Talking dirty in bed is easier than you might think!
I’ve gotten a few concerned messages from followers of Nice Girls, worried that something had happened to me because my last post was back in January. Well, something did. I finally feel like I can write about it in a way that has at least a small sense of perspective, and isn’t just coming from a place of pain.
Fiancé is no longer my fiancé. We chose to end our engagement a couple of months ago, and we’re still trying to figure out how and where and whether or not we will fit in one another’s future.
Breakups are messy and painful. Ours was not an exception.
It started slowly. The dissolution of his startup had left him depressed and listless. Over the course of six months, he pulled away emotionally, mentally, and physically. We had opened up our relationship, and right at the same time as his startup dissolved, he had found a new partner who he invested the lions share of his energy towards. I had come to depend on him for love, intellectual stimulation, and support, but with his new relationship, I was shunted aside.
I was hurt and angry. I felt abandoned. I actually was abandoned, for days on end, with minimal contact from him. When he would finally decide to spend time with me, I would lash out and demand he listen to my anger and hurt. He responded by retreating further, wrapping himself in the new relationship like a warm blanket, rather than deal with the sobbing, snarling, wreck of a person I had become. Boundaries were trampled, agreements were broken, and our respective ideas of the future were no longer in sync. Lies, deceit, and avoidance grew where love, acceptance, and honesty were supposed to flourish. I went through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
I could no longer trust him to be honest with me. He could no longer trust me to be kind. We made the mutual decision that, despite the fact that we still cared for one another, we would be better apart than we were together. There was no big announcement, no huge public blowup. I’ve been fielding questions from friends, as they realize we are no longer “in a relationship” on Facebook.
I am in an unenviable position right now. Because we were living together (and, consequently, living with his girlfriend too. I forgot to mention that.), I am now essentially homeless. I won’t be sleeping on the streets, because I have wonderful friends here (shout out to you guys, you know who you are, and you are AWESOME), but I am adrift yet again. The vast majority of my personal possessions are still in our once-shared room, or in the storage unit we shared. I am living out of a suitcase.
That isn’t the worst part of this whole situation though. When you spend more than three years with someone, your lives are intertwined. We have countless mutual friends. His parents’ house felt more like a home than anywhere else I had been in years. His extended family embraced me wholeheartedly. It is impossible to fully extricate yourself from this sort of relationship. Little things, like pictures from family gatherings on Facebook, that bring me joy to see from others, now feel like a tiny stab in the heart when they come from his family. I had to request no contact for an indefinite period of time, so that I could fully heal, because his late-night “I miss you” texts were simultaneously making me angry and breaking my heart all over again.
I’ve never had to do this sort of adult breakup before. I used to cut all ties when a relationship ended, but that simply isn’t possible, and furthermore, I don’t want to do that. Forcing friends to choose sides simply isn’t in my nature, and if it were, the inevitable result would be disastrous and even more painful. I have no internal road map for this.
I have no idea where my life will take me from here. I’m working a part-time job and looking for full-time employment, but I’m hesitant to lean on my network too much at the moment. Having a roof over my head is a more immediate worry than a full-time job. My current job gives me enough income to eat and to pay my meager bills, but there isn’t much left over afterwards. I’m trying to increase my skill set by learning some programming through Code Academy. I’m dating a lovely new guy who I adore, and he’s been a wonderful respite from my daily worries.
I am okay. I’ll be more than okay. I am going to thrive and grow, both personally and professionally. Thank you for being patient with me, my dear readers. I am not going to make any promises to you right now about a posting schedule. My posts will likely be sporadic, but I hope that they will increase in frequency again.
Whew. It’s been quite a month, hasn’t it? As much as I enjoy this season, I’m feeling relieved that the holidays are almost over.
I got this wonderful question in my Survey Monkey, and it’s an important one.
