By Kendra Holliday | October 29, 2015
This is me in high school. I was a punk rock teenager – very depressed, wore black all the time, always feeling desperate, dramatic, negative.
This is a page from my journal when I was 15, circa 1988 – I met a 24-year-old guy named Greg at a high school party, and he latched on to me. He constantly badgered me to have sex with him:
He used all kinds of tactics to get me to cave in – it was no big deal, it was a very big deal, it would make for a good witchcraft initiation, and I was being a cock tease and it wasn’t fair to him.
He finally convinced me to have sex with him, and I did, on the floor of his dad’s apartment. It was okay, but immediately afterward, I was convinced I was pregnant (even though we used a condom), and I had a lot of shame and guilt. I hated myself for doing it. I freaked out so bad, I ended up in a mental hospital! I had a horrible relationship with my parents. I ended up taking medicine, and dated this guy for a while, until I wandered off and started dating someone closer to my age. Of course I was branded a slut, blah blah blah, the rest is history.
I remember all the sneaking around as a teen and having to find awful, dirty, nerve wracking places to have sex – the backseat of cars in industrial parks, closets, underneath a muddy deck, in the woods… it’s hard practicing safer sex and feeling pleasure in those conditions.
I had it really rough as a teen, and I’m SO glad my 15-year-old daughter is having a better teenage experience. I raised her sex-positive, and we’ve been having a series of good, age-appropriate conversations since she was about seven. She has a boyfriend now, and he is super sweet and respectful, and they are exploring things very slowly together. I’m so proud she chose him. She’s having her first romance on her own terms, and she has good support in place. She’s being educated properly, she has access to condoms and privacy, and best of all, she doesn’t have guilt and shame to contend with.
I wish everyone could be introduced to sex at the age that is right for them, and be given a sex-positive education – one that goes beyond STI’s and birth control, but also encompasses feelings, pleasure, consent, power exchange, and mutual respect.
My daughter and I will be giving sex-positive parenting talks November 22 and January 3 – check the SEX+STL calendar for details!
BONUS LINKS: Scarleteen is a great national resource for teen sex ed
Growing American Youth – St Louis org for LGBT teens
Transparent – St Louis support group for parents and their gender independent children
TASH – Teen Advocates for Sexual Health – St Louis
More great sex-positive resources can be found in the right column of this website, as well as the SEX+STL Links page!