Is it pathetic that I am 17 and a virgin? I feel like I’m being outcasted due to this.

Not pathetic at all! It sucks that you’re feeling like an outcast, because the truth is not everybody your age is having sex (even though it may seem like they are). Lots of people haven’t had sex by 17, and many more wait until even later. There’s nothing weird, unusual, or immature about being abstinent at any age.  Having sex doesn’t make you more grown-up — in fact, waiting is one of the most mature decisions you can make.

Sex can have some pretty big consequences, like STDs and pregnancy. So it’s a good idea to hold off until you’re sure you can handle the responsibilities of safer sex, which includes using condoms, birth control, and getting tested for STDs. It’s also best to wait until you have a partner you really care about, who respects you, treats you well, and is also responsible enough to use protection and get tested. One of the best parts of not having sex is not having to worry about all this stuff!

Sex can be awesome, but it might not end up feeling so great if you just do it because it seems like everybody else is. If friends or people at school are giving you a hard time, you can say something like “I’m just too busy to stress about things like STDs and pregnancy right now,” or, “I respect your personal decisions, so please respect mine.” Or you can say nothing!  Your sex life your business, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation. I know feeling left out is totally no fun, but just remind yourself that plenty of other people aren’t doin’ it either.  Sex isn’t a race, and you’ll get there when it’s right for you.

-Kendall at Planned Parenthood