by request: to the teenage boy in your life

Dear Heterosexual Teenage Boy,

I’ve never been a teenage boy myself, yet I have a lot of sympathy for the difficulties inherent in being flooded with testosterone and not having any idea what to do with it. I can appreciate the bafflement you must experience when confronted with girls, who seem strangely alien.

I’m here to help.

Here are some things you need to know.


Important Fact #1: Girls are Like Boys, Minus the Penises
An important thing to remember is that girls are not from a different planet, nor are they even a different species. They’re just people, they’re just like boys, except with vulvas instead of penises.

Mainly you need to remember this when you’re trying to figure out what a girl is thinking. See, if you didn’t know what a BOY was thinking, how would you go about finding out? You might ask him, right? The same goes for girls. There is no decoder ring, because there is no need for one. Girls are like boys, only female, ya know. They’re people.

All that stuff you see in movies and TV about how girls don’t like it if a guy has to ask? That’s bullshit. She would LOVE for you to ask what she’s thinking.

Important Fact #2: “No” means No. “Maybe” means No. Silence means No. “YES” means Yes.
You should believe what girls say. When they say “No” or “Stop” or “I’m not ready” or “I’m not sure” or “This doesn’t feel right” or “Um…” or nothing at all, that means NO. STOP. Anything other than “YES” or “That feels good” means NO. She might say it quietly or gently because she wants to be nice and not hurt your feelings because she LIKES you but just isn’t ready for whatever you’re doing. Listen to her WORDS.

I can tell you from a position of great authority that good sex only happens when BOTH people are into it. You want her to be into it, right? You want her to enjoy being sexual with you? Of course you do!

How can you tell if she’s enjoying it? Only her WORDS can tell you that. So listen to them and only do stuff she says YES to. Not sure she’s into it? See Important Fact #1, and also: doubt means don’t.

Important Fact #3: Girls Might Be Even More Confused about Sex Than You Are
Girls get really conflicting messages about sex from society. On the one hand they’re supposed to be really sexually desirable and attractive and they’re supposed to want sex, but on the other hand they’re supposed to stay virgins until they get married and be Good Girls. On top of that, girls’ bodies are less straightforward than boys’ in terms of sexual response.

I mean, you’ve got this handy barometer to tell you when you’re turned on. You’re familiar with your genitals. You’ve probably already had an orgasm. None of those things are necessarily true for girls. Their genitals are tucked away, hidden, and they don’t make a tent in their pants when a cute guy walks by. Not having a penis makes things different for girls. More complicated.

Look I’m gonna use a stereotype here, but maybe it’sll get the point across:

You know how sometimes you might feel like she knows all this stuff about emotions and relationships and you’re like, “When did she LEARN all this?” Sex is kind of like that for her. She’s still learning a bunch of stuff that you’ve already figured out because you have a penis.

So be patient with your girlfriend, as she is patient with you learning the emotional stuff. Arrite.


Important Fact #1: Condoms work – if you use them.
Condoms are the most effective way to prevent STDs for people who are sexually active. They’re also the most effective male-controlled contraceptive method. Don’t want to have a baby? Use condoms. Use them correctly and consistently.

Put the condom on BEFORE you ever put your penis in her vagina, and keep it on until after you ejaculate and withdraw. Never deviate from this.

Important Fact #2: Be Nice to Your Condoms
Latex degrades in heat and cold, and when latex degrades, your condom fails. And a condom can LOOK intact when it actually isn’t, so be NICE to your condoms and they’ll be nice to you.


Don’t keep your condoms in a glove compartment in the car, and don’t keep a condom in your wallet for more than a few weeks.

Be sure it’s in good shape before you use it – there should be an air bubble in the packet.

Pinch the tip of the condom when you roll it on, to leave a space at the top for your cum to land in.

Never open a condom packet with your teeth. You can use scissors ONLY if you scooch the condom down to the bottom half of the packet with one hand while you cut with the other. (HINT: hold your hand out the way you would hold a cigarette, with your index and middle fingers extended. Insert the condom packet between your fingers so that the foil wrapper go through, but the condom scrunches up under your fingers. Now turn your palm over and cut across the top of the foil.)

Important Fact #3: Keep Your Fluids to Yourself
The point of condoms is to keep one person’s sexual fluids and skin from touching the other person’s sexual fluids and skin.

If you’ve been touching your own or your partner’s genitals, you should wash your hands before you put the condom on. Otherwise you get all the sex juice on your hands on the outside of the condom, and that defeats the purpose.

After you ejaculate, hold the base of the condom as you withdraw, so it doesn’t fall off. Tie a knot in the top and throw it in the trash. DON’T flush it.

So there you have it. I hope some of that is useful.