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 16 & Pregnant: Kristina 

Kristina is 16 and super involved in school activities, including getting straight A’s.  She didn’t plan on getting pregnant so young, but when she told her boyfriend, Todd, he was really supportive. And pregnancy wasn’t the only life challenge confronting Kristina– she faces an extreme tragedy when Todd drowned while they were at the beach together.  After such a devastating experience, Kristina has so much grief that she doesn’t really seem excited, or nervous or even stressed about the baby, since she’s already dealing with so many emotions. Even though it was hard for her to open up at first, she starts leaning on her family and friends for support.  Everyone responds to loss differently, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone– there are people around you, like family, friends, and counselors, or support groups, or even online communities that are there to help you as you take time to grieve.  Make sure that you’re being honest with yourself about your experience and that you’re communicating your feelings with people you trust.   If you’re trying to cope during a time of grief, visit this site for some information to help you as you work through the loss of someone close to you.

 

 16 & Pregnant: Devon 

Devon loves hanging out with her friends who aren’t afraid to tell each other what’s up.  And Devon is really grateful she has all the support of her friends, her mom and her sister, Jane (also a teen mom) since all the stress with school and jobs and the baby is adding up.  Her mom is really disappointed that Devon is pregnant since she always thought Devon was the “responsible one”.   It’s hard to hear some tough love from parents, and they might not always say it the right way, but it all comes down to this idea: if you’re having sex, it’s your responsibility to take control and protect yourself.  And after watching 16 and Pregnant, we all know that having sex DOES mean taking on a lot of risks (like unplanned pregnancy) and a lot of emotional baggage (like raising a child, dealing with boyfriends, trying to finish school and being financially independent all at the same time).  So whether you decide that you’re ready to have sex or you decide that you want to wait, make a plan to protect yourself from STDs and pregnancy BEFORE you’re in the situation.  Get started here!

 ‘Savage U’ Florida: Your Weekly (Sex) Life Lesson 

Reported by MTV Act.

Photo: Alex (MTV)

Dan Savage took on some kinky questions at the University of Central Florida on “Savage U” last night, and with nearly 60,000 students on campus there were plenty to go around. But it wasn’t all sex toys and orgasm-talk, a bi-sexual student named Alex moved Dan so much he offered her a hug! And Dan is not a hugger.

 

+The Deets

Alex has identified as a lesbian for years, and chose to go a college with a big, supportive LGBT community. But recently she has become romantically and sexually interested in guys again and is fearful her gay and lesbian friends will reject her for being bisexual. She has already received some negative responses from friends and is torn up as to why her gay friends can’t be happy for her, regardless of her choice. “We are bullied all the time for who we are and who we want to have sex with,” she said.

+The (Sex)perts weigh in:
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 16 & Pregnant: Myranda 

Myranda is an honor student who loves playing sports and going out with her friends. She and her boyfriend Eric love playing catch and video games, but they’re realizing that having a baby is going to be more than a game they can just pause or stop.  Myranda needs to think about all the responsibilities of being a mom AND focus on studying for her GED so she can go to college when the Kaylee is older. Talk about stressful! Most teen moms don’t graduate high school and only 2 out of 100 earn a college degree by the time they’re 30. We’re hoping Myranda is one of those 2, but it doesn’t seem like the odds are ever in her favor. Check out more of the REAL DEAL about teen pregnancy here.

Eric is working and going to community college so, even though he’s helping as much as he can, Myranda still can’t get more than 3 hours of sleep a night when Kaylee comes. As she puts it, she’s going “stir crazy” being alone in the house when she misses her friends and being in school.  She even admits she would take all of this back if she could and opens up to say that she thought it would be easier when Kaylee was born. She wishes that she would have waited to have sex so that she could give Kaylee a better life than she can right now. And Myranda isn’t alone. Did you know that almost 2 out of 3 teenagers who have had sex wish they’d waited and that half of all teens in high school have never had sex? Here are ways to talk about waiting to have sex until you’re ready.

