It seems like from the moment you learn about sex at a young age, the pressure to have sex is on. Whether you are single, dating or even just friends with the opposite sex, the pressure to have sex can be an issue. This is especially true among teenagers and men and women of college age. Sexual pressure can be as simple as a commercial on television or as heavy as a partner pushing you past your boundaries to have sex when you aren’t ready. Sexual pressure can impact a person negatively. It’s important to understand that not all sexual pressure is negative. An effective way at managing sexual pressure is to have open dialog with your peers and possibly adults you trust about sex and the pressure that comes with it. Together you may find that you are not alone and discover ways to overcome the pressure with positive and healthy solutions.
So what are some ways to overcome sexual pressure? First it’s important to understand where the pressure is coming from. Could it stem from insecurities? Most men and women feel that you need to be desired physically or sexually in order to be valued or accepted. When in fact, someone’s physical or sexual attraction doesn’t necessarily equate value or even acceptance of you. It can be a means by which you are drawn in for them to obtain what they want from you. In my opinion, it’s more important to be respected rather than accepted. Remember acceptance is temporary. You may be accepted today and rejected tomorrow by the same person. If you struggle with insecurities, whether they are physical or mental, recognize those insecurities and work on ways to strengthen those areas. Giving in to sexual pressure due to insecurities can result in feeding those insecurities and increasing them.
Second, know who you are and what your values are. What are your boundaries? Don’t wait until you’re in a situation where your boundaries are being tested to determine what they are. Ask yourself if you are ready to have sex, and will be able to handle all that having sex comes with. If the pressure of having sex alone is too overwhelming for you to handle, then engaging in sexual activity will compound those overwhelming feelings. Learning to say “no” to the things that push you outside your boundaries or make you feel uncomfortable can be a healthy sign of maturity and will increase your confidence which can lead you to make empowering decisions.
Lastly, don’t believe the lies about sex. Sex does not equal love and cause someone to fall in love with you. If you alone aren’t enough for someone to deem you worthy of love, then sex will not change that. Not everyone is having sex though others might tell us otherwise. Many men and women are respecting their bodies and valuing their sexual purity these days. Despite what you see on TV and what your friends are telling you, many people are waiting until marriage to become sexually intimate.
Another lie is that sex doesn’t have consequences. As long as you are “safe” then you will be ok. That is simply not true. There is not a birth control method that is 100% fail proof. Even when a person practices “safe” sex, they risk a potential unplanned pregnancy. Having “safe” sex can still lead to STD’s, unplanned pregnancies, emotional devastation, addictions and destructive relationships. Once you have had sex, you are now left with consequences that can last a lifetime.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with sexual pressure is communication. Don’t be afraid to talk about sex with your friends and partners and mentors/parents you can look up to. Be honest and stand firm on what you believe. Ask questions to determine if having sex is really what you are wanting or seeking. If you have goals, ask yourself if the consequences of having sex right now will lead you to your goals or alter the chances of achieving them. One thing that has worked for me as a single woman, is keeping my eyes on my goals and worth. I have so many dreams that I refuse to allow the consequences of sex ruin or alter them. Also, knowing that I am a beautiful, strong and a capable individual whose ability to have sex does not define or shape my identity. So be bold. Be strong. And when the sexual pressure comes, and it will, find the courage to overcome and not give in.
If you have had unprotected sex and fear that you may be pregnant or are concerned about STD’s please schedule an appointment at our Orlando location as soon as possible.