[Note: This post contains explicit sexual content.]
I like to call my early 20s the sexual awakening period of my life. I have been sexually active since I was a teen, but in my early 20s, I was most active. I was an independent young woman looking for fun and living in a major city. It was also the point in my life when I was growing most comfortable in my body, sexual identity, and gender expression. I had no reservations in letting people know that I was DTF (Down to Fuck), as the Jersey Shore castmates would say.
As someone who became sexually active in my early teens, I wish I’d waited — but not because of the ageist, sexist reasons that most people hold to. I was a young girl who had had no comprehensive sex education, who didn’t have trusted adults I could go to with any questions or concerns, and who seriously lacked self-esteem. I didn’t feel comfortable buying condoms. I had no clue that I could talk to my doctor about birth control without my mother knowing. I didn’t like being naked. And I had little to no understanding of my body. At that point in my life, I just wasn’t prepared with the tools or information I needed.
By the time I was in my early 20s, I felt so much more prepared. I kept condoms in my purse and in my bedside table at all times. I made sure to take my birth control at the same time every day. And between university, Google, and my friends, I could always find the answers to my questions. Sex at 20 seemed to be so much better than it had been at 16. And it was, to some degree.