Everyone’s got their guilty pleasure show. For some, it’s The Jersey Shore (ain’t Snooki lovable??). For others, it’s The Hills (watching Heidi and Spencer tumble into the depths of insanity from the comfort of my couch was simply wonderful). But for ME, it’s Teen Mom. That’s right, I’ve admitted it.
Few things are more enjoyable than watching teen relationships crumble, a new teen momma hitting up the clubs despite her mother’s warnings, and custody battles between two people who are barely past puberty.
Some argue that this show glamorizes teen pregnancy. They argue that it leads teens to believe that if they get pregnant at 16 years old, then “Eh, it’s okay. I’ll just call MTV and make a few hundred grand. No biggie”
Maybe this is true. Maybe it’s not. But it leads me to the topic of today’s post: sex. Specifically, society’s view on sex. Should us teens and young adults take it more seriously? Or do many of us take it too seriously?
Well, I think it’s both. You’ve got people on both sides of the spectrum – the people who liken sex with having a cup of coffee with a friend, and those that perform a background check on their partner before even sitting on the bed with them.
So how about we find a middle ground? Certainly we can’t have millions of girls lining up to audition for Teen Mom. But I don’t think we all need to practice abstinence until marriage either (stupid Topanga from Boy Meets World…setting the bar so high).
Here’s my take on it: in order to decrease teen pregnancy, we need to step out of the 1800’s and NOT teach abstinence-only in schools (ironically). In other words, the following should NOT be the curriculum:
Thanks Coach Carr, but no thanks. Teens and young adults are going to have sex, whether adults say they should or not. So we should teach them more about sex, and move beyond the fundamentals of this goes here and this is what gonorrhea looks like. I think the emotional side of it should be discussed more, to BOTH young men and women. The message should be sent that it’s not something you do with every Tom, Dick (hehe), and Harry, or with every Sally, Betty, and Jane. I believe you should be in a relationship with someone you love, who loves you back. You should feel mature enough to understand the emotional meaning that goes hand-in-hand with the physical act. And finally (and I think this is very important), you should be sure that whomever you are having sex with respects you (because that is part of having respect for yourself).
That being said, I don’t think teens/young adults should be given the notion that if sex doesn’t live up to their wildest dreams and every expectation, then their world will come crashing down around them and they will never be happy…EVER. AGAIN.
Because that’s not the way it is. I’m not saying that if you have sex with the wrong person or when you’re not ready, etc. you won’t feel upset over it. Cause you just may. But in the end, it will not be a tragedy if reality doesn’t play out to your fantasy. Yeah, sex should be an expression of love, but if you slip up and get down and dirty with your hot co-worker that you’ve only known for a few weeks, don’t drown yourself in Ben and Jerry’s for weeks on end. Or if you get a little too drunk and sleep with your ex who you were TOTALLY sure you were over, don’t seek out a hypnotist to help you find out if you still have strong, unconscious desires for him or her.
Or perhaps, unlike the person next to you who waits 6 months before even considering having sex with a person, you ARE okay with only waiting a few weeks. And it doesn’t make you feel worthless or disrespected.
This is an extremely long-winded way of saying: set standards for yourself. Standards will be a little higher for some, and a little lower for others. But if you set a standard appropriate for yourself, and you stick to it, you’ll be okay.
And THAT, Coach Carr, is how it’s done.