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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Friday, February 24, 2012

Grace - 14 Talks About Sex, Virginity And The Virgin Diaries

Grace is a 14 year-old. She recently read The Virgin Diaries. Here's her take on sex, abstinence and virginity.

Grace's Blog:

I recently wrote an article on sex in young adult fiction and how it impacts me and other readers. (Read Article) People don't usually look to a fourteen year old to talk about these things. Some encourage hearing my thoughts while others think that I'm growing up too fast. I'm not; I just choose to have my voice heard, because while a ton of adults worry about how we'll react to it, we worry about peer pressure or first times and wonder what it's like and all the things associated with it.

The first time I heard about sex was actually from an older friend. At the time, she was probably in sixth grade and asked whether I knew how babies were born. I was only in fourth grade, and I didn't. She explained the concept to me using really basic terminology and not explaining it very well, but I got the gist of it.

A year later, my parents took my twin and I to a health class at our church, while we sat there cringing awkwardly while we watched a low-budget movie about puberty and sex. I was with a few friends and we sat there making faces at the screen and griping about how we were forced to go to this class. We thought that sex was disgusting and we certainly had no thought of ever doing it.

Starting in sixth grade, we had health class, which included our school nurse talking about sex, teenage pregnancy, consequences, and of course, her personal favorite, the scarring STD-slideshow, which meant that all the sixth graders cried out in horror "My eyes! My eyes!" while disgusting pictures of STDs inside the body flashed on the screen.

Now in eighth grade I'm hearing all these stories about other people both my age and older, and a few even younger. I go to a private Christian school which means that nobody here has "lost it" but we hear about people who have graduated or people at other schools who have done it already. We pore over Facebook statuses of "hacked" profiles saying things like "Sarah likes it hot" and "lms if you like sex" and things like that. Pictures of girls and guys making out, pictures of girls with clearly visible bras. Just last week, we heard that a girl my age was caught having sex in a bathroom at one of the middle schools.
I remember the first time hearing about a girl doing awful things and being like "but she goes to bible study!" when the youth director had just talked with us about purity. Sex is everywhere and adults don't like to talk about it with us, which means that some of us get our knowledge from books. The Virgin Diaries is perfect for any questions, and it's also an entertaining and thoughtful read!

Sex is everywhere in the media. In movies, there will either be a chaste relationship, or James-Bond style where it's a string of one night stands. Some of this media is encouraging and honest while some are almost like propaganda, telling us to believe this or believe that.

In books, I think that it's more realistic. While in a movie, it's straightforward and you can't see what is going through the character's heads. In a book, you see what's leading up to it, the actual act, and the impacts. When you're put into a character's head like you are in books you can put yourself in their place more easily.

Different books handle it differently; I, personally, am a fan of how Stephanie Meyer handled it in Breaking Dawn, skipping ahead to the next morning and not making it too graphic for younger teens to read while still being romantic. My personal opinion is that a more descriptive sex scene (for young adult, not compared to adult books, which can be more graphic) only works if it is in a book with a focus on sex, like Kiss It or Lost It or anything similar to that. Of course, The Virgin Diaries is a bit descriptive but that's only because it has a need to be. Teenagers like me look to these sorts of books to answer or questions and help us make decisions about our boundaries.

I've been told by people that my views may change if I get a boyfriend, or when I go to high school, but I don't really believe this. It's because of The Virgin Diaries and similar books that I've made an informed decision about abstinence and know about the feelings surrounding it, even though reading about it and experiencing pressure and situations are two extremely different things.

As I do enter high school in the fall, I've been worried that I might go too far and regret it but because of books, my faith, and the people I surround myself with, I think that I have the courage and strength to stick to my decision. Sex is different for everyone. I don't think anything bad about anybody who has sex as a teenager, although it isn't my personal choice. If you make an informed decision and are aware of the consequences and risks, then only you can make your choice.

Sometimes I go out of my way to read a younger book just to escape from the sexual tension that constantly pops up in books. One of the problems that I run into with books focused on sex is sometimes we don't get to hear about anything else. In books, sometimes it goes to one extreme or the other: chaste or extremely risque.