And how did this all happen? Well, Myranda decided that she was going to go off the pill for a month because she ran out and didn’t think she would get pregnant. The pill only works when you take it correctly and consistently– that means EVERY DAY. And what about Eric? He tells his friends that he didn’t wear a condom because he was thinking about himself and not about everything else that could happen.  But thinking pregnancy won’t happen to you doesn’t protect you. So, what does work for preventing pregnancy? Find out here!

 ‘Savage U’ Auburn: Your Weekly (Sex) Life Lesson 

Reported by MTV Act.

Photo: (MTV)

Dan headed south to Auburn University in Alabama on tonight’s Savage U and it was clear he felt like a fish out of water with all the talk of holding doors, M-R-S degrees and chastity. But one student’s story of striving to live up to his own moral code won Dan over. Watch below at the 17 minute mark:

 

+The Deets

Luke is in a long-distance relationship but is finding it challenging to balance the college lifestyle and staying committed. He and his girlfriend are not having sex and he plans to stay a virgin until he is married, but there are temptations — in the form of hot girls — are everywhere at Auburn.
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 16 & Pregnant: Jordan 

Jordan is a junior in high school who loves hanging out with her friends and Tyler, her boyfriend, even though her friends and family don’t understand why she’s with him. Jordan was always defending Tyler to her mom and everyone else that she spent more time protecting her relationship than actually protecting herself, so now they have a new challenge to face together: being teen parents.  Jordan loves Tyler and never doubts that he’ll be a good dad, but there’s definitely tension between Tyler and Jordan’s mom. Jordan’s mom finally comes around and allows Tyler into her home. Jordan is really excited that she can have both her mom and Tyler there to support her and the baby, but after Chase is born, Tyler visits less and less. Jordan learns that having a baby means more than buying food, clothes, and a crib…it’s making sure Chase is taken care of.  And that means making tough sacrifices. Without Tyler around, Jordan realizes that she can’t handle both finishing high school and taking care of Chase so she decides to drop out of school. She always planned on going to school to be a dental hygienist, but now she doesn’t know when she’ll be able to get back on track. But get this: Jordan’s situation actually represents the majority of teen moms, since less than half of teen moms ever graduate from high school.  If you decide you’re ready to have sex, it’s important to make sure you’re ready with a pregnancy prevention now so that you don’t have to let go of your plans for the future.  Start taking control by finding out what works and what doesn’t to protect against pregnancy here.

 ‘Savage U’ East Carolina: Your Weekly (Sex) Life Lesson 

Reported by MTV Act.

Photo: (MTV)

On tonight’s episode of “Savage U,” sex columnist Dan Savage stopped by East Carolina University, where the girls complain they far outnumber the guys on campus, but the guys are loving the statistical advantage. Dan coached students through relationship issues like dealing with a girlfriend’s parents and communicating desires to a BF/GF, but Kira’s story definitely caught our attention, and Dan’s:

+The Deets

Kira has been posting ads on Craigslist, advertising for hook ups and allowing people she meets online to come to her apartment.  She is using condoms and birth control, but she often knows very little about the guys she is involved with. Is this booty hunting safe?
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 16 & Pregnant: Alex 

Between two jobs and school, Alex is used to balancing a lot, but being pregnant, she’s going to have to balance a lot more.  Throughout her pregnancy, Alex struggles with deciding between adoption and keeping the baby. She feels a connection with the baby and wants to keep it, but she also listens to her boyfriend, Matt, and her mom that adoption may be the best option. She knows that another family could provide her baby with more opportunities than she could since Alex and Matt are still in school. After thinking about the decision for weeks, Alex ultimately decides to keep the baby even though her friend’s parents offer to adopt the baby in an open adoption.   But when she does, all her worst fears about Matt not stepping up when the baby arrives all come true since he is MIA all the time.

