YWCA Power Of Being You 2021

Riding the Relationship Rollercoaster

Thank you to everyone who attended the YWCA’s Power of Being You Virtual Youth Conference last week. Our educator Taryn Wahl gave a presentation on relationships and you can view their slides, links to online resources, and notes from the Q&A below.

Questions & Answers

Any age. Most programming is for ages 5-15 but there is some for people under 30. More information can be requested through filling out a form on YWCA’s website: https://ywcaregina.com/programs/documents/

Or you can email the Gender-Based Violence Prevention Coordinator: ashleel@ywcaregina.com

If you’re interested in Planned Parenthood Regina’s services, we have offered medical care to people as young as 12 as long as they are able to show that they understand and consent to treatment. If someone is sexually active and wants to get birth control or STI testing then our health care providers want to help.

It’s great that you know this about yourself and hopefully there were a few things we talked about that were helpful for you. Negotiating boundaries in a relationship is important no matter what kind of desire or attraction you experience. Hopefully, the more everyone talks about issues related to relationships, gender, and sexuality, the safer and more accepting of diversity our society will become. Your sexuality is valid whether you decide to date, engage in sexual activities, or not.

Teen Vogue: Myths & Truths about Asexuality

Thanks for asking about this. A lot of problems arise because most people in our society are assumed to be cisgender, heterosexual, and monogamous. Feeling pressured to “come out” and explain yourself to others while facing fears of rejection can be really difficult. You are not alone here. Unfortunately, some people may not understand and may have negative ideas about polyamorous folks that are rooted in stereotypes and sex negativity. I’ve heard from teens who often feel like people don’t believe what they share about themselves because of their age, which is not cool. I think it’s great that you know this about yourself because it will help you meet other people who are polyam, open, and non-judgmental about sexuality. It’s okay if this is something you want to keep private about yourself. If you tell others, you can let them know that you don’t want them to share with anyone else. You shouldn’t have to defend your sexual interests and educate others unless you want to. At PPR, we believe that if there were less shame and stigma related to sexuality, people could be more honest about their desires and connect with others in safer more positive ways.

There’s a popular saying in the BDSM community that might be helpful to say when people are shaming others for their sexual preferences: “Don’t yuck my yum.” Or there’s the popular phrase: “Whatever floats your boat as long as you’re not hurting anyone.”

Scarleteen: Navigating polyamorous relationships

Teen Vogue: What is Polyamory?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked by young people. I love this website and wish I had it when I was a teenager: Love Is Respect: Dating 101

There is no set age and people will have different ideas about what sex and/or dating means. Sexual readiness will be different for each person and can be influenced by things like culture, religious beliefs, media, family, level of sex education, etc. We can make some recommendations and offer advice but please know that if figuring this out feels challenging, you are not doing things “wrong” and are not “bad” at sex or dating. There are a number of barriers teenagers face when deciding to become sexually active. A reminder that being sexual with yourself can also be an important part of being sexually healthy, relieving stress and energy, and exploring what feels good for you so that you are more comfortable connecting sexually with partners.

Click these links for some questions to ask yourself:

Scarleteen: First Intercourse 101

TeenHealthSource: Am I Ready? Checklist

We recommend thinking about what activities you’re comfortable doing, identifying trusted adults to get support from, thinking about ways to prevent pregnancy and STIs, and how your relationships with partner(s), friends, and family may change.

Wherever you are at, you deserve to feel good in your body and your relationships without fear, shame, or judgment. Seeking support is a sign of strength. There is no rush and we hope you don’t feel pressured if you’re not ready. You also deserve partners who are open to experimenting with you and figuring out what feels best for everyone involved–physically and emotionally.

Links to Online Resources

Slides


Feel free to reach out to our educator at Planned Parenthood Regina if you want to chat more about these topics.

Email Taryn (they/she) at taryn@ppregina.com or call 306-584-4213 during office hours (M-F 9-12 & 1-5) or DM us on Instagram (@plannedparenthoodregina).