I know that as I grow my decisions may change. I know that my parents will support my decisions and I know that I won't steer from my views on abstinence because the guilt if I did would haunt me. It's my personal belief, and nobody else has to think the same way that I do.

However a lot of the reasons why we read books like these are because we're curious. We don't know what it's like or how it will impact us. Granted, we still don't know by reading this, but it shows us the good and bad of it, and gives us an idea of what it means to "do it."

The Virgin Diaries was a huge help, just for somebody who is curious what sex really means, physically and emotionally. 

It's definitely tough talking about sex because there's a lot of confusion and mixed feelings regarding it, and everybody seems to have a different perception of it. What I know is from health class and young adult books.

It's no secret that teens are having sex and while I don't think that that's a good decision with your life ahead of you, I don't agree with people who judge others like that harshly. I have my own opinion and since sex is personal, it irritates me when people try to force their opinion of it on others who maybe have made choices that they regret or are completely comfortable with their lifestyle.

It honestly depends on the person, but since The Virgin Diaries has a completely diverse collection of stories, it appeals to everybody. It's beneficial to help with curiosity and it appeals to both adults and teens. Whether you're a virgin or not, this book is definitely helpful and entertaining.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

If You Kiss A girl On The Vagina, She'll Love You Forever

In my book The Virgin Diaries, one of the questions posed was "What kinds of advice/rumors did you hear about sex from your friends when you were a virgin?"

I have also just posted this question to my Facebook page to see what answers it gets. I will post some of them but first I will tell you why.

During a family dinner when my younger brother was about four or five years old, he asked my step mom a question. He said: "Mom, I heard from my friend Danny's brother that if you kiss a girl on the vagina, she'll love you forever. Is that true?" You can imagine the surprised look on everyone's faces. It was very difficult not to laugh and even my step mom, who tried to answer him honestly had a hard time. Her response was something like  "Well...that's not completely untrue..." and we all finally laughed. I'm sure my step mom talked more in detail to my brother about this in a more private setting but I don't know what she told him. This is one of my favorite stories and I hope my brother doesn't kill me now.

When my sister was about the same age, I was taking care of her while she suffered a cold. I made her chicken soup and tucked into her bed making sure she got lot's of TLC. She was overwhelmed with love and pulled me in close to her face and said "Let's fall in love..." and tried to kiss me passionately. I reacted very calmly and explained that sisters don't fall in love. I didn't want to make her feel like what she had done was wrong and embarrass her. Again, it's a funny visual but it illustrates an important point.

When we are very young, we are aware of sex and love and don't always realize there is a difference between the two. I imagine my sister saw passionate kissing in films and TV and saw the love between my dad and step mom. She was curious and wanted to understand what it meant. My brother heard this rumor from his buddy's older brother, he also had interest and wanted to know if what he heard was true. He was too young to understand that what he said at a family dinner was inappropriate. The fact is, he wasn't being inappropriate. He was young and had questions. Now, I'm not sure what he was planning to do with this information and really don't want to know but he was curious.

I grew up as a teen in the 80's. I remember how it was. By the time I was 14, my BFF had already had sex. I was not ready at that point but I wanted to understand what all the fuss was about. It's all around us and sometimes we hear things that are ridiculous and completely untrue. If we don't have the facts, we might believe some of the rumors and as a result, make the wrong choice or one we wind up regretting. Often times, parents are too embarrassed by the subject and don't talk to their kids about sex at all in the hopes that by ignoring it, it will never be an issue.

Here are some of the responses from the book and the Facebook comments from my post:

"I was told that both of the sexual partners had to have an orgasm at the same time in order to get pregnant. This is obviously not true and could explain why I became a teenage parent." Female

"My friend Frank, however, told me that he saw his parents doing it and I should hug her tight and scream in her ear and she will scream back." Male

"The advice I got from my parents was that if you have sex, you get pregnant. I had only one friend who was not a virgin at the time and made it sound like it was fun and exciting - why wait if you have someone who cares for you and this also will cure the curiousity." Female

"The only rumor I heard was that if you thought you might be pregnant you could shake up a bottle of cola and insert it and that might abort a baby." Female

"Using Norforms before having sex will prevent you from getting pregnant. If that is true, it is only because it will set him on fire and he won't have a chance to get the girl pregnant. ;D" Female
***Norforms are deodorant suppositories.

