relationship.
Protecting oneself emotionally is a fine reason to wait, or to choose not to engage in sexual activity again for a time. There are certainly other reasons for choosing not to have sex at a given time and place; the above are just some of the most common.