I read your blog about vaginal discharge and stuff. it helped me too cus I was having the same problem. here is my question: everyone was talking in school about whether they are virgins or not. they asked me and I just skipped the question. I am a virgin. should I lose my virginity just so people wont make fun of me for it. I think I am ready, but I don’t know if I should
I’m glad you enjoyed my previous post, my dear! I love hearing that I’ve helped someone.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret that people generally don’t find out about until much later in life: Virginity, meaning whether or not someone has had sexual intercourse, doesn’t matter at all. Really. No one is going to think differently of you when you’re an adult if you’ve never had sex. They aren’t going to think of you differently if you have had sex. It flat out doesn’t matter when you’re an adult. I can think of two people that I am friends with (one male, one female) who have never had sex. Both of them are in their mid-twenties. No big deal. Now, I know that doesn’t help you out right now, but it is something to think about.
The answer to your question is no, you should not lose your virginity just so people don’t make fun of you for it. You should only have sex when you actually want to do it. That previous sentence will be true for the rest of your life, not just about your first time, so let me say it again: You should only have sex when you actually want to have sex. If you feel pressure to have sex because you think your friends are all doing it, and that sounds like the case here, then you should wait. If your friends make fun of you for the fact that you haven’t had sex yet, then they aren’t very good friends. It’s okay to say that you aren’t interested in having sex, or that you want to be in a good relationship first, or even just that you don’t think you’re ready yet. All of those are valid reasons for waiting.
I know that in middle school or high school, it can seem like everyone else is “doing it”, but that isn’t actually the case. Some people have, some people are lying because they want to look cool or they think that other people will judge them for not having sex yet. In a study that was done a few years ago, they found that the average age that someone has sex for the first time (male or female) is 17.
There’s another thing to consider. You said that your friends were making fun of you for not having sex yet. Unfortunately, that doesn’t generally go away even if you do have sex. You’re at an age where everyone gossips about everyone else. People will probably talk about you and your sex life (or no sex life), if you and/or your partner are talking to other people about it, no matter what you do. Teenagers and adolescents can be mean. Try to not let the opinions of other people, even your friends, make you decide to do something if you aren’t comfortable with it.
If you and your partner want to have sex, then go for it. Have fun, and be sure to use barrier contraception. You can go to that link to find my blog post about barrier methods for heterosexual (male and female) couples and learn about condoms. You should always use a condom, especially for your first time. You can go to this link to learn about how to have safer sex with another female (and these safer sex practices also apply to heterosexual sex too! Especially using a dental dam!). You should make sure that your partner respects you, likes you (maybe even loves you), and isn’t pressuring you to have sex before you’re ready.
Sex of any kind will pretty much always be awkward the first time. And yes, I mean every kind of sex. Oral sex (giving a blowjob, more properly called fellatio; or “going down” on a girl, more properly called cunnilingus) is still sex, giving someone a “handjob” or “fingering” is still sex, and anal sex is still sex too. It is so important to know that it’ll be weird: your bodies will make strange noises, there are new smells, putting on a condom is generally awkward (please stock up, and read the instructions!), and if you still have your hymen then it might be a little painful too. Having a partner who you care about and who cares about you will make it more fun than awkward.
I’m not saying this to scare you, or to try and make you not want to have sex, but to give you as much information as I possibly can in a short blog post. Get some books and read about sex. I can recommend S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College. It is a great book with a LOT of information (and if you buy it through that link, then you help me make some money!). If you feel comfortable, talking to the school nurse might help too.
I can’t tell you when to have sex. Only you know when you’re ready. But I can tell you that you shouldn’t do it if you are looking to avoid being teased, or to make your friends happy, or even to make your partner happy. You should only have sex when you want to do it. I really hope this post has helped you.
Do you have a question about sex or relationships? You can go here to ask me anything, completely anonymously!
Talking dirty in bed is easier than you might think!
Tips for acting out a slightly taboo fantasy! Watch the whole video and comment below for a chance to win a copy of The Posh Girl’s Guide to Play by Alexis Lass.
