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 What Is “Normal” When It Comes To Losing Your Virginity 

Reported by MTV Act.

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By Amy Kramer of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

On tonight’s “Virgin Territory” John says it’s weird being a virgin at age 19. But according to a recent survey from MTV and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 69% of people ages 18-24 say being a virgin is perfectly acceptable.  What do people think when they find out someone their age is a virgin?  46% say they feel respect for them, 34% say they don’t even give it a second thought.

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When asked if they would rather be in a romantic relationship with someone who is a virgin or with someone who is not, 58% say they don’t have a preference.  Even more people – 72% – say that they themselves could be happy in a relationship that doesn’t include sex.  Nearly 8 out of 10 say they would rather be in a serious romantic relationship that doesn’t include sex, than be having sex with someone but not be in a relationship.

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The average age people start having sex in the U.S. is 17 but at age 22, still about one in six women (17%) and one in five men (21%) are not yet sexually active.

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Even if it seems like everyone else is doing it, being a virgin at age 19 isn’t weird or abnormal at all.

 New Trojan Promos Highlight Responsible Sex With The “Co Zone” 

Reported by MTV Act.

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Sponsored Post

You’ve probably heard a lot about the friend-zone lately, but have you heard about the “Co Zone”? The “Co Zone” is a new Trojan™ campaign created in collaboration with MTV’s It’s Your (Sex) Life, and it’s a zone you’ll actually want to be in, especially if you’re concerned about having safe sex. With 20 million new STD cases occurring every year, it’s crucial to be having the condom conversation; and according to a research study released from the makers of Trojan Brand Condoms, 80 percent of American Adults say condom use is important to them but only 35 percent report always using a condom.

So what’s this zone all about, you ask? When you think about it, a “zone” is really just your relationship status. You might be in the “no need to text before showing up and raiding the fridge” zone with your BFF. It shows that you’ve moved past a certain phase in your relationship and now you’re at a certain comfort level with each other.

But the zones also translate to your dating and sex life. There are times when you reach certain “zones” where you’re more comfortable with that person. For example, you might be in the “leaving your toothbrush at his place” zone. Maybe you two are finally moving to the “can communicate mostly through emoticons” zone. The “Co Zone” isn’t all that different: You’re now in a zone where you’re all about comfort, communication, and condoms. Trojan and It’s Your (Sex) Life want to make sure you’re in-the-know about the  “Co Zone” and always keeping condoms in the conversation, no matter what stage of a relationship you’re in.

If you’re having sex, you should be focused on making it as fun and safe as possible. Condoms do double duty— they are the only method that protect you against STDs AND pregnancy when used correctly. Did you know that 75 percent of adults ages 18-34 cannot recall seeing a reference to a condom across the entertainment landscape in the last year and those that can said condoms were shown as goofy or funny rather than sexy? Also, more than 60 percent of adults agree that media and pop culture can play a significant role when it comes to normalizing conversations about condoms and increasing people’s comfort level when talking about and using condoms with their partners.

So are you ready to move into the “Co Zone” with your partner? Head over to It’s Your (Sex) Life for all the do’s and don’ts of that type of protection.

But before you do it, watch these conversations between friends, about – you guessed it!—condom use.

+ Watch Couples Chat

Get More:
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+ Watch Girl Talk

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+ Watch Guy-to-Guy

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The “Co Zone Convos” series portrays realistic condom conversations between couples among friends.
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To watch the three-part “Co Zone Convos” series and to find more details on the campaign and research, visit www.trojan.itsyoursexlife.com. Follow @TrojanCondoms online and join the conversation with #CoZone.

 

 Corn Cobs + Condoms: We’ll Spare You The Awkwardness 

Reported by MTV Act.

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By Amy Kramer of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

On tonight’s “Virgin Territory,” we see that Keyaira might not be ready for sex, but after a trip to the doctor’s office to learn about birth control options she knows a lot more about how not to get pregnant when the time comes. (And after having dinner with her family she also knows how to put condoms on her food too).