How did it get to this point?  Well, props to Alex and Matt for being on the right track and using condoms.  When used correctly and consistently, each and every time, from start to finish, condoms are the only method that protect against both unintended pregnancy and STDs.  But the key is correct and consistent use every time.  When a condom broke one night, Alex and Matt again were on the right track, since went to buy emergency contraception, they thought it was too expensive so they didn’t buy it.  While it’s so important to have a plan to prevent pregnancy, it’s just as important to actually follow through on that plan.  Now, Alex is figuring out how expensive having a baby is between diapers, day care, clothes, and bottles. Protecting against pregnancy is all about making sure you’re covered all the time. When there is a one-time slip up, emergency contraception is very effective at reducing the risk of unintended pregnancy and costs $50 at pharmacies- a lot cheaper than having a baby.  So take control, make a plan, and act on it!  Get started by checking our what works and what doesn’t for preventing pregnancy here!

 

 16 & Pregnant: Lindsey 

Lindsey is a cage fighter who is known for being tough, but being pregnant is by far her toughest battle yet.  She and her on-and-off boyfriend of three years, Forrest, are back together and preparing for the baby that’s coming sooner than they expected. Lindsey and Forrest used birth control, but after forgetting a condom once and not getting pregnant, Lindsey thought she couldn’t get pregnant…and now she’s getting ready to be a teen mom. Many young people think they’re invincible to pregnancy, but did you know that 85% of couples who have sex but don’t use contraception will become pregnant within a year? And it doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out that means a lot of unplanned pregnancies! Get in the know and find the answers to common questions about preventing pregnancy here.

When Lindsey found out she was pregnant, she started working lots of hours at a fast food restaurant to prepare for the money she’ll need to spend on the baby, but after looking at her budget, she finds out that she’ll probably spend double what she expected just buying things like a crib, clothes, diapers, and a car seat. Babies are expensive–before and after they’re born– and the expenses keep coming.  While part of being a teen is enjoying the freedom of only having to worry about yourself, being a parent means taking financial responsibility for a child.  And that’s a HUGE commitment.  And it’s not just about making financial sacrifices.  After her baby is born, Lindsey struggles with staying home with the baby all day and being alone. She misses her old life hanging out with friends, partying, hunting, and training for cage fighting matches. When the baby is six weeks old, she plans to go back to work and back to training for cage fighting, but she knows finances are tight and she might have to make even more sacrifices. Want to avoid the worries of juggling different jobs to provide, leaving behind college plans or even giving up activities that you love to do? Then make a plan to avoid unintended pregnancy!  Get started by checking out what works and what doesn’t to protect yourself against unintended pregnancy here.

 

 Savage U Ohio: Your Weekly (Sex) Life Lesson 

Reported by MTV Act.

Photo: (MTV)

Ohio State University — known for Buckeyes football, raging tailgates and loyal fans — welcomed sex columnist Dan Savage to the party tonight. But college isn’t always all fun and games, as Dan learned when Emily shared her difficult story, watch after the jump:

 

+The Deets

Emily was interested in a friend from class, and accepted an invitation to hang out. He made a forceful move on her and reacted angrily when she said no, even calling her a bitch. The experience has made Emily feel guilty, question herself, her own judgment and other guys.
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 Q&A: Dan Savage Talks Hook Ups and Double Standards 

Famous sex-columnist Dan Savage answers students’ questions on the new MTV series Savage U. What did he learn from the experience? It’s Your Sex Life got answers:

++You’re a world-renowned sex, dating and relationship expert, so you’ve pretty much heard it all.  While traveling to all these college campuses, was there a particularly surprising or unexpected question?

It wasn’t new, I’ve heard it before, but I’m still surprised by how many people — male and female, but more often male — insist they would never date someone they hooked up with. Because, you know, people who hook up… they’re just not relationship material, you know? It never seems to register with the person making this observation — this value judgment — that they themselves are not “relationship material.” By their own definition they’re not! Because they hooked up too.

They know they’re not sleazes, even if they did something sleazy, but they assume that the person they got sleazy with must be a sleaze. Not someone who did something sleazy, but a sleaze. The double standard and magical/tragical thinking here is equal parts sad and hilarious.