"My older neighbor told me that if you swallow a watermelon seed it grew into pregnancy...Girl, I didn't eat watermelon for years." Female

"The use of tampons causes virginity loss." Female

"I attended Catholic school for twelve years. That very much shaped my attitude. Sex was for procreation and only procreation. Any type of contraception was sinful and masturbation was sinful as well." Female

"...earwax would make a woman's vagina burn if she had Venereal Disease and that you should always check..." Male

" is for couples who are in love. I believe a lot of teens hear this one and it's the reason for the confusion in that sex IS love." (This is not "wrong" but is a good point).

"...if you have sex on your period, you can't get pregnant." Female and 100% NOT TRUE!!!!!

"... . How about what the Catholic church drilled into my mind about masturbation. If I did it I'd go straight to hell, I'd go blind, and my hands would get deformed. Not to mention, according to their teachings, I was killing babies. Actually scared the hell outta me." Male

"If a boy didn't pee inside of you during sex, you wouldn't get pregnant." Female

"...if you lay down with a boy, you could get pregnant." Female

"All I heard from friends is that once you started, you'd be addicted." Male.

These are some pretty wild statements. I guess if you're a teen reading this you might know these are ridiculous. But again, I share these with you to show that there is a lot of misinformation floating around.
It's always better to be informed.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Love-A-Thon Y. A. Event Hosted by Katelyn Torrey

Hello to all the bloggers!!!

I am so excited to take part in the LoveAthon and looking forward to meeting new people!

I would like to thank each and every book blogger out there. You guys are changing the industry in a positive way. You benefit readers by introducing them to new books. You benefit authors by giving them your time, honest reviews and a platform to showcase their work. Your passion and dedication astounds me. I know many of the Y.A. book bloggers have very busy schedules with school, work, friends and life but you make and take the time to work on a labor of love!

This blog is a bit different that most participating in this event. I am the author of The Virgin Diaries. My mother Ann Werner and I created the book together as a way to help virgins with questions, get a better understanding of what to expect emotionally where first time sex is concerned. This blog is an offshoot of TVD and is a place for teens and virgins of all ages to create a dialogue about sex in a way that is comfortable and informative with no judgement. The collection of posts collected on this blog may result in a book. Your contribution is welcome. My email is on the top left of the page. It went live in January 2012 and below I've listed links to a few of the posts.

A special thank you to Katelyn Torrey (@KatelynTorrey) for hosting this event!!! Stop by her Twitter page to find out more about the event and all that are participating. And thank you for stopping by! :)

Kimberley A. Johnson

Like The Virgin Diaries Facebook page

The Virgin Diaries: Review Katelyn by Torrey

Jude Henderson on Virginity & Sex For The Wrong Reason

When I Lost My Virginity by Kimberley Johnson

Sex: Myth vs. Fact

Teens Talk About Sex And The Virgin Diaries  - Youtube with three 15 y/o girls.


Love-A-Thon YA Book Blogger Event!

YA Book Blogger Katelyn Torrey is hosting a Blog-A-Thon set for tomorrow, 2/17/12.

Sign up and join the fun!  Details

"What: A Blogger Love-A-Thon! This will be a day full of commenting on blogs, following blogs, tweeting about blogs, thanking blogs, sharing the word about awesome blogs, telling another blogger how freaking awesome they are, the list goes on and on. Basically it will consist of fun posts, mini challenges, lots of commenting, and perhaps a giveaway or two! I do not have a full schedule completely detailed out yet but I will be e-mailing it to everyone who hopes to participate. Since I am a simple person and like to keep things that way, it will most likely be a fairly easy-to-follow schedule!"

