Thursday, September 20, 2012

Kreag - 15 Year-Old Male On Sex In American Culture

 Kreag's review of The Virgin Diaries on his blog I Devour Books

In this day and age, sex is everywhere.  In our music, in our books, in our T.V. shows; we see sex everywhere.  It is thrown in our faces from every angle; it is something that you can’t go a day without hearing about.  And it is not just in places where mature teenagers or adults will see it; it is in places where even children will see it.  I remember being a child, and there was not nearly as much sexual influence out there as far as I can remember.  But even now, putting on a channel like Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon, there are sexual references that honestly do not belong anywhere on a children’s network.

A perfect quote I think for this situation would be from the song “Sex Yeah” by Marina and the Diamonds.  The song as a whole is about how everything in our society has become sexually influenced.  “Nothing is provocative anymore, not even for kids.  No room for imagining, ‘cause everyone’s seen everything.”  And it is so true!  Half the shows you see on T.V. have scenes that are just too much,  and I think overall it just conveys a bad message.  Yes, I am fine with a fade to black scene every now and then, but when two characters are writhing all over the bed at least once per episode, I think it’s a bit excessive. 

I think sex should be something special.  A lot of the stories in The Virgin Diaries were from people who told how they wished they had waited for the right person, or waited to make it special.  That is also my view on sex, but sadly the view on sex of our society has seemed to have changed just because everything people see on T.V. and hear on the radio.  People act is if having sex will raise their social standing, and at some points, it almost becomes a double standard.  If you haven’t had sex, you aren’t cool, but if you have had sex, you are “just a slut” or as something equally as mean.  We see it in our television shows, we hear it in our music, and we see it when interacting with other people.

I know the situation probably won’t change any time soon, but there is always hope.  I think the sex just needs to be toned down.  There is so much good music out there that ISN’T about sex, but it really doesn’t get as much attention as the more sexual music.  Not every T.V. show needs a sex scene to make it entertaining.  If the people that made music, television shows, and even writers of novels on some occasions realized this, I think the view on sex as a whole would be a lot more conservative and maybe people wouldn’t have such a carefree attitude towards it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mom And 13 Year-Old Daughter Talk About Sex

Trinity 13    
I’m a virgin with thoughts of staying a virgin until I’m married. Part of me waiting is because of my parents. Another reason is that I’m very conservative of my body and I don’t want just anyone seeing it. I have had a conversation with a friend who has had sex and even has a child. She is the same age as me. When she described to me how things felt, it instantly turned me off. I thought it sounded disgusting. She also said that she wouldn’t have sex with just anyone. She told me that they had sex because they cared about each other. Her boyfriend is still with her and helps take care of their baby boy.
TV series, movies and even books in my library exaggerate how great sex is supposed to be. Personally, I think they should emphasize having fun and hanging with friends. Most of my friendships don’t go well when the girls are boy crazy. It’s kind of hard to joke around and be silly when all they want to talk about is boys and serious things. Many people do have their own perspectives and I do respect them. I still keep true to my own thoughts though.  

Suraya - Mom

Virginity and sex. Hmmm, what can I say? People place so much emphasis on sex; parents tell us not to have it, friends say it’s the coolest thing since sliced bread and the media tells us how deplorable it can make a person.

Looking back on my life I wish I had waited because it is the one thing you give to another person that you can never get back. And while people may say it is great and exciting and feels good, it actually sucks until you have been with someone who can actually please you. I used to read so many romance novels as a child and I always envisioned this bombs bursting in air climatic moment during sex, yet what they failed to mention is that none of that would happen.

I thought I was the only one who did not enjoy sex the first time until I read The Virgin Diaries by Kimberley Johnson and Ann Werner. In it were stories of others whose first time didn’t quite go as they planned; just like mine.