First advice requests! Do you have a burning question? You can ask me anything, completely anonymously, through this link.
Hello Nice Girl,
I am a young woman in my late twenties. I am friends with this couple, and I always enjoy spending time with them. I particularly enjoy spending time with the woman. I think she’s pretty awesome. They are in an open relationship.
The man in the couple is pretty flirty with me, and it makes me uncomfortable. I’ve never said anything to him or his girlfriend about it. I asked a mutual friend to help me handle it, and he said he didn’t know what to do so that friend asked another mutual friend. I’m not sure what else happened, because I haven’t talked to anyone else since then.
I know from your blog that you’re in an open relationship. Did I do the right thing?
Well, letter-writer, the short answer is no, I don’t think you did the right thing. I think you did the cowardly thing. You state in your letter that you haven’t said anything to either person in that couple, and that you brought other friends into the situation. That is really immature, and you might have ruined your friendship with that couple.
Everyone deals with rejection. Everyone. But you didn’t give this guy the ability to handle that rejection by talking to him, or even by talking to his girlfriend about the fact that you are uncomfortable. Instead, you chose to talk about him, behind his back, to a friend and that person has decided to talk to yet another friend. This is how reputation-damaging rumors start, even among adults.
I would suggest that the next time you are in a situation where you are not interested in someone and they are being flirty, you take some initiative, be assertive, and tell him or her that you are not interested. It isn’t easy, I know, but learning to deal with an uncomfortable situation is part of being an adult.
I’d be willing to bet that, had you talked to either person in that couple, they would have thanked you for your honesty and the flirting would have stopped immediately.
I’ve never had an orgasm during sex, I only have them via clit stimulation (generally oral). I’ve never found my g-spot. After reading ’50 Shades of Grey’, it struck me how misled we are about it. We’re taught that, when we’re in the right moment, penetrative orgasms (generally multiples) happen naturally, and if they don’t, then there must be something wrong.
I have never had a penetrative orgasm (not for lack of trying), but find that I am still susceptible to the idea that there must be something wrong with me (when, logically, I know there’s not).
I was reading about the a-spot and my guy and I went on a hunt for it. I think he found it, but it just felt like I REALLY had to pee. I’ve heard that’s normal, but I found it more uncomfortable than pleasurable. Ideas? Suggestions?
For starters, letter-writer, and I want to stress this as much as possible, YOU ARE TOTALLY NORMAL. Only 11% of women ever experience a penetrative orgasm. Ever. The pervasive myth that women should immediately be multi-orgasmic just sets everyone up for disappointment and a sense of failure.
The vast majority of women only experience an orgasm through clitoral stimulation.
If orgasming during intercourse is something that is important to you and your partner (and if it is important to you, then it should also be important to your partner), then I would recommend he either stimulate your clitoris with his hands, or you can incorporate a vibrator during sex. I personally recommend trying something like a bullet vibrator, where you can vary the speed of the vibration if things get too intense or you need more stimulation. (By the way, if you purchase anything through that link, you’re helping to support Nice Girls! I’m now an affiliate with Good Vibrations. Go me!)
Of course, it is always harder for a woman to reach orgasm if she is stressed, so make sure that you’re not putting too much pressure on yourself. Anxiety is a major block for sexual pleasure.
As for the a-spot (and the g-spot), it is generally accepted that they are the internal extensions of the clitoris. It is also totally normal that you felt like you needed to pee, as your partner was probably also putting pressure on your bladder. The next time that you go hunting for pleasure centers inside your vagina, it is always a good idea to make sure that you have gone to the bathroom beforehand.
What do you think of my advice? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments section!
This is not a typical post for my blog, but it is something that has been affecting my life and the lives of those around me recently. Let’s talk about depression.
