Today we're highlighting 18-year-old Melora, who lives in Germany and writes a blog called Geschichten von der honigsüßen Welt. She talks to us about her first time, the 'shame area,' and why German teens think about sex differently than Americans. Melora wrote us after reading a piece we did on Bravo Magazine's vulva story. We'll have more from Melora talking about German teens and sex in a future post. Please send us an email if you'd like to tell your story.
Tell us about yourself: I am a 18-year-old girl from Germany. I grew up in a liberal household and my parents talked to me about sexuality. I learned about it in school at primary school and at "high school” (we have a different word for that). In primary school, sex education was more like “When Mum and Daddy love each other …” and so on, how to make a baby, what happened during pregnancy etc. Then in high school we talked about how our bodies change, what menstruation is, what kind of prevention exist and so on.
The word “pubic area” in the German language is “Schamhaare.” If you translate it directly, it means “shame area.” I had a really cool biology teacher in high school who always said: "I do not like it to call it “shame area” because there is nothing to be ashamed about.” He gave us a positive feeling about ourselves and our bodies.
When I was younger – 13/14 years old – I started to read the BRAVO magazine. In Germany it plays a big role in sex education. For many years now, you can write a letter to the Dr. Sommer team and ask everything about sex, relationship and other problems.
Some science: A study of the German Federal Center for Health Education showed that 7% of girls 14-years-old and under have already had sexual intercourse. It was 15% of girls by the age of 15, and 30% by the age of 16 years.
At the age of 17 years, 65% of the girls and 59% of boys had had sex. Of that group, 75% of the boys said their first time was good, but only 59% of the girls did.
Tell us about your first time: I belong to this 30% group: I “lost” my virginity when I was 16 years old. I was really in love with this guy, but it was just a short summer relationship, but not even a relationship. He did not want to have a serious relationship because he moved to another town at the end of the summer. He really broke my heart but nevertheless I never regret that I had sex with him. I just felt that this was the right moment and the right guy.
It was painful and maybe the worst sex I ever had but I did not expected too much from my first time. For me, it was just important that it was the right guy. I really enjoy having sex and for me sex is not always connected with love. It is enough “just” to like the person. Of course, it is nice to have sex with the person you love, but that is not necessary.
How do you define virginity? It is hard to define virginity because this so-called virginal membrane does not really exist. I think sex is more than penetration because this definition discriminates against lesbians. So I think it is the best is to define this for yourself or even better: You do not have to care about it.
This whole virginity thing is based on an old-fashioned moral: The girl has to keep something very “valuable”, her hymen, otherwise she is a “slut.” But the boy is cool when he has sex (he has no piece of skin to lose when he has sex).
How do German teenagers' attitudes towards sex differ from the US? We do not have this “virginity cult.” Actually, I suppose for most of the teenagers it is more important to lose their virginity than to keep it. I know only one person who is waiting to have sex until she marries – and this is more because she is scared of having sex than because of religious reasons.
Most of the people around me do not believe in God, and if they do so, it does not keep them from having sex. Of seven of my closest friends, four of them already had sex, mostly at the age of 16/17, and all of them prevent with the anti-baby-pill. I mentioned one of them wants to stay “clean” until marriage, and two of them just have not f0und the right guy yet.