To spare you the awkwardness, we rounded up some of the most common methods of birth control:

+ The IUD

IUD

It’s a little t-shaped piece of plastic (or copper, depending on the kind you get) that gets put into the uterus by a doctor or nurse and makes it so sperm can’t fertilize an egg. The IUD offers years of protection, and once you decide you’re ready for a family you can get it taken out.

 

+ The Implant

Nexplanon

It’s a tiny rod (like the size of match) that’s inserted into the upper arm by a doctor or nurse. It releases hormones that keep the ovaries from producing eggs. It lasts for three years!

 

+ The Pill

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You take a pill once a day and it releases hormones that keep the ovaries from producing eggs. There are lots of different formulations of the pill so if one doesn’t agree with your body there are others you can try. It’s been around for 50 years and is one of the most common methods of birth control. Prescription required.

 

+ Male Condom

malecondom

Made of latex, cheap and easy to get at drugstores and supermarkets. It’s worn on the penis and it prevents pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. You’ve got to use one every single time, luckily there are lots of shapes, sizes, and colors to choose from.

 + Female Condom

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It’s like a plastic pouch you insert into the vagina and it protects against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. It’s kind of like the male condom except that you wear it on the inside rather than putting it on the penis. Available without a prescription in drugstores and clinics.

Knowing how to protect yourself is super important, and having a doc you like and can talk honestly with is key. Being ready FOR sex means being ready to take action and responsibility to protect yourself. Just thinking about it doesn’t count – you have to actively prevent pregnancy or chances are you’ll get pregnant. Find out more at www.itsyoursexlife.com.

 How Do Most Young People Feel About Having Sex For The First Time? 

Reported by MTV Act.

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By Amy Kramer of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

So let’s see where our “Virgin Territory” virgins are at. In quick post-sex clips from Lisa (episode 1), Kyle (episode 3), and Anna (episode 6), the former virgins all seem pretty happy with their decisions. Whether they still feel that way months or years down the road remains to be seen.  In the meantime, let’s look at the findings from a recent survey from MTV and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy about how many people actually felt about their first time then vs. how they feel about it now.

According to young adults ages 18-24 who have already had sex:

+ 55% say they were HAPPY about it when they first did it, though only 31% are happy about it now.

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+  47% say they felt LOVED at the time, though only 25% say they feel they were loved in retrospect.

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+ 31% say they felt MATURE when they first had sex, but only 22% feel they were mature looking back on it.

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+ 28% say they were RELIEVED at the time they first had sex, but only half as many, 14%, feel relief when they think about it now.

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+ 17% say they felt REGRETFUL when they had sex for the first time, but 28% feel regret about it now.

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+ 11% say they felt SAD when they first had sex, but looking back on it 20% are sad.

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Given all this, it’s no surprise that half of people in the survey who have had sex (49%) say they would change something about their first time if they could. That’s the thing about sex – just because you’ve done it, doesn’t mean you’re done having feelings about it.

 The Taco Or Beer Challenge Is The Logical Next (Best?) Challenge 

Reported by MTV Act.

Dining Out: Tornado Restaurant And Lounge In Malden, Mass.

Whether you’ve taken the Ice Bucket Challenge or not, at some point today you’re going to need to eat. May we suggest a challenge that is truly delicious and offers more…choices?

The Taco or Beer Challenge is ramping up as I type this. Basically, it is exactly like the Ice Bucket Challenge, except you choose to either eat a taco or drink a beer (if you’re of age) and then you donate money to an organization that supports reproductive rights. Simple? Yes. Delicious? Definitely.

Here are some of our favorites so far:

+ Advice columnist Dan Savage took the challenge and had TACOS + BEER

+ YUM!

+ CUTE!

+ YES!

+ DELICIOUS!

 

+ AND, PERFECT.

BLESS YOU @andreagrimes, I GET TO USE MY FAVORITE GIF FOR #TACOORBEERCHALLENGE! My face chowin’ on tacos tomorrow: pic.twitter.com/6V0yYEMI44

— Leah B. (@CircleCityStyle) August 21, 2014

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 5 Reasons Why This ‘Virgin Territory’ Character Enjoyed Her First Time 

Reported by MTV Act.