Depression (and mental illnesses in general) is a genetic joke. There are studies upon studies relating creativity, intelligence, and mental issues. Pretty much any incredibly talented artist you can think of suffered from some sort of mental illness. There shouldn’t be any shame related to it.
Unfortunately, many people feel shame about their mental illnesses. I know that I often feel ashamed of mine. I find myself thinking, “you have this amazing opportunity to do something that you love, you live in an amazing city, you have awesome friends, and your fiancé is loving and supportive. You have everything that you need and pretty much anything you want, so why do you feel shitty? You know that there are people out there with REAL problems, right?” and on and on and on. All that shame, negative self-talk, and personal berating only serves to make myself feel worse and makes getting back to normal even more difficult. It is ten times worse when someone else says these things that I find myself thinking.
I have suffered from depression, off and on, for pretty much as long as I can remember. In the tumultuous life that I have lead, depression has been one of the few constants in my life.
When I was dealing with the death of my biological mother at the age of eleven, despite being in therapy, I was depressed and suicidal. I was better for a few years, but high school was particularly hard. I honestly thought that everyone around me had their entire lives figured out already, and I was in a constant state of panic that I hadn’t chosen a career path yet. I was fourteen years old, and I was stressed, anxiety ridden, and depressed.
My mental stresses manifested themselves in several physical ways. I barely slept at night. I would sleep for 30 minutes, and then be awake for an hour and a half, sleep ten minutes, be awake for forty-five minutes. The sleep I did manage to snatch from my overloaded brain was not restful, as I was grinding my teeth and having disturbing nightmares. I managed to grind my teeth so hard that the plate of cartilage between my jaw and skull slipped forward, and prevented me from opening my mouth fully. I had to go to a specialist, get a night guard, and take Valium in order to actually get some rest. I am terrified at the fondness I still feel towards an opiate.
This may come as a shock to my friends at the time, but I was also severely bulimic. In general, I would eat the bag of chips in my packed lunch, throw the rest away, and drink as much water as possible so that they would soften in my stomach, and come up easier. I spent a minimum of 45 minutes in the bathroom after dinner, hoping and praying that no one would hear me as I tried to rid my stomach of all the food I had ingested with my family. I was so severely dehydrated that I would faint from time to time, especially after gym class. The scars on my knuckles have mostly faded, but I fear that I may have done irreparable damage to my metabolism.
I also developed some OCD-like behaviors. I would find myself counting people, or specific things in a room, and unable to stop. There were certain things in my life that absolutely had to be a certain way, or I was convinced some unspeakable horror would occur. I plucked my own body hair: legs, armpits, pubic region, eyelashes. I couldn’t stop.
During my adult life, my depression has taken a few different twists and turns. I found my OCD behaviors moving towards a fear of germs, especially when raw meat was concerned. I would almost hyperventilate while walking in the meat section of the grocery store. I had a particularly bad episode when I had to cook a Thanksgiving turkey. I stood in front of the refrigerator, crying, because I couldn’t bring myself to touch the raw turkey. My hair plucking moved to skin picking, and I still have a very difficult time leaving a blemish or a scab to heal naturally.
I have been suicidal. I have considered the probability of dying with minimal pain by walking into traffic, crashing my car into a cement barrier, taking too many painkillers, using a knife on my own wrists, and, of course, simply wasting away by not eating.
I have been through all of these things. I am just now pulling out of a nine month struggle with some pretty severe depression. I still have bad days, days where I just want to sit in bed or on my computer, eat nothing, produce nothing, and feel nothing. I have wonderful days where I am ready to take on the world, and I get a lot of things done. I hope this explains the sporadic nature of my blog updates in the past few months. Thankfully, with the help of my fiance and my dear friends, I was able to catch myself before I reached the suicidal thoughts stage.
