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Films We Can't Wait To See: The Diary of a Teenage Girl

I've been waiting for The Diary of a Teenage Girl to open in New York since I first heard about it at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, directed by Marielle Heller, is about 15-year-old Minnie, who has sex for the first time with her mother's age-inappropriate boyfriend. It's based on Phoebe Gloeckner's graphic novel, "The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures."  

I can't wait to see it for so many reasons, including that I saw the film's star Bel Powley on stage in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia* back in 2011 and she was fabulous. But mostly because I think it's going to be such a great film about teenage girls and sexuality. Minnie's opening lines set the tone: "I had sex today. Holy shit." 

Women & Hollywood just wrote about that line a story about 6 lines from the film that every teenage girl needs to hear. Here's what Powley had to say about it:

Powley said at a Q&A panel following a screening of "Diary" that this is part of what drew her to the character. "I just felt like I related to Minnie on so many levels, and I just thought it was so special because it was opening up a conversation about female sexuality amongst teenage girls...I think it's such a taboo subject to discuss young girls or teenage girls feeling horny. We see our virginity as something that is really precious and that we lose or we give it away and then it's kind of over and then it's not okay to have sex with the wrong people or have sex with loads of people; it makes you feel like you're a freak or a you're bit weird if you have those feelings." 

Some of Minnie's other lines include "I just want to be touched. I don't know what's wrong with me," and "I didn't know if I wanted him or anyone else to fuck me, but I didn't want to pass up the chance." This is the real deal: I've read these very lines so many times in the stories submitted to our online project The V-Card Diaries.

Not suprisingly, the film has generated as much controversy and praise, and I'll write more about the film after I've seen it. I'll also be talking about it in my Downton Gabby Off-Season podcast which you can catch up with here.

Have you seen the film yet? What do you think? 

*You can see a clip of Bel Powley in Arcadia here, starting at 00:34.

Ask Trixie: I'm a virgin and he's not. How will I know when I'm ready and what to do?

Any advice? I'm 16/legal and I've been dating my friend for 2 weeks We were getting really physical the other day and he asked "If I had a condom, would you want to?" I'm a virgin/he's not. I don't know what I want/if I'm ready/when I will be/what I'd do? –A

Hi A –

Thanks for writing. You’re the only one who can really decide if you’re ready, but here are a few things to ask yourself:

  • Do I really want to do this, or do I just want to make my partner happy?
  • Do my partner and I have the same expectations for our relationship (casual or committed, for example) or will one of us be disappointed and upset after we have sex?
  • Are there other non-penetrative things we can do that will feel just as good (or better!)?
  • Am I doing this because I think I’m too old to be a virgin (oh my god, totally no).

Being able to answer these questions means you also have to know the person you're thinking about having sex with. Has he been a friend for a long time, even though you've only dated for 2 weeks? Or do you need more time to get to know him, and build up some trust and communication.

You should definitely check out Scarleteen’s Famous "Am I Ready For Sex?" checklist which has lots more things to consider. You don’t have to answer every question, but it will really help understand what you want.

Also, go to our V-Card Diaries story collection to read about other teens’ experiences around becoming sexual. Enter the site, and then click on ‘Teens’ in the red search terms and select any of the red dots.

Write back if you have any other questions. And seriously, if you feel confused, you’ve got plenty of time to figure out if and when you want to become more sexual. There’s no rush.

Got a question about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking?  Ask Trixie here.