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Teens Talk About Sex And The Virgin Diaries

Three fifteen year-old girls who all read The Virgin Diaries share their thoughts on the book, abstinence and sex in general.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sex: Myth vs. Fact

When I was a teen, I heard rumors about sex that weren't true. There were things that I wasn't aware of either. I'm posting some facts for teens and virgins so that when you start thinking about having sex, you'll be armed with some good information.

In the book The Virgin Diaries, a seventy-seven year-old women shared her story. She was fifteen when she lost her virginity. She heard that if you thought you might be pregnant, you could shake up a bottle of cola and insert it and that might abort a baby. This is simply ridiculous and completely untrue. It seems pretty obvious but when we are not informed, sometimes, we believe these kinds of things.

Condoms are pretty reliable in preventing pregnancy but not 100%. They can come off during sex. There can be a tiny hole that can't been seen with the naked eye. Semen can pass through. Using condoms won't guarantee that you are preventing sexually transmitted infections either. You can use a condom and still get herpes and genital warts because these STIs can live in the areas surrounding our genitals. YUCK!

The "pull-out" method is one of the worst myths to believe. It means the male pulls his penis out before he ejaculates. The myth is, that if this is done, a female won't get pregnant. The truth is, when a male is inside of a female, semen does leak out. Many women have become pregnant this way. It is absolutely NOT a way to prevent pregnancy.

There is also the rhythm method.  There are times during a woman's cycle (during ovulation) when she is more likely to become pregnant.  It's usually about two weeks after the first day of her period. Ovulation occurs when a mature egg is released from the ovary, pushed down the fallopian tube, and is available to be fertilized. The lining of the uterus has thickened to prepare for a fertilized egg. If no conception occurs, the uterine lining as well as blood will be shed. The shedding of an unfertilized egg and the uterine wall is the time of menstruation.

Fertilization periods vary with each woman. This is a better way to try to plan on becoming pregnant because the truth is even when we are not in our "fertile time frame" we can still become pregnant.  After unprotected intercourse, sperm can sustain its reproductive viability for several days – if it makes it up as far as the cervix.

Keep in mind that when you have sex, you open yourself up to the possibility of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. The only way to avoid this is by abstaining. Understanding the facts about sex will help you make an informed decision when the time is right for you.

The Virgin Diaries: Review by Eighteen Year-Old Katelyn Torrey

Last fall, Katelyn Torrey gave The Virgin Diaries a glowing and very eloquent review.

Here's the link to her blog. Kate's Tales Of Books AND Bands

She primarily reviews Young Adult. She's very smart and for those of you YA book bloggers, on February 17, 2012, she's hosting a Love-A-Thon. Details & Sign Up Here