I like to compare getting back to “normal” during a depressive episode to attempting to hike up a hill that is covered in gravel. It is mentally and physically exhausting. It can help to have a walking stick (anti-depression drugs), or a guide (therapist), but sometimes you have to make the journey on your own. Sometimes you slip and fall, and you end up sliding back down to the bottom. If you already know the way up, and you have accepted that sometimes you are going to slide back down, you’ll have an easier time of it and you’re less likely to quit out of frustration. I slide around a bit, and sometimes I end up riding on my butt all the way back down the hill, but I always get up, dust myself off, and try again. It is the only way to get back to feeling like myself. The struggle and the bruises are always worth the time and effort.
I am not a trained therapist nor am I a counselor. I have no education or background in helping someone with depression or suicidal thoughts. I do, however, have a sympathetic ear. I can commiserate with how difficult it is to feel like something is wrong, and to not be able to put a finger on the problem, let alone know where to begin to fix it. I can help find a therapist, or tell silly stories for a laugh.
I am heartbroken each time I hear about a friend who is dealing with the suicide of someone they love. And the person who is gone is always loved. Always. Suicide means that those who are left behind are plagued with thoughts of “What could I have done? How could I not know? I don’t understand.” I think that the grieving process is especially hard when someone commits suicide, because it wasn’t a natural death.
Next week (September 8-14th) is National Suicide Prevention Week in the US. If you or someone that you love is suicidal, there is free help available. You can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to be connected to a counselor in your area, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It sounds trite, but suicide is a permanent solution to what may be a short-term problem, and it leaves waves of devastation in its wake. You are loved. Don’t give up.
Oh, Valentine’s Day. Aside from Christmas, this is the number one holiday fraught with crazy expectations. You can hardly go into the grocery store or drugstore without being bombarded with cutesy heart-themed items, oversized stuffed animals, and reminders that if you don’t make dinner reservations and spend a lot of money, you don’t REALLY love your significant other. It’s exhausting. Not everyone has the money to get a dozen red roses, a card, and reservations at that really cute restaurant with the overpriced prix fixe menu; or to spend a bunch of money on makeup, a new dress with accessories, and a cute hairstyle at the salon. So, as a service to you, dear readers, I have scoured the internet for some of the cutest date ideas that don’t cost a ton of money, or ideas to spend the day with other single friends.
If You’re Single And Hanging Out With Other Single Friends:
If You’re Attached And Don’t Want To Spend A Lot Of Money:
Am I missing anything? What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?
Jezebel’s new sex advice columnist is still absolute crap at giving advice. Here’s my responses to the questions directed at “Slutever”.
Dear Slutever, I do not engage in any sexual activity unless my prospective partner and I both get full STD testing. In the past five years, not one woman that I dated agreed to this. Why are so many women against getting tested prior to sex?
While I agree with Slutever’s assertion that you should probably start presenting this in a different light to your dates (and using condoms!), I’m more concerned with your reasons behind this request. Would you stop seeing someone if they tested positive for an STI?
As someone who has struggled with germ phobias, I would suggest that you engage the services of a therapist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy so that you can get past this particular quirk. Condoms and dental dams, when used correctly, are extremely effective at preventing transmission of most STIs, and I suspect that you know this already. So, before jumping into the sack with someone, even if they’ve shown you a clean bill of health, take care of yourself first and talk with a trained professional about your concerns.
I’ve been at war for the past three years but I’m coming back next week, and I really need to take my mind off things and want to lose myself in some self-love. I’m in a small town with little access to sex shops, so I was wondering if you had any unique ideas for sex toys I could fashion out of household items, or any tips that would help achieve a great orgasm experience. I really need something to get excited about!
First of all, congratulations on finishing your tour of duty! I really wouldn’t recommend fashioning your own sex toys or using things from your kitchen. There are intricacies of the human anatomy that are better left to the experts. Fortunately, although you live in a small town, you can easily order masturbatory aids online that will be shipped to you in discreet packaging. Smitten Kitten comes to mind immediately! As for interesting sex toys, there are a plethora that you can choose from! If you are interested in penatrative objects, there are items like the NJoy butt plugs, or vibrating butt plugs/perenium massagers. If it tickles your fancy, you could also experiment a bit with sounding, though I can’t find any online retailers that I would wholeheartedly recommend. For other masturbatory aids, there’s the ever popular fleshlight, and along the same lines, you can purchase a Tenga egg masturbation sleeve, or the slightly more elaborate Tenga 3D masturbation sleeves.
