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If you lost your virginity before the age of 16..............(186 Posts)
Can I just ask, was it something you did willingly? Was your partner older than you or the same age and do you regret it now?
I guess this is leading on from the other thread about when people lost their virginity.
My dd is 12, nearly 13 and according to that thread, some posters were having sex at 13. I know this happens today too but I just wondered at the circumstances really.
Yes MadBusLady I've just done a quick search as I wondered if she had some beef with me and I can see now that her style is quite argumentative for no real reason other than proving a point.
I was beginning to get paranoid there.
THERhubarb, judging from a comment "Pendeen" made on the one night stand and lost driving licence thread, s/he has a problem with all kinds of people holding different views to him/her on this subject, so I wouldn't worry about it.
Pendeen why the fuck are you picking on my posts? So you disagree that being a virgin is now a taboo in society? I happen to think it is. Is it really that much of a big deal that you feel the need to come onto a thread where people are talking about past abuse and their experiences to continually make picky points just because you don't think being a virgin is a taboo?
Have you nothing better to do?
And for what it's worth, no dear, that was not a sweeping generalisation. I would have thought it fairly obvious from the context of my post and this thread that this was an observation. Something I went onto explain to you in detail using very personal experiences. You must have a huge problem with me to go to this much effort just to prove that you are right and I am wrong. It's hardly the thread for that is it?
Anna1976 I don't see that much has changed unfortunately. Women still have to be pretty and willing to show off as much flesh as possible in order to get attention. That's what the media tell us. Newspapers are full of what who was wearing, pictures taken of celebs in bikinis, etc. And look at the criticism Susan Boyle got over her appearance and yes, her virginity. Look at the disgusting countdown The Sun did when Charlotte Church was about to turn 16.
I feel sickened by some of the experiences posted on this thread and very sad at the legacy they have left behind. It's a testament to the strength of you all though that you are willing to talk about it so openly and honestly.
I think something good that could come out of this thread would be ideas on how to talk to kids about all this stuff - developing from Curryeater's post of Tue 14-May-13 17:26:59 "The "values" that I was brought up with made me desperate and lonely, and seeking love and friendship made me far too malleable to people who used me. I want my girls to have good relationships of all kinds, friendships and romantic relationships, with good people, that they go into willingly with their eyes open, that nourish them and do not violate their self respect."
My sister wasn't legal, I was, but we were both in relationships that were damaging and to some degree abusive, neither of us had any self-respect, we both felt we had to perform for others in order to "be" anything.
I look on in horror as my sister blatantly passes those values on to her daughter. But an ugly failure of an aunt that Mummy and Granny say is ugly and unattractive, isn't going to be able to influence a 5 year old who desperately wants to be a disney princess because pretty girls get attention from important men like princes.
How to break the cycle of objectification?
"Being a virgin is now looked on as more taboo than being sexually active"
Fairly sweeping generalisation IMO
Pendeen not sure what point you are making?
I made an observation about attitudes towards virginity. You are free to disagree of course. I don't think any of us are making sweeping generalisations here, just thinking out loud and sharing experiences.
I was 15 and 10 months and dozy - pregnant at 16 and a mum at 17 and 15 days. That was 43 years ago when you were made an outcast and your baby taken off you. Bleak times.
"Maybe Pendeen but that doesn't invalidate my experiences."
Your experience maybe but you made a sweeping generalisation with which I fundamentally disagree.
I was 15 and I was a willing participant. My boyfriend was 16 and he was my first love. He did not pressure me and we were together a few months before we did it so I knew he was not using me. I have absolutely no regrets at all. But I had my head screwed on for a 15 year old and would have said no if I felt pressured.
It's very sad that young girls just want to get it all over with.
camaleon, yes I agree with your point about virginity. It's an old fashioned notion which has no real relevance anymore (although in feminist studies I was told that the penis was like a knife which entered through the woman's open wound (her vagina) and stabbed her repeatedly. The hymen breaking symbolised the murder of her 'self'. Oh yes, that really helped me to combat my fear of sex!)