My blog is a Young Adult book blog. Every now and then I may stumble into the “adult” world with an Adult/Young Adult crossover book but that doesn’t occur often. Something that happens even less often than that would be me testing the waters of educational books. I read the required material for my classes but I hardly go out looking for educational books for fun. However, when a review request came along for this book, I instantly said yes. This book is the real life, true accounts of many people’s first time experience with sex. If TV and media teaches us anything, it is that sex is a wonderful, passionate, experience that is highly enjoyable for both partners ESPECIALLY if it is their first time ever doing it. *Laughs at the craziness of that whole last statement* This book breaks through the image that Hollywood has imprinted in the minds of today’s teenagers. This book allows us to feel and understand exactly what people went through during their first sexual encounter. Now before you all get embarrassed (for yourself or for me) please let me explain that this book is in no way pornographic and it stays relatively clean considering the subject matter. The people who volunteered their stories were asked a series of questions. “What age were you during your first encounter?”, “Did you have any advice from parental or religious figures?”, and “Is there any advice you would give to virgins?”were a few of the many wonderful questions that were asked. Their answers to these questions were compiled and edited to create The Virgin Diaries.
Okay now that you know what this book is about and exactly how it is different than any other book I have read, I will try and review it to the best of my ability. Since these are peoples’ initial responses to questions they were asked and it is their own personal experiences that they so bravely shared with the general public, I will not be judging their individual stories. Instead, I will be talking about the importance of this book.
I come from a very open family. We say what is on our mind and us kids know that we can talk to our parents freely about anything including sex. I am very aware that this is not the case for many others and that fact alone is made even more prominent after reading this book. I read through SEVENTY-TWO stories that people shared. Out of those 72 people, how many of them do you think had an open relationship with their parent about sex? You may or may not be shocked by the answer but it is close to none. They often times didn’t get advice from parents or adult figures, no knowledge was shared on the topic, and birth control was not something that was ever talked about. I find this whole idea just absolutely ludicrous! How could parents allow their kids to be so ignorant on such important matters such as STD’s and pregnancy? For the people in this book that had no advice from adult figures, I am deeply saddened that they did not have a book like this available for them to utilize.
Some stories included in The Virgin Diaries have happy endings; some of them were awkward and embarrassing. Other stories broke my heart, while others made me squirm a bit. However, I still feel that this book could be a very important tool for parents to use when talking to their kids about sex. I am well aware that EVERYONE’S parenting style is different and I truly do not mean to offend any parents that are reading this but come on! You have to talk to your teenagers!!! You can’t just throw them a box of condoms, tell them that abstinence is best and then expect everything to turn out hunky-dory. Us teenagers are confused, interested, and curious by nature. We don’t always use our head and we sometimes need parental guidance whether we want to admit it or not. This is exactly why I feel that books like The Virgin Diaries are printed. It is so parents can use it to help ease them into what is sure to be the most awkward conversation of their life. Reading other people’s first-hand encounters allows you to think about what happens emotionally and physically. The questions that were asked and everyone’s responses allowed us to see the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of sex. While not all first time encounters are unbearable, we do learn that losing one’s virginity is not all satin bed sheets and roses and that is something a “birds and the bees” type of conversation just wont cover.
I know that this is a bit of an unconventional review but there was just no other way of putting it. This book and the subject it covers is just entirely too important to shove aside. Would I hand this book out to every random, young teen on the street? Heck no! Some people have the maturity level of a 5-year-old. Would I give this book to parents of teenagers? Yes. A million times yes. I would give it to them to read alone, with their child, or at least allow them to use it as a tool to start talking to their kids about sex.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

When I Lost My Virginity by Kimberley Johnson

I'm going to divulge some personal information about my first time.

In my book, The Virgin Diaries, I shared my story but like all the others, it's anonymous. I am not going to repeat the entire story here but will focus on why I chose to do it and how I felt afterward.

The Virgin Diaries focuses on the emotional aspect of what it feels like to have sex for the first time. Most of us know the mechanics but the big mystery lies in the unknown. Does it hurt? What goes on through one's mind? Are there regrets?

When I was 16, I had a boyfriend. I'll call him Dave. We lived about thirty miles away from each other. He had a car and I didn't (because of this, he had the control on when we could see each other). He attended school with my best girlfriend and she gave me the inside scoop on his life. Dave had another girlfriend who I'll call Mary. I knew about Mary and I believe she knew about me. But Dave had charisma and clearly we both put up with him.

I thought I was in love with him. He fascinated me. He was a "Death Rocker."  Now he would be described as "Goth." He wasn't very attractive, a little overweight and his clothes were terrible. Despite his appearance, he was gentle, not a fighter. Not dangerous. More a thinker. He wrote underground papers against the "establishment." He had (and still has) an eloquent way of putting words together. He was also as tall as I was (6 feet). I was taller than most of the boys I knew. His height was a big plus. The picture I included above is just around the time of this story. Dig my hair (cringe). The the dark haired girl is the best friend I mention. It was taken in 1985.

