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AIBU to wonder if teens are really shagging quite as much as we hear?

(61 Posts)
schomberg Sun 24-Jul-11 06:01:04

I get the general impression that there has been some sort of teenage sexual revolution - especially in the last three or four years - since I was at school (80s) with school age teens with casual sex and group sex simply being something that "goes on" without much of a fuss and kids having more sex at a much younger age.

On one level I struggle to believe this as my school experience, and the school experience of my close friends, seems so far removed from the things I've been reading about, particularly this latest thing with two 13 yo Bedales students kicked out for having sex in a sandpit. Have things really become as open and free as the media would suggest? How does the perception shape up to any MNers who were at school in the 90s/00s?

I'm also wondering if anyone has any sort of a handle on how common sexting is. It seems like everyone with bits and a camera is at it.

schomberg Sun 24-Jul-11 06:02:55

Oh, I meant to add broadly how things were at my school in the 80s on the off chance I was living in some grossly undersexed timewarp. Some girls would have been at it 14 and most would have lost their virginity by the time they left school. But it would be uncommon for someone to have had any sort of sexual contact with more than three or so boys, even the ones who started earlier. [confused[

greycircles Sun 24-Jul-11 06:51:01

I think today's teens are more sexually active than we were. I was at school in 90s. It may be to do with technology - they all have phones and you don't need as much courage to send a text as you did in the old days to speak in person or phone and use your voice. Lots of ice gets broken using technology IMO. Plus there is more sexual stuff on show these days I think in the media. Not sure if clothes have got more skimpy as well.

marriedinwhite Sun 24-Jul-11 06:55:24

Mine are 16 and 13 and I haven't seen any evidence of it at all. They are very well informed though but I think because of that are very sensible.

exoticfruits Sun 24-Jul-11 07:46:59

I don't think it is much different. You get all sorts-some are bold risk takers, some are very shy and reserved-with everything inbetween.

MrsKravitz Sun 24-Jul-11 08:55:46

No, I know my 17 year old hasnt

happy2bhomely Sun 24-Jul-11 09:02:24

I left school in 1999. I have 4 sisters younger than me that have left school, the youngest in 2009.

There was a group of girls that were known for being sexually active, but with regular boyfriends. By 16, about 1/4 were sexually active, mainly with older boys. Lots were on the pill. Some had abortions. Lots of girls were very open and happened to be the same girls who were using drugs (speed mainly) and drinking at the weekends. They were not admired particularly but seemed very 'grown up' to the rest of us. There was a huge group of girls who were happy to say they were virgins.

By the time youngest Dsis was 13, camera phones were common in school. Porn was being passed about, and girls started taking pictures of themselves and passing those on to 'boyfriends' who then passed these on. This time, not only were a 1/4 of the girls sexually active, but some were promiscuous to the point of boys lining up to receive 'blow jobs' and their friends filming it and passing it on. Again, these girls were not admired and were known as 'sluts'. It was verging on abuse. Girls being pressured to perform and boys pressured to participate. Absolutely shocking.

I once found a video on her phone with a boy about to receive oral sex and as the girl goes near him he slaps her across her face and tells her "f**k off you dirty slut" It was all on film and was awful. I happened to know the boys parents. He was 14 at the time. I told his Mother what I had seen and she was distraught. She asked him, he denied it and the video disappeared.

So, in my experience-Yes, casual sex is common amongst SOME teens. It is a very worrying trend and I don't know what is causing it. I do know that I reported an 11 yr old at my children's primary school last week for shouting "suck my D*ck!" across the playground. Something is going seriously wrong!

exoticfruits Sun 24-Jul-11 09:12:25

When I say no different, I think there is a worrying trend among certain groups-happy2behomely is quite right. But there is still the whole range.

schomberg Sun 24-Jul-11 09:14:25

"I once found a video on her phone with a boy about to receive oral sex and as the girl goes near him he slaps her across her face and tells her "f**k off you dirty slut" It was all on film and was awful. I happened to know the boys parents. He was 14 at the time. I told his Mother what I had seen and she was distraught. She asked him, he denied it and the video disappeared."

Jesus wept.

MrsKravitz Sun 24-Jul-11 09:16:18

Did you tell the girl's parents too?

SequinsAndSparkles Sun 24-Jul-11 09:16:45

Ok, I'm 22 so only left school six years ago. And it was quite shocking I guess, what some of us got up to.

I sneaked out of my lessons twice and had sex in an empty classroom at the age of 15/16. I was sexually active from 14, many people in my year were doing it from 13+. I think that MSN and texting had a lot to do with it, as you could chat and flirt and then arrange to meet up, having already kind of planned what you were going to do. There would also be groups of us going on the park, and a lot of the girls would give head to all the lads. confused I was NOT involved in that however.

There was lots of 'sexting', lots of people really experienced and having sex was just not a big thing. It went hand in hand with drinking and smoking - rebellion.

My cousin is 16, and I know that things are much the same...she got in trouble with school for being caught 'being intimate' with a boy behind one of the buildings, and some of the comments her pictures get on facebook are shocking...makes uncomfortable viewing as her family! But her Mum is fine with her being on there.