I was 15 and willing, drunk at a party with a boy who was in my year at school who was also drunk. On the bathroom floor
classy i know
I don't regret it though, as someone else said upthread, i just wanted to get it over with.
By 16 I was in a relationdhip and very sexually active with him even though my parents thought I wasn't.
I think I was still sleeping with my teddies at 15...
As many posters have said I dont know if its about age as much as context.
I lost mine to a boy the same age as me when I was 16. It was fine- not exactly amazing but nice and not scarring or upsetting.
I then swiftly embarked on a relationship with a 31 year old man when I was 17. It wasnt my first sexual experience but my 2nd time and the relationship went on for almost five years. That was not okay and very scarring. The law couldnt have protected me from that and I did consent. I however dont think I had the ability to really consent to his wishes, because I was young and he was persuasive, abusive, a bit of a Svengali and had fourteen years on me. You cant legislate for that unfortunately.
I would much rather that I had been involved in illegal sex with another 13 year old when I was that age than what eventually happened to me. The fact that it was legal hasnt made it any easier to deal with.
I don't agree with your assessment of what sexuality is for 'under 16' or whatever age we want to. But your points would be as valid as mine I think.
However, I wanted to highlight that perhaps the first thing to do is to remove the importance of 'virginity', mainly for girls. Stop the consideration of sex as something dominated by what happens with a penis. I am not sure the world is worse now than 30 years ago either in terms of pressure on women and sex. I much prefer my daughter to be in the generation she is in, without the pressure to 'keep or lose' something to a man that is just a very small part of her body (and physically does not get lost anyway).
camaleon, in that situation both children are victims. A 12/13 does not have sex with a 5/6 year old without there being a greater problem. Same as murder. Look at the Jamie Bulger case. They were only 10? They were victims too of their parents, of a society which failed them.
Where to draw the line between victim and perpetrator? Is there one? An adult who has been abused can sometimes go on to abuse themselves but then another adult with a similar pattern of abuse may make the choice not to. Making choices is the key and where are you responsible for that? When do you actively start making choices?
I guess it differs from case to case; from child to child.
camaleon I remember a very horrible episode once on Mumsnet where my little boy was called a freak after I responded on one such thread how he showed no interest in touching himself. I was rounded on by a fair few posters and I must admit, it was one of the few times that I came away in tears, largely because it concerned my son and questioned my role as a parent. Such is the power of sisterhood at times
In my personal experience, children derive comfort from many sensations and I believe it is wrong to associate those sensations with sexuality. For example, a child might get comfort from sucking his or her own toes, or from massaging their own heads (as my son would do) or from rubbing themselves. For them it is a nice sensation that has no other meaning attached to it. For us, because their private parts are different to their mouths, their heads, their hands, etc we associate it in other ways. Children do not.
I believe a child who does touch themselves down there are no more sexual than a child who sucks their thumb.
And yes I agree with you that you cannot protect your children, you can only hope that the information you give them, the confidence, the respect, the guidance etc is enough because I get the feeling that they are under much more pressure than we all were - or soon will be.
And what happens when a 12/13 years old has 'sex' with a 5/6 years old? I have been witness of this kind of situation too. Do we assumed that because the age of consent is 16, the 12/13 years old does not understand the situation of power/ the nature of the acts?
Would you consider the 12/13 years old in that scenario as a victim? I think this is very complicated indeed and can only be looked at case by case. At the same time the law needs to set a general limit and that is good. I would not like a law depending on unpredictable judicial decisisions
Therhubarb, it depends how we define sexuality. I have two children who, for instance, have never shown an interest in touching themselves. I have even thought of opening a thread about this after reading how normal is 'masturbation' in very young children and I think it was part of my own childhood.