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By Amy Kramer of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

On this week episode of ‘Virgin Territory,’ Anna and Alex went all the way. Not while the cameras were rolling on her 20th birthday – because Alex thought it would be disrespectful to her family if they watched it on TV – but in the weeks soon after. Anna said it hurt (more than the Brazilian wax?) but she also said the whole thing was amazing. Here are 5 reasons that probably contributed to it being such a positive experience for her:

  1. Anna’s not the only one who says waiting for someone they love makes a difference. In a recent survey from MTV and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, less than half (46%) of young adults who have had sex said their first time was “a mostly good experience.” But among those whose first time was with someone they were in a serious relationships with, 2 out of 3 said it was good.
  1. That Anna was 20 years old, and knew herself better than she would have as a young teenager, probably also contributed to the fact that her first time was enjoyable and that she felt so good about it afterwards. According to the survey, those who start having sex before age 18 are far more likely to say their first time wasn’t a good experience.
  1. She and Alex talked about it being her first time. Those in the survey who say they discussed that issue with their first partner are also much more likely to report that their first time was good. Those who didn’t have that conversation with their first partner are much more likely to say it wasn’t.
  1. They had great communication in general, not just about it being her first time. Those who say they felt like they had good communication overall with their first partner were also more likely to say their first experience was a good one.
  1. She felt ready. Those who say their first time was something they were pressured into hardly ever say their first time was positive.

 

 Everyone Has A Reason For Waiting To Have Sex… Right? 

Reported by MTV Act.

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By Amy Kramer of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

So, right now on “Virgin Territory,”Luke has a serious girlfriend now but he won’t have sex before marriage for religious reasons.  Anike thought she would wait for marriage too but now she’s planning to do it with Julian for their one-year anniversary. Shelby hasn’t lost her virginity yet because she “hasn’t found a guy that’s worth giving that to.” Anna was also raised religiously, but things with Alex are going well and she’s thinking about going all the way soon. Do you see yourself in any of these stories? Chances are you do.

In a recent survey from MTV and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, young adults who haven’t had sex yet were asked about their own reasons for waiting. The most popular ones were waiting until marriage (37%) and not having found the right person yet (35%).   At least one in five said they’re waiting until they fall in love, they just don’t feel ready yet, religious reasons keep them from having sex, or they don’t want to risk pregnancy. About one in six said they wanted to avoid sexually transmitted infections, they hadn’t had the opportunity yet, or their parents would be disappointed in them. Can you relate?

Virgins in the survey were also asked whether they would rather have sex as soon as possible or wait for the right time before they have sex – 90% said they’d prefer to wait. Does that surprise you?

Bottom line: Sex is a big deal, with physical and emotional consequences, and any reason you might have for not wanting to do it (even if you’ve done it before) is reason enough.

Photo: (MTV)

 Talking With Lindy West About ‘I Believe You, It’s Not Your Fault’ 

Reported by MTV Act.

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Lindy West is known as a leader in the feminist blogging community. She’s a staff writer for Jezebel, an has contributed to MSNBC, Slate, GQ, and many others. At 32 years old, she is about to become a step mother to two girls, ages 10 and 12. It is this new chapter in her life that inspired her to create the Tumblr, I Believe You, It’s Not Your Fault.

“For most of my career I’ve focused on humor and pop culture–even when I’ve covered serious issues like body image and rape culture I’ve always couched it in humor as a defense mechanism,” said Lindy, when I spoke to her over email “So there’s something really vulnerable and exciting about I Believe You, It’s Not Your Fault (IBYINYF), because it’s 100% sincere and earnest. Not that jokes aren’t allowed on the site, no one’s required to be anything. I feel like this is a cliched way to put it, but it’s very raw.

Check out my Q + A with Lindy below!

ACT: For young people, the term “rape culture” can actually seem pretty vague. Can you give our readers a few examples of the systemic impact of rape culture?