Just make sure you eat and drink plenty of fluids, use lubrication, and go out of the house every once in awhile during your “me time”. It would be tragic to see a headline like “Soldier Starves to Death During Marathon Masturbation Session.”
I am a 31-year-old woman who has been married for 5 years. We still have frequent and awesome sex, but I have an issue that (oddly) seems to be getting worse with age. I orgasm way too quickly! And then I’m basically over sex. I’ve never had multiple orgasms, ever. I have one gigantic, eye-popping orgasm after about 3-5 minutes of intercourse and then I’m ready for sex to be over. I’m constantly telling my husband to slow down or stop totally during sex so I can prolong it enough for him to get off too, but it’s getting to the point where he’s a little hurt that I can’t “hang on.”
Much like last week’s column, I would recommend that you spend a lot more time on foreplay, concentrating on getting your husband close to orgasm. It would also help if you talked about this outside of the bedroom, and make sure that he knows you are asking him to slow down or stop because you want him to enjoy sex too! The numbing agents that Slutever recommended can help, but you also might have an adverse reaction to them. I know a lot of women, personally, who find that creams or lubricants that are supposed to numb their genitals give them a burning sensation instead.
It is uncommon for a woman to orgasm that quickly, especially if there isn’t some sort of direct clitoral stimulation during intercourse! A little more communication between you and your husband can really go a long way here.
I think this is going to be a regular post for Nice Girls, at least until Jezebel hires a better sex advice columnist. Some of Slutever’s recommendations are downright dangerous or unhealthy, and I hope my responses provide a needed balance. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Jezebel introduced a new columnist yesterday. Karley Sciortino, aka “slutever” has published her first column, and honestly, I can’t tell if this is satire or not (if it is, it is poorly done), so I’m going to go ahead and write my own answers to the questions posted.
I’m a 26-year-old European exchange student currently studying in the US for five months. I have a (relatively new) boyfriend back home who I’m totally into, and before I left we agreed to be monogamous. But now I have a dilemma: I love Chatroulette, and I usually skip over the random masturbating men, but recently I’ve been fantasizing about not skipping over the dicks and engaging in some hot, anonymous Chatroulette-cybersex. Would that be cheating? I want to think not, but I also realize it’s different than porn — it’s an actual sexual interaction with another human being. My boyfriend and I Skype sometimes, but it hasn’t turned into Skype-sex. And besides, the fantasy is more about the anonymity of it. So: cheating or not-cheating?
While my personal inclination leans towards “not cheating”, your long-distance boyfriend may have a different opinion. Tell him about your fantasy, G. Who knows, he might also find the idea hot, and he might try to be the person that you have hot, anonymous Chatroulette-cybersex with! A supportive partner should try to help you fulfill your fantasies, especially when you are trying to make a long-distance relationship work.
I would caution you to make sure that your face and any other identifying characteristics are hidden from view if you do engage in anonymous cybersex. Protect yourself, just as you would if you were engaging in real-world sexual activity. Like some STIs, images on the internet are forever, and can come back to haunt you at the most inopportune times.
Ever since I started having sex I’ve always shaved my vagina without even thinking about it. It may look a bit nicer, but it’s a pain in the ass having to plan ahead and make sure you’re pristinely smooth every time there’s the possibility of sex. I don’t know if I’d like it grown out, but I think I want to try it. But I’m terrified the guy I’m sleeping with will freak out! It’s my body so I can do whatever with it, but should I tell/ask him about it before the experiment begins? Where do you stand on the ‘to shave or not to shave’ debate?
