What would you tell your 15-year-old self about sex and relationships today if you could go back in time? (Other than, say, to rethink whatever you had going on with those eyebrows?)
The folks at Planned Parenthood asked this very question on their Facebook page this week—and swiftly got over 800 responses.
Here are a handful of our favorite answers:
- River Phoenix is not going to call. Just date Steve.*
- You can say “no” even after you’ve already said “yes.”
- It’s ok to like boys and girl!
- Don’t settle. Don’t sell yourself short. You’re worth being treated with respect.
- Don’t compromise any part of taking care of yourself to make a relationship work. If it feels off, step away. You deserve to be respected and valued.
- Hahahaha fifteen year old me wouldn’t listen. I'd let him talk. He needed somebody to listen.
- Your virginity isn’t important, self love is. Having sex won’t make you better or worse of a person, it’s just another opportunity to explore yourself and what makes you happy.
- Not being attracted to anyone doesn’t mean anything. It’ll happen when and if it does. In the meantime, stop questioning whether or not you’re normal.
- No matter how bad they tease you, it’s ok to want to kiss her. Be yourself and make choices for yourself, not everyone else.
- Find a lube you like and use it every time.
- Don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable and remember that your needs matter too. A good partner will be just as excited about your satisfaction / happiness as their own. Anyone else isn’t worth it.
- Pssst: you're not straight.
* For those of you under the age of, say, 32, we can’t emphasize how excruciating this realization was for our collective conscious.
Jen Gerson Uffalussy is a regular contributor to Fusion. She also writes about reproductive and sexual health/policy for Glamour, and television for The Guardian. She lives in Atlanta.