My Sexual Awakening Happened At 17 -- And I Was Unprepared For It

Throughout the next few months, HuffPost Teen is highlighting the way teens think and feel about sex through anecdotes written for our series, "Teen Sex: It's Complicated." All of the authors are teenagers who have agreed to be published anonymously. If you want to share your thoughts, join the conversation here.

By William, 18

“Natural” took a whole new meaning when high school started. Along with this new feeling came stories of kids, whom I had known since our days of light up Sketchers and Lunchables, doing, well, it. I always avoided thinking about it, I never talked about it, and up until this time, I had never had to deal with it but all of the sudden, I had this rush of emotions flood inside me. I came to the realization that I had a different idea of this whole “what feels natural” idea then most of the kids around me.

During my junior year of high school, I came to terms with the fact that I was gay. I was surrounded with support and love from my family and friends and I consider myself so blessed and fortunate for that. Despite the lack of external conflict, there was a sexual awakening inside of me just waiting to surface, and at the tender age of 17, I was far from prepared for it.

The first time I kissed a boy, I had a nervous breakdown and even cried a little. He tried to make moves I wasn't ready for and it scared me. I had never been so excited and terrified and anxious at the same time. After it had happened, I was on the phone with some of my friends for upwards of 40 minutes. The second time I kissed a boy, it led to more things. I felt ashamed after this. I felt dirty and regretful but after talking it through with various people, I came to the conclusion that I shouldn't feel ashamed. This was all natural. I had felt so distraught and confused by everything I was feeling that I never thought to realize that all of this was natural and normal.

After ironing out all of my mental wrinkles, it all started to slowly make sense. I shouldn't fear sex. Sex is natural. Sex is something that I find to be very intimate and I hope to share my first time with someone who I care for and who cares for me; it’s not like something that people run for the hills to avoid. I calmed down a lot after this. I became comfortable with myself. I became comfortable with my sexuality. But most importantly, I became comfortable with sex. I would be lying if I said it didn't make me nervous, but in my opinion, it’s better and more understandable than fear. I should clarify that I haven’t lost my virginity, but when I do, despite if it happens before marriage or graduation, or during college, I won’t fear it. I’ll embrace it. There are many things I fear in life, but sex is the last of them.

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