Virginity is something that is precious. Something I believe young boys and girls should hold onto for as long as they can because sex can change everything in your world. There are diseases and unplanned pregnancies, not to mention the stigmata of being “loose”. While I know that many young people will have sex when they choose to, it would be nice to see young adults go against the popular belief that having sex is what one should do because the populace says so. Be your own person and make your own choices and most certainly BE SAFE!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Parent Talks About 'The Talk' And Her First Time

By Beverly Cialone

Ah, sex…that mysterious thing that adults are “allowed” to engage in, with seemingly no repercussions from anyone…right? Well, kinda. Once a person becomes an adult, sex eventually loses that “mysterious” appeal and can become a myriad of other, worse things. It can become mundane and boring, or it can become fodder for a person’s ego, good or bad. It opens up a gateway to a host of things that can be unpleasant or not, depending upon what a particular person wants. It has the power to make you sick and even kill you. But when you’re a teenager, you think of none of that. At least, when I was a teenager, disease wasn’t first and foremost on my mind when my thoughts turned to that mysterious thing called sex.

When I was a teenager, my mother tended to talk in some sort of mysterious "code" when it came to sex...mostly what she said was that "Boys had more arms than an octopus" and that "They only wanted one thing." She never actually sat me down and explained sex to me. I wish she had. I learned on my own, the hard listening to the girls at school talk, which only fueled my curiosity even more, which eventually drove me to do "IT" with a boy I shouldn't have...had I known all the intricacies of sex, both physically and emotionally, I wouldn't have given it away so easily. Another thing that stands out in my mind, way back when I was a teenager (in the 80’s), is what my father told me one night after I had come home from a date. My parents have always been the strict, religious types, and on this particular night my father was watching a televangelist when I came in from my date. I remember sitting down to eat, and the only thing my father said to me was, “If you get pregnant, you’re out of here.” Things like that would make any teen think twice about trying to discuss something like sex with their parents, who obviously know loads about the subject, because, hey, let’s face it—none of us would be here if our parents hadn’t engaged in sex.

Yes, sex can be a tricky subject to navigate with anyone, especially a teenager. To any parents who are out there reading this, please, PLEASE, don’t be embarrassed to discuss this subject with your teenager. They are NOT trying to embarrass you by bringing it up. They are honestly curious, and it is knowledge they NEED to know, because yes, eventually that sweet baby you brought home from the hospital several years ago will engage in sex. The best thing you can do as a parent is to arm them with the best knowledge you know how to impart on the subject. No beating around the bush, no euphemisms for certain body parts, etc. I’m not saying that you should unload on your teen(s) and fill them in on the private nicknames you and your husband/wife have given each other’s private parts. I’m saying that the least you can do is to explain to them the basic mechanics of sex, what goes where, what they can expect regarding feeling pain, and how they might feel afterwards. Trying to explain emotional consequences is subjective, because all you’ll have to go on is your own experience in that case. And of course, every teen needs to know just how important protection and contraception are if they decide to engage in sex. Disease and unwanted pregnancies have sidetracked many a promising future, and I’m sure that’s the last thing any parent wants for their child. And also, please try to refrain from making your teen feel that sex is a bad thing and that they should never engage in it. If you’re secretive and/or embarrassed when it comes to sex, eventually your teen will view it the same way. It should be made clear that sex is something special that is shared between two people who care about each other. Of course, as adults we all know that in a lot of cases, that particular scenario happens only in the perfect world. But don’t tell your teen that. They have to grow and explore and learn on their own. Yes, it hurts to see your baby preparing to “leave the nest”, so to speak, but ever since you held your baby in your arms, you knew that moment was going to come. Let them leave the nest armed with the knowledge they need to make clear, informed, guilt-free choices. As a parent of two sons, I too have had to have “The Talk” with them. I always told my sons as they were growing up that they could come to me with anything and talk to me about it. The most memorable experience I have regarding that is when my ex-husband informed my youngest son that his aunt had had a miscarriage and that the baby’s arm had fallen out into the toilet. Appalled, I wasted no time in making sure my son understood that that particular scenario had NOT happened. And of course, that conversation led to “The Talk”, and while it was difficult, I managed to explain things to my son in a way he would understand. As a teenager he naturally became curious, and I was there to answer his questions and give advice as best I could. Now that he’s older, I have no problem discussing certain things with him, and I am glad that he feels comfortable enough to come to me with any questions or problems he might have.