Dave was 18 and I was 16. Officially and legally, sex between two people of these ages is considered statutory rape. This is what the law dictates. But Dave didn't rape me. It was my choice to lose my virginity with him. An adult who read TVD made a comment about this very point and asked me why I didn't comment on it.  I really didn't want any commentary in the book. I chose to only provide readers with the stories. TVD doesn't advocate sex nor does it advocate against having it. There were other stories in the book where the male was underage and the female was in her 20's or older. The truth is that many younger people who have sex fall into this category. My mother knew Dave's age and a month or so after I lost my virginity with him, I told her about it. She wasn't surprised and she wasn't angry. Please keep in mind, this is my story, my experience.
Back to my story. I was so into Dave and wanted him to choose me. I knew I was better looking than Mary and my immature mind thought that if I gave him what she was giving him (sex), he would choose to only be with me. Yes, I realize how stupid and vain that sounds but it was how I saw things at that time.

I told him I wanted to go all the way. The first time we tried, it just didn't happen. To be blunt, it didn't go in. I was not aware this could happen and was surprised. I remember us trying several times but it never happened.  A month or so later, I decided to try again. This time it worked and it HURT!!! A LOT!! I knew about the hymen and expected the pain but really, it was awful. There was absolutely NO PLEASURE. The scene was not romantic. Nothing about my first time was romantic. Overall, it was pretty bad. Pain and no fun.

Afterward, I felt no regret. I was glad to have finally crossed over into the world that all my girlfriends had known and told me about. I knew sex didn't hurt every time, so I wasn't put off by the pain. But most importantly, I was now convinced that I would be loved more and that Dave would choose to be monogamous with me.

Guess what??? NOT THE CASE! Dave now got to enjoy sex with both of his girlfriends. We broke up within weeks. I cried and cried and though I still didn't regret my decision, I will say that if I had waited and lost it with someone who valued me more, my experience would have probably been better. But I don't believe that how I lost it colored my opinion about sex in a negative way. Dave was an ass, in my opinion, but that was more about his character. I expected something and that was my mistake.

Parents, educators and religious figures will tell you what you should do but in the end, it's your choice. Whether you choose abstinence or not, sex is up to you. It's important that you understand it's not going to make anyone love you more or less in most cases. It can deepen love that already exits but it won't create it. It certainly isn't a bargaining chip. I learned that the hard way. It was hard for me because I wanted Dave to love me only. I thought sex would be the answer. It wasn't.

For me, it wasn't earth shattering. My life didn't change dramatically. But it was a pivotal experience, as it is for most (including males). I will not give advice other than to really think about what you want for yourself.

While it was happening, I don't remember thinking anything other than how much it hurt. My grandmother always believed that women have the more difficult time when it comes to sex. That we are more emotional and can get hurt more than a male can. I don't entirely agree with her but for the most part, she is correct. Females want the love. Males don't always have to have  it (OK, some females don't either) but to be general, the girls are very emotional and when we give our bodies to someone, it really means a lot, no matter if it's your first time or when you're an adult.

Kimberley-SM Kimberley A. Johnson (BIO) – A.K.A. The Anti Coulter is the author of The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or friend her on FB HERE.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Jude Henderson on Virginity & Sex For The Wrong Reason

Jude Henderson
18 - College Freshman

Jude Henderson reviewed The Virgin Diaries last year.  Read Review. I asked her if she would like to contribute a post for this new bog and happily she said yes. I let her know the focus was on sex, teens, virgins and I also asked her to mention TVD and how it relates to her situation. Here's what she had to say:

Sex. It is an easy word that can turn out to be really complicated thing. Even though we live in a ‘modern’ world we still see it as a huge taboo, a Big No-No, and yet sex is everywhere. 

I remember a slumber party when I was twelve, all a bunch of girls. We all thought we knew all about sex and someone came up with the idea to watch porn for the first time. We knew nothing. I remember everyone being like “WHAT the HECK is THAT!!!” and then the screaming: “Turn it OFF!!!!!!!” I still laugh hysterically just remembering, I mean, that was SHOCKING! Nobody had ever bothered to actually tell us what sex was and what you did, not even our parents (and I’m thankful for it). I never had one of those really formal sex talks and I am so so thankful!  Many people are like “You gotta be open with your parents” Hell no! No way in Hell! Nu-uh. I mean, yeah, the occasional ‘be safe’ advice is OK, but I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to really talk with my mother about sex. Ever.