I would say children are 'sexual' all along, as they obtain pleasure from their bodies which derives from very specific sensations. But I am more than happy to call it differently at different ages.
And no, you cannot protect your children. You can only pass on to them as much information and reference points to find more suitable information.
I don't think children are naturally sexual beings. Quite the opposite actually. I think we view children with adult heads. There may be curiosity about their own and other's bodies from an early age but I don't think that is naturally related to sexually, just childish curiosity.
We have forced children into sexuality from an early age. Without any outside influences I think you would find that children would be happy, carefree innocents for a lot lot longer.
Good point camaleon. I personally find the ideal of BJs repulsive and really quite degrading. It's odd as you say, how you can perform sex acts and yet still be a virgin.
In the eyes of the law though, it's still a crime for underage children to perform sex acts thank god.
This is what frightens me more today though and that has more to do with the prevalance and availability of porn. Many studies have shown that young women feel under more pressure to 'perform' and do things they are not comfortable with either because of the demands of their boyfriends or because they've seen online porn and think that it's the norm.
Even if I teach my children to respect themselves and others, even if I keep a close eye on their internet usage, even if I am open with them about sex I can't control who they hang around with, who they choose to date and what external pressures they are put under.
The studies horrify me as attitudes towards sex seem to be changing and it's not for the better. Children who have not seen porn or been subject to inappropriate behaviour online may well be in the minority.
I guess my point is that human beings are sexual beings from very early and all is fine as long as they respect their own bodies and the bodies of others. When there is a big gap in age/maturity or one of the parties feels coerced directly or indirectly the practice is wrong.
This applies to 'playing doctors' if you are 6 years old, to penetration and a wide variety of sexual practices.
so sad that consent/'virginity' (what an awful word) is only measured by penetration.
I guess you may be lesbian an never 'lose' your virginity then. I have not had penetrative sex with a man until I was 19. We had been together for a year. I was totally prepared for it. Before that I have had (since the age of 13/14) mutual masturbation/oral sex/lots of different experience. I am not sure whether I was 'ready' or not for those. I consented to them and with boys of similar age but they were not all enjoyable.
I was totally disappointed about the big fuss about 'my' virginity. I liked it. It was very tender, but just one thing more to add with the additional risk of pregancy (AIDS/STDS were not a topic at the time but many other practices I had engaged in would have been risky on that front).
I hope I will teach my kids the different risks associated to different practices and I hope I will never speak about their 'virginities'
What therubarb says about 12-13 girls is so so true, my 12y loves to play at being grown up, but is still a child. She still cares too much about what peer pressure and what her friends are doing to think of her as grown up.
The difference between her and her 15y sister is huge and her sister has matured a lot in the last six months.
I hope she doesn't choose to have sex for a long time, but I can see that DD1 is getting to the point I would believe it was her choice, not the boys and peer pressure.
I'm not sure I will believe that for DD2 before she's 21
I didn't but several of my friends did and did not regret it. Then again, 15 was, and is, age of consent where we lived, so they were not doing anything illegal and were with boys their own age.
Totally agree with curryeater:
"I don't see why the law should change just because there are some positive experiences under 16.
If a couple of two 15 year olds, loving and mature, have consensual sex, the law is not going to get involved.
If they were thinking about having sex but don't because of the law - who cares? What harm done?
If a 36 year old man is stopped from taking advantage of a 15 year old girl because of the law, then good."
curryeater - the opening to that post was in preparation for a slightly different point than the one i actually made. it wasn't very carefully worded, and read in a more abrasive manner. i then changed it without changing the first sentence. I agree it wasn't the best way to open - apologies.
I have read the whole thread, carefully and am not trying to devalue anyone's opinion.
I actually fully agree with the OP that social conditioning is absolutely to blame for the early sexualisation of our children.
I wasn't trying to provide a counterpoint to the OP, merely confirm that doubt and anxiety are likely just as common in boys as girls at that age.
I'll admit i could have made that point less clumsily!
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