In this #MeToo era, I think it helpful if young women could be coached about boys, men and sex. Not some prim-and-proper Victorian lecture that would meet with parental approval, but a blunt, plain-spoken view of life in general and males in particular.
First, ladies, it is important to know that most boys and men you meet will be lovely human beings; kind, thoughtful, respectful. In my nearly-eighty-years, I have had many male friends, lovers, husbands, brothers, and three amazing sons. I like men.
But there are other kinds of boys and men out there – from the stupidly selfish to the outright predator – and you cannot safely go about with the blind expectation that everyone is good. Today I want to offer a few pieces of advice regarding teen dating, but the lessons here will serve you throughout life.
- When I was a teen, books on sexuality were kept under lock and key at the library and the aged librarian would not let girls check them out unless we were engaged. You do not have that restriction. Read all you can about your body, the male body, sex, pregnancy, STDs, etc.
- Boys and young men – those who are good at their core and those who are cads – are driven to some extent by their sexual urges. Many of them will tell you anything in order to have sex. Tell them “no” and watch the reaction. You will see the true measure of who they are.
- Girls and young women often are driven by a need to love and be loved. That makes you vulnerable to sexual advances. What you may interpret as love and affection from a boy may well be his desire to have sex with you – or his desire to have sex with any available young thing.
- Girls and boys have a different sexual response. Boys first learn how to please themselves and are often quick and selfish. It takes time for a boy to mature and to learn how to please a partner. Girls respond more slowly and are often too hesitant to make their own demands.
- “Friends with benefits” is a marketing ploy where the benefits mostly accrue to the boy. For the girl, it rarely represents satisfactory sex, never provides emotional payoff, and delivers all of the same risks of any form of casual sex – STDs, pregnancy, social stigma.
- Sex is not limited to marriage, although it should not begin too early – before emotional development has caught up with the physical. Girls benefit most when intimate contact is limited to a caring relationship that reflects respect, one for the other, and guards against risks.
- While there has been advances in the last 100 years, we still live in a patriarchal society. Do not buy into that notion that men are superior. You are equal to every other human, male or female. You are important; you have rights; and you were not born to serve or service men.
- You will receive unwanted advances from males throughout your lifetime. You need to believe that “no means no” and act accordingly. Speak up – if the young man has broken a trust you have no obligation to keep quiet, protect their feelings. You are the wronged party, not them.
- In addition to overly-eager teens, you will also encounter boys and men with predatory urges. Do not place yourself into risky situations; learn how to safely extricate yourself (law enforcement often has classes). Importantly, do not protect the offender whoever they are; report abuse.
Heavy stuff, yes. But if you are aware and savvy, then you can make the best choices as you navigate life and sexual liaisons. Circling back to my earlier note, remember, most males are good people. It is very possible to develop mutually kind and loving physical relationships with them. Your best life skill is in identifying these lovely boys and men and staying clear of the bad boys.