So yes, I do believe these things are as common.

BertieBotts Sun 24-Jul-11 09:55:53

I started secondary school in 1999. I wasn't massively popular and was a so I can't claim to know what was going on amongst the wider school population, but in our group of friends, three of us didn't even have a boyfriend until 16/17/18, two lost our virginity at 18 in a relationship (mine wasn't exactly stable but I was happy at the time and still think fondly of him) and one at 17, also in a relationship. However lovely this sounds I do remember us all being absolutely desperate to lose our virginity to get it over with and being glad when we'd reached the milestone, and me and my other 18-year-old friend were convinced we were really old to still be virgins confused

We all used to mess around on over-18 chatrooms (back when Yahoo! had them) as a joke, usually at sleepovers, and would find it hilarious when we got sent cock pictures, and used to take the piss out of the weirdos who were on there, like one guy kept insisting on typing things like "I'm licking you out now and you're moaning, you are sooo wet" etc etc and wasn't paying attention to anything we said, so we started typing random things like <does the can-can around the room> "I have a pineapple on my head" etc. We would never have given our real names or ages or where we lived etc, or arranged to meet anyone though. However, the fourth girl in our friendship group was quite naive, had a difficult relationship with her mum and a bit of a turbulent home life, and used to go on the chat rooms herself seriously and met a man on there who was 23 and who ended up being her boyfriend, even though she was 15 at the time. I think they had sex when she was 15 as well, though I can't remember. It was only that at the time we thought this was par for the course and then much later when we were all older and thought back that the rest of us thought wait a second... there was something very very wrong there.

I had another group of friends outside school, one was in a stable relationship from about 15 to 19 and had sex somewhere in that, another is still a virgin as far as I know, and the other was raped when she was 15 sad and then went to residential college away from home at 16 and there was a lot of casual, unprotected sex going on there. I remember an incident where 3 of the girls in her dorm had slept with the same guy and got an STD, another friend had slept with another boy and got a different one, and she was worried she had both. I feel bad now because we were quite judgy about it at the time (because we were worried about her) but now I realise she was trying really hard to normalise what happened to her and "fix" it if that makes sense.

At 13/14 I was completely oblivious, so I can't speak for that, but I get the feeling I was a late developer. I remember being very upset though because when I did start to get interested in boys, around 15/16 or so, I pretty much assumed they'd have already had sex and so that would be expected in a relationship, and I felt sad that I'd missed out on the stage where holding hands or kissing would be acceptable. I wish I'd got the message from my mum as well that some guys wouldn't be after that and it was okay to wait either for one who wasn't or until I was ready myself. She just always told me all boys want is sex, it was meant as a "be suspicious of their motives and protect yourself" thing I suppose, but I took it as "they're all going to want it, so might as well do it anyway or they won't like you". sad If I can do anything for DS and any other children I might have it's to say that even if they're not ready for sex until their 20s that's okay and it's not "weird" to be a virgin longer than your friends. I don't know whether this was just because there was a lot of emphasis on "We know you'll want to have sex, so here's a condom lesson" etc or whether everyone else really was interested though. I seem to remember things referring to how you didn't have to have sex until you were ready, but nothing to say that you might not actually be ready by 18 or so. I just thought that everybody over 18 was having sex and I was broken, or something.

Sorry for the essay blush I expect it's always been this way - some teens will be having sex younger. 13 wasn't considered that normal when I was at school. 14 was probably okay, but considered early, but most people seemed to lose their virginity at 15-nearly-16, or 16/17, or just kept quiet about it. Likely there were lots who were older and we just didn't ask. I think the internet does make things a lot more accessible though, and with things like facebook it's worrying, when we used to make naked pictures etc they were just emailed!

happy2bhomely Sun 24-Jul-11 10:24:10

No, I didn't tell her parents directly. Her step-father was a police officer but my sister told me that they used physical violence to discipline her, so I just didn't know what to expect from them. My mum did tell the school though and they said they would make parents aware. I don't know what happened after that. The school gave the impression that because all the children were of the same age and were involved voluntarily, then not much could be done other than encourage self respect and setting boundaries.

It is very sad and dangerous and I'm sure that lots of parents had absolutely no idea what their children were up to.

My Mum on the other hand was very strict. I wasn't allowed out at night at all until I was 16. Wasn't allowed sleepovers or to go to parties. I was a very innocent teen......didn't drink, didn't smoke. I lost my virginity at 16 with my first boyfriend and got pregnant 6 months later. I was then labelled a 'slag' and dropped out of college. All of those parents looked at my mum like dirt because I was pregnant and yet had no idea what their daughters were up to. (12 years later I am married to the man I lost my virginity to and we have 4 children together.)

rainbowtoenails Sun 24-Jul-11 10:37:27

I noticed a big difference between the early and late 90s, so before tech was the problem.
In mid 90s 13 yos were at it on school trips, some 14yos had drunken shags. But then i went to uni a virgin, thinking i would be the odd one out but was actually in the majority.

BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 24-Jul-11 10:47:53

I left school in 2000, i was, and so were most of my friends, quite sexually active from 12 onwards. Always used protection, always one on one in semi short term relationships. Sex wasnt a big thingy and tbh it still isnt to me. I have enjoyed lots of it in different senarios, long loving relationship, one night stands and every thing in between, always consenting and always enjoyable. I dont regret any of it. We seemed to be of the ''we know you're going to do it so make sure you protect yourself!'' generation. There was nothing mystical about it, and it wasnt particulary emotional either. And before i get jumped on, yes i know it can be very emotional for some people, and with certain partners it has been for me also, but general experimenting was just plain fun.


What i have just read about blow job queues and videos to pass round the class has made me feel quite sick. I honestly thought (as most parents do Im quite sure) that being a promiscuous (sp?) teen i have the '101' on what my teens will be getting up to, clearly i have no idea how far things have come, mine are only in nursery, what the hell will be going on in ten years time???

This thread has been a real eye opener sad

namechange100 Sun 24-Jul-11 10:48:32

The last secondary school I worked in group sex and multiple partners was very common place amongst the sixth form, the head of 6th forms assistant told me she was always having to deal with the fall out and the upset felt by the remaining virgins who felt pressured.

I think there is more tendancy to treat sex as a sport I seen a TV documentry about 2years ago, cant remeber what it was called, but it detailed the casualness with which sex was happening, including one girl who got drunk had sex on table outside at a party, it was filmed from upstairs then put on the internet - she couldnt even remeber having sex.

At my last school I was also quite shocked at the amount of house parties that happend throughout the year that involced, drinking, sex and smoking joints - sixth formers would be open and joke about it. It was a marked difference to my prevoius school but the catchment areas were very different too.

SnapesPlaything Sun 24-Jul-11 12:24:28

When I was at secondary school (early 2000's) sex was common from age 14 up but with relationships, there was not much casual sex but a lot of casual 'sexual activity' like snogging, groping etc. In the winter people would sneak back into school after closing to have heavy make out session in the warm but never sex.

In college it was very different, casual and group sex was much more common as was sneaking off to have sex in cuboards etc. That behaviour was still confined to specific people but it was never really looked down on although it did cause falling outs and such.

TheJiminyConjecture Sun 24-Jul-11 14:16:20

My friend is a school nurse at a secondary school, about a year ago there was a real spate of truth or dare being played. All the dares were sexual - the ultimate being to have sex on the playground with whoever the dare giver chose. These children were 13-15.

I left school in 2000, a trend at the time was to wear the hospital band from an abortion under your school uniform. I went to a religious all girls school. So sad.

BulletWithAName Sun 24-Jul-11 14:27:27

I left school in 2004. My school was basically very similar to the one depicted in Kidulthood. I lost my virginity at 13.

LDNmummy Sun 24-Jul-11 14:34:59

I left secondary school in 2002, and yes, there was already a rampant culture of freely having sex then. I don't think things have changed much though I don't think it is worse.

I was a good girl and waited grin

hifi Sun 24-Jul-11 15:08:03

a teacher i know says the girls she speaks to are having more anal sex than vaginal, they think its less risky. also threesomes, they are influenced by pornography,i didnt see a porno film until i was in my 20s. she also says lots have brazillian waxes incase they are filmed in phones. to think in years to come all the videos resurfacing.

neolara Sun 24-Jul-11 15:20:34

Bloody hell. How depressing is this thread.

happy2bhomely Sun 24-Jul-11 15:41:38

It is depressing but I think it's great to make parents aware. I'm sure they were all convinced that their daughter's were 'good girls' and were just hanging round with the wrong crowd. If only they knew.

Lots of the kids that I knew were not 'troubled teens'. They were from all sorts of families-rich/poor, black/white, professionals/long term unemployed. In fact, to be fair the 'worst' ones were better off, middle class white girls. They were the ones who had the money to get false nails, hair extension, fake tan etc and it made them look like porn stars basically. I don't know how they got away with leaving the house like it. My dad went mental because I wore a cropped top with jogging bottoms when I was 15. I used to think I was brave because I used to sneak a maxfactor compact in my bag!

slightlyunbalanced Sun 24-Jul-11 15:43:12

I run a centre for YP's and we run a sexual health clinic.

The average age in Britain last year for losing your viginity was 19.

I don't think teenagers are having sex or any more sex than they were 20 years ago - I think a lot more teenagers are saying they are doling it and there is a lot more pressure on them to be talking about it, and to give the impression they are sexually active. We give condomes out to 13 years olds (I am not that comfortable about it) but I rarely see anyone of that age in the centre who is sexually active.

Kids come in about once a month or fortnight and they get 7 - 12 condoms, so you do the Maths.

I hate the way the internet has brought porn into our homes so readily and pressures young people to look "perfect" and try out things sexually which are nothing to do with love, relationships, or emotions.

I don't think its a lot different from when I was a teenager (I'm in mt late 30s) I just think we talk about it a lot more.

brighthair Sun 24-Jul-11 15:43:38

sexting was going on when I was at school - I left in 2000. In a way it was ok - I was sharing sex texts with a boy, but I didn't lose my virginity until I was 16. I think a lot of those texting and sharing photos are like that -maybe all talk and no action?!

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