Moms in Babeland

Sex Education: Teenager Style

Planned Parenthood saved my bacon more than once in high school. I would get my birth control, pap smears, plan B, and STI screens there as a teenager. I drove a 1972 VW bus that was not really an inconspicuous car so I would park two blocks away and walk up just in case anyone I or my parents knew happened to drive by. I made some dumb mistakes as a teenager, most do. I learned from these actions, but I was not proud of them and therefore didn’t want to discuss them with my parents (my apologies to my parents if they are reading this) I hardly even discussed them with my friends and when we did talk I often felt worse about my decisions.

My mom wanted to be supportive and tried talking to me. However, I was so afraid that she would be disappointed in me that I would not open up and be honest with her. She tried to take me to get a pap when I was 16. I told her that I didn’t like my doctor and played up the role of the virginal, innocent daughter because I was so afraid they would tell my mom that I was sexually active. I know now that this is not how it works… but I have always been skeptical of doctors and this was no exception. Planned Parenthood didn’t feel like a typical doctors office. There were girls working there that were barely older than me and I knew that they were not going to call my house and tell my mom anything, it actually asked that question on their new patient paperwork. Their resources and honesty made my teenage years slightly more tolerable. They talked to me when I did something stupid (like get drunk and not remember if a condom was used) and troubleshoot how to not make those mistakes again and what the consequences would be. I learned from them and would sometimes just call with a question.

This was my first sex positive resource and I am so glad that they are still around and hope that they continue to be this resource for teens. The internet has since become a place for many teens to get information and there are some really great websites like and Scarleteen that are peer based and information can be shared but that someone oversees and makes sure that the information is accurate. Amy Lang here in Seattle has a great book list for kids of all ages. I have also been impressed by the selection of titles that the local bookstore carries as well. I hope that the kids in my life feel that they can talk to me and if not then I hope that they discover the many resources that are there for them.

Post a comment in the Parenting Topic, send us your sex education anecdote, or link to this topic during July, and you could win a great prize! Learn more.

Plus, you’re invited to participate in Babeland’s fundraiser for sex education. Just donate $5 and you’ll receive free Jimmyjane massage lotion.

Related posts:

  1. Sex Advice to a Teenager
  2. Let’s Talk about Sex…Education: You Could Win Prizes!
  3. October is National Family Sex Education Month
  4. Teens’ Sexual Bill of Rights
  5. Glee’s Sex Education Episode

2 Responses to “Sex Education: Teenager Style”

  1. Sandra says:

    Planned Parenthood got me thru college pregnancy and STD free. and also provided birthcontrol I could afford to take. Hang in there, PP, I am still behind you.

  2. Trisha says:

    Great article. You wrote the story of many of the teens I serve. I coordinate a Teen Clinic and teach a school based comprehensive sexuality education program and a Peer Education training program. We have one of the lowest teen pregnancy rates in the country. Such amazing work that goes way beyond preventing pregnancy! Unfortunately, we just got a 48% funding cut after sustaining consistent, smaller cuts over the past 8 years. Just yesterday, we deciphered the impact and announced program and service cuts. So sad … and so ridiculous. In anticipation of these cuts nationwide, I’ve started to do some entrepreneurial work to help bridge the gap that these cuts will create as well as meet a need for more open dialogue between kids and parents. Thanks for listening and thank you for doing what you can do to support sexual health! Rock on ladies!

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