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 Doctors Recommend IUDS For Teen Pregnancy Prevention 

Reported by MTV Act.

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By Robin Lempel

With everything from the pill to patches to the shot, there are a lot of birth control options out there. Is there really a difference? The short answer? Yes.

Doctors from the American Academy of Pediatrics are saying that the best form of birth control for teens is actually implantable rods and intrauterine devices (IUDs). IUDs can work from anywhere between three to 10 years. And you don’t even have to worry about taking a pill every day.

For those that don’t know, the IUD is a T-shaped device that is placed in the uterus. And though they can last a really long time, they can also be taken out whenever you want. In fact, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, IUDs are the “best reversible methods for preventing unintentional pregnancy, rapid repeat pregnancy and abortion in young women” out there.

Plus they’re actually the cheapest form of birth control in the long run. Though they cost a lot upfront since there’s a procedure involved (doctors have to put them in), they end up costing less than having to keep getting condoms and pills. And insurance now covers them.

That said, it’s important to use a condom no matter what form of birth control you choose. Besides abstinence, condoms are the best and only way to protect yourself from both pregnancy and STIs.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, only 3% of the 3.2 million teenage women who use a form of contraception use the IUD. However, the implant and IUD are the most effective forms of birth control out there, with a failure rate of less than 1%.

The most important thing to do, though, is to make sure — if you’re sexually active — that you have a form of contraception that you’re happy and comfortable with and that you understand. The American Academy of Pediatrics is stumping for the IUD because it has a lot of benefits, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. In other words, while they say it’s good overall for teens, individuals are all different and the best form of birth control for one person isn’t necessarily the best for another.

Have any questions about the different forms of birth control available to you? Check out MTV’s It’s Your (Sex) Life to find out more and talk with your doctor.

Photo: (RH Reality Check)

 Think You’re Ready to Hook-up? Download This Free Consent App ASAP 

Reported by MTV Act.

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Things are getting heated, you think you’re ready to take things to the next level, but are you really “Good2Go”? Thanks to a new app, there’s a simple, free way to find out.

According to Reason, Lee Ann Allman, along with her husband Mike, were “inspired to do something about sexual consent after listening to their college-aged children—and their kids’ friends—wrestle with the issues.” Thus, the Good2Go app was born.

To clear things up: The website makes it seem like the app only plays to heterosexual relationships, but it’s actually gender neutral. Here’s how it works: One party downloads the app, asking his/her potential partner if he/she is “Good2Go.” She chooses one of the options on the phone: “No, Thanks,” “Yes, but…we need to talk,” or “I’m Good2Go.”

If the person clicks “I’m Good2Go,” the app further prompts him/her to declare how sober he/she is. If the person selects “Pretty Wasted,” he/she can’t consent – plain and simple. If the person is “Good2Go,” then he/she “will be asked to enter her phone number and the app will verify her identity.”

While we’re thrilled to hear about an app that’s all about consent, this isn’t the end-all, be-all as far as the subject goes. The app isn’t legally binding, for one, and people can, unfortunately, still lie about how intoxicated they are.

That said, it’s free, and it’s always important to communicate clearly before hooking up, so why not download it?

 So, Does Waiting Really Make Your First Time Better? 

Reported by MTV Act.

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

Three of the cast members of “Virgin Territory” are no longer in “virgin territory” after this episode, and the good news is that everyone had really positive experiences!

Last week we saw Kyle’s digestive issues shut down any potential action between him and Abby during their special Valentine’s Day night. But this week’s episode showed that the two of them were able to finally get intimate in a much more casual environment – at home, playing Jenga, without a plan.

New cast member Emily recently underwent surgery to repair an abnormality with her hymen that had prevented her from having sex with her boyfriend. But now, medically ready, she had to work on getting comfortable with herself and talking to her boyfriend about her feelings and insecurities before they were able to do the deed.

Even self-described awkward cast member John “swiped his v-card,” though it was with someone he’d just met, rather than a girlfriend like he’d planned. Instead of dating girls and constantly wondering if they’d be his first, he felt comfortable enough to do it with someone without any planning or speculating. And that was perfect for him.

This isn’t always the case. Less than half (46%) of sexually active young adults say their first time was a “mostly good experience,” according to a recent survey by MTV and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. And of those men and women who wish they could change something about their first time, two-thirds of women and a third of men wish they’d waited longer. So maybe the virgins of Virgin Territory were onto something by delaying sex.

Like Abby says, to all the virgins out there, don’t stress yourself out. Let it happen, don’t think about it too much and make sure it’s with someone you love. Even if you don’t love the person, make sure it’s with someone you trust and respect, who trusts and respects you, too. And for more info on taking control of your sexual health, check out It’s Your Sex Life and visit Bedsider.org for information on protecting yourself, whenever you are ready for sex.

 I’m Emily Quinn, And I’m Intersex 

Reported by MTV Act.

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By Emily Quinn

To my Friends and Family — oh, and the rest of the world too:

I’ve been told it takes balls to be in a PSA like this or to write a letter like this one. No, seriously! I have balls. Not, like, basketballs, or footballs.  I’m a girl who has testes.

I’ve kept this fact quiet for many years, 15 to be exact. I was 10 when I found out I was intersex, but it wasn’t until I was 22 that I even began to understand what that means.

Some of you reading this are my close friends and family members, and this might be the first time you’re hearing about this. If it is, I’m sorry. Please don’t be upset that I haven’t told you yet. It’s my story to share, and, like it is for most intersex people, mine has been a long and hard journey. It’s not always easy to talk about, but I’m excited to finally start being more open about it. I’m so grateful that you’re joining me on this.

