Although not something that a lot of girls experience in high school (at least in their early years), it is something that a lot of girls think about. Even though the stigma is that guys are the ones who want sex, girls are just as eager for sexual experiences as well, although admittedly they are much more reserved and cautious about sexual experiences, especially when boys are involved. Here are my thoughts on sex.

Before going too far, it is important to realize that when I refer to “sex”, I am referring to a wide range of sexual activities. Yes, there is the most obvious example which is sexual intercourse, but even that has various categories such as oral sex or mutual masturbation. In addition, making out is another form of sexual activity that is definitely more prominent in high school than actual sexual intercourse. And even without any other person involved, you can still engage in sexual activity through masturbation. All of these are examples of “sex” and how they shape young girls’ lives, and I will touch on all of them briefly now.

As part of puberty, girls often realize the power of masturbation, if not learn about it through sexual education courses in middle school directly. For those of you who don’t know, masturbation is simply the act of touching yourself for sexual pleasure. And what is most important to remember is that masturbation is 100% safe and there are no long-term consequences of doing, even if you are doing it every day, or even multiple times a day. In fact, you should use masturbation sessions to learn more about your body and what turns you on personally. I would even suggest buying sex toys from Blissful Cherry to facilitate self-discovery (not to mention enhance the sexual pleasure received immensely). Masturbation is a springboard to all sorts of sexual activities that go beyond pleasuring yourself alone, so it is so important to take use masturbation as a way to discover more about yourself (at least for those who are actually looking to be sexually active in other ways).

The next step on the sexual ladder is making out with a significant other. And note that I explicitly mention significant other, because it is my opinion that in high school in particular, you should not be making out with just anyone. You should at least be boyfriend and girlfriend before doing anything sexual together. Boys and girls in high school are very emotional and inserting sexual activity in a relationship that is not defined more often than not causes feelings to emerge and general confusion and conflicting feelings and motivations between the two. Having said all of that, making out is generally completely harmless assuming neither of you have had sex yet. However, if that is the case, it is important to get tested for sexually transmitted infections.

If you and your boyfriend do stay together for a long enough time, making out will change into more sexually explicit activities – oral sex and mutual masturbation. The former is using your mouth directly on your partner’s genitals to pleasure them, while mutual masturbation is a similar genital pleasuring, but with the hands only. In both cases, this is a very huge step in the relationship that requires a lot of trust from both parties. Along those same lines, if you are not comfortable doing any of these acts, it is important to communicate that to your partner to keep yourself from doing something that your partner may want very badly, but that you may not want (at least not yet anyway). And if you have a partner who is pressuring you to engage in such acts, and he is not listening to you when you protest, you should really not be with him any longer. Guys must respect girls and any guy who doesn’t (especially when it comes to sexual activity) is a bad egg, plain and simple.

The last step in the sexual ladder is obviously actual vaginal intercourse, also known as real sex or losing your virginity. Just as the case was with the previous step, it is important to trust your partner and to not be pressured into having sex until you are absolutely ready. Guys in particular are typically much more eager to have sex (in part because it is harder to come by for them), so always be wary of guys’ intentions, even if they are your significant other and have been for a long time. As long as you take a cautious approach to sexual activity in general, particularly after you move on from masturbation, you can enjoy the inherent sexual pleasures to their absolute fullest. And always keep in mind that high school is just the start of your sex lives, so even if you don’t make it past the masturbation stage, know that plenty of good things are in store for you eventually.