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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Tag: sex

Feb 27

If I Could Take Back that Night

Posted By iamincontrol | February 27, 2014

Teen girl
By Anonymous

I lost my virginity after my friends did. I was 16 and I pressured myself into having sex with someone I didn’t care about, just to lose my virginity, just to fit in with my friends. If I could take that night back, I would.

All of my friends were hooking up casually with guys each weekend. I didn’t want to feel different, so, giving into internal peer pressure to conform, I decided to hook up with someone too. I didn’t like the person emotionally or romantically. I barely knew him, but I did it anyways.

Afterwards, I was sad. I felt used and upset with myself. Because I saw my friends hooking up with people each weekend, I thought that was normal. Losing my virginity so young and by someone I didn’t care about began and continued a string of causal sexual partners, having sex with someone just to make myself feel good. But afterwards, it never made me feel good. It made me feel worse about myself. I internally thought that the acts of sleeping with someone would boost my self-confidence. I was very wrong. It made me feel worse, and I was caught in a circle of casual sex and self-hatred.

I have learned to take the act of having sex very seriously. The risks of STIs and pregnancy are a real threat, and my self-esteem is worth more to me than a random hook up with a person. If I could take back that night, I would. Making love with a person, who you care about and who cares about you, is priceless. That is what I wish I would have waited for.

Jan 30

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Posted By iamincontrol | January 30, 2014

Did you know that 1 in 3 young people experience dating abuse?  It’s a serious issue that affects lots of people, which is why President Obama has declared February Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

On February 11, you can get involved by wearing ORANGE 4 Love to recognize “Get Respect Day” and to promote the importance of healthy relationships.  Encourage your friends to wear orange with you and spread the message.  Share a pic of you and your friends wearing orange on Instagram or Twitter at #orange4love #teenDVmonth #RespectWeek2014.

Are you in a healthy relationship?  Think about it as you hear what other teens describe as a healthy, loving relationship.

Dating abuse isn’t always being physically hurt by your partner.  Dating abuse can be physical, verbal or emotional, sexual, or digital.  Read these IAMincontrol posts for more info on healthy relationships and teen dating violence, or learn more at

If you are experiencing abuse, there is help.  You can chat with someone at, call 866.331.9474, or text “loveis” to 22522.  Everyone deserves a safe, healthy relationship.

You are in control of raising awareness about teen dating violence.

Jan 2

Hotline Round Up

Posted By iamincontrol | January 2, 2014

You never know when you’re going to need to talk to someone.  Today we’ve put together a list of some numbers you might find helpful when you’re going through something.

Teen Line 1-800-443-8336
You can call the Teen Line 24/7 to ask any questions you have about your health or a problem in your life.  They will answer your questions or connect you with someone who can.  You can also chat online with a counselor 8AM-8PM Monday through Friday.

Your Life Iowa1-855-581-8111
This 24-hour, confidential hotline is available to anyone who wants to find information about how to identify and deal with bullying or the topic of suicide. You can also text 85511 3-11PM everyday or chat online.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
This 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Calls are routed to the nearest crisis center in a national network of more than 150 crisis centers.*

The Trevor Lifeline (for GBLTQ Youth)1-866-488-7386 (1-866-4-U-TREVOR)
Providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.*

National Sexual Assault Hotline1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673)
Sponsored by the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN). Online Hotline is also available (click the link).*

National Runaway Hotline1-800-786-2929 (RUNAWAY)
24-hour crisis line. It’s anonymous, confidential and free.*

Love is Respect: National Dating Abuse Helpline1-866-331-9474 (TTY 1-866-331-8453)
24-hour help for teens and young adults. Peer advocates are trained to offer support, information and advocacy to those involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned parents, teachers, clergy, and others.*

CDC-INFO 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or TTY 1-888-232-6348
Formerly known as the CDC National STD and AIDS Hotline, counselors at this hotline sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now respond to questions about personal health issues, not just HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Available 24 hours a day, in English and Spanish.*

National STD (STI) Hotline1-800-227-8922
The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm EST. The American Social Health Association website offers information about sexual health, healthy relationships, STIs, and more. Check out – a site developed for teens and their parents.*

Always reach out to someone when you have a problem or just feel like you need to talk.  You are in control of your life.