As for my own experiences as a teenager who had been newly introduced to sex, another memory I have is of the very first time I did “IT” with the aforementioned boy that, looking back now, I should’ve run away screaming from. He knew I wanted him, but it wasn’t until (MUCH) later that I finally realized he didn’t, and probably never had, felt the same about me. On this particular day he had ridden his moped to school, and I had a car. He asked me if I could follow him home because he had no tag on the back of it, and of course I agreed. Well, instead of going to his house, we followed a dirt road into the woods and stopped. I had known that sooner rather than later he and I were going to do “IT”, and I just happened to have a blanket in the car specifically for that purpose. But, being the innocent teen that I was, and wanting to please this guy, I agreed to try and do it on the hood of my car. Since I had just switched the engine off maybe five minutes earlier, the hood was scorching hot, so that idea went flying out of the window at a rather frightening speed. With a bruised ego and a burnt butt, I put the blanket on the ground and waited with growing anticipation for this guy to show me what doing “IT” was all about. Well, needless to say, as soon as he started, I realized I had made a horrible mistake. It HURT, and I remember lying there wondering what all the fuss was about, because I didn’t find it particularly exciting or pleasurable at that point. Afterwards we got up, I stuffed the blanket into the trunk of my car, and we went our separate ways. Once I got home, however, I began to freak out about the blanket, because there was a TINY bit of blood on it, and knowing my parents the way I did, knowing how strict and religious they were, I just knew that they would somehow KNOW what I had done, if they saw that little bit of blood on the blanket. So, once I got home, I limped into the back yard, stuffed the blanket into our burn barrel, and unceremoniously set it on fire. I then limped back into the house and spent the rest of the afternoon lying spread-eagled, on my stomach, on my bed, in complete agony. I was hoping that my parents wouldn’t notice that I was walking funny, and if they did, they said nothing.

After losing my virginity, I didn’t engage in sex again for about a year, until I met the man who would become my first husband. For some reason, by then I felt a little more confident, and at that point I just couldn’t seem to get enough of it. The point I’m trying to make here is that sex is different for everyone. For some people (specifically girls), losing your virginity may or may not hurt, depending upon what you’ve done up to that point. By that I mean, did you engage in strenuous sports activities or wear tampons? If so, then first-time sex for you may not hurt at all. For others, such as myself, it might leave you walking funny and wondering what all the fuss was about. Being a teen is awkward and hard in itself. Adding sex to the mix is just going to make it even more so, especially if you decide to do it for the same reason(s) I did. I was wondering why people talked about sex so much, why they kept it such a secret, why it seemed to be the be-all and end-all of everything. Well, trust me, I found out. Beforehand, I felt like an outcast, like I was missing out on something big and spectacular. Sometimes I even felt like something was wrong with me, because at 17 I was still a virgin, when everyone else seemed to know what they were doing. While my next statement may seem lame and even archaic, please take my advice on this particular point: there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with waiting until you have met someone and spent enough time with him/her to determine that they are indeed someone special, at least to you. If anyone ever tries to pressure you or guilt-trip you into having sex with them before you feel ready, then you need to seriously reconsider your relationship with that person. Consider your virginity as a gift you can give to someone, because it is. It’s a gift you can only give once, and the person you decide to give it to should feel special and honored to receive it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kayla - 18 Explains Why Parents And Schools Should Educate Teens About Sex