Intersex is an umbrella term referring to people born with differences in their sex characteristics. These differences can occur in places like their genes, chromosomes, genitalia, reproductive organs, hormones, or secondary characteristics (like body hair). Personally, I have a condition called Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (CAIS). I have XY chromosomes and testes, but my body is entirely unresponsive to testosterone, and I developed as a female. Internally, I don’t have a uterus or ovaries, which means that I can never have biological children.

You might think intersex people are like unicorns, so rare that you’ve only heard about us in books and fairy tales. I like to think we are pretty freaking magical, but we’re actually not that rare. My AIS friends and I represent an estimated 1 in 20,000 births, and intersex people in general occur in about 1 in every 2,000.

Intersex people are not rare, just invisible.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of shame and secrecy within our communities, perpetuating the invisibility. I’ve had doctors tell me over and over again that I’d never meet anyone else like me. (Thankfully, that was not the case.) So many intersex people like me have been instructed by our doctors, parents, and friends not to tell anyone about our conditions, which makes us feel shameful and unworthy.

I’ve been poked, prodded, and gawked at by so many doctors, it’s enough to make anyone feel like a science experiment. They say how excited they are to meet someone like you, they’ll “never meet another person like this, ever.” But when they say that to you as a kid, all you hear is “you’re a freak.”

As I got older, it only got a little easier to talk about. Most friends responded by telling me how lucky I was, or how jealous they were, and they didn’t really get what I was going through. Some friends said things so hurtful that it made me not want to talk to anybody anymore.

It wasn’t until I found the AIS-DSD Support Group that I began to meet people who understood what I was going through. I also joined Inter/Act, an amazing intersex youth advocacy group. There I started telling my story and, for the first time, became empowered as an intersex person.

So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, my advocacy journey so far as lead me to you, my friends and family. I’ve told rooms filled with doctors and college students, but now it’s time I stop keeping it from those closest to me. The more people I tell my secret to, the less it feels like a burden weighing me down.  These stories, if kept hidden, only perpetuate the shame, the stigma, and the hurt that young intersex people are experiencing everyday. I can excitedly say that it’s getting better for our community, but not quite fast enough. If telling my story helps just one person to feel less alone then my efforts have been worth it.

There’s so much talk about proper representation in the media, and I really feel for every under-represented person who can’t find someone like themselves to relate to,  inspiring them to do great things with their lives. Growing up I had absolutely no intersex characters to look up to. No books, no TV shows, no movies. Now, here I am today, so excited and honored to be working with MTV on developing Lauren’s intersex character for “Faking It.” It’s a groundbreaking step for intersex awareness, and it’s a dream come true to be able to advocate on issues that are so close to my heart.

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(Emily Quinn + Bailey DeYoung)

Another Inter/Act member, Alice, and I watched the first episode at an early screening. When it was revealed that Lauren was intersex, Alice and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes as she said “My heart is in my stomach right now.” Mine was too. Watching someone play out part of your life that you have kept secret for so long is an incredibly powerful thing. It just proves to me how important it is that I’m doing this work. Ever since I started getting involved with Inter/Act, I started meeting more people who didn’t have anyone to turn to, and it tells me that this shame and stigma is still happening. I know Lauren represents just one segment of a diverse intersex community, but hopefully her character will help raise awareness so all intersex people can feel less isolated and more accepted for being their true, authentic self.

+ Watch 9 Things You Need To Know About Being Intersex

Thank you for staying with me through all of this.  Being intersex is just one part of my life, but I’m glad I can finally be honest with you about it. I haven’t changed, you just know a little more about me now. I’m still an artist, I’m still an Irish dancer, and I still work on Adventure Time. But now, I’m really excited to add “advocate” to that list. Hopefully by telling stories like this I can help more people stop faking it.

xoxy,

Emily Quinn

(Main photo by Chloe Aftel for Non-Binary Photo Series)

 About To Do It? Here Are Some Precautions You May Want To Consider 

Reported by MTV Act.

openingcondom

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

Virgin Territory’s” Abby knows a thing or two about waiting. Even though her friends are sexually active, she’s been waiting for the right guy to finally do the deed. And now that she’s been with her boyfriend Kyle for a year, and it’s Valentine’s Day, she thinks she’s finally ready. As for Kyle, well, he’s been ready since they first met.

But before they leave for their romantic evening at the hotel, Abby’s mom talks to both of them about their decision. She reminds Abby that she doesn’t have to have sex just because it’s Valentine’s Day. Her mom has told her horror stories about sex in the past and just wants to make sure Abby is making the right decision. Abby jokes that maybe she’ll get pregnant the first time. Not a very funny joke to her mom (or to Kyle!). But it’s totally possible. You can get pregnant any time you have unprotected sex – whether it’s your first time or your hundredth time. If Abby and Kyle are really ready to take the next step in their relationship, in addition to sexy lingerie and decorating the hotel room, they should have a plan in place of how they’re going to protect themselves.

As it turns out, Valentine’s Day turns out not to be their night, because even though he brought condoms, an upset stomach seems to be the form of protection keeping them from doing the deed that night.

To check out other options, you know, for when Kyle is feeling a little better, Abby can head to It’s Your Sex Life or Bedsider.org, which has you covered whenever you decide you’re ready for sex.

 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

Get More:
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+ Watch Guy-to-Guy

Get More:
MTV Shows

The “Co Zone Convos” series portrays realistic condom conversations between couples among friends.
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Trojan_Couple 

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

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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

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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)