Back to the point. After that we all went back to being kids. Later after a few years, now in high school, everyone started with the "Did you hear that she already did it?” Everyone was talking about who had done it and who hadn’t and we still didn’t fully understand what it was. Then the pressure started and I was a teen with really low self-esteem. I was having random hookups at parties and dressing a certain way, listening to certain music and I basically became a wild child just to fit in with people that weren’t really my friends. Until the day I did it with a drunken guy whose name I don’t remember and I never saw again, at a party. BIG MISTAKE. A week later I had a fight with my friends and I realized what I had done. It was like a huge slap of reality. I had sex with someone just to fit in and sex had no real meaning. I was crushed.

Years passed and I just thought of sex as something stupid and meaningless. I had long ago stopped trying to fit in and being a wild kid. I was the best version of me I could be. That’s when I read The Virgin Diaries. I thought it would be an interesting read, though with no real use for me since I was not a virgin.  I am so thankful for having the opportunity to read it. There were stories in there of people where had been in similar situations like me. They had sex for all the wrong reasons. I was not alone. But most importantly, we all have our doubts, we don’t all come into this world and know all about sex, not everyone has the perfect first time like they do in the movies. We’re all a little bit scared. And there will always be someone that had a worse first time than you.

I made a mistake. But I wasn’t a bad person because of it. I wasn’t doomed. We all hear that we need to save ourselves for marriage, or that sex is bad and never to be spoken of, or that the first time you have sex must always be perfect, that you have to wait, that you have to do it soon, that you have to do it right, etc. I believed all of this. This book was the only thing that actually bothered to tell me what the real deal was, and that my situation, that everyone’s situation is fine.

“It shows that we are all human and therefore all connected.”
~ The Virgin Diaries

There's this song that I love that says: Use your God given tools. Sex Rules. I pity the fools who realize too late. Love, sex and God are great.
~ Sex Rules by Sky Ferreira

I never EVER thought I would be able to see Sex and God in the same sentence. And there they are. My current Anthem.

Sex is a gift. Just use it wisely

If I could go back and give myself some advice? Be Smart. Think. Ask yourself: Why am I doing this? If they are the right reasons, go for it. If not, then don't. This goes to everyone. Don't be fools. Be smart.

Virgin or not, I seriously think The Virgin Diaries is a must read and that Sex Rules by Sky Ferreira is a must listen (hehe).

If you want to save yourself for marriage, that's fine. If you want to have sex before marriage, that's fine too.

Having sex won't make you a bad person or a sinner. It also won't make you 'cooler.' But it can make you a fool. Sex can be one of the most beautiful things but it can also hurt you.

If you are interested in contributing to this blog, email Kimberley:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

At What Age Should Someone Become Sexually Active?

In the book The Virgin Diaries, the youngest to report having sex for the first time was a 12 year-old female.
The oldest was a 32 year-old male.

Anthony Tarquinto is 42 and still hasn't done the deed.

What is a good age and why?
And is oral sex considered sex?

Virginity is a hot topic. There are many different opinions out there. What's yours?

Monday, January 30, 2012

What Does It Feel Like To Have Sex For The First Time?

Teens have questions about sex. My mother, Ann Werner, and I created  the book The Virgin Diaries to help virgins understand what it feels like both emotionally as well as physically to have first time sex. Seventy-two men and women describe what it feels like with no agenda other than to inform and hopefully entertain. No one tells you what to think or do. You form your own conclusions.

I've created this blog as a forum for teens to talk about the different feelings they have and what they want and expect from parents and educators.

I am currently in the process of interviewig a 14 year-old female who recently read The Virgin Diaries. She is very smart and has a lot to say on the subject. Her interview will be up in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, I am including two videos. Three 15 year-old girls talk about the book and "The Talk" and an avatar reciting one of the stories from the book.
If you have any ideas or questions you'd like to pose or discuss here, please email me at