Blog: Simply Kayla's Book Review

After reading The Virgin Diaries, I have been thinking a lot about sex, virginity and how teens look at both of these things. In todays society our media, music, and even commercials use sex to sell. This causes a lot of things like low self-esteem for girls because the media only perceives skinny as beautiful. I wish the topic of sex was talked about in schools more but subject is banned. Why? With a rapid increase in pregnancy, STDs and teens being sexually active I think that they should know the facts. Reading The Virgin Diaries made me realize that teens need to know more about this subject and many times, are uneducated because their parents feel uncomfortable talking about it.
I am not saying whether it is right or wrong to be sexually active while you are a teenager because it isn’t my place to tell people what to do. What I am saying is that it would be very beneficial if teens were taught more about the risks of having sex. Sex is just more than intercourse; it comes with deeper emotions and feelings. Many teens don’t see that until they experience it for themselves. When I was younger my parents didn’t bring up this subject at all, they just avoided it altogether. I wish that I would have had The Virgin Diaries to read when I was a younger teenager. I will be recommending it to parents and teens alike. I think that TVD would really shine the light on the subject of virginity and reveal to teens and parents the risks and facts of sexual intercourse.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Freaks and Geeks - Sex Is Explained To Sam By The Coach

In this clip from the TV show Freaks and Geeks, Sam's coach takes it upon himself to explain sex because of a "disturbing" question Sam submitted in Sex Ed. The scene is performed with care and humor.

If a teacher speaking candidly about sex to a student were to happen today, they could be sued. I think that's really sad. Sex is not shameful. It's a part of life and ignoring it and keeping it a secret or mystery to teens is a shame.

Check out this post on Crazy Rumors About Sex

As a self proclaimed freak and geek, this was one of my favorite shows. It was set in the early 80's, the same time I was a young teen but because it deals with teen issues, it's timeless. I hope you enjoy. - Kimberley

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dolly P. Talks About Being An Adult Virgin

Twitter: @TheDollyP

When I started my blogging about my virginity, I had just been to a Tyler Perry play at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, GA. I forget the name of the play, and really it’s not important but what is, is that there was a female character who was a virgin and she was the most homely and unfortunate character I could possibly think of.
She stayed around the house, rarely went out. She wore Grandma-style clothes and rompers and her hair was a hot mess. Her character looked old, even though she was supposed to be relatively young. She was constantly admonished for being scared of male interaction and of trying to hide her body and her beauty.
As an obvious virgin myself, I saw not one bit of my personality in this female. And as I thought about it, I realized that most of Hollywood would have the world believe that virgins, especially adult ones are completely socially inadequate. I mean, according to Hollywood, someone would have asked me to have sex by now and I of course would have said “yes.”

The truth is that I have been asked - much to my chagrin, and I said “no", much to Hollywood’s chagrin. I have a feisty personality, I love men, spend most of my time around them because of my work in sports, particularly basketball. I love makeup, looking cute, dancing to some Down South music, but more than anything else, I like knowing that at the end of my day that I had good clean fun and won’t be needing any sort of testing to ensure me of that fact.

I have no false thoughts on what my first time will be like - it’s gonna be awkward and it’s gonna hurt. The Virgin Diaries actually helped cement that thought in my mind. And so I figure if I’m going to go through all of that, the guy had better be worth all of my discomfort. Seriously.

The occasion had better be just as special for him as it is for me on my wedding night. I don’t much care about sex as a recreational activity. Nor is it on my “Bucket List.” I think sex is the ultimate in intimacy and until my heart, head and vagina agree on the same guy, symbolized by a ring on my finger, I can do without.
Some have wanted to make me into some kind of Saint because of my choice to remain a virgin but that’s not true. I have plenty of other problems that help me to remain stuck on my decision. Like, my highly addictive personality. It wouldn’t take much, especially since my vagina is directly linked to my heart. I could become obsessed with a one-night stand. Since that type of behavior is totally unnecessary, another point gets logged for staying a virgin. Then there’s my abhorrence to drama, which lies directly in the path of casual sex. I can’t have one without the other so staying a virgin gets another point. Lastly, there’s my fear of my own loss of respect. I love me the way I am, to do otherwise would be a compromise, no matter how I tried to spin it.

