In the public forum of high school gossip, what you learn about sex may oftentimes end up being completely wrong. But that’s okay, though. Fact Not Fiction is here, as the name suggests, to keep you in the know so that you can live your best (informed) life. Here are some things to keep in mind, now that you’re back at school:
No means no.
When you say no, and when someone says no to you, that means you stop what you’re doing. Whether it be touching, holding hands, kissing, or having sex. If you’re not down, you’re not down. If they’re not down, they’re not down. You have the right to speak up for yourself. Whenever you can, use that ability.
It’s likely condoms didn’t show up on your school-supply list. You should still, however, know what they are. You can use them and more to protect you against STIs if you choose to have sex. Remember, babies are not the only consequence to avoid when you’re having sex. Not every form of protection prevents disease; for instance, though the pill is a reliable form of birth control, it does not protect against STIs, including HIV/AIDS. And though you in general can’t get pregnant from oral or anal sex, you can still contract a disease.
So if you or your partner is on birth control, always use a condom, anyway. Yes, that includes your boyfriend or girlfriend each and every time. Keep it safe, boo.
Unlike prom tickets, concession stand food, and just about everything else, minding your business is free. Imagine that!
In all seriousness, bullying, posting revenge porn, and slut shaming cost much more for the victim emotionally, psychologically, and even academically than any of us could realize—and girls aren’t the only victims. None of us has any room to judge the next person for what they do or don’t get up to sexually. So if you think it’s cute to come for someone for having (or not having sex) it’s not. Worry about yourself.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t be an effective advocate for the people you trust and who trust you, especially if you think they might be in danger. (Effective, productive, kind-hearted, open-minded, good-intentioned) communication is key.
I know it’s hard to believe right now, but what you read will eventually show up for real-world use one day. (Like the Pythagorean Theorem. The shortest distance between two points is the hypotenuse. You literally get everywhere faster this way.)
At Fact Not Fiction, we’re always here for you, regardless of your age, gender, sexuality, or whether or not you’re sexually active. Whatever you do, with whomever, don’t do it in the dark. And ALWAYS make sure it’s done with consent.