*Hotline description from

Dec 26

A Big Decision

Posted By iamincontrol | December 26, 2013

A big decision
By Madeline

At the age of thirteen I made one of the biggest decisions anyone can make: to have sex for the first time. At the time I believed I was ready, but looking back on it, I should’ve taken many more things into consideration. I was dating a boy I had only dated for less than a year when I chose to make the decision to have sex for the first time. I had anticipated having sex for the first time at a much older age, but many factors such as peer pressure and pressure to have sex from my boyfriend were what prompted my decision to have sex.

Sexual pressure from my boyfriend and peer pressure to have sex came in many different ways. My boyfriend would do things such as coerce me to go further than I wanted to, but since I didn’t want him to break up with me I decided to do things I didn’t feel comfortable doing. Other things such as comments about his brother’s age at first sexual experience and wanting to “beat his record” caused more pressure to have sex. Along with sexual pressure from my boyfriend, his group of friends, who were now my friends, made numerous comments suggesting that I have sex with him.

Read More

Nov 28

STIs—the awkward talk that needs to happen

Posted By iamincontrol | November 28, 2013

Talk about it!
By Anonymous

In most middle schools or high schools there is a short unit in health class about STIs (or STDs), but why pay any more attention than just to get notes for an upcoming test or quiz? STIs only happen to other people, right?


Every year, 20 million new STIs occur and ½ of all of those are among youth—people just like you. No one is immune to STIs (unless you are remaining abstinent), and you may not always know if you have contracted an STI. Many STIs have no signs or symptoms at all, so people may not even know that they are spreading them.

As an 18 year old going-to-be college freshman I was bombarded with everything that I should have listened to in my high school health class. I had been with my boyfriend for a little over year when I found out I had contracted an STI. He was the only person I had been with so I thought that I was safe, but unfortunately I was not the only person he had been with. Although this was a very discouraging and upsetting time in my life, I took the opportunity as a learning experience and now have worked hard to educate those around me about having a healthy sexual lifestyle.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has multiple resources for learning about STIs, prevention, and testing options. You can also check out IAMincontrol’s post, STIs – Am I Really at Risk? to learn more about what you can do to prevent STIs.  Take control of your health and protect yourself from something that can easily be prevented.

Nov 5

What Makes a Good Relationship?

Posted By iamincontrol | November 5, 2013

What makes a good relationship
By Viv

This month’s poll asked readers to vote for the quality they look for most in a boyfriend or girlfriend.  Here are the results:

What’s the most important thing you look for in a boyfriend or girlfriend?

  • Looks (56%)
  • Similar interests (21%)
  • Money (10%)
  • Sense of humor (4%)
  • Honesty (3%)
  • Intelligence (3%)

So, while most of you prefer beauty over brains we all know that a good dating relationship is based on several qualities.  I’d bet that if we asked you to rank order these, your responses may have been a little different.  So let’s talk about what makes a dating relationship a good one.

Here’s a personal quiz to think about if you are currently in a “dating” relationship.  Does the person you are seeing:

  • Treat you well?
  • Respect you (including what you feel comfortable doing sexually)?
  • Give you space to hang out with your friends?
  • Let you wear what you want to wear?

Read More

Oct 24

HIV? No Way!

Posted By iamincontrol | October 24, 2013

By Bobbie Jo

HIV? I don’t have to worry about that. I’m young, I’m healthy and that is only for people in places like Africa.


HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus spread through blood, semen (cum), pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), vaginal fluids, and breast milk. People can become infected with HIV by sexual contact, intervenes drug use, or pregnancy/childbirth. HIV is the virus that can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

One in four new HIV infections occurs in people ages 13-24! Sixty percent of all youth with HIV don’t know they’re infected, so they are unknowingly infecting others. The greatest number of infections occurs among gay and bisexual youth.  But, it’s important for us to know that HIV doesn’t just occur in LGBTQ youth. 86% of young females and 6% of young males got HIV through heterosexual sex. African-Americans have high rates of HIV infection at 60%, followed by Hispanics/Latinos and Whites at 20% each. Youth with an existing STD are at greater risk for developing HIV.

So what can you do to protect yourself?

Read More

Sep 26

HPV Vaccine: Important for both Girls AND Guys

Posted By iamincontrol | September 26, 2013

HPV vaccine
You’ve probably been hearing about the HPV vaccine for a while now.  Should you get it, should you not?  We’re here to give you the full scoop on what it is and if it’s the right choice for you.

What is HPV?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a family of viruses that commonly infect the genital area and lining of the cervix.  HPV causes cervical cancer in women, as well as other oral and genital warts and cancers in BOTH men and women.  HPV is very common; affecting approximately 79 million people in the United States.  Almost all sexually active people get HPV at some point in their life, but most never know they have been infected.

How common is it?

In Iowa each year, 105 women will develop invasive cervical cancer and 36 women will die from this disease.  Nationwide, about 17,000 women get cancer that is linked with HPV, with cervical cancer being the most common.  Around 9,000 men get an HPV-associated cancer, and the most common are cancers of the back of throat, tongue, and tonsils.  HPV can also cause cancers of the vulva and vagina in women, cancer of the penis in men, and cancer of the anus in women and men.  This translates to an estimated 262 Iowans diagnosed with an HPV-associated cancer yearly.

So what can you do?

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Aug 29

Teen Pregnancy in My Hometown

Posted By iamincontrol | August 29, 2013

By Anonymous

While growing up, your parents tell you to make smart decisions and remind you to do your best to avoid peer pressure. Unfortunately, most of us take this opinion with a grain of salt. I feel that our life is directly correlated with the advice our parents give us growing up and how we react to it. Sadly, not as many parents were as thorough as my own when it came to advice and guidance, especially when it came to safe sex.

In 2011, I graduated with 124 other classmates from a high school in western Iowa. When commencement rolled around and we were officially “free” from school, I knew of two female classmates who were soon-to-be parents. Today, exactly 26 months later, I know of 16 female classmates who are parents. There are also 11 known fathers in my graduating class and at least two other “men” denying a potential child. These numbers make a grand total of almost 30 of my 124 classmates as parents.

My friend Sarah found out in October 2011 that she was going to be a mom. Being in college and paying for tuition by herself, Sarah was nothing short of devastated. She was constantly worrying about what people would think, what people would say, and most importantly – who would leave her. After she realized she was going to have a baby, most of Sarah’s closest friends abandoned her, telling her she really screwed up their social life with this baby.

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Jul 30

Trust Me, You Have Time

Posted By iamincontrol | July 30, 2013

Unhappy teen couple
By Breanna

I was your age once. Like many of you, I wanted a boyfriend really bad. A lot of the girls in my class had one and I sort of felt left out since I didn’t. Well, junior year I finally had a “boyfriend.” I put boyfriend in quotes because we were more than friends but not officially dating. He treated me as an object, not as a person. He even once told me that the only reason he ever kissed me was so he could practice. One day he would tell me that he liked me and then a couple days later he would act like I didn’t exist. He loved to play mind games.

All that he was doing to me was making me into someone I wasn’t. I was sad and angry, a lot. I became too involved in the relationship, trying too hard to make things work out. I was not myself anymore and I wasn’t enjoying my teenage years and high school as much as I should have.

This experience was important to me for many reasons. It took me a very long time to realize that I needed to remove myself from the relationship that I was in. Now, I don’t put up with people who treat me badly. As terrible as the whole situation was, I would not be where I am today or who I am today if things between him and I had worked out.

I learned that a good, healthy relationship is worth the wait. I learned what I wanted and didn’t want in future relationships. I learned the hard way that I should have listened to my family and friends when they told me get out of the relationship.

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