(JULIA GAITHO) I remember being baffled by Garret Blake (played by Kevin Costner) when he fell in love with Theresa in that napkin grabber by Nicholas Sparks-“Message in a Bottle”. I was about 12 and at the pinnacle of my adolescent hormonal surge (early bloomer). By referencing all the melodramatic romance novels I had been reading, I knew that there was only ONE true love that any human being could ever have during their course of existence. I honestly, genuinely, in all my pre-teen turmoil believed this. And so imagine my surprise in the scene where Garret, after years of solitude passionately building boats in real romantic-drama melancholy still mourning the death of his wife Caroline (I think that was her name), spends the night with Theresa. And falls in love. I grew up with good Christian values. Our home was pretty lax and liberal but somehow I found myself deeply rooted in Christianity later on in my late teen years.
Chastity, as my religion would have it, came with the package. I believed that true love waits and I wore my purity ring with pride. And then came One Tree Hill. It was the top series during that “Not Another Teen Movie” era. I was hooked. I wanted that Luke and Peyton love. That deep, sad, dramatic high school romance. I wanted to fall in love and I wanted to find my soul mate. He was out there waiting for me and here I was watching re-runs of One Tree Hill. And thus fled my purity ring. Should you wait for marriage to get laid or not? I heard a youth pastor say once that every person you have sex with leaves with a part of you like tape leaves with shards of paint when you rip it off a wall. And then I heard a well known feminist declare that women should be free to explore their sensuality, express their sexual freedom-it’s our right and it “should be alright if you do it right‟. Like if you don’t turn into a ho?
I’ll give you my 2 cents. In my experience, probably 10 out of 100 practicing Christians waited for marriage to explore the realms of what is now classified as a basic human need. Actually, out of all my old Christian friends, I know only one virgin- still waiting for marriage. So even though my stats are homemade, they’re probably still underestimated. People are having sex. Young, old and everyone in between. It’s scary to accept but to be honest, why not allow the reality of it to give room for conversation? Basically, I will tell you what I think you need to know and quite honestly, what I wish I knew while I was still in my Uni days playing grown up games in my 3 year relationship:
1. Oral contraceptives are not for old people!
If you are in a committed relationship and condoms have become decor on the dresser, get on the pill. I am not a doctor so please take this advice with a pinch of salt. However, when I visited my gynecologist, he did inform me that the pill is what is most preferable for younger women. How do you get on the pill? They are accessible over the counter in Kenya but you should probably visit a doctor (just save up for the consultation if you don’t have insurance) who can advise you on the best brand for you. Of course the pill will not protect you from STDs/STIs.
2. Girls can carry condoms too
Please have your OWN pack in your hand bag. You know guys don’t always have one and in the heat of things it’s easy to say “F* it- just this one time.”
3. Download a Period Tracker app on your phone
I recommend “My Calendar”. Know your cycle. You may be surprised that the safe-days window is very very very, slim.
4. ‘I love you. I just want to feel you…’ is bullshit!
Men are not evil but they use the love card to get into our hearts and vaginas protection free. Be adamant that you want him to strap up. Don’t worry; you will not ruin the mood if you talk to him nicely. Be nice. Be gentle. Ask for protection in exchange for all that goodness. No erection without protection baby!
5. If you are not ready, relax; plenty of egg-plant in the sea (wink*)
It’s true. Don’t rush imagine. You will catch the next bus. Or the next one after that. I know the pressure to be sexually active is real. All your girls are talking about it. And in many instances you might feel that if you give the cookie up, the guy might finally like you. The same sexual experience you had with your man can be internalized COMPLETELY differently by him. Men can have sex with you and move on unscathed. They are not really from this planet. Takes a bit more for them to fall in love. Remember, for us girls, our hearts are in our vaginas. Sex ≠ Love.
6. Stick with the nice guys. Trust me.