Lindy: Well, in the context of IBYINYF, rape culture manifests in things like mothers asking their sexually abused children, “You enjoyed the attention, didn’t you?” and sexual assault victims being told they “shouldn’t have made a scene” by speaking out, as though ASSAULTING SOMEONE doesn’t constitute “making a scene.” To me, rape culture is the expectation, accepted as fact, that rape is just a natural, inescapable part of life–that it’s not something perpetrators can help, and therefore it’s the victim’s responsibility to avoid it. To tell a victim that “don’t get raped” is our only viable rape prevention tool is to tell them that their assault was a personal failure. They didn’t not-get-raped well enough. Well, what were they wearing?

Meanwhile, women are awarded to men as literal prizes at the end of every movie and every video game; in film, only 30% of speaking characters are women and a third of those are partially naked; there are studies that show that sexual objectification causes our brains to see women as a lesser form of human; aggressive male entitlement is coded as “heroic” while male victims are coded as feminine and weak. Those are cultural phenomena, not natural ones. People choose to enact them. Yet, somehow, we couldn’t possibly change the culture and start teaching young people that women are full human beings and their bodies are not public property? Bullsh*t.

+ Watch A Short Video About IBYINYF From The BBC

ACT: Can you tell us about your new website, I Believe You, It’s Not Your Fault. What inspired you to create this site, in this specific format? What has been the response so far?

LINDY: For me personally, it grew out of conversations that have started coming up with my stepdaughters over the past couple of years, where they’re running into these really heinous problems for the first time–slut-shaming, victim-blaming, peer pressure–and not having a vocabulary to talk about it. And that’s with ME as a parent–shouty, feminist, loudmouthed me. So I think about some of their friends at school who don’t have adults in their lives who can (or who want to) contextualize these issues in a compassionate, supportive way. It’s so easy for those kids, if they’re victimized, to internalize the idea that they shouldn’t have “made a scene,” and that the next time their boundaries are breached they should just go along with it. And it breaks my heart. So I wanted to do something for those kids in particular.

ACT: IBYINYF seems to focus on letting young women know that they are not alone in their experiences of assault. In a society where 1 in 4 women is assaulted in college, what is something young women can do to feel empowered, as opposed to becoming an eventual statistic?

LINDY: I think the simplest, least risky, and most readily accessible (thanks to the internet) thing anyone can do is find a community. At IBYINYF you don’t have to speak to anyone face to face, you don’t have to leave your room, you don’t even have to identify yourself–you can present your story to the entire world, and be met with a mountain of solidarity and support from people who’ve lived through similar traumas, without anyone ever knowing who you are. This is anecdotal, but personally, since I’ve started spending time in supportive, positive, safe online spaces where boundaries are revered and defended, I can feel it changing my brain and the way I move through the world. I trust myself more. I don’t waste my time responding to bad-faith arguments. I call out oppressive behavior without equivocation. So, hopefully, once people find online spaces where they feel comfortable telling their stories, they can move on to real-life spaces, and reporting incidents to police, and speaking out on behalf of other victims. Community-building is one of the most powerful tools we have.

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Photo: Lindy West

ACT: Do you think that the fact that 1 in 4 women is assaulted in college has an impact on women joining traditionally male-dominated fields, such as STEM, later in life? Do you think rape culture prevents women from “leaning in”?

LINDY: Sure, these things are all interconnected. The fetishization of male aggression and female submission is as relevant to office politics as it is to rape culture. Men are “assertive,” women are “bitchy.” On an even more basic level–and I’m starting to deal with this with my kids–we teach women that their main job, their top priority, is to be decorative. To pour all of their time and money and emotional energy into this one metric of value. It’s not a coincidence that boys aren’t told to do this–that boys, instead, are encouraged to be doctors and scientists and entrepreneurs. It’s not a coincidence that our political, business, and STEM landscapes are drastically skewed toward men.

ACT: It feels like we are talking about issues of misogyny, assault, and rape culture more than ever (especially post #YesAllWomen). If this is the case, how can young women go from just talking about it with their female friends, to actually demanding that changes be made – not just at a higher level – but more directly, with their male peers (teenage boys), and male fathers, bosses, teachers, clergy, etc?

