This 15-year-old girl who comes into my workplace often recently asked me if it’s “bad” for someone to have sex before age 20.
To which I replied, “No, of course not.”
And then she asked me if it’s “bad” for someone to have sex before age 19.
Again, I said, “No.”
And then she asked me if it’s “bad” for someone to have sex before age 18.
And we went back and forth until she got to “before age 16” and although at the time I assumed she was talking about someone’s guilty conscience, I still am not sure whether she was talking about herself or one of her friends so I replied, “I think that as long as you feel ready, as long as you’re comfortable with the situation, and as long as you feel like you can get out of the situation if you want to or need to, it is okay to have sex.”
She thought about this for a minute and then asked me what one should do if one wants to stop having sex but the other person keeps going. She said that it wasn’t exactly rape, but…
And I told her that personally, I would categorize this as rape, because there was a removal of consent and I explained to her that consent is something that you can give freely and also something that you can revoke.
And I told her that whoever it was should talk to a trusted adult or call a hotline and maybe a hotline would feel safer because sometimes trusted adults, especially parents, can be weird about talking about sex things, especially rape, especially in the context of a rape where there is consent at the beginning and then it is taken away and then violated. And I told her that even though this may be why she was asking me for advice right then, either for her or for a friend, that this friend should not feel guilty at all about any part of the situation because it was not her fault.
And she told me that she’d tell her friend all of this.
So. I hope I gave good advice.