Hopefully your partner likes you for more than your pubic hair grooming habits, Reba. Any guy who actually freaks out at the sight of the perfectly natural hair between your legs has probably not had much experience with women, and may have some maturity issues. It’s your hair, and while your partner may offer input about his preference, it is ultimately your decision. Pretty much every partner I’ve had has expressed the opinion that they are fine with pubic hair, but they would like it if I keep the area trimmed. I bought a $10 trimmer from my local big chain drugstore, and have used that ever since.
Dear Slutever, I am a 26-year-old boy, and though I’m not a virgin, I am terribly inexperienced. I’ve recently started seeing a girl (yay!), however I’ve been having a little ejaculation problem. The problem isn’t that I cum too quickly, but rather that I stay hard all night and can’t ejaculate! It’s no problem for me to get hard, and stay hard, but it just requires too much mentally and physically for me to reach the point of orgasm. Am I not emotionally connecting? Is my problem psychological? Should I find some way to ‘sensitize’ myself?
I’m interested to find out your masturbation habits, M. If you are the kind of person who masturbates frequently, you might want to hold off on that until you find that you are able to orgasm more easily. You and your partner should also try doing more foreplay before penetrative sex. Kissing, fondling, oral sex, and mutual masturbation are all ways that you can get your motor revving and ready to go before sex, and you may find that the increase in stimulation will make it easier to orgasm during sex. Just make sure that she also reaches climax!
What do you think, readers? How did I do in comparison to the writer on Jezebel?
There’s been so much in the news in the past few months about abortion, contraception, and a woman’s right to choose that as I said in a previous post, I’ve been overwhelmed. I’d like to take a moment to get a little idealistic.
When I was in high school, I took a class about early human development. We learned about the stages of pregnancy, and the different stages children go through in their first two years of life. At one point in my class, we were given the task of brainstorming the ideal situation to have a child. We already knew that adoptive parents had to fulfill certain criteria in order to be able to have a child, so we were told to imagine a “test” of sorts that a woman (or a set of parents) would have to pass in order to have a child.
If I remember correctly, we came up with the following points:
We came up with this because pregnancy and raising a child are both expensive. There’s also the risk of complications with the pregnancy or child’s health leaving one or both parents unable to work for a period of time. We thought that at least six months of income in the bank would help ease that potential burden.
Just like the financial cost, pregnancy and raising a child can be unexpectedly difficult, emotionally. We learned about postpartum depression, and how the woman’s emotional state can affect the child’s development in the womb. Having a supportive network of friends and family, especially people who are geographically close, is important to making sure that the parents can have a break occasionally.
Making sure that the woman is already in good health when she gets pregnant, and maintains her health during the pregnancy were also stressed during my class. Proper nutrition and regular exercise, as well as the ability to see a doctor when necessary, were things that we deemed of highest importance to the development of the child.
Being teenagers in the suburbs, we were imagining owning a house with a large backyard. While I no longer think that is necessary, I do think that living in a relatively safe neighborhood, and taking the proper precautions to baby-proof your house are incredibly important.
I think this one is self-explanatory.
I am close to many women who have had children without checking any of these boxes. Their children are happy and healthy, and they are excellent mothers. I still think that all of these are important things to have in place before I consider having children, and that is why I chose to get an IUD. When I decide to have children, it will be because I am ready. This is not a criticism of any woman or her choices. I fully realize that this is an idealistic list.
I would posit that is also idealistic of the Republican Party to expect to reduce accessibility to contraception and abortion and to somehow still not have any unwanted pregnancies occur, or for parents to not need some sort of assistance to care for their children. Abstinence education just exacerbates these problems. People are going to have sex, and sometimes, despite precautions, pregnancies occur.
If you had to come up with a list like this, what would you put on it? Do you think that the list we came up with in high school was good? Have you formulated a similar list? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.