LINDY: A huge part of this fight is just reminding ourselves of things we already know. There are so many voices saying, “You’re wrong about this,” “This is your fault,” “You’re imagining things.” Even if you intellectually know what’s right and wrong, it’s really easy to let that get through. And it takes constant repetition and reinforcement to remind yourself that this stuff is real, it’s wrong, you’re not imagining it, and it needs to change.

I think sticking to those convictions, calling out oppressive behavior and thinking when you see it, and enacting genuine consequences if people violate your ethics and boundaries (i.e. if you don’t respect women, you’re not my friend) needs to become the rule rather than the exception. But also, not everyone has the luxury of being vocal and demanding. And there’s no shame in being silent, compliant, invisible, or whatever you need to do to survive until you can take control of your life and leave.

ACT: Do you have a good example of a way to respond to someone who has just told a sexist/rape joke?

LINDY: I find that just a calm, simple interrogation is really effective. “I don’t get it.” “What’s the joke?” “No, but what’s the funny part of the joke?” “What’s the joke about?” And make them say, out right, that their “joke” is at the expense of rape victims, or women, or whatever marginalized group they think makes a good punchline. If you feel like it. At this point–unless it’s a well-meaning friend who just made a mistake–I mostly roll my eyes and avoid them forever.

If you or someone you know is feeling scared or unsafe, please visit RAINN.

 We Need To Talk About Catelynn + Tyler From “16 & Pregnant” 

Reported by MTV Act.

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Calling all “16 & Pregnant” fans! If you haven’t heard already, Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra are having a baby. So how are things different from when they were expecting a baby before?

+ They’re a Little Older Now

First thing’s first: Catelynn and Tyler are older now, and they say they’re better equipped to raise a baby. When the duo first got pregnant with daughter Carly, they knew they couldn’t provide the best life for her, so they chose to go the adoption route. Now that the two are older and wiser (and no longer in high school), they say they’re ready to take on the commitment that is parenting.

+ They’ve Got Money on Their Minds

You know what most 16-year-olds are lacking? Money. Now that Catelynn and Tyler are older, they’ve got money saved up. In fact, according to Catelynn, they own a house and two cars and have money to raise the baby. They’re also both working full-time jobs! Since babies are expensive (and I mean reaaally expensive) money makes a big difference. You have to pay for things like diapers and clothes and food and maybe daycare … until the kid can take care of itself.

We wish them luck, but keep in mind not everyone is ready for kids at the same age (in terms of money, commitment, etc.), and that some people don’t want to have kids. It’s important to have kids only if and when you’re ready and if and when you want them. Find out how you can prevent an unwanted pregnancy at It’s Your (Sex) Life.

Photo: (Instagram)

 Sex Ed For 10-Year-Olds + 3 Other Things to Know About Today 

Reported by MTV Act.

+ Sex Ed For 10-Year-Olds

HIV Activists Protest Outside Aids Summit At The United Nations

A study from Georgetown University suggests that things like unwanted pregnancies and the transfer of STDs would be seriously cut back if students got sex education at an earlier age, like ten. “If programs…are implemented at a time when adolescents are still malleable and relatively free of sexual and reproductive health problems and gender role biases, very young adolescents can be guided safely through this life stage, supported by their parents, families and communities,” the study authors argued.

+ Target Backs LGBTQ Rights

Profit Rises 18 Percent At Target Corp

Companies like Apple and Facebook have official stances of supporting same-sex marriage, and now Target has given its support, too. “It is our belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes rights we believe individuals should have related to marriage,” said Target’s executive vice president and chief human resources officer, Jodee Kozlak.

+ The Prez Sings “Fancy”

+ Watch Barack Obama Singing Fancy by Iggy Azalea

Okay, so maybe it’s not as cool as President Obama breaking out and singing “Fancy” in the middle of a press conference, but you can now watch the prez “sing” Iggy Azalea’s song. Baracksdubs is back, and you have to hand it to someone who has the patience to find all those clips to make this work. But if it gets people smiling and talking about the political process, it’s all worth it, right?