++ Why did you want to do this show? Why is talking with young people about sex and all the issues that go along with sex like using protection and getting tested for STDs so important to you?

I wanted to bring the kind of conversation I have with my readers and listeners to television. Sex is fun, it’s a wonderful thing, but there are risks. Control those risks as best you can and then get out there and enjoy yourself while being considerate of the feelings and rights of others. That “do unto others” stuff, you know?

Often what you see on TV about sex—people going for it, having sex without any thought being given to the risk—is in conflict with what you hear about sex on TV. What you hear is, basically, “Don’t have sex unless it’s 100% safe! Responsible people only have risk-free sex!” There is no such thing as risk-free sex, of course. And that message about risk—it’s never okay to take a risk—is undermined by all the risk taking we see people, real and fictional, engage in on television.

A show that acknowledges the risks, talks about them, informs people about them, and then empowers them to make their own choices—their own informed choices, which can include the choice to take a risk—is something new.

Watch Savage U Tuesdays at 11/10c and check back for more from Dan Savage on It’s Your Sex Life.

 Savage U Maryland: Your Weekly (Sex) Life Lesson 

Sex and relationships columnist Dan Savage was at the University of Maryland for the premiere of Savage U tonight and he dug up all kinds of dirt on the dating and hook-up scene. It takes a LOT to shock Dan but his jaw dropped when a student visiting the school’s health center told him this story:

 

++The deets:

The student and his girlfriend Deb admit they are regularly having unprotected sex, without condoms or birth control pills. “When I’m in the mood, I’m not thinking about pregnancy,” he said. Both say they don’t want to have a baby, but just can’t be bothered with birth control or condoms.

++The (SEX)perts weigh in

Where to even begin! This couple is taking a huge gamble EVERY time they have unprotected sex. It’s hard to imagine why they would even go there– risking getting pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease on a regular basis, and they can’t seem to come up with any excuse.  As Dan asked on the show, “Are you insane??”

Dan is completely distressed by this couple’s casual approach to not using protection, with good reason. About 1 in 2 sexually active young people will contract an STD by the age of 25. And a sexually active teen who doesn’t use protection has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year. Those odds ain’t in this couple’s favor!

++The good news

Protecting yourself from STDs and pregnancy is easy if you plan ahead. And life can be a lot less stressful if you just take responsibility up front, instead of having to wonder after the fact.

++What you can do:
If you’re having sex (any kind—oral, anal or vaginal) be proactive and make a plan. There are many different methods of protection out there, so learn more in the What Works/What Doesn’t feature or talk to your doctor about what method works best for you. A few popular methods are:

  •  Condoms (when used consistently and correctly each and every time) are the ONLY method that can help reduce your risk of contracting an STD AND prevent pregnancy. Read up on condoms here.
  • The pill doesn’t provide any protection against STDs but it is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly.
  • The shot protects against pregnancy for 3 months (which may be helpful for the more forgetful ladies out there) and is 99 percent effective when used correctly. But again, only condoms provide protection from STDs.

If you’re waiting to have sex, take a deep breath, you don’t have to worry about pregnancy just yet. But even if you aren’t having sex, know that some STDs can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, so consider using a condom if any sexual contact is going on.

For more information on sexual health visit It’s Your Sex Life and enjoy some of our favorite Dan-isms of the night below:

Best hair-cut advice:

“You should style your vulva however it is that you want to style your vulva”

Best SAT-style analogy:

“Women reading Cosmo and then having certain expectations are like guys watching hard-core porn and having certain expectations.” –Dan trying to convince ladies to put down the Cosmo.

Best relationship advice that applies to all areas of life:

“Stay in the game, say optimistic and don’t get bitter”

Best call out:

“That old song, ‘Oh I can’t feel anything with a condom’ is bull$#*!” –Dan putting the myth that condoms take away all sensation to rest.