Maybe this means that in reality I really am actually socially inadequate, but I’m not convinced….lol.

Read Dolly's review of The Virgin Diaries

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Grandma and Virginity

It's been a strange and interesting journey with this book The Virgin Diaries. I get some pretty funny reactions from all kinds of people. Mostly, as soon as someone hears what the subject matter is, they laugh. It's a little bit of shock mixed with awkwardness. Parents are the ones who fear the content. They judge it by its name or because there's.....SEX in it!!! OH NOOOOO! Of course, not all parents react this way but a lot do. But for those parents who think it's better to ignore sex when it comes to teens, you might want to check out this article about a study that proves sex education delays first time sex.

The most surprising reaction I've received have been from grandmothers. They are ALL about this book. On a few occasions when we were doing signings at book stores and fairs, grandmothers have purchased this book for their grandkids. They say they don't really care what their daughter thinks, they think it's a great idea and understand what it means to be young and confused about sex. It's a no-brainer for them.

I recently did an interview on Simply Kayla's Book Reviews and got a response from a grandmother in the comment section.

"I thank you for the interview! I wish something like this was available when I was in my teens. I am sure I would have waited longer if it had been. What you hear from your friends is not always what is the truth of how they really felt about their first time. I haven't read this yet, but I would love to! My kids are now grown, and past their 'first times' as well, but I would love for them to read this book and hopefully consider giving it to their children when it is appropriate. If they don't - perhaps Granny will..."

What an interesting concept. Grandma wants her grandkids to understand the consequences of sex BEFORE they engage while so many parents would rather ignore the subject in the hopes their child is the one and only exception who has no interest or questions. What is it that Granny knows????

Let's look at it this way. You have two teens, Mike and Sara. Mike is the captain of the football team. He's a virgin (or not) popular, gorgeous and persuasive. Sara is a virgin and is completely in love...I mean young girl, intense love...with Mike. They've been dating for a few months and that familiar conversation comes up.

Mike: "I love you so much. You're so beautiful. I want to show you how much I love you. Kissing is great but it's not enough to prove my love to you. I want to be the first and the last. Our love will last a lifetime. Every one of our friends have done it...." You get the picture.

Sara: She doesn't want to lose Mike. She is crazy in love with him. But she fears if she doesn't give in to his persistent begging, he will lose interest and find a more willing participant.

Sounds pretty cliché right? But there's a reason. These kinds of conversations occur all the time.

A while back, I posted on my Facebook page that I was so happy to get an article on sex from a 14 year-old girl. A woman (a mother) was very upset and her entire argument was that teens shouldn't write, talk or think about sex. This is unrealistic. Kids are always going to talk and think about it. I did when I was NINE! I didn't want to HAVE it but I was curious. She argued that if they had anything to say about it, it was because they got the wrong information. This is exactly my point. Do you want your child walking around with information that isn't accurate and could possibly hurt them?

This is where Grandma comes to the rescue. She knows that teens are going to be curious and sees the value of sex education. A 77 year-old woman provided a story for The Virgin Diaries and wrote that she was 15 when she lost her virginity. She loved the boy and wanted to do it again.

It's funny to think that grandmothers would have a more open mind on this subject but they sure seem to. I think it's cool!

A year or two before my grandmother passed away, she suffered from memory loss. We would have a conversation and then a minute later, she'd forget and ask me the same question. I had told her about collecting stories for the book and she would always be surprised and ask why I wanted to make it. I would always ask her "When you were a virgin, would you have wanted to read a book like this?" Her answer was always exactly the same, "I believe I would have."

I'll leave you with this thought. I heard a mom say "If you're too young to ask, you're too young to know." I say If you're old enough to have heard about it or seen it and have questions, you're old enough to get the truth. Otherwise, you may turn to your friend who knows nothing but thinks they know everything and wind up pregnant or with an STD or both!

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