+ Viva Women’s Equality!

2014 Bastille Day Fireworks At Eiffel Tower

France has passed a major law for gender equality. Along with strengthening women’s reproductive rights and the right to an abortion, the law will give “support for domestic abuse victims, improve women’s wages, encourage paternal leave and a more equal division of childcare, increase female representation in politics…” Lilian Sepúlveda, director of the Global Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights, remarked, “At a time when women in many parts of the world, including in the United States and Spain, are seeing their rights restricted, violated, and disrespected, France has set an important example for the rest of the globe with its progressive stance toward reproductive health care.”

Photo: (Getty)

 Good To Know: Not Everyone Is Doing It 

Reported by MTV Act.

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By Amy Kramer of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

On this week’s episode of “Virgin Territory,” Kyle tells his mom he had sex with Amanda, and she surprises him with the news that his dad didn’t have sex until he was even older than Kyle is now. Kyle’s kind of stunned by this and says he wishes he had known – it would have made him feel better about being a virgin.

Obviously Kyle’s situation is a kind of complicated because his dad died when he was a teenager and one of the reasons he thinks he’s so awkward with girls is because during his teen years he was more focused on family stuff than being social. But it is true for anyone that knowing other people waited can be a real comfort.

In fact, according to a recent survey from MTV and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2 out of 3 young adults think that “if teenagers knew that less than half of teens are sexually active, it would help them wait longer to have sex.”

Lots of people, especially virgins, think that everyone else is having sex, even though the reality is that in high school most people haven’t done it yet. But just thinking that everyone is more experienced than you are can lead to pressure to go farther than you’re ready for.

That’s one of our favorite things about “Virgin Territory” – it shows that all kinds of people, even cool, good looking, popular people with active social lives aren’t necessarily doing it yet.

Tune in to Virgin Territory Wednesdays At 11/10c on MTV.

For more information on safe sex, visit It’s Your Sex Life.

 The Thing About Sex Is…It Gets Better! 

Reported by MTV Act.

kylevirginBy Amy Kramer of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

The first time usually isn’t so great. It can be awkward or embarrassing or stressful, and for most people it’s kind of anticlimactic. So, contrary to what you see in the movies and hear from your more experienced friends, if your first time isn’t the best thing ever, you’re not alone. And certainly you saw a lot of this awkwardness on tonight’s “Virgin Territory.”

Among 18-24 year olds, less than half (46%) say their first time was “a mostly good experience.”   And the younger they were the first time they had sex, the more likely they are to say it wasn’t great. For those who were 17 or younger their first time, just 40% say it was “mostly good.” For those 18 and older the first time, 58% said so. (The average age for first sex in the U.S. is 17).

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And even those who had good feelings about it at the time, when they look back on it now, they feel differently: 55% say they were HAPPY at the time they first had sex, but looking back on it, only 31% say that’s the case. 47% say they felt LOVED their first time, but in retrospect, only 25% say that’s true. 28% say they were RELIEVED, but only 14% feel that way about it now.

VirginTerritory-Wish

When asked if they would change something about their first time if it were possible to go back and re-do it, half (49%) said they would. What would they change? Lots of things, from doing it with someone they loved/someone who loved them, to using a condom, to allowing themselves to enjoy it more, to being sober, to just waiting a bit longer.

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A little more than one-third (38%) say their first time was “not as good as I was expecting” and another 38% say it was “about what I was expecting.” Only 19% say it was “better than I expected it would be.”

Remember Lisa from the first episode of “Virgin Territory“– she was married and in love her first time, but the experience itself was kind of underwhelming. Or Kyle, who finally did it in the most recent episode – he was psyched but you can kind of tell it didn’t knock his socks off.

Still, even if the first time isn’t like lighting and rainbows and fireworks, it does get better. The more comfortable you are with your own body, the more you know what you like and how to communicate that to your partner, the more